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the_deli_magazine

A Q&A With Nashville's TWEN, playing The Cobra (10.14)

TWEN's Ian Jones talks about fate, the live EP, the local scene, and life on tour.

By: Lilly Milman

October 10, 2017

"We decided to move to Nashville and try this experiment... It was serendipitous, but you could also feel the gravity of the thing forming before it actually bore any fruit."

Since moving to Nashville from Boston, psychedelic slackers TWEN have made the scene entirely their own. Made up of members Jane (vox, guitar), Ian (guitar), Cory (drums), and Jim (bass), the quartet's style of eclectic, avant-garde indie garage rock has carried them through the creation of a live EP, a summer tour, and a local show circuit. Their unique sound is perfectly captured by their debut EP, TWEN LIVE, an endless assault of reverb-soaked guitar parts, hypnotic vocals, and tight percussion lines. TWEN's only release to date, it shows a band on the brink of something special. The Deli caught up with guitarist Ian to talk about the new release on the way, the long list of upcoming shows, and the experience of being on tour. You can find them playing The Cobra on October 14th. - Lilly Milman, Photograph by Ben Burns

What’s your origin story? To my knowledge, you weren’t all born here, so my question is how did you all meet? More importantly, how did you all end up in Nashville?

I: We were each born in separate corners of the country - conceived by mothers and fathers, assigned names at birth, and are living out narratives as these characters (Jane, Ian, Cory, Jim) which we're coming to learn are actually illusory and made up... these four physical bodies of ours came into orbit of each other around 18 months ago in Boston, and because all of our previous incarnations/bands had broken up upon graduating college there, we decided to move to Nashville and try this experiment which we're calling "TWEN"! It was serendipitous, but you could also feel the gravity of the thing forming before it actually bore any fruit. But for now; yes, our bodies are residents in the land of Irises and Volunteers...

That brings me to my next question: what is it like being apart of such a dynamic music scene? Nashville is called Music City for a reason—you can find pretty much anyone there, and you’re basically right in the middle of a big tug-of-war between the commercial and the D.I.Y. music scenes of the city. How does this inform your music?

I: I don't know if it informs our music at all. If it did, that might not be the best thing, because we'd be doing it for reasons outside of our selves; for us the composition process is VERY intuitive and from the gut. We don't polish or contextualize much, at least we haven't up to this point - though I can kind of feel the pressure to, being here in the commercial scene as you mentioned. Mostly we feel our music has been informed by our college years in Boston and the bands. We're bringing that flavor to Nashville, which seems to be going down in a good way.

Who are some of your favorite acts in the local, D.I.Y. scene right now? Any recommendations for our readers?

I: For Nashville: homies in Sad Baxter, Ruby the Rabbitfoot, Shell of a Shell, The Minks. For Boston: homies Bat House, Skinny Pigeons, Model/Actriz, Superteen.

Speaking of D.I.Y. music, tell me more about your TWEN LIVE EP.  What was this recording process like? Do you think that your music, and your image as a band would have been different if this hadn’t been a live EP?

I: That was our first show ever! Right before we moved to Nashville, we showed up to the "Track Shack" venue in Allston, and this dude Nick Ertman had mics set up and was like, "Is it cool if i record?" We're all, "YES! PLEASE!" because we felt we really needed some demos before our move to Nashville, as we didn't know anyone here and we thought it would take us a while. That's what I mean by you could feel the gravitational pull of the thing. Nick Ertman showed up as the right guy at the right moment and that recording - which Cory Best mixed and fixed up for release - has been CRUCIAL for us this past year, and us growing our name nationally. We think it sounds great, especially for our first show ever (in our friends' basement).

You guys just got off an East Coast tour—what was your most memorable live show from the tour and why?

I: Probably the Track Shack show, as it was their final show as a house venue, and that was where we played our first show & recorded our Live EP, so it was a full circle moment. So many friends and good times.

I also noticed you use a lot of pedals during your shows, as well. At the Deli, we love to talk about gear (we even have a blog dedicated to pedals.) What’s one piece of gear you couldn’t have lived without on your tour, and why?

I: Probably our TC Helicon MicMechanics - we have two versions, 1 for Jane and 1 for me... pretty crucial stuff!!!

You just got home from your tour, yet you’re already lined up to play so many local shows. Besides these shows, do you have any plans for TWEN in the near future you could tell us about?

I: Debut Album in Spring 2018: 10 songs. More quality content & more quality shows, coming to a city next to the one you live in!

Last, but not least, what is your favorite thing to order at your local deli?

I: Bahn Mi from Mitchell Deli in East Nashville.