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Scottish rockers Twin Atlantic have been making music and touring for seven years. Now they have released a stadium-worthy album. Bassist Ross McNae talks ahead of dates in Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds this week.

Why do you think the Scottish music scene is so strong at the moment?
Glasgow is the hub of all things musical in Scotland. I don’t know if it’s the weather or the self-deprecating attitude of the city that means it always goes the extra mile and produces great music and art.

Did you make a conscious decision not to take a public stance on independence?
We did, yes. I think everyone should vote with their heart in any situation and having a group of people in a band tell you what they think is only going to influence you away from the facts.

The Great Divide is very anthemic. Was that intentional with a view to playing bigger venues?
I don’t think it was ever a conscious decision but we have always wanted to be able to put on the biggest and best show possible. That’s what attracts us to playing rock music more than anything else, it gives you the scope to be tongue in cheek and to push the boundaries of a show more than anything else.

Tell me about the crisis the band had while recording in Wales.
We had so many ideas, no real time limit and nobody really breathing down our necks. Three quarters of the finished record came from those Welsh summer months and we’re really proud of what we made there, but we just needed to break out of our comfort zone and try something new to add the finishing elements.

How do you feel about the songs made then compared with those recorded in Los Angeles?
Without having both batches of songs we would never have the rounded album that I think we’ve made. We really tried to make it a journey through our tastes and personalities and I think we really achieved it by having an open mind and moving around.

What does The Great Divide refer to?
The Great Divide is really the gap between childhood and adulthood that we’ve been straddling while touring for the last seven years. It’s about dealing with those expectations and coming of age, I suppose.


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