For many couples, “taking it to the next level” means moving in together. Or maybe buying a dog.
For Boston’s Gaetana Brown and James Grey, it meant starting a band, jumping in an old RV and embarking on a seemingly endless trek across the country. “We were actually inspired by another band in our area, also a couple,” Brown explains. “They were called Fifth Nation, and they just kicked ass. Kind of Lauryn Hill meets Jeff Buckley.
“We had been doing other projects separately, not as a couple. They gave us the inspiration to give it a shot, not be scared of trying it. Then about a year and a half into it, we decided to jump in the van and go on the road, which we’ve been doing now for the last two and a half years.”
With Brown on vocals and guitar, and Grey on drums and keys, the Twins produce a sweeping and grandly orchestrated brand of rock and electro-pop — think, perhaps, Nine Inch Nails, as conceived by Tori Amos rather than Trent Reznor. Grey calls it “kind of psychedelic rock/EDM.”
“It’s high-energey, and danceable,” he continues. “We’re trying to create a very magical state, where maybe you forget that you’re standing in a bar or a club while you’re listening to us.”
In more recent years, Grey and Brown have befriended fellow travelers Hudson K from Knoxville, another female-fronted duo noted for mixing traditional rock and electronic elements, and for their theatrically inclined performances. The two outfits have traded shows in their home cities, to the point that, according to Brown, “playing in Knoxville started to feel like a hometown show for us.”
And when the grind of constant touring started to take a toll a few months back, Grey says he and Brown decided to take a sabbatical of sorts in Knoxville. “We have times, occasionally, where we’ve been on the road for a while, and we need to live out of the van for a hot minute,” he says. “As we kept playing in Knoxville, we’ve been really well-recived, and we really like the area. So when we decided to take a couple of months off, we decided to spend them here.”
Grey says that local fans who’ve seen Little War Twins before — usually at Scruffy City Hall — will be rewarded with a few surprises at their upcoming Funny Ears Fringe Festival performance. “I don’t want to give away specifically what we’re doing,” he says. “But now that we’ve had a couple months off, we’ve had time to work on some new things. I’m really excited about it.”
Little War Twins will play Funny Ears Fringe Festivl Thursday March 31 at Scruffy City Hall.