By EGHRadio on Sunday, October 2nd, 2016
In dealing with a band of Twister’s magnitude you’d think it would be easy for those close to get interviews – popular as they are, catching them at once is not, not for a detailed interview. However, perseverance pays off and their PR Manager, Peter Mann, finally gives the lowdown, an insight, into three members of those rockers, Twister, as they look forward to their album launch, ‘Designed State of Mind’…..
Stevie Stoker (lead vocalist/lead guitar) is the figurehead and founder of Twister; Jake Grimes (backing vocals/lead guitar) is the dark, moody but personable right-hand man; and Joe Major (drums) is the quiet stickman at the back who makes more noise than the others combined.
What influences your playing style and who are your musical influences?
SS – I have different influences depending on what aspect of my role I’m focusing on. I take influences performance wise from people such as Freddie Mercury and Billy Joe Armstrong. Two very talented musicians but I love them because their ability to control an audience and entertain people from the first minute to the last.
When it comes to guitarists I’m a huge fan of classic rock players such as Gary Moore and Eddie Van Halen and blues players like Eric Clapton and John Mayer and acoustic guitarists like Ben Howard. And I use elements of all of them in my song writing also depending on my mood. Two of my favourite bands are Kodaline and Biffy Clyro. Kodaline because I think their song writing is excellent and extremely beautiful, and Biffy because they’re excellent musicians and their songs combine the right amount of intricacy, technical precision, and catchiness which is everything I want as a listener.
JG – I really admire the ability of technically advanced players like Guthrie Govan, Mark Tremonti and Rabea Massad, but also love listening to the natural feel of players like Slash, Hendrix and John Mayer.
In terms of playing style, I’d say my style is most like a combination of Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro and Guns ‘n’ Roses – Weird!
When did you know you wanted music to be your career?
SS – From very young really. I’ve known from being 15 that music is all I will do. It’s the only thing I’ve been any good at. I’ve had terrific support my whole life from family and friends but mainly it’s my parents who’ve believed in me and pushed me to do the right things to further myself locally, nationally and internationally within music. I owe them everything.
JM – I think because I started playing drums at such a young age, it was always the only option for me. At the ages where other kids were all trying different hobbies and really finding out what they were good at academically, I always had the drums and so I would spend all my time practicing and improving. My parents have always been very supportive of my drumming which I really appreciate, they always trusted that I would take it seriously enough to make it a career option.
JG – I didn’t! Eighteen months ago, I was in the process of joining the RAF and I thought that was my job for life. I first saw Twister in 2009 and from that moment I’d always said to myself and family that if I ever get a chance to audition, I would. So here I am and I’ve never looked back since!
Relating to music in the area (excluding Twister), what other bands do you follow/like and why?
JG- When we were on tour back in February, we had a local band support us at Newcastle, Space Bar, called Clockwork and they were just insane! So tight and very impressive musicianship. Check them out!
JM – I love Saints of Arcadia, they just ooze talent, feel and skill. And Nick Jennison is one of the coolest frontmen I’ve ever seen.
What are your dreams & aspirations both individually and as a band/why?
JG – Just being in Twister and gigging, recording and releasing Twister material is a dream of mine. However cheesy it sounds, it’s very true and very surreal! But I’d love to sign to a major label with Twister and gig at the Nation’s biggest and best venues, like the O2 Arena and Wembley etc. I’d eventually like to do a solo album to see what music I can produce, but it’s not a priority.
JM – I just want to play music, it’s really as simple as that. Ideally I would love to play in front of arenas full of people but I’m happy as long as I’m still playing music.
What are you most looking forward to about the launch?
Awww its going to be amazing. We’ve worked so hard to get to this point and we can’t wait for everyone to hear what we have been working on. We have a lot of surprises in the live set for the launch party (at O2 Academy Newcastle on October 9th) new and old. we have three albums so lots of songs to choose from.
We’ve put together a great line up for the night including three very exciting support acts (Catalyse, Craig Roddam & Singapore Safehouse) and of course our set. It’s going to be very special sharing this with all of our family, friends and fans. I can’t wait to see you all there.
TWISTER, supported by Catalyse, Craig Roddam and Singapore Safehouse, takes place at the O2 Academy, Newcastle, on October 9.
Tickets for the gig are available from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/twister-tickets/241303 priced at £6 & £10.
Mr Peter Mann BSc