Twin Shadow: The Strong Silent Type

Image Samantha West

One of the best acts at St Jerome’s Laneway Festival 2012, George Lewis Jr, better known as Twin Shadow, is a man of few words. He is thoughtful, and says little more than is asked of him, but without coming off as curt or impolite at all. The Floridian gentleman gives off the impression of being careful about what he says, a trait that is rare in most people these days! JUICE gets him to open up a little bit, and tell us about what life has been like since he released his debut album, Forget, in 2010…

Hi George, how are you? what have you been up to today?
Good, how are you? I’ve just been watching scary movies, cooking…

We’re great, thanks! What was the last movie you watched?
I’m watching this movie called The Dead Zone, a Stephen King movie.

So, tell us about your most recent performance? How was that experience?
That would be Singapore, for Laneway. It was great! Uhm, I really loved it, I had such a good time.

What was the strangest thing that’s gone on backstage? There at Laneway, or anywhere, really.
Well, it gets pretty crazy. You know, band members making out with lots of girls at once… things like that. That’s a pretty strange thing to see backstage. But really, I don’t know what the strangest thing is, I can’t remember! I have a really bad memory, you know. Uhhh… oh! I guess the craziest thing that’s happened to me was that we all met Jessica Alba, waiting for us backstage one time. You know Jessica Alba?

Really? Wow! Of course we know Jessica Alba [laughs]! She’s a fan?
She’s a fan! It’s a great compliment.

Have you ever met any of your other, more ordinary fans backstage?
Yes, I have. They ask me strange questions, like “Will you marry me?”.

Whoa! How did you respond?
I said, next year. When I’m richer. Then I can afford to upkeep them [laughs].

How did you come up with the Twin Shadow moniker?
Well, Twin Shadow originates from “twin engines” on the motorcycles, and “shadow” from the Honda Shadow, the first motorcycle I wanted. That’s really it – it’s to do with motorcycles. I love motorcycles! I’ve had two in my life, I own just one now.

What’s your life been like since releasing your debut album in 2010?
It’s been kinda crazy! I’ve been running around the world ever since. I’m going to Portugal tomorrow, actually. We’ve been there like, 3 times now, so this will be the 4th time. I’m really looking forward to going back there, I love Portugal. It’s beautiful.

Can you tell us a bit more about your life before you became a musician?
Uhhh… Well, I’ve been a musician for a long time, I don’t really remember life before that. I think… I just chased girls around back then (laughs).

Nice! So you grew up with music?
Yeah. My parents weren’t musicians, but they were great, and my sisters all played instruments. My love for music started from hearing records and watching videos, and listening to Michael Jackson! He’s a great inspiration for lots of people.

What are your major influences behind your music and lyrics?
People, people that I meet, that I’ve known. Girlfriends, old friends, my first best friend ever, you know. People like that. A lot of personal experiences.

Any artists in particular that you look up to?
Sure! There are tons. You know, Curtis Mayfield, Tina Turner, Glenn Morrison, Bob Dylan. All kinds of artists.

Does fashion play a big role in your life? Does it say anything about you as an artist?
I don’t know if it says anything about me as an artist, I think it says more about me as a person. Yeah, maybe it means something, maybe it doesn’t. I don’t know. It probably says something about me, but it’s not a big statement, you know, it’s just, I like clothing, I like shopping. It’s more like how I like motorcycles, like a hobby. I really admire Swedish people right now, they dress really nice! They’ve got a really clean style, I like that.

After Portugal, where are you planning to go?
I’m gonna go back to New York, and mix the record. The next album. It’s coming along good.

What can we expect from that? How is it gonna compare to Forget sonically?
I think it’s a lot louder, maybe faster… I dunno. Still working on it. There are a bunch of them that are all kind of finished, except a few.

Well, thank you for taking the time to talk to us! Have a safe trip to Portugal, and we’ll talk to you next time.
Thank you, it was nice talking to you too! 

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