Alternative-Pop Trio TWIN XL, released their newest single, "Messy," on all streaming platforms today! The vocalist of TWIN XL, Cameron Walker-Wright, opens up about their new single, anxiety/mental health awareness and plans for the future of TWIN XL's career. Read our exclusive interview below:
Photo by Braverijah Gregg
What was the process writing “Messy” like?
We wrote “Messy” with my dear friend and collaborator Colin Dieden AKA Little Hurt. Colin is one of my favorite people in the world to write with, and we were honored to be able to collaborate with him for TWIN XL. Like most of our songs, we started out with the drums and some chords and built the melody around that. This song is very lyric driven and the majority of the process was spent on the lyrics and message of what we wanted to say.
Did you have to get into a certain mindset or setting to be able to write the lyrics for “Messy”, or did the lyrics come naturally to you?
It definitely takes a lot to open yourself up the way we did in “Messy.” There was sort of the looming feeling of vulnerability the entire time we were writing. I’m equally excited and terrified to send it out into the world.
It’s apparent that in the modern period, people are trying to end the stigma of mental illnesses such as anxiety, which is the topic of the song. Would you say that’s your goal with releasing “Messy”? If not, what is your goal in making a song about dealing with anxiety?
I think ultimately our goal was to just write something real and honest that we all felt connected to. With that goal in mind, the concept sort of took shape on its own. I think mental health is such a recurring topic in music and media right now because the world is starting to really be aware of how important it is to talk about it.
What is the reaction you’re hoping for your listeners to give when listening to “Messy” for the first time? As a fan and listener, I’ve always been drawn to songs that I can relate to and apply to myself and where my life is at. It always gives me some sort of peace of mind to feel like somebody else in the world has gone through what I’m going through right now. I hope this song gets to the people that need it most.
How did you come about with the creative direction for the “Messy” artwork? It’s a very accurate, yet creative depiction of what anxiety feels like.
We wanted to do exactly that. There’s torment and desperation in this song and we wanted the art to reflect that.
How does it feel collaborating with a shoe brand as successful as Doc Martens for this song?
There’s a lyric in the song that says “running from these demons in my old Doc Martens” so we thought who would be a better partner than the real actual Dr. Martens? We are very excited that they were into the idea as well.
How did you get the opportunity to open for The Maine, and how does it feel?
John and Stephen have been friends with those guys for forever. They’ve been so supportive of us. They added us to their 8123 Festival, and we were absolutely thrilled when they asked us to come open up for them on tour. They are truly one of the most kind and supportive bands I’ve ever met.
I really love the irony in using a really cheerful instrumental to such honest and vulnerable lyrics that talk about anxiety. Was there an intentional reason for this or did you just want to use it for the sake of using it? All three of us individually have a very melodic way of writing songs. We all come from a background of writing ear-wormy pop songs. I think it’s almost in our DNA at this point. It’s just how we write. I do love the contrast and irony of dark lyrics over catchy melodies and vice versa.
Looking back, how do you feel about the rising and immediate success following the release of your debut EP, "How to Talk to Strangers?" It has felt like a whirlwind. We have been on tour almost the entire time since it was released. It’s so crazy to see something that started as the three of us in a room making music for fun turn into this living breathing thing that has consumed us in the best way possible.
On a separate note, me also being a music video director, I really appreciate and admire the aesthetically pleasing visuals for your music videos! What is the process going into making your music videos like, and are we expecting any new ones in the upcoming future that you can hint about? We collaborate with an incredible director named Jade Ehlers. We are very fortunate to have someone who totally sees our vision and helps breathe more life into our songs. We have a video for “Messy” coming out very soon, and I can’t wait for people to see the next story within this strange little dream world we’ve created.
So, 2019 is almost over. Not only will it soon be a new year, but it will also be a new decade! What are your goals you want to manifest for 2020- or even the years after if you have ever planned or thought that far ahead? My number one goal is always to get TWIN XL to as many listens as possible through writing the best songs that we can and playing them in front of as many people as possible. I think “Messy” is a departure for us both musically and emotionally. I can’t wait for the world to hear it.
The trio from Los Angeles, CA are currently on tour with The Maine for the "The Mirror" Tour. See if they are coming to a town near you.