Arizona’s Twingiant has been around since 2010 and while they may be tagged as stoner or sludge their driving force was to simply “play loud as shit, heavy music.” And over the course of a demo, an EP, two full lengths and a new split with like minded heavy hitters Into the Storm this is exactly what the band has done. Truthfully, tags are tough to pin on Twingiant as they can easily flood your ears with doom and on the very next track flip the script entirely with guitar driven rock-n-roll. The thing that appealed to me is just how grounded the band comes across, it’s that feeling of going into a show not being familiar with all of the acts and coming away with a new favorite artist that consequently stole the whole show. On the heels of their aforementioned split we had the opportunity to ask guitarist Tony Gallegos our set of Profile questions so read on to see what he had to say.
How did you first get into playing music and have you achieved the level of success that you always hoped to achieve?
I got into music because it just seemed like something I was supposed to do. The first time I picked up a guitar, it just made sense to me. I still remember that rush. It was as if something consumed me and there was nothing else. Success is all in what you believe. If by being signed by a major label, touring, and being able is the measure, then no. If by jamming with good dudes, playing shows whenever we feel like it, and making the music we enjoy making, then 100%.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, debased and praised? If you don’t have a story please tell us any embarrassing story.
I don’t have any embarrassing stories that I can think of, but I do know in the early days of Twingiant (before I joined), these guys were known for getting sloppy drunk and preforming in their skivvies. I’m sure there’s YouTube videos of it.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
I think for the most part, metal, as a musical entity, continues to evolve. I think that’s the good and bad of it. Also, metal has become more and more elitist, yet at the same time, it’s welcoming lots more into the genre. Personally, my metal roots are from the Sabbath school of doom. Of course, Pantera and Metallica, but I’ve never strayed too far from that. I was a punk rock kid. I skateboarded, so of course, the bands I mentioned were also part of that. Metal, though, …. Let’s just say I’m not an angst ridden kid anymore. I’m not mad, I’m not struggling with identity. Metal has always had a way of uniting misfits to create that type of music. That’s great! Does that apply to all types of music? Absolutely, but it’s more prevalent in metal. The genre pushes itself and as long as it maintains its core foundation and base, it will always be good..
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music? (This question is especially appropriate for you since your music is quite an outlet for your physical and emotional pains).
This is a tough one… Let’s say that within this band, as far as what we record, write, or undertake as a whole, we distance ourselves from making statements, politically, religious, social, and/or otherwise. Now, if you were to talk to us individually or, for example, go through our personal social media, you’d see we are very active within those confines. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with any band making those stands, using their music as their podium or soapbox. Like I said, I was a punk kid in the 80’s during the Reagan years. You don’t get more socially/politically active than those punk bands did. Still, for us, as a band, we much rather concentrate on making good music, sparse/vague lyrical content, and let our fans just enjoy and let loose.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Pantera… Oh, and this pretty cool; my dad used to play the hell out of Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida when I was growing up! I was about 5!!! That song was, and is, still pretty amazing!!! That album… Man! Erik Brann’s tone and that legendary solo!!! I get completely fired up whenever I hear that song and I’ll demand absolute SILENCE when that solo hits!
What’s the stickiest you have ever been?
I plead the fifth…
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
Listen to the artists you’re covering. See what they do, what motivates them, what gets them going. Also discover what beats them down, their struggles, their fight. It all plays a part in what we do, what motivates us. Don’t judge too much, jump to conclusions, or expect more or less from an artist. Maybe they’re having the best day of their life, or on the flip side, the worst. The thing I love about the Arizona music scene is we all know each other, somehow. Whether it’s from playing shows or mutual friends, you know someone. I know people from Sierra Vista, Tucson, Prescott, Flag, and everywhere in between. The best thing for the music scene is for all of us to stay in contact, talk, help out, catch shows together, find out more about each other, and just be cool with each other. That means a lot to some of us. We all may not agree on types of music, metal, beers, bongs, food, lifestyle, but we all agree that we do is pretty fucking amazing!
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
Our goal has always been the same. Just make good music, keep people happy that come to our shows, reach out, talk and make friends, support each other, and mostly, have fun with it! Life is all about making music and having fun! Oh, and the search for the eternal riff we all have in our heads!
Finally, when you’re not listening to, writing or playing metal, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
I’ve been listening to a lot of 1000mods, lately. That band is stellar! All Them Witches is pretty great too. I’ve been digging on Uncle Acid’s The Night Creeper for over a year now. That gets a weekly spin. Tried the new Metallica. Not going to knock it, it’s Metallica, and it’s good, I’m just not an angry teen anymore and that’s what I think of when I hear them. It’s what I listened to as a teen, so that might make me biased. But again, I’ll never bash Metallica. They’ve paid their dues, they’ve killed it over the years, they’ve earned their right to do whatever the hell they want to do. And if what they do pisses some people off, well, they ain’t a member of Metallica, so they can piss off.
Many thanks to Tony for his time!