Band Interview: Twisted Nerve

We talked with Craig Paterson about some cool stuff! We really enjoyed creating this interview for Twisted Nerve! Sit down, grab some tea, coffee, wine, whisky, water or whatever and enjoy the interview. - Morticia

How have you all been since becoming active again, and then the pandemic hitting us all? Did you work on any music or projects during the pandemic?

Its great to be active again Morticia, before the pandemic hit we were firing on full cylinders, we had dates in Germany, Italy, Poland and were in discussion to do a 24 date tour of U.S.A. it was all cruelly snatched from our hands. We did manage to do a couple of lock down shows in Edinburgh with no audience that went out on the internet, it was strange playing to an empty room, but kinda fun. Our guitarist Dunsy Dunsmore has his own studio so he is always busy in there cooking things up. I also wrote music with Terry MacLeay formerly of Sex Gang Children and now with Ausgang, so something might come of that in the future. For now though its just great to be playing in front of an audience again.

Twisted Nerve has some upcoming shows and will be playing at Carpe Noctum in Leeds July 2nd, The Caves in Edinburgh July 10th, and in Italy at the Midnight club on 17th of September, are y'all excited for these shows? You get to play with some old friends eh?

We have shows coming up with Spear of Destiny, Skeletal Family, 1919,Black Chapel and Ausgang this year. So its great to meet up with all our old friends again from the first time round. We recently headlined the WGT festival in Germany with our old friends Sigue Sigue Sputnik, so it was cool to meet up with Martin Degville again. We see a lot of familiar faces when we play in Europe, the Twisted Nerve dressing room is open to everyone when we play. Obviously our audience are a lot younger now than the first time round and a lot of them have become very good friends and travel to most shows to see us, much appreciated.

I’m sure that you’ve been asked this before, but since this is a fresh interview.. When did Twisted Nerve start? Was Twisted Nerve always the name of the band? Like when did the idea form to start the band?

Twisted Nerve actually began life Xmas 1977. The name was taken from a rather obscure movie of the same name in 1968. There was an early punk band in Edinburgh called the Insults, they split into two camps, on of which was Twisted Nerve formed by our legendary bass player, Norbert Bassbin, who is still in the band now.. The band have had numerous drummers and guitar players, but we now have a very settled line up which is myself, Norbert, Dunsy Dunsmore and Dave Grave. I joined Norbert in 1980 and I guess I'm responsible for bringing the darkness to Twisted Nerve. All of a sudden we found ourselves playing with everyone from Sex Gang Children to the Cure, from Alien Sex Fiend to the Psychedelic Furs and from Lene Lovich to Gary Numan. And of course we played the original Batcave club in 1983.

One more question that you have probably been asked to death. What transpired before the Teachers concert in 1986?

The Teachers college gig in Edinburgh ,1986 was the last, we were sick and tired of being sick and tired, the band was being pulled in four different directions. We were really bad that night, sloppy, drunk, stoned, ive got a bootleg of the show and its still painful to listen to now. Before the gig it was business as usual, nobody really talking to each other, drinking, smoking, there was a general feeling of not wanting to be there , a feeling of this is craap, lets stop this noe and thats exactly what we did and never spoke again until 2007. 2007 is when we reformed when an offer came in from Drop Dead festival in Prague to reform and come and play. When we saw it was with Lene Lovich, Sex Gang Children, Ausgang, Rubella Ballet, how could we say no. I contacted Norbert, the other two were unavailable, so Rikki Stiv and Billy D from Babys Got A Gun stood in for us. We rehearsed all the old songs, did the show, had a great time and came back to Edinburgh thinking this was strictly a one off. Then the offers started flooding in from all over the world to play here, there and everywhere. Since 2007 we have been playing all over Europe every year and even managed to get to Californian three year ago to play at Near Dark festival. Still haven't managed to get to New York or Los Angeles yet.

Do you listen to music all the time, or do you take breaks from music listening? (Question by Brianna a teen interviewer)

I do actually listen to music most of the time, not so much when i am rehearsing with the band, but the rest of the time yeah. I personally tend to listen to music from the sixties, seventies and eighties, i listen to just about everything and like i said before our guitarist Dunsy is always in the studio trying to come up with new ides. We have written a couple of new sons recently which have fitted nicely into the set, but really its songs like Seance, Medusa, Five Minutes of Fame that we are known for.

Have you seen any differences in your audience comparative to the 80’s versus now? If so, what seems or feels different to you?

Well the audience is a lot younger now or we are lot older, bit of both probably. Most of our audience didn't see us play the first time round and only knew us through our records, but everyone is welcome at a Twisted Nerve show. Back in the eighties i think people were a bit more stand offish, a bit more elitist, but we don't see any of that now. We get such a warm welcome wherever we go and like I said earlier alot of them have become very good friends.

You all played WGT (Wave-Gotik-Treffen) this year, how was that experience? I know it has changed throughout the years – did it feel the same since the last time y’all played at WGT? Or was it different this round?

We have played at WGT three times now and each time has been a magical, unforgettable experience. The vibe is so cool, the whole city is taken over by alternative cultures and is pretty spectacular. The first time wedidn'tt know what to expect, we played with Sex Gang Children to two thousand people and the place went mental. The second time we played with March Violets again to a packed room going absolutely bonkers. This time we played with Sigue Sigue Sputnik again to a pretty wild crowd. Each time has been a lot of fun, but obviously the first time you do something tends to be the one you remember the most. The planning andorganizationn at WGT is second to none and they always look after us very well.

Has the band ever performed songs that will never be heard again? Some bands have produced music whilst on stage, but one had to have been there to hear it. We wondered if that is something Twisted Nerve ever did?

Twisted Nerve have a huge back catalogue of unreleased songs, sometimes things happen in the studio and then they're gone, i have songs come into my head all the time, but unfortunately not the right time. I think we will revisit and redo alot of songs that perhaps were in the set for a while in the eighties, but never so the light of day as a recording. There are a lot of old demos and live recordings with alot of good stuff on them, we definitely have enough material to record an album, so we need to do that I think.

Do any of you have any projects you are working on and might like to share with us? (This can be literally anything).

Dunsy has a lot of projects on the go all the time, he has his very popular radio show and also guests with other bands occasionally. Dave Grave our drummer is also involved in another project called A Ritual Spirit, but myself and Norbert tend to take things a little bit easier.

Dunsy's youtube channel

I have heard y’all are preparing for an upcoming tour! How exciting, is there anything you would like to tell us about your upcoming tour?

I can't tell you anything about touring at the moment until dates are finalized, but we will be playing with Spear of Destiny, New Model Army, 1919, Skeletal Family, Ausgang, Black Chapter amongst others this year, watch this space.

Leave us with a favorite quote, or something in life that keeps you going? And lastly, fans want to know if each of you identify with a dragon, cat, dog, or sloth?

I don't really have a quote I just try to treat others the way I would like to be treated. I have seen it all, done it all, and bought the tee shirt many times over and eventually, you realize it's about being real, about being yourself and respecting others. The animal I have always associated with myself is the Wolf, very noble creatures, both solitary and social and I love a full moon.

Twisted Nerve Links

Twisted Nerve on Facebook

Twisted Nerve on Bandcamp

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