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Twisty Cats - Mythology, Savannah and the South

27 September 2018

Let’s talk about Twisty Cats.

Scrolling through a Bandcamp page late at night, courtesy of Dean Tartaglia, I was perplexed by the idea of music that seemed equal parts ‘seductive and at times brutal’. Hailing from Savannah, the band seemed to harken a different light to the otherwise repetitive and largely uninspired collections that one tends to find on aggregate music platforms. It’s rare to find bands that are so comfortable with the fact that they break the mold – are so entirely removed from the notion that you need to have a ‘specific sound’ to make it. The southern natives seem to be one of these rare breeds.

Curious, I prepared questions, not entirely knowing what the answers would be. With mid-October tour dates looming in the future, I’m disappointed that I won’t get the opportunity to put faces to the names (or sound), but their new 10-track record will have to do for now.

Look below for a quick Q&A.

-Per Bandcamp… New York & Georgia… Seems like wildly different worlds. Was it hard to create a sound that accurately embodied both without one overpowering the other?

NY has become a permanent state of mind(thanks Billy Joel). It’s hard to travel to other cities and not try to compare in a slightly elitist sort of way. That said, NY is its own country in many ways. We catch up with our NY friends on social media and we sometimes have to roll our eyes. Moving to a small city in the south and trying to ingratiate ourselves and not fight it is eye opening. The economic, racial, and social division is much more apparent here..we think a lot of NY’ers live in a bubble. We did.

-Mythology seems to be under utilized in music. Would you find that it creates almost a more ‘epic’ scale to the sound? (Derives away from very typical ballads of love, loss, etc).

Are you asking about our music specifically? We try to be as real as possible.

-Southern influence seems to be rising more in music. Where’d you guys (the band) get the inspiration from? Has it always been there?

We prefer the southern storytelling tradition from Flannery O’Connor to David Sedaris. That was something I learned in school in NY. There was this amazing ancient-looking lit professor back at Hunter College in Manhattan- he started with G.W. Cable and it took off from there. Blake grew up in Atlanta, her parents both grew up in the south (Savannah and Jackson Mississippi) so she is ingrained in southern influence.

-Music exists now in a weird space where streaming services and labels seem to be in constant competition to one-up themselves. Has using a service like Bandcamp been beneficial? Do you guys find yourselves in a supportive community?

It’s a terrifying time to try to stand out based on merit. That’s ok. Spectacle is fine. Nothing lasts. There’s good and bad in that. If we absolutely abhor something there’s rest assured that it’ll be erased from the mass mind in seconds. We are uncomfortable with the idea of community being a social media platform but if we must…

-I oftentimes find myself asking as to whether bands think they’re in a sort of niche. Do you guys feel like you have one?

We are between niches. It’s a hard place to be at first. We are not electronic enough for some promoters and too much of something else for others. Niches are born from the very human need to classify everything- to kill it and pin it to a board and name it.

-Where do you guys see your artistic development heading? Where would you guys like to grow?

We left Savannah for Atlanta. We have added a brilliant drummer and a very talented synthesist who designs his own instruments. The songs still come from melody and lyrics. Those come from experiences. Our new ones will guide us through the next batch of songwriting.

-Dream venue? (Literally anywhere in the world).

Probably some sort of psychoactive thing where we can perform for people in their minds wherever they may be all at the same time.

-Savannah seems to have this lustful, ‘stay for awhile’ kind of vibe, yet also retains a kind of spook to it. Is that what I should be getting?

Probably. The tourism board pushes that angle pretty hard. The only ghosts we ever met were in NY.

-What was the impetus for the project? Did it just happen or did you guys find yourselves combining on each others’ ideas?

Our place in NY was above a bar called LIT in the East Village. They’d shutter the doors at 4am and then we’d open our apartment. A lot of stupid things would happen but sometimes a spark would happen as well. There were all of these musical instruments lying around. We took the songs we’d remember to mean that they didn’t suck. Eventually we began performing them in Savannah.

-Where do you see your music in 5, 10 years?

What the future holds no one knows…

-Who’s your ideal crowd? Who are you trying to make this music for?

Anyone who will listen. We make music for ourselves of course but we wouldn’t have left our living room if we didn’t want a reaction.

and finally…

-At the end of the night, what makes a good show or a good recording session for you guys? What
drives it all?

When we connect with people and the line is blurred. A good recording session is one where something significant gets done in little time.

You can find their record here: https://twistycats.bandcamp.com/

 

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