Interview: Daniel Grima from Twin Haus
Alex Carrette | On 29, Nov 2013
2013 has been by far the busiest year for indie quartet Twin Haus.
In fact, 2013 is really the only year that Twin Haus have been in existence for.
After recording their first demo track in late 2012, the band started playing live in early 2013.
As well as writing and playing music, all the band members have had to contend with their final years of high school.
Despite this, Twin Haus has managed to steer clear of the ‘High School Band’ label.
In the lead up to their final show of 2013, I spoke to singer and rhythm guitarist Daniel Grima in the studio where they recorded their demo tracks.
CD: Let’s go right back to the beginning. When did you first start playing music?
Daniel:Â I started playing trumpet at age seven and continued with other brass instruments such as Tuba throughout the remainder of Primary School.
I basically only started playing guitar about two years ago when I met Zach our lead guitarist and we started having some jams and stuff at school.
I used to play bass for Twin Haus but we could never really find a singer that we wanted to have as the front man, so I kind of just got shoved into the role.
Both my vocal and guitar technique is self-taught, hence it being the bare minimum. Despite this I probably have picked up a fair amount of pointers from Degs (Zach).
CD: How did all the band members get together and start Twin Haus?
Daniel:Â Basically, it was originally just myself and the drummer Nick, just having a jam with different people until it we gave it a break for a short period of time whilst I was tied up with other musical endeavours.
I think Nick was always pretty keen to keep jamming but, so I was like “yeah, Zach’s really good at guitar, he goes to my school, you should hit up Zach.”
So then Zach and Nick started jamming and I eventually joined them again and then we went on for about a few months just jamming as a three-piece.
I’d known Iti for a while from meeting him at your stereotypically, early-shutdown, lame high school hall parties.
He said that he played bass and he just came round to my place one day for a jam when the other two dudes were there and we added him to the Facebook group and that was it, that was basically how Twin Haus Started.
CD: Where does the name Twin Haus come from?
Daniel:Â Originally we were called Faust.
Zach went on an exchange to Germany and brought back a heap of cool books that were orientated around the musical and the [theatre play] Faust which we really liked the concept of.
But within a few days of releasing our demo, we were reviewed by a Swedish magazine and we were contacted by somebody in Germany being like “hey, look, there’s already a band called Faust, you’ve got to change your name”, copyright issues and all that.
So we did that and we had two hours that night to knock over a new name.
It was just a combination of names that we’d all come up with and originally it didn’t have much backing but now it does kind of emulate the kind of landscapy vibe we of have.
Itâ€™s a more chilled out, journey kind of vibe, that’ll somehow take six minutes to explain as oppose to three.
CD: Where did you record your demo?
Daniel:Â We were lucky enough to have Mike McAlary on board when we recorded the two tracks, Lumberjack Loveshack (Part I & II), last year at Bedlam Records.
Itâ€™s a really good place to make music.
Thereâ€™s none of that over-produced or fickle crap, itâ€™s all very raw and genuine there and the guys are a pleasure to work with.
We’ve spent a lot of time in the new Gordon Tce studio over the past couple of months recording demos for our upcoming EP.
We’ve decided to travel away from home for the final production of this release, to a vineyard in Orange, New South Wales.
Basically we will be tracking all the live takes in the wine cellar by day and heading back to a small farm house or something at night to continue recording vocals and any other over dubs.
I think we should expect some pretty cool sounds from these different environments.
So we’re recording all the tracks in a wine cellar and we’ll do all the overdubbing and vocals and other things at our house in Orange at night.
CD: You mention several influences, going from the superstar band Radiohead to local indie band The Medics. What is it about these bands that you like andÂ influencesÂ you?
Daniel:Â It’s the very genuine aspect of bands such as Radiohead or The Medics that we draw influence from, no matter how renowned the group.
Itâ€™s not only the sound we really enjoy, but I think itâ€™s more the type of presence that the band presents to an audience, on or off the stage.
We did a little bit of demo recording at Bedlam a few months ago with Andy (The Medics) and itâ€™s only when you do things like this that you realise how humble and philanthropic these guys are, despite their festival shows and record deals.
As for the bandsâ€™ sound, again, it’s this big journey, a story that Radiohead will take you through or The Medics or Foals or Swans, particularly with their 32-minute tracks.
We really cannot wait for the point where we can write an album and have a 32-minute track and actually have people appreciate it.
CD: How did you manage balancing being in a band with being in your final year of high school?
Daniel:Â It hasn’t been a big deal for me.
I’ve always really focussed on the band.
There’s Zach and Iti and Nick and the likes of people whoÂ are going to get an OP 2 and are meant to be going to study medicine or engineering or something ridiculous at uni.
I think my passion for music has always led me to put school second.
Recently I just got back from a tour with Boss Moxi, so I kind of felt like I wasn’t there for term four.
For me really, there was no balance.
But it’s a balance within the band.
There’s me working to get it out there whilst the other dudes are still able to focus on school, which is good, and it’s even more exciting because next year, it means all the other dudes will be able to work on it with me equally as hard, and hopefully that will take us some good places.
CD: What other things do you have planned for 2014?
Daniel:Â At this point it’s a little bit vague because it’s a long way away, but after the recording of the EP that’s the biggest thing we’re focussing on and we’re definitely going to tour it.
Maybe June, July, we’re looking at booking an East Coast tour.
And I think, now that we’ve got our foot in the door, it’s just our year to kill it and really work towards what we need to do as a band.
What:Â Twin Haus final show of 2013
Where:Â The Zoo, 711 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
When: Thursday, December 5. Doors open 7pm
How Much:Â $10
More info:Â Twin Haus will be supported by Moses Gunn Collective and Junior Arcade