Twin Peaks talks Chicago music scene and doing whatever the fuck they want

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Daniel Topete/Courtesy

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Rock ‘n’ roll isn’t quite dead yet — Twin Peaks made this much clear at San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill on Saturday night. And no, their name is not related to David Lynch’s surreal television show; they just thought it sounded cool.

The Chicago-based quartet sheds a new light on the low-fi, garage-rock powerhouse emerging from the Chicago music scene. Their most recent release, Wild Onion, has given them national recognition. The album provides listeners with a glimpse into a lifestyle full of rock ‘n’ roll, beer and good times.

With vocals reminiscent of the Clash’s Mick Jones and beachy, garage-rock-inspired instrumentals, Twin Peaks has created a unique spin on a familiar style. Their unpolished vocals and guitars, onstage antics and everlasting energy produce an atmosphere that seemingly only existed in the ’70s.

Post-concert, mid-pizza, Twin Peaks’ Cadien James (guitar, vocals) and Jack Dolan (bass, vocals) took the time to speak with The Daily Californian about touring, Chicago and what lies ahead for them.

The Daily Californian: How do you feel Chicago has helped build and influence you?

Jack Dolan: We always go on tour with the idea that we’re gonna rep where we’re from entirely. We’re very proud of where Chicago is right now and the music that’s coming out of it, and we want to, you know, showcase that in a way. Chicago’s where it started and shit. You can’t take that away from us. Those are still the people who come on tour with us.

Cadien James: Not only do I feel stoked about all the other shit going on in Chicago, but it’s like, the response we’ve gotten in Chicago and the fans we’ve got in Chicago have definitely been a confidence booster for us going out into the world. They make us wanna put the city on our back, you know?

DC: You guys went to school at Evergreen State in Washington for a while. How’d you like it there?

CJ: Yeah — me, Jack and Connor went there. We loved it, dude. It’s fucking awesome.

JD: (It’s) beautiful out there. The West Coast has just got different terrain about it. It’s just a beautiful place, man. There are no if, ands or buts about it.

DC: How did the band first form?

CJ: Me and Jack have been playing together forever. As soon as both of us started writing music, we started playing together. And I was playing with my brother for a bit. Then he started touring with the Smith Westerns. So me and Jack started another band in high school, met up with Connor and just went from there.

DC: What would you say have been your biggest influences?

JD: The city that I live in, that I was raised in and the music that comes out of there. And my fellow bandmates.

DC: What can we expect next from you guys?

JD: We’re about to do a little recording this upcoming January. It’s the first break we’re gonna get in a long-ass time. We’ve been doing this on and off touring basically since August, and, I don’t know, we’re ready to get a break, regroup, and then we’re back at it. We’re doing our first big European tour in February. We’re looking to keep playing, keep touring and doing what we do.

CJ: We’re just looking to keep being best friends and having a good time together, man. Luckily, that entails us getting to do whatever the fuck we want right now. That’s the biggest plus I think I’ve ever had in my life.

Contact Jeremy Siegel at [email protected].