Jane Fitzsimmons and Ian Jones help each other blossom artistically with Twen.
The duo just released their debut album Awestruck this past September with Frenchkiss Records. The album is bursting with emotions and intimacy. Each track pushes a different bruise on your heart with a wall of synth, delicate vocals and soothing melodies. Though those bruises hurt, these songs are here to assure you that you will grow from this pain and come out stronger.
“The cool thing about the word ‘awe’ is that it can be in response to beauty but also terror and dread,” singer Fitzsimmons tells BTRtoday. “[The] most beautiful moments in my life have a side of pain as well, so it feels like a more holistic way of looking at the world.”
Read the entire interview with Twen’s Fitzsimmons below and listen to the debut album Awestruck. Plus, catch them on tour this Nov -Dec.
BTRtoday (BTR): So, your debut album just came out just this September, how does it feel?
Jane Fitzsimmons (JF): Proud, ecstatic, disappointed; it really depends on the day like with anything. Getting messages from people wanting to learn how to play the songs or selling vinyl at shows are the highlights. It more feels like opening a door than arriving somewhere.
BTR: Why did you go with the album name Awestruck?
JF: It shares the name with the first song and it’s one of the first ones we wrote together. I sang the word in response to a riff Ian was playing. Similar to being hypnotized, it’s easier for me to actually know what I’m feeling if I try to turn off the anxious self-dissecting loops that I’ve carved into my brain. The cool thing about the word ‘awe’ is that it can be in response to beauty but also terror and dread. Most beautiful moments in my life have a side of pain as well, so it feels like a more holistic way of looking at the world. The only downside is now every time I want to use the word awestruck, I feel like I’m making a bad pun.
BTR: How would you say you two help each other grow artistically?
JF: Ian and I come from very different backgrounds in music. Ian *knew* (squinting dramatic eyes) that he was going to play guitar from very young and pursued it since then. Something like a calling, or at the very least a focus that I’ve never had.
I’ve had too many interests growing up, from science and ecology to visual arts. I have had no musical training or even the foundation of an instrument. Most of my melodies and song ideas come from intuition and just listening to what is already bouncing around in my head. When writing together it creates a balance that I wouldn’t have on my own. He grounds me while I hope I remind him of why he started playing music, something that can easily be forgotten if you’ve been saturated with theory.
BTR: What has been the most exciting thing for you since starting Twen?
JF: There’s been a lot of movement. Moving places, moving people; just an ungodly amount of activity that’s all under one moniker. Experiencing so much of America and recently touring Europe doesn’t let you settle in a routine, which is not great for skin or mental health but great for growth and challenging yourself.
BTR: Other than music, what other creative outlets do you two do?
JF: We’re in process of converting our van into a tiny home, which is basically the sum of our life outside the band for probably a year. It’s a similar project to a band, where you get to implement a lot of different skills for one purpose. I love working with my hands and finding out how things work, so it’s the creativity of problem-solving.
BTR: If Awestruck had a slogan or life motto what would it be?
JF: All I want is all I got.
BTR: What words would you use to paint a picture of your live shows?
JF: Fuck me, I’m not ready here. Okay, how about: tonic, release, ripcord, vomit, soothe, teeth, bite, pray.
BR: What should we keep an eye out for in the future of Twen?
JF: Whatever will come next. You don’t really need to know what, but I think it’s important you know there will always be a next.