Monday, February 13, 2012
Civil Twilight is a three piece band from Capetown, South Africa. They have an alt rock sound that is sometimes compared to early U2. You have heard a lot of Civil Twilight on some of your favorite TV shows over the past couple of years on programs like House and Without A Trace. This stuff is very catchy and Steven's vocals really shine on the songs! Civil Twilight have a new record, "Holy Weather" coming out on March 26th. Stop by your local ZIA Records and grab it!
ZIA : Two of you have been together your whole lives how did Richard hook up with you guys?
CT : Andrew and i met Rich in school. I was about 11 or so. Andrew and Rich actually started the band and I joined a few months later as the punk-ass, younger brother who'd written a few poems and wanted to try out for singer. It blows my mind that we're still together.
ZIA : Is he pretty much an honorary McKellar?
CT : Yeah, pretty much. He's actually thinking of changing his name so we can call the band 'The McKellar Brothas and Co.'
ZIA : When did you guys first visit the states?
CT : My first visit was when i was 13 years old, visiting my grandmother. Blew my mind.
ZIA : Is there anything that you had heard about the states you had to see?
CT : DisneyWorld. And McDonalds, sadly enough.
ZIA : Have the US audiences taken to you as much as the South African fans?
CT : Yeah, i'd say so. But, it is hard to compete with a homecoming gig. Let's just say we enjoy playing on both sides of the pond.
ZIA : Being from Cape Town and growing up in the wake of apartheid and a huge anti-segregation movement, how did this affect your music?
CT : I was rather young (11) when apartheid was abolished so I didn’t fully understand what was going on at the time. The atrocity of apartheid only became clearer to me as I got older but I remember my folks being very involved and excited when Mandela was released and telling me that this is a historic occasion and a huge triumph for humankind. I remember the day. And I remember when black kids were first allowed into my school. Crazy! There was so much that came along with all that. So many miracles of justice and peace following that time. It’s a really big topic that I don’t have time to fully explore right now but it’s given me an appreciation for freedom and justice to say the least.
ZIA : Do you write songs from a political viewpoint sometimes?
CT : No. I don't really give two shits about politics.
ZIA : Did you yourselves see any segregation first hand?
CT : Yeah. I remember seeing whites only beaches and two lines at the post office, one for blacks and one for whites. Crazy shit like that.
ZIA : I have read of an affinity for Jazz music that you guys inherited from your parents. What are some must- have records for someone just getting into Jazz?
CT : Well, if you haven't listened to the classics you should probably start there. Miles Davis's Kind of Blue. John Coltrane A Love Supreme etc. But, one of my personal favorites that i've listened to since i was an young teen is The Harper Brothers live at The Village Vanguard. AMAZING.
ZIA : At what point did you guys realize “This is it. We are all in” and the music had become your full time occupation?
CT : Wait. We are all in?!! Wow! This is great. I'm gonna have to send a letter to the folks. Do you know where we pick up our checks?
ZIA : The new record “Holy Weather” seems like a progression from the sound on “Civil Twilight”. Would you guys agree? Was it intended?
CT : Yes, i would agree. And it was partly intended, but also partly natural in it's progression. We'd been playing the songs off the last record for a LONG time and needed a change, for our sake and the audiences.
ZIA : “Holy Weather” comes out on March 26th. What can fans expect from this record?
CT : A partly intended, yet partly natural progression in style. :) …and the same amount of passion that we've always felt about music. We wanted to make an album that was more precise than the last one. More focused in it's lyrical content and arrangements, and more rhythm and melody based. We like it, and that's all that matters.
ZIA : For those who are reading this and have never heard you guys before how would you describe your sound?
CT : Well, it's about to be changed, so, it's hard to say. The first album sounds like a spiritual war being fought over a dark and tumultuous ocean. And the second sounds like the musical soundtrack to a domestic horror/love story involving ghosts and door to door salesmen. I don't know, man. They can tell me. That would be a more accurate description.
ZIA : Who are some of your fellow artists that you’re into?
CT : James Blake blew all of our collective minds when we first heard him. Steve is really into soulful music and good songwriting. Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen. Andrew is more into new music and interesting sonics and beats. Rich is a little all over the page.
ZIA : Are you guys readers and if so what is a book you that you must have on tour?
CT : Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy for Rich. Gabriel Garcia Marquez for Steve.
ZIA : Speaking of touring, are there any US tour plans coming up?
CT : Yeah, we’re busy putting together a master plan for the spring!
ZIA : How do you make such a full sounding record with just the three of you?
CT : We just turn everything up really loud! And practice a lot.
ZIA : Dumb question but one that has to be asked: Is it hard being in a band with a family member?
CT : Ummm... Yes. But in the end brotherly love prevails. :)
ZIA : What does 2012 hold for Civil Twilight?
CT : Hopefully a record that people like and continuing to grow our fan base here in the States. We love this country and love playing here.
Posted by Zia Records Blogs at 3:55 PM