Early last month we had the pleasure of seeing Brooklyn buzz band Twin Sister perform at a sold out show. Honestly, the door guys just barely let us into the venue; this place was hot, sweaty and packed to capacity. Yet somehow, Twin Sister’s music created a completely soothing and enchanting atmosphere. Singer Andrea Estella captivated the crowd with her dreamy chilled out vocals. She has an incredible energy that cannot be fully captured by a recording or a picture. She lights up a room and fills it with sweet sounds that mix modern pop with a retro groove. Later on that night we were lucky enough to meet Andrea, and pick up a signed copy of their new album, “Color Your Life”! I definitely recommend you pick up this album (here or at your local independent record store). If you have the chance, go see them live and buy them a drink after the show!!
Lady. Bang. Beat.: Last month we saw you perform at Johnny Brenda’s and this month you were featured on Pitchfork. Twin Sister got famous so fast! How does it feel becoming so known in such a short period of time? How are you handling the recent success of your band?
Andrea Estella: I never really think of myself as being famous, but I’m so happy that our band is being treated so well. Things move a lot faster with the internet these days. I’m really grateful to any person that puts the time into writing or reaching out to Twin Sister.
LBB: How long have you been singing? Have you done any writing or recording of your own?
AE: I’ve always enjoyed singing since I was a kid, I loooooooved chorus! I didn’t let anybody know that at the time. I must have been really annoying, I use to sing to myself all day, like a parrot. I started singing in bands when I was about 16. I’ve done some writing on my own but when it comes to recording I always go to my friends for help.
LBB: How did you find yourself in Twin Sister? How did everyone meet?
AE: We used to play in different bands back in High School. We would meet at local shows pretty often, then we all ended up being friends. Eric and I were writing songs together at the time. The other guys were done with their bands and had a bunch of songs of their own. We decided to help each other turn our songs into recordings. We ended up contributing to each others recordings, finally we decided to try to be a band and play some live shows. Then people started to show up when we played. ^^!
LBB: When did you guys realize that it was time to get serious? Was it an immediate thing or one that took some maneuvering?
AE: It took a little time, a lot of us had jobs and bills. We had to take a chance and go totally broke and hope that we could make the band and real life work. I think we finally got serious by our 2nd or 3rd tour. We had to take off so much from our jobs and lose our apartments. We owe it to our parents, they really support and help us. We are still struggling but it has gotten a lot easier. (I’m typing this from my bed at my parent’s house) I would like my own place now!!!!!!
LBB: How is the energy being the only girl in the band?
AE: I’m always the only girl! Since I was little, all my best friends have been boys. I feel comfortable and normal with my band. I think I can be pretty awkward around girls, It’s something I need to work on.
LBB: The album “Color Your Life” has hardly left my record player since the day we saw you live. Can you tell me about the process of making this album? What were some of your inspirations?
AE: Yay! It was a very slow process! We lived pretty far from one another and we all had full time work/school schedules. It took so long to get together and finally get any recording done. My personal inspirations at the time were break ups, anime intro translations, Mike Waka, so many things!
LBB: “All Around and Away We Go” is one of my absolute favorite songs on the new album. It’s a completely enchanting song, pure magic! Can you tell us a little more about it?
AE: That was my take on anime intros with poor translated lyrics. I love how sweet and cute they can be. ” Holding a cookie in your pocket hand in hand forever.” Eric and I started “All Around” after work one day, out of the blue.
LBB: You are an awesome live performer and your voice is flawless; it has a certain classic 1970’s sound to it. What decade would you say has inspired your music the most?
AE: Thank you! The 80s and 90s really. I grew up obsessed with Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Smashing Pumpkins, Bjork, again many things! I love music from all time periods but the late 70s-80s is still my favorite. I love digital drums, synth-bells, crazy bass, strange vocals and electric guitars with plenty of effects!!!
LBB: What about female musicians? Have any women been encouraging to your career and creativity?
AE: I look up to Cyndi Lauper, Bjork, Akiko Yano, Anne Margret, Deborah Harry, Madonna. They help me keep on. I picture them having to travel and get ready every night in a dressing room or a vehicle, always having the energy to perform every night.
LBB: We just posted your new video for “Bad Street“. It looks like a really good time and seems rather impromptu! What was shooting that like?
AE: It was just fun! I think the only stressful part was inviting everybody with such short notice. I was worried they didn’t have enough time to take off of work. Other than that it was just throwing a family party. We had about 5 cameras floating around capturing the best moments. I think Dan Devine did an amazing job, it’s exactly what I wanted.
LBB: Touring is so expensive and all the members of Twin Sister are so young. How do you guys manage? What are some of the best and worst things about being on tour?
AE: It was a lot harder when we first started. Most of the time you break even or lose money. We are all pretty broke on tour, we try to keep emergency money on the side in case the van breaks or we need a hotel. People showing up to shows and buying merchandise really helps us hahaha. To fill up the van is like over $100! The best parts of tour are when you get to play every night, seeing friends, making new friends and trying food from all over!!! mmmmm! I like to hunt down ramen places. The worst parts are being away from my dog, not having a real home, getting ready in a van, eating too much fried food, being poor and sleeping on too many floors (my poor neck and back).
LBB: What have been your favorite bands to tour with?
AE: Lost Boy?, Holiday Shores, Oberhofer, Bear In Heaven, Cults! The list goes on, a lot of bands are super sweet and it’s nicer to travel in a pack. There are some bands I wish I could have spent a little more time with. I was just getting to know the Wild Nothing boys, then the tour was over :’(
LBB: How do you guys get pumped for shows? Any specific music listened to or fun rituals you guys like to do before going on stage?
AE: I like to drink whiskey, beers, gin n tonics, coffee, tea or noodles. Then I like to do my make up and vocal warm ups. As for the rest of the guys, i don’t know what they do…. I’m always doing this other stuff. Getting a little drunk and fed I suppose. No real rituals though, we tried patting Eric’s balls before we went on, but that didn’t last very long.
LBB: What advice would you give to a young band looking to make a splash in the music scene?
AE: Be your super self and don’t look to make a splash, just make a splash!