Interview: Van Politics With Twin Peaks

By Michael Cerio 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The garage rock, snarling throwback sounds of Twin Peaks plan to fill Union Transfer in Philadelphia this Thursday, December 8th.

These young DIY Chicago punks and their latest album Down In Heaven is music well-informed by the 60’s style of The Rolling Stones and The Kinks, slathered with a healthy dose of fuzz and attitude.

As they snake their way across the country, we caught up with lead singer Cadien Lake James from the front seat of the van to talk about new music that sounds old and the lessons of 2016.

Are you guys still in “packed-in-a-van” status right now with Twin Peaks?

“Yeah, no tour buses or nothing. We’re in a van, but we have a trailer nowadays so..”

What’s the thing that you do to pass the time?

“In the van we’ve been listening to music. Sometimes we sleep in. You get lucky if you get time to read a book in the van – if you’ve got good light, and a good seat, and the right attitude.”

“I enjoy it. I love looking out the window. We’ve got a beautiful country. At least visually.”

New album this year, and people have been taking very kindly to it. I feel personally like you guys kind of refined the sound a little bit. You did a deeper dive into that 60’s Stones, Kinks kind of vibe. Is that right?

“Totally. I think it was natural for us. We grew up going to a lot of basement shows and playing basement shows – a little more of a punk aesthetic. I still love that stuff, but we’ve been cooling out. We’re driving around looking out at trees all day and mountains and plains and fields, and we’re listening to country music in the van and old 60’s rock, and you know, things slowly change.”

“It was really fun making this record and exploring that more.”

I think that’s why Twin Peaks sounds a little bit different is because it still has got that fuzzed out snarl of today with the stylistic touches of the 1960’s.

“Being urban Chicago kids we’ll always have that chip on our shoulders a little bit. That will always come through in some way. You can’t change who you are, but you can grow with who you are and explore things.”

We’re nearing the end of the year here. Outside of the music, what do you take away about 2016?

“I think 2016 we’ve seen a culmination of a lot of this modern era and having damn near half the population having these smartphones in their pockets and their hands all day.”

“A lot of it is great tools, but we’re still figuring out how to use it, and it gave us these bubbles and we’ve seen how that has affected our perspective going into politics and this election and a lot of people felt clueless to the fact that Trump was gonna win.”

“There’s a lot of negative consequences, but I think in the long run – I try to stay positive and optimistic – and I think it will go in the right direction.”

You’re interesting in that you’re 22 and of a certain generation, but you’ve traveled this country and seen a lot of it. Lots of people will say that when you get around the country you see reasons why Trump won. Are you of that mindset, or were you surprised by everything?

“I just really had more faith in the country, and I didn’t give enough credence to the fact that a lot of the country – they needed someone that was gonna talk to them.”

“Even now, we don’t give enough credit to these rural towns that went for Trump. They’re not all **** racists, bigot, terrible people – a lot of them are just people that live in small towns and there is maybe only one place you can work in those towns. They don’t have record stores and coffee shops that you can work at as a young person. Say the plant or the factory is closing down or going through hard times in these small towns, the way of life dies there.”

“We don’t acknowledge that enough coming from cities and liberal havens. We talk so much about unifying the country, if we want to do that we have to start acknowledging that understand what they’re going through. So you know, we’ve all got work to do.”

For much more from Cadien Lake James of Twin Peaks, check out the full interview below. You can see them this Thursday, December 8th at Union Transfer in Philadelphia.

 

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