Brothers Stephen and John Gomez and Cameron Walker are no strangers to success. Following chart-topping careers with The Summer Set and Nekokat, the trio united after working together to write and produce music for trailers, commercials, and other artists, such as All Time Low, Lindsey Stirling, and Life of Dillon. The result – TWIN XL – is a high-energy, alt-pop-earworm-making machine, clearly displayed in the release of their latest single and music video, “Friends.”
Whimsical and fresh, they combine youthful energy with the wisdom and experience of music industry veterans and the commercial appeal of alt-pop groups currently topping the charts. As they prepare for the release of their debut EP How To Talk To Strangers on March 1st, the trio took a moment to discuss music, their background on the road, writing, and in production, and all things TWIN XL.
AF: You guys are just a few days away from releasing your debut EP, How To Talk To Strangers. How does that feel?
TXL: It feels absolutely amazing. We’ve been working on these songs for just over a year and it’s sort of like sending our children out into the world. We’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into this EP; we are proud of what we have created, and can’t wait to see what everyone thinks.
AF: What’s the creative process like for you guys?
TXL: We do everything ourselves. Usually, when we get together to work on TWIN XL, one of us has a concept idea, a melody idea, or even just a drum loop or bass riff, and we sort of build from there. Some songs come together very quickly and others take a few days to get it right, but that’s part of the fun. It’s almost like cracking a code. We thrive in the studio together.
AF: What inspires the music?
TXL: Inspiration comes to us in many forms and from many places. We listen to a lot of music from other artists in the studio; sometimes we start our sessions by sharing music we’ve all been into lately and finding some common ground within it. While writing lyrics, we are very open with each other as far as our personal experiences and emotions, and I think that helps us stay genuine and honest in our lyrics.
AF: What was the most challenging part of recording this record, and what was the proudest?
TXL: I think one of the most challenging parts was making sure that we were making music we collectively all loved, and that it was creatively fulfilling for all of us. We have a lot of respect for each other as artists, and we’re very in tune with each other’s musical tastes. One thing we are very proud of is how diverse this EP is. No two songs sound similar. We experimented with so many different drum grooves and sounds that are very distinct from one another. Because the songs are all so different from one another, our live show is quite the journey.
AF: Is there a big difference for you guys when you’re working on writing and producing music for another band versus writing and producing your own music?
TXL: We approach a lot of it exactly the same, but there are some differences. For starters, we aren’t afraid to take our time. Just because a song isn’t coming together the first day we start working on it doesn’t mean we won’t revisit it a few days later with fresh ears and make it happen. Another difference is that we want to make sure all of the concepts and lyrics are things that we really, really want to say, or that represent who we are as individuals and as a band.
AF: What made you decide to form TWIN XL?
TXL: The three of us have been friends for many, many years, and we would see each other out on the road playing in different bands. Eventually, we all ended up living in LA, and we finally got into the studio together. When we did, everything just clicked. It became clear after a few days working together that we had a very special connection as co-writers, and it just made sense that we should write, play, and release music together.
AF: How did your backgrounds in The Summer Set and Nekokat shape you as artists and prepare you for forming TWIN XL?
TXL: We all found ourselves individually as songwriters and performers in our past projects. They both shaped who we all are now and prepared us for where we are going.
AF: Any advice for your younger selves?
TXL: Don’t be so hard on yourself.
AF: What’s next for TWIN XL?
TXL: We are insanely excited to hit the road for the first time ever next month with Jukebox The Ghost and The Mowgli’s. We already have a handful of songs written for future releases and it might just our best stuff yet. In short – we want to keep growing and continue doing what we love.