Today’s interview, as part of my ‘Artists in Lockdown’ series, is with Jake Healy, aka Twin Siblings, and guitarist in Sugar Horse.
How do you motivate yourself to be creative during lockdown? Where do you get your inspiration?
To be honest I’ve barely done anything creative so far during all this. I think people are probably forcing themselves to do things because the opportunity makes you feel like you have to, and that’s never really worked for me. In the past I’ve booked holiday in work with the intention of using the time to write but it just ends up feeling like another job than anything else, and I really find myself dragging my feet to do something when really it should be something fun and exciting. I’ve always found myself the most inspired when I have something else I really should be doing, and it’s usually then when a spark takes over.
I’ve been using the same recording setup since I was about 15, and my inspiration then was just to try and make music that I wanted to hear that I felt no one else was doing, and I still try and do stuff that I want to hear rather than pandering to anyone else. Inspiration and motivation just comes knowing really that 99.9% of people will likely never hear your music or probably hate it if they do, once you get over that and stop caring you can pretty much do what you want.
What projects have you been working on?
I am slowly working on what I think will be the next Twin Siblings album, which will largely be based on the life of William Price. He comes from the Rhondda Valleys in South Wales, same as me, and was a proper eccentric amid a culture of people who, by force or by choice, generally strive to blend in to this day. You can get a lot of shit in that area for trying to be different growing up there now so I can only imagine what it was like him during the Victorian era, except through his legacy or persistence he eventually has been recognised as something of a hero.
There’s even a statue of him in the town where he lived and died which I got to visit last year for my birthday and got a photo with and, despite it being August, it being in South Wales it howled down with rain so I had to wear my Mother’s purple raincoat (see below). Really works with the fake Docs y’know.
Anyway that’s kind of slowly coming along, I don’t want to litter it with boring storytelling about him (too prog), but rather make it a bit more impressionistic. I’m also using more keyboards and electronics now, similar to St. Catherine’s Place on the last record, so I’m hoping people can have a bop to it without having to care about some mad Victorian figure or whatever.
I also put out the Another Life EP a few weeks back, which was quietly released last year but not digitally. I’ve found myself walking around during lockdown and just listening more intently to stuff, particularly I guess beat-driven music that involves a lot of repetition – I thought maybe that EP would be a good way to contribute if anyone else was enjoying the same sort of stuff. As such I want to make another more electric/dance based record as well, as I was happy with how Another Life turned out, but I’m just floating that idea around in my head at the moment.
Ash has been working on new demos for Sugar Horse as well which sound amazing. I’m excited to get back to that, and trying not to think too much about parts until we’re in a room together but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Do you think that your surroundings affect what you write? How?
It used to when I first moved back to Bristol after finishing University here. I was working in some horrible places, running myself down, and I think that really effected the lyrics and probably my personality in general. These days there’s no denying that my surroundings probably still do affect how I right, but I couldn’t tell you how it’s reflected in the music at the moment, that kind of stuff usually makes more sense to me in retrospect.
What advice would you give to someone that is struggling to find motivation?
Don’t force it, and as I said earlier be comfortable with knowing the entire world is not going to fall to their knees because of what you’re doing. After that, just fuck about as much as possible until you find something that makes you sort of trip over yourself with excitement, from there just work on that as much as you can, and if it turns out crap that’s fine because for every good idea there’s at least four or five terrible ones that precede it (I can confirm this).
Other than music, how have you been keeping busy recently?
I’m still working from home as it stands, which is extremely lucky really but does mean in the evenings it’s usually an attempt to combat tiredness & immense boredom with a limited choice of things to do (needless to say in the grand scheme of things that is nothing to complain about).
When I can be arsed to do anything it’s usually play Sega Mega Drive games, listen to music or watch TV which is more or less the usual. For better or worse I am finding it extremely hard not to look at Twitter with everything going on here and in the US as well. It’s a weird time alright. Live, laugh, love.
It is indeed. Thank you Jake for getting involved in this, I always look forward to new Twin Siblings material.