INTERVIEW: Colin Young – Twitching Tongues

Photo Credit: Vince Edwards

WORDS: Perran Helyes

Off the back of their latest album Disharmony released under the prestigious Metal Blade banner, we caught up with TWITCHING TONGUES singer Colin Young just coming off the stage from their set supporting TERROR at Manchester’s Sound Control to talk bringing goth and doom into hardcore, the effect of prominent music criticism, and his favourite beverage.

So you’ve just played your set, how was that?

Colin: Cool. Seems that the set times were switched up on the online post so a couple of people have showed up confused that we’ve already played so that always sucks but it was alright.

How is it being back in the UK?

Colin: I can read food menus again, always feels good. The pound! The pound is worth so much.

Is it very different to playing in the US?

Colin: It’s pretty similar. We’re pretty comfortable here. Today was one of those shows where most people stand at the back which always just confuses me. But it was cool, that happens in the US too.

Any particular favourite places or festivals to play in the UK or in Europe?

Colin: We played Hellfest which was very cool.

Disharmony’s been out for a fair while, what’s the reception been like?

Colin: You tell me, man. Much like the rest of the existence of our band, people love it or people hate it. It didn’t feel like a crazy leap forward, more of a natural progression. A lot of people who like us weren’t really expecting it though which confused me. We obviously didn’t write the same record twice going from our first to our second, why the fuck would we do it here? Would we not try to do something a little different? It’s still TWITCHING TONGUES in every way, it’s just a little harder.

You can be something of a polarizing band, just using as an example The Needle Drop review which you guys responded to in quite a lighthearted manner, how do you take that kind of negative response?

Colin: Here’s the thing. I don’t care what he’s saying, that’s not the problem. The problem is the people who go to people like him or just one source for 100% of their musical knowledge. They go to this nerd on YouTube who’s never played an instrument in his life and never written a song to be the basis of what they should or should not purchase and that’s fucking crazy. Rather than forming an opinion themselves, they listen to him talk on YouTube for fifteen minutes and that’s it. So it’s not the fact that he said all this shit, it’s the effect that it has on the casual music listener. At the end of the day anyone can say what they want but for some reason that asshole has such a weird following in any genre of music, like people who listen to hardcore listen to him, rap, and he’s supposedly this authority and it’s just real bizarre. We always encourage people just to listen for themselves and form their own opinion.

Do you ever see yourselves as a band able to bridge the hardcore and metal scenes?

Colin: We never really chose to. We all came from hardcore. With metal we love that type of music but we’ve never moved away from ethically being a hardcore band. I’m not comfortable anywhere anyway but I’d say I’m more comfortable in front of hardcore crowds because I’m one of them, I understand them. Metal people see hardcore kids dancing and they’re fucking disgusted. Fuck you, that’s what we wanna see. At the end of the day we are all hardcore kids.

So when you’re playing with more of a pure hardcore band like TERROR tonight for example, you never feel like you’re representing the metal side of things?

Colin: No, we’re just doing our thing.

How far do you feel the extra influences TWITCHING TONGUES have like the goth and the doom set you apart?

Colin: I think it all factors into the overall end result. It’s not like you hear one song and go “That’s just a TYPE O NEGATIVE song”. We have big amalgamations, with them all factoring in constantly. Everything we are influenced by is always there. We’ll go into a song sometimes with specific goals though like “this is the CANDLEMASS/MERAUDER song”, “this is the TYPE O/BOLT THROWER” song. Two things that don’t go together, but that’s disharmony. That’s the point.

Some of you have commitments in other bands, for example Taylor has the new NAILS record on the horizon. How much does that detract from or clash with TWITCHING TONGUES?

Colin: For me TWITCHING TONGUES is definitely the number one main project, and I think for Taylor it’s number two, but NAILS is a separate entity and they do so little. It’s not like they’re touring half the year, they’ll do two weeks maybe here and there. So really it hasn’t interfered at all and it’s so easy to work around. I think it’s a lot easier than people think it is.

So what’s next for TWITCHING TONGUES?

Colin: I think people will find that out relatively soon…

And to wrap things up, how many cases of Dr. Pepper do you have on this bus?

Colin: Oh my god. I have one, and I’m afraid to put it in the fridge cause I think people are gonna drink it. So it’s in my bunk and it’s super hot. It’s a full one though! I’ll break into that soon I hope, maybe tonight.

Well that about covers it, so thank you for your time!