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Twenty Twenty (Sam Halliday) - The IndieLondon interview

Twenty Twenty

Interview by Rob Carnevale

TWENTY Twenty’s Sam Halliday talks exclusively to IndieLondon about the band’s debut mini-album, Small Talk, and the inspiration behind some of the songs.

He also considers the band’s career so far, including what it was like to support the likes of JLS and The Wanted, what their most bizarre (and racy) fan request continues to be and plans for a full length album in the autumn (and why it won’t just be remixes!).

Q. Hi Sam, 2010 sounded amazing for you… and 2011 looks destined to be even better. Would you agree that the past 12 months have been a wild ride?
Sam Halliday: Yes, definitely! And we’ve loved every single minute of it! We’ve been so privileged to be able to support some amazing bands and artists, and we really hope 2011 will hold the same!

Q. Talk to us a little about the mini album, Small Talk, what inspired it?
Sam Halliday: All of our songs are inspired by our feelings we have currently, or had growing up. We’re fresh out of our teens and know what it’s like growing up in college/school and dealing with friends and heartbreak. It consists of eight songs, and has an array of emotions in it. There’s some really upbeat, feel-good songs that will have you singing along, and there’s a few slower more melodic songs that tug on the heart-strings too!

Q. And the current single, Love To Life? What inspired that?
Sam Halliday: It’s all about catching eyes with someone across the room and the chemistry of a relationship unfolding. We wanted it to be an upbeat sing-along song because meeting that special someone is always exciting!

Q. The video looked like it was fun to shoot – who was best at the go-karting? And where did you get the idea for that?
Sam Halliday: Jack and Sonny were definitely the best drivers of the day! Sam drove like a Grandma! The idea came about when we said we wanted the video to be fun to watch and exciting to represent the song, and there’s nothing better than whizzing round in a go-kart is there?!

Q. There are some interesting track names on the mini-LP, such as The Puppeteer – tell us more about the inspiration behind that one?
Sam Halliday: The Puppeteer is all about being in a controlling relationship. We’ve all been with someone that we want so much, but they don’t treat you the same way.

Q. And who is the Girl Next Door devoted to?
Sam Halliday: Girl Next Door is for all those girls we’ve had a crush on growing up, but we never had to guts to say ‘hi’ to!

Q. You’ve worked with some amazing producers, such as Julian Emery – what do you take away from that experience and what did they bring to the songs?
Sam Halliday: Producers like Julian have such a good ear and and give us such a fresh perspective on the songs we’ve written too! He comes up with great production techniques that we wouldn’t have already thought of, and gives us ideas on how to work with existing melodies.

Q. What was it like to support bands like JLS and The Wanted, as well as The Saturdays? What do you learn from those experiences?
Sam Halliday: It was absolutely incredible, and we owe a lot to them. They told us to make sure we’re having fun whatever we’re doing as it really comes across in a performance and to keep working really hard at what we do best!

Q. Youself and Jack, you obviously have known each other since – well – birth, but how did you meet Sonny?
Sam Halliday: We met Sonny through a friend on a ‘year out’. We said we needed a drummer to record some songs we had written and they put us in touch with Sonny!

Q. And what’s the dynamic like between you? Do you see eye to eye on everything? How is song-writing divided? And who pushes who the hardest?
Sam Halliday: We’re all opinionated individuals and I think that’s what makes us who we are. We all write together and bring different aspects to a song. We see eye to eye on almost everything, and the only time when we don’t is usually creative differences in the studio, but that’s only because we’re all so passionate about what we do! It’s never a problem!

Twenty Twenty

Q. How important is the Internet now in providing a platform for new artists?
Sam Halliday: If used correctly it is the best platform you could ask for! Having the world at your fingertips is certain a great start for a new artist!

Q. What do you like about interacting with fans via Facebook and Twitter? What does that give you?
Sam Halliday: It lets us show them that we care about them, and it’s just nice to keep in touch with everyone! We can’t see them every single day, so sending them messages is the next best thing for us!

Q. What’s the craziest fan request you’ve had?
Sam Halliday: Haha, urm, well whenever we play live shows we always get asked to ‘take it off!’

Q. If you break as big as predicted, are you ready for the pressures of celebrity and fan worship that automatically seems to come with it? Does it worry you at all – the new level of media scrutiny that seems to accompany big new bands?
Sam Halliday: It will feel a bit bizzare if it happens, but we won’t let it compromise us as a band. Media scrutiny is something we will need to take as it comes, and we will always try and make ourselves available to all of our old and new fans we encounter along the way!

Q. Who inspired you musically?
Sam Halliday: We grew up listening to a lot of pop-rock bands such as Blink 182 and Green Day, but over the last couple of years we’ve evolved musically and as song-writers and love listening to artists like Katy Perry and Jessie J.

Q. What do you think of Justin Bieber? Do you have Bieber fever?
Sam Halliday: Haha, we do find ourselves humming some of his songs, I wouldnt quite say we’ve caught Bieber Fever, but he’s obviously a very talented guy!

Q. Would you like to have a song covered by the Glee cast one day? Or even featured on an American TV show… another useful platform for getting your music out there…
Sam Halliday: Of course, we would be honoured if anyone wanted to use our songs or cover them! We would take it as a great compliment!

Twenty Twenty, Small Talk

Q. Will the forthcoming autumn album contain all new songs? Or will it be an extension of this mini-LP?
Sam Halliday: It’s going to be an extension, but don’t worry it’s going to have some great new songs on it, we won’t fill it up with a million different remixes of the same song! We’ve got loads of songs to choose from to put on the extended version and can’t wait for you to get your hands on it!

Q. If you could cover any song, what would it be and why?
Sam Halliday: We’ve always said if we covered a song it would have to be really different to the style we play now, so we could really make it our own. It would be awesome to cover a song like Call Me by Blondie!

Q. If you could perform live with anyone, who would it be and why?
Sam Halliday: We would love to support Avril Lavigne, she was a big part of our music tastes growing up and she’s still creating amazing music!

Q. Finally, what are the 10 tracks that are never far from your iPod player at the moment?
Sam Halliday: Jessie J – Price Tag
Katy Perry – Teenage Dream
BEP – Where is the Love?
Blink 182 – All The Small Things
The Saturdays – Higher
30 Seconds To Mars – Kings & Queens
McFly – Shine A Light
Scouting For Girls – This Aint A Love Song
All Time Low – Weightless
Avril Lavigne – What The Hell

Read our review of Small Talk