There are three reasons why vintage band tees are so cool: a) They’re super worn-in and totally comfy b) They come with retro-influenced designs that you just can’t find anywhere else c) They take you to a place that (probably) existed before you did.
Chicago’s Twin Peaks is one of those bands that takes you back to the days of real rock’n’roll: drugs, crazy parties, broken bones, and a carelessness that makes their music totally genuine.
When I call Cadien Lake James, frontman of the rock four-piece, he’s out of breath--and it’s from walking around with a broken ankle. He tells me he’s trying to find a nice spot in Detroit, where there van is currently parked, so he can sit down and chat with me. Once he settles in, I start by asking him about their throwback-inspired sound, which bands influence them the most. “We try not to get too into our influences. People always expect us to say obscure shit. We don’t worry about citing that. We love The Beatles, The Zombies, and The Beach Boys, so that’s what we’re gonna say.”
For a band that shares its influences with so many other musicians, it’s nice to see how Twin Peaks is putting their own angle on the genre that seems to have been in its most original form nearly sixty years ago. But this band spent their free time in high school getting fucked up at Sunken Gardens Park and jumping off of concrete walls into the fresh water of Lake Michigan, writes its own songs, and prefers playing house parties to large venues. “I mean, playing a big venue is nice and you get good sounds. A packed house--that’s dope,” James says, “but there’s nothing like being right next to the people you’re playing for and getting down and dirty together.” Which is what I assume happened the night the singer broke his bones. “We were on tour and I had one of the dudes from The Orwells on my back at a show in New Orleans and I just collapsed--that’s the short story.”
But perhaps the best part about the jams performed by “The Dudes” or as James refers to his band members (and how they refer to themselves online--@twinpeaksdudes everywhere) is that they’re totally reflective of a “wreckless” lifestyle, the perfect soundtrack to a wild party. “In Chicago, there used to be some really awesome DIY venues. We used to go to a place called Wally’s World, which you’d have to dig to find. We’ve been to tons of parties there for sure. One time we were playing at this party where people were apparently having sex during the sets. That was a scuzzy spot too, so it’s pretty narly.”
James tells me that Connor and Jack of the band have been friends forever, “They’re diaper homies.” He says that the world is missing Emojis of hang-loose hands and crutches, and that his ideal dream tour for Twin Peaks would have been having them as part of the lineup at The Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder tour of “freaking ’72″--not to mention playing alongside The Clash, The Talking Heads, or Ariel Pink.
The point is, they have a shitty CD player in their van and only a few mixes to keep them company on long roadtrips, their current tour goes by the name of Risky Business, and James only goes into Mexican restaurants that look “a little worn in”--which, yes, is exactly the way I’d describe the dudes’ latest record Wild Onion; a real rock’n’roll album that sounds like it’s been playing on turntables since 1972.
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