Live music aficionados of Fargo are indulged yearly by the KNDS Block Party, which brings in fresh acts and notable up-and-comers.
This year is no different, with Chicago-based garage rockers Twin Peaks headlining the festivities. With a late ’60s classic pre-punk sound, the 20-somethings have made their mark through easy guitar riffs and raucous performances.
Twin Peaks materialized in 2010 as sophomores in high school. The band currently has five members: Cadien Lake James, guitar and vocals; Jack Dolan, bass and vocals; Clay Frankel, guitar and vocals; Connor Brodner on drums; and Colin Croom, who joined after producing their latest record “Wild Onion.”
Although Twin Peaks band members find themselves at a fresh 21 years old, the youthful bunch has already played South by Southwest, Pitchfork’s music festival and a month-long European jaunt.
The Spectrum’s Tessa Beck chatted with Frankel about the band’s creative processes and its upcoming performance.
Tessa Beck: As musicians and artists, who influences your work?
Clay Frankel: Well, the great thing about music is that it changes all the time. When we made the last record, I was listening to a lot of Rolling Stones. You know, just the classic old rock and roll.
It’s always hard to tell the difference between music that I enjoy and music that comes through and influences my music. I’ve been listening to a lot of Captain Beefheart lately – I could say he’s a big influence right now. I just found out about him … I listen to his first record “Safe as Milk” all the time. I listen every day, like a vitamin.
TB: Are there consistent themes or messages you work to express through your music?
CF: No, not really. It’s weird because I’ve been reading this book about The Clash, and I realized a lot of bands have like a very direct message – or almost like a manifesto. I think that can sometimes come back to bite you.
And we’ve also all been playing since high school, so maybe later on … but messages are usually lame anyway.
TB: What do you hope listeners take from your music?
CF: The thing I always like to hear (after) shows, “After I saw you guys play, I decided to start a band.” That’s the whole point. We need more good rock and roll bands that are young – instead of these old f***ers that are on the radio all the time.
TB: How would you say the Internet – Spotify, SoundCloud, social media – has played a role in Twin Peaks’ success? Would you say it’s been advantageous or not?
CF: I’m kind of weird. I’m kind of scared of technology, so I’m maybe not the best person to ask. But it has done really good things for us.
It’s got to be an advantage, right? That’s how we got our first record label, because we put it out ourselves online. It generates buzz.
TB: On the topic of the Internet and social media, I’ve noticed the Twin Peaks Twitter account favorites its own tweets, which I find funny. So I’m just wondering, why?
CF: I don’t f*** around with Twitter, is that a bad thing? Is that lame?
TB: It’s sort of like a patting yourselves on the back, which isn’t necessarily bad.
CF: Well, someone’s gotta like it. It’s almost kind of like being in a band, you want to make music that you, yourself would like.
TB: How are decisions made from a visual standpoint in terms of videos, album art?
CF: It depends. Most of the videos we come up with ourselves. There have been a few where our record label emailed us with someone interested in making a video.
I’ve always liked old records that are just a picture of who plays the music, and their names in big letters – even if the people are ugly. I just like that idea.
TB: Part of the visual presentation can be found in your personal style. You guys sort of have a “suburban dad, with an affinity for vintage clothing, but who hasn’t actually thrown anything since 1987” look going on, and it’s really good. Is this planned or intentional?
CF: (laughs) No man, we’ve just got style. It’s just what we wear ‘cause we’re cool.
TB: What is your greatest accomplishment thus far?
CF: I think we’ve finally saved up enough money to move out of our parents’ house. I think that is just, wow, I’m so proud of us.
TB: I find it interesting how Twin Peaks plays both enormous festivals, and then 20-person house parties. I’m excited to have you guys back in Fargo, though.
CF: Right when we graduated high school, we scheduled a two-week house party tour before we started college very briefly. We had one show, which we thought would be the biggest because we actually had a venue … I think it’s called The Aquarium or something?
So we walk in, and it’s packed – 150 people in this bar for karaoke getting wasted. We walk up the stairs to where we’re playing and there’s nobody there. Shows have definitely gotten better since then.
WHEN: 6-11 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: The New Direction, 14 Roberts St. N.
PRICE: $8 with student ID
MORE INFO: Tickets available from Orange Records, 641 First Ave. N.