Though they may reside in different cities, the members of Psychic Twin (Erin Fein, Brett Sanderson and Jonny Sommer), come together to play at Pygmalion Music Festival this weekend. Stop by the Canopy Club on Friday at 11 p.m. to experience their 80s-inspired, dreamy synthpop or on Saturday at Exile on Main Street at 2:15 p.m..
buzz: What are you most excited about at Pygmalion Music Festival?
Erin Fein: It’s just really exciting to be a part of Pygmalion Music Festival. Probably because it’s a special event where the people who come are all really just so much fun to play for a crowd that’s just enthusiastic about music like that.
buzz: When you’re doing a live performance what are the types of things you do to get ready to go on stage?
EF: It probably depends on where we’re at currently, as far as how prepared we are or how many new songs we’re playing. In this case we’re going to play a cover that we’re really excited about. It’s the first time we’re going to play somebody else’s song. It’s a Tears for Fears song and they’re like just a huge inspiration for me. So that is something I’m really excited about. I also got a new keyboard. It’s kind of complicated and that has taken a lot of work to get that set up. But we really just all three live in different cities. So for us it’s a little different from other bands. We have to travel to see each other. So like, for example, yesterday I went to Indiana because that’s where our drummer and guitarist live. And we recorded, and we practiced, and then we all drive back home. And our other member, Brett, he lives in Chicago. So we actually really come from three different cities to work together. So that’s kind of a challenge for us. But that’s what we do- you know, we drive, we get together, we will have these incredibly long days where we have practice for 10 hours and then we have to go back home and work.
buzz: But would you say it’s a rewarding experience when you can get together and go on tour and see other?
EF: Absolutely. It’s an interesting thing not living in the same city. Sometimes it’s very frustrating because it would be so nice, you know, when you have a day off work just to say, “Hey, come over. Let’s work on this new song or let’s get something that we have to get done.” It would be a lot easier obviously to be in the same town. But to have that distance, in a way, I think has worked to our advantage because it gives us some space from what it is that we’re doing. And then when we get back together it’s easier to have perspective on whether or not we really love the choices we made last time or if we want to change something.
buzz: So before you actually go on stage though is there ever a moment when you get a little nervous?
EF: Absolutely. I get nervous for every show that I play.
buzz: How do you deal with that?
buzz: What has it been like for you to create music with just Brett?
EF: It’s been a really interesting experience. It can be a little intimidating sort of, having this idea, and asking other people to help you with it as opposed to having a band where everyone kind of equally is involved. Particularly Brett (Brett and I basically started Psychic Twin) and Johnny, he’s newer and he’s kind of fully working his way into the writing and recording process. But Brett and I work totally hand-in-hand and he’s just as important in the song-writing process as I am, but I’m not sharing the song-writing process like I did in my other projects. So generally speaking, I’ve written a song and then I bring it to Brett and we work it out together. But it’s the first time that I’ve kind of led the way on the vision for a band. And I love it. I love it. And I’m lucky because I feel very deeply that Brett believes in what I’m trying to do and totally supports the process that we use to write songs. And we just feel really connected and comfortable with each other. And I feel as though I can try anything in front of him, and make mistakes with him, and I don’t feel worried about that. I’m sure you can imagine it’s very vulnerable when you’re writing your own music.
buzz: Do you think this level of comfort has changed your music in general?
EF: I don’t think the level of comfort changed the style. I think that it was more than anything a very intentional choice by me. I really love a certain era of music and always have. I have very eclectic taste in music so I’ve been in a few different projects and they sounded somewhat different and I think it’s a reflection of that. But what really resonates with me from the time that I was a kid is this sort of era of synth-y, kind of washed out, but also kind of poppy 80s style music that is just completely nostalgic to me and in many ways represents my childhood. When I decided that I wanted to finally strike out on my own and do my own project I just, you know, I guess thought about it long and hard, and thought about what is it that I was trying to do – what is it that I want Psychic Twin to be. And I mean I didn’t even have a band name yet. I had to really sit down and think about what I wanted it to be. I knew that I really wanted it to just reflect me and my musical interests and the music that really just influenced me the most. And I knew that I wanted to be able to express some things that I don’t feel I had gotten to express in my other projects. So I kind of made that stylistic choice and ran with it when I started Psychic Twin.
buzz: If there were something that you would want the audience at your upcoming show to leave your set with, what would that be?
EF: That’s a hard question to answer. I think music is so personal for people that I often find that what you think somebody might feel from your song is not necessarily what they do feel. But I would hope that they like what we do and that they feel touched by the music in some way – whatever that way is, is sort of up to them.