written by Marko Jakob
Pix666: Hello guys. Thanks for your time. How are you doing these days, are you alive and well?
Luis: Hi! Thank you for having us. I’ve been well, thank you.
Joel: Hello! Yes, thankfully throughout all of the chaos, everything is good here.
Pix666: Your band is still quite new – you formed Twin Tribes in September 2017. Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences. How did you get to know each other as a band/duo?
Luis: Twin Tribes started in July 2017 actually. It starts off with some demos I had made months before. I reached out to Joel to see if he’d like to be a part of the project and once we got together we wrote about 6-7 songs in a very short period of time. Which later became our first album, “Shadows”, released in January 2018.
Pix666: When I hear some of your songs, I start dreaming and feel like I’m back in my youth. You must be a fan of The Cure and some other great bands of the 80s, right? But what was your inspiration to become musicians in general?
Luis: The Cure definitely has always been an inspiration to us. And to hear that our music reminds you of bands from the 80’s is a huge compliment. Thank you.
Joel: Looking back, the inspiration to be a musician in general came from listening to the music my parents and sister would listen to. This ranged from Juan Gabriel and Selena to Depeche Mode and David Bowie. The way that music would make them react was beautiful to me. It also contributed to me liking so many different genres of music, as I was introduced to so many different types as a child.
Pix666: Next week your remix album ‚Altars‘ will be released. What can fans expect? In which versions can fans buy the album and is it already available for pre-order somewhere?
Joel: Fans can expect some of the most talented artists in our scene today making Twin Tribes songs their own. Honestly, all of the bands on this album did such a fantastic job reimagining the songs. Everytime we received the final mixes, we’d be amazed. It’s currently available for pre-order on vinyl and CD through our Bandcamp, or our partner labels in Manic Depression, Negative Gain, and Young & Cold.
Pix666: The album contains remixes by many well-known bands, including Ash Code and She Past Away, who are big names in Europe. How did the contact with all these bands come about and also the willingness of the bands to remix your songs?
Luis: When we initially came about the idea of making a remix album, we made a list of bands we like and would love to hear them remix our songs. Ash Code and She Past Away were among the first ones we thought of. We’re fans of both bands and we had the pleasure of sharing the stage while they were touring the U.S. The fact that they enjoyed our music as well was a plus. Their remixes are basically completely new tracks and they are amazing.
Pix666: Who picked the songs for the remix album, the other bands or yourselves?
Joel: We let the bands choose their own songs. As bands took their songs there were a few who didn’t get their first pick. However, instead of having two takes on one song, we felt strongly about having different songs for each band to make them unique for the album.
Pix666: How important are styling and the visual component for you?
Luis: I think it’s extremely important to have a certain visual component that goes with our music. Whether it is an album cover, a t-shirt design or the way we dress, lighting on stage, fog, it’s a whole experience.
Joel: We strongly believe, especially when we are talking about our live show, that people come to witness and feel an experience. The visual element is a huge part of what Twin Tribes is. We try our best to give 100% of ourselves out there, and giving our fans that added layer and vibe is very important to us.
Pix666: I’m a fan of statistics of all kinds. What about you guys? Do you look at the numbers of streams, the views on YouTube, or do you know, for example, in which countries the people who listen to your music live?
Luis: Yes, actually. We check our stats on Spotify and it’s very interesting to us to see what are the top cities of listeners. Mexico City is in first place as of now and Los Angeles in second, but these usually interchange. Santiago, Chile; Moscow, Russia and Sao Paulo, Brazil make up the rest of our top cities.
Joel: It boggles my mind when I see Fantasmas at around 500 thousand views on YouTube, and that’s because it’s only the song, not an actual video clip! It really means a lot that people enjoy our music enough to play it as much as they do. It’s very humbling.
Pix666: The pandemic unfortunately still has us in its grip, in Germany we are even in a lockdown again – but we have the feeling that normal life could soon return. Are Twin Tribes already planning some concerts for this year?
Joel: Yes, we have been planning for the future ever since the pandemic hit initially. We aren’t ones to rest on our laurels, we try to keep busy, and move forward as much as possible. Currently, we have a US West Coast tour planned for September, and if all goes well, throughout the end of the year. Everything is subject to change of course as we monitor the situations in the areas we are set to perform. Fingers crossed for the future.
Pix666: Can you actually remember your last live performance and how much do you miss this thing that is the most important thing for many bands – playing live with the direct contact to the fans?
Luis: Our last shows were March 2020 right before the pandemic hit. We were on tour with Clan of Xymox, The Bellwether Syndicate and Curse Mackey. San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles were the last three shows we had. We definitely miss playing shows and being on the road. Hopefully everything is better by September over here.
Joel: If I’d known it would be our last show for 18 months, I would have taken in every second that much more. One of our favorite things to do is hang out at the merch table to interact with fans, take pictures, sign items, and sell our merch. I can only hope we have some semblance of that come September.
Pix666: From your point of view, what are the milestones in the band’s history so far – but also the experiences that you will never forget, such as funny moments during video shoots, etc.?
Luis: I think every record we’ve put out is a milestone. Every festival we’ve crossed out on our list and even playing one twice is another one. We try to get our music out there as much as possible. As for experiences, the best to me is always reconnecting with friends from other cities and meeting new people. Maybe a funny moment is when we’re going to shoot a video or picture, if one of us laughs randomly it’s game over. The laughing chain begins.
Joel: Getting the opportunity to tour the country doing something I love is the biggest milestone for me. Not many people get the chance to do that and travel to the places we have, and I’m so grateful for it. As far as funny moments, running out of gas on our way from San Francisco to Los Angeles ranks right up there. You can’t help but laugh at something as ridiculous as forgetting to fill up the tour van.
Pix666: How hard is the pandemic hitting you? How does it currently look financially for your band when you could hardly play concerts and still can’t play? You certainly can’t really expect to gain much from the proceeds of streaming. How do you keep your heads above water – is there cool Twin Tribes merch to buy?
Luis: Thankfully Twin Tribes merch is available at either www.twintribes.bigcartel.com or www.twintribes.bandcamp.com. We’ve been blessed with great fans that have continued to show their support since day one and that is how we are able to do what we do.
Joel: I echo what Luis said. It would have been a lot worse for us if it wasn’t for our amazing fans. We did a few streams, taking donations, and quickly pivoted to making more merch to help recover some of those lost costs.
Pix666: What is the current situation in America and especially the mood among the people?
Luis: Over here it seems like things are getting a little back to normal. Flyers for festivals and tours from big names are starting to drop, so we think shows are coming back soon.
Joel: People are getting excited for live music to return. We may never go back to what it was before the pandemic hit, but we are going to try our best to get close.
Pix666: As a musician, you surely spend most of your time creating music – but what else do you do in your free time when you want to distract yourself – are there any interesting hobbies you pursue? 😊
Luis: When I’m not working on music I enjoy playing the board game Catan, listening to music, and visiting friends. Also, we do karaoke every now and then.
Joel: I’m a huge professional wrestling fan. I am what is called in the industry, a “mark”. Additionally, I’ve been getting back in the habit of reading books. It’s one of those things I lament not keeping up with.
Pix666: Do you have any other news about your band that you would like to share with the fans?
Joel: Keep your eyes on our social media accounts in the coming months. There’s a lot of big announcements coming soon! Thank you for being so supportive of us, and we can’t wait to be back out on the road playing shows for you all.
Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Good luck with your album and stay healthy!!!
Pre-order the album here:
photos © Simon Diaz & Luis Perez