Title - Ei8ht
Artist - This Twisted Wreckage
For those unaware, and in his own words, one half of This Twisted Wreckage - Luke Skyscraper James - explains (in the first part of an exclusive interview) how the band came to be: This Twisted Wreckage came about, as do many great experiences, entirely by chance and out of the blue.
I heard a band called Ishkah online and really liked their music. I have pretty broad tastes in music, bands that are nothing like mine, bands like Dreadzone and Thievery Corporation for example. Ishkah had some similarities to that style, chill trance music.
I was really impressed by Ricky Humphreys beautifully layered and wonderfully produced compositions, and the silky vocals of April Jaroka. These days I find the snobbery of youth as to what constitutes good or cool music has thankfully disappeared, good music is good music. And Ishkah were great!
It was actually Dave Harris, one of the guys who was the front man in a later lineup of Fashion, who introduced me through social media to Ishkahs music composer, Ricky Humphrey.
I was already collaborating online in two bands, with Eric S. Anderson in The Ghost of Luke James, as well as contributing to the East Coast indie, post-rock collective The Pull of Autumn with Daniel Darrow.
So I asked Ricky if he would be interested in sending me one of his compositions for me to try vocals. I was a little surprised, and very pleasantly so, by the up-tempo track that Ricky sent me. It was just as brilliantly composed, layered, and produced as Ishkah, but this was no chill out piece of music.
After one listen I armed a microphone and lyrics and vocal melody spontaneously poured out of me. I got almost the entire song written and recorded on the first take. To be honest, I was a little stunned by the turn of events that led to TTWs first song, Forgotten Summer.
But here is the really remarkable thing, this has happened over and over again, on more than 20 songs! So it was not just some one-off fluke.
One of the most remarkable things about my collaboration with Ricky Humphrey, who I have never met in person, (he lives in the South of England and I am in Northern California) is that we have an almost instant, organic connection between the music he writes and the lyrics and melodies that his music inspires in me.
I have been in a LOT of bands over the years but this is the best and most productive musical chemistry I have experienced since my involvement with Fashion (1978-80).
So far, as TTW we have been releasing singles on Bandcamp, but the time has come to now release a full album.
That new full-length recording is entitled Ei8ht and is out now and features, you will not be surprised to hear, eight brand new recordings from James and Humphrey under the guise of This Twisted Wreckage.
1. Dancing With Angels
2. Another Ride
3. Brave New World
6. Back Up Again
7. Through The Wall
8. Digging The Same Hole
Opening on the late 80s, soulful UK goth-imbibed Dancing With Angels and the gently fervent Another Ride, the guitar rocker Brave New World is up next and that is backed by the achingly earnest first single, Honesty.
The early 90s, hazy pop bounce of Robogirl is a joy to behold and is followed by the free flowing Back Up Again, with the album rounding out on the drum-led, synth magnificence of Through The Wall, closing on the heavier, rabidly held goth sense of Digging The Same Hole.
Exclusive Interview with Luke Skywalker James:
Where did the name This Twisted Wreckage originate and why name the album after the amount of tracks? For the first few songs we completed we did not have a band name. At some point in a text thread I mentioned to Ricky that sometimes the world felt as if it was on the verge of collapse and I was trying to be optimistic about what might emerge from this twisted wreckage of a planet that we have all created.
Ricky pounced on This Twisted Wreckage and said that should be the band name. It is a perfect fit, because although a lot of our music deals with dystopian futures, mental illness, environmental collapse and other delightful topics, we always have a thread of hope, of optimism, a belief that things will be turned around for the betterment of all.
I even managed to work the band name into a lyric in our song Back Up Again:
What do I do lying down here,
In this twisted wreckage where nothing is clear,
One thing wont leave me alone,
Got to get back up and carry on.
Another example is our song Honesty, in which we propose a simple quick fix to many of the worlds problems if everyone would just trust each other and be honest. Idealistic perhaps, but we have to believe that ultimately the human race will rescue itself - otherwise we would be in danger of becoming just another gloomy, doomy, Goth band! Ha ha ha!
Both Back Up Again and Honesty are on the album. There are also videos for them and several other This Twisted Wreckage songs on our YouTube channel (please subscribe, like, share, do a little dance, get down tonight, etc. etc.)
Ricky is also responsible for creating most of our videos and all of our artwork. He had this idea to work the numeral 8 (which also happens to be my lucky number since I was a little kid) into the word eight - so when I saw EI8HT - it immediately felt right.
The fact that there are eight tracks mostly came about because we thought carefully about possible combinations of songs for our debut album - we already have enough material for the next two albums.
We also recently invented the Concept Single (as opposed to concept album.) Side A is called The Thing Is and Side B is called The Thing Is Love - both are on YouTube:
The Thing Is by This Twisted Wreckage [YouTube]
The Thing Is Love by This Twisted Wreckage [YouTube]
What turned out to be the hardest part of creating this new album, from writing, to recording to creating the final product? "To be honest I do not think either Ricky or I experienced any artistic blocks to writing and recording this album.
I wish I could tell you we had to wrestle with existential crises or pound lyrics and music on the forge of sheer bloody hard work - but we did not.
I think one thing that is hopefully evident in our music is that both of us have been around the block more than a few times in our various previous bands. But I think it is important to also say that Ricky and I do not rest on any imaginary musical laurels.
On the contrary, we inspire each other to push our abilities as musicians to whole new levels. It is a pretty darned amazing feeling, kind of like being as excited as when I was 18 but actually having lived through some really tough but also wonderful life experiences, and knowing how to write, play and record. No offense to the 18 year-old pogedies out there, and best of luck with that!
If you had to describe the music of TTW in just five (5) words, what would they be? Optimistic Apocalypse Survival Dance Music!
Official Ei8ht Music Sampler [YouTube]
RoboGirl by This Twisted Wreckage [YouTube]
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