Twin Atlantic On: Instagram, Social Media & The Modern Band

Posted December 7

The other week, we told you about Scottish band Twin Atlantic and their Instagram campaign, “Twinstagram Mosaic Project.” This week, we spoke with lead singer Sam McTrusty about Instagram, social media and alcoholic Virgin Marys.

If you haven’t checked out the project, Twin Atlantic is currently partnering with Instagram to both help fans unlock exclusive content and design a cover for their single, “Make A Beast Of Myself,” off of the album Free.

Fans have been asked to tag Instagram photos with #freetwinatlantic. Those snaps will be pulled into a grid on a dedicated site, and fans can then share their pictures via social networks.

The more photos tagged, the more content unlocked, including a free remix of “Make A Beast Of Myself,” acoustic videos and more. Images will also be added into a mosaic picture of the single’s cover, which features the Virgin Mary, and sold as a lithograph.

Check out our interview with McTrusty — who spoke to us on the border of England and Wales — below:

Where did the idea for this project come from?
We’re really proud of our fanbase, but we never really knew how to include them in a way we were comfortable with. We’re actually quite reserved, shy people and it’s never been our thing — you know how bands do the videos to their fans? That’s not really who we are. We wanted to do something that was cool and artistic that reflected what our band was about as well — we didn’t want to change who we were to include other people.

How did you decide to make the cover for that particular single?
I don’t even actually know how that came about. It’s kind of a universally recognized image, I suppose — that Madonna statue. We had a song called “Make A Beast Of Myself” and I suppose it was our biggest song over the summer. So it was a way to include everyone — new fans and old.

Can you tell me about the song itself?
It’s poking fun at people who take religion too seriously. There’s a lyric in there that talks about how the Virgin Mary could perhaps be an alcoholic. It’s just a joke and I know it’s probably really offensive. But [those lyrics] end up being what I look back on and reflect on as being actually quite thought-provoking. And when you marry that up with the Hunter S. Thompson quote that’s in the chorus, it kind of made sense to me, so that’s why our Virgin Mary became the symbol for that song on our record.

Have you looked at some of the pictures you’ve got in already? Are they good?
Yeah, they are kind of good. It’s weird, though, everything on Instagram just looks good, doesn’t it? You can take the most boring object and make it look beautiful. Which is the beauty of the app. I’ve looked at them all and it’s cool what people are picking. Some people are picking something to do with our band. Some are picking something more personal to them.

What do you think of the fact that bands have to be on all these social networks now?
Back in the day, all those years ago — three years ago — when Myspace was still really relevant, if it wasn’t for Myspace our band wouldn’t exist. It was our only way to promote shows and the only way to let people hear our music. We couldn’t afford to put our music up on iTunes or print enough CDs. So without the Internet or social media, our band probably wouldn’t be nearly as close to the band that we are now. So we’re grateful to the trend. We don’t fully understand it — most of the bands we look up to are older bands who never really had to do any of this stuff. But being in this band has made us embrace the future — or the present, rather.

It’s weird. Did fans always want this much from bands? They probably did, but there was no way of getting it to them.

By Brenna Ehrlich