Written by Brodie Popple
Twin Haus have been a staple in the Brisbane scene for a few years now and since their formation in their highschool years, have seen huge changes in style and sound. Now with a new album on the horizon, the boys are working diligently to create something that you'll seldom see in Brisbane and that's something to be excited about. This Friday night Twin Haus hope to achieve something of great importance to the world and that's generate some funds as part of a charity show for MADA and the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon. The gig will be held at Black Bear Lodge and will feature supports in the form of Samstossur and Big Dead. Twin Haus's Vocalist Daniel Grima recently returned home to Lebanon to visit his family, and upon his visit filmed a music video for their latest single Emperor Oppressor. The video is a powerful reinforcement of the realities of our world and the hardship and atrocities of war. Grima offers more insight into this situation in our interview below:
This Friday night you play a non for profit show at Black Bear Lodge for MADA and the refugee crisis in Lebanon. You spent some time in Lebanon last year with your family and got to witness first hand the situation that is and has been unfolding. Can you share with us your experience and how things are for the people of Lebanon first hand?
I’ve felt like it’s become a little more tense each time I visit, predominantly since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War. I mean, life over there is generally quite good and Lebanon has a history of taking in refugees, it’s been that way for as long as I can remember. Generally Akkar is not a wealthy area but generosity and hospitality run high, family is prioritised and in the North where I’m from, it’s a close knit community where people really look out for each other. It’s getting tricky now though, the influx of refugees over the past 6 years (particularly from Syria and constantly increasing in number) has posed detrimental effect to their resources and economy - jobs, trading, travel, agriculture - many aspects of life there have taken on a new pressure.
The music video for your latest single, Emperor Oppressor, features yourself dancing through what looks to be ruins and there's a real stroke of melancholy with your expressions and movements. What was your aim when you were creating the video to this track?
Really all we wanted to do was give people a look into what Lebanon was like, how things were in a day there. It’s very different to Australia of course. The scenery, the lifestyle, the fear or hardship that can be integrated into a society and the support that anybody can provide for that on a daily basis. There wasn’t so much a focus as to what I was going to do in the video. Emperor Oppressor has underlying elements of that groovy Bossa style and I get a bit like Baloo out of The Jungle Book when I hear those rhythms. Besides, I’m so just so happy when I’m home. I’d probably dance around all day if I was a little more fit.
What do you feel is the greatest misconception from the view point of say the average Australian when it comes to getting a clear understanding of the refugee crisis?
I don’t think it’s really about misconception, more a matter of awareness. One needs some perspective on any matter to demonstrate understanding or empathy and such issues can be a bit hard to wrap your head around if it’s not something you’ve experienced first hand. Especially with the way Western media likes to portray it. The video we wanted to create was just a no-bullshit, DIY doco style look into what it’s actually like in Akkar.
Do you feel that the time you spent there has had an impact on how you write music and the direction your music is taking?
Of course, for me it’s a part of who I am. Musical styles and scales, flavours and sounds. Arabic music has definitely had an influence on the way I write, I am only one of four parts to our process though and I think everybody in the band has experience and perspective that they would deem influential.
You're set to release your debut album this year and I know how hard you've been working on it. What can you tell us about this new release?
Sound bath. An hour long, Epsom Salts right-through-to-your-bones sound bath.
What do you think has been the biggest change and influence in your sound since the day of Lumberjack Loveshack?
Probably just, life. I know that sounds obvious but more experience musically and listening more, learning from other musicians we’ve met along the way. Growing together as four friends and learning to trust each other and take risks together. Probably even lightened up somewhat too.
Will there be a tour to promote this release and where will it see you go?
Absolutely - into orbit somewhere!