Soft-spoken British people are really cute because, even when they are driving through the middle of nowhere, U.S.A., they're still very polite about how awesome America is. I caught the older sister half of 2:54, Colette Thurlow, on their long and bumpy drive from Minneapolis to Seattle as she gushed about how well-received they were on their very first full American tour. It's no surprise the Thurlow sisters have gotten the music world itching with curiosity: who are they and where did they come from? It's almost as if they just emerged from a cloud of fog, and part of their magnetic charm is that mysterious aura—the very aura that drives their recently released debut full-length, 2:54. Even their band name is unrevealing, but it came almost effortlessly to them, as it was the first choice they settled on. (If you were wondering, 2:54 refers to the Thurlows' favorite drum roll from "A History of Bad Men" by The Melvins.) According to Colette, their cool look is just as effortlessly conducted; they just throw on whatever clothes they've been wearing forever, and yet they come out looking like a spread from a fashion magazine. And even though they are sisters, they never fight. I know, right? It's like, "ugh, stop being so goddamn perfect."
But it was impossible to hate on Colette, who, between nervous giggles, was constantly apologetic (mostly about the shitty phone reception) and genuinely excited to be on the road. Contrary to what I had thought, the girls of 2:54 aren't as unapproachable as one would expect them to be. Mostly, they're very shy and overwhelmingly flattered. Once, they were just two sisters playing music together at home; now, they're traveling the world together and it's still weird to them that anyone cares. To top it off, they've caught the attention of Alan Moulder, one of the biggest names in the recording world of music, who has worked with the best of the shoegazers (My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Ride, etc). For him to have mixed the 2:54 album is, as Colette says, "a dream come true."
Colette Thurlow: Hi! How are you doing?
Good! How are you?
I'm just in the van. We've left Minneapolis and we are driving to Seattle.
Rad. How's the tour been?
It's been amazing. It's our first full-length American tour. It's been great and the crowd's been really great.
Do you have culture shock moments when you come here?
We have moments, but it's just general excitement.
So you're constantly with your sister. I'm an only child, so I don't know what that's like. What are the pros and cons of that?
Well, we're quite close in age—we're only a couple years apart. We always hung out as kids, so it's still great fun. I can't imagine not doing music with her. We're just like friends. There are no downsides!
Aww. Who's the older one?
Did you influence her a lot with music when you guys were younger?
Well, Hannah's into heavy guitar stuff like the Deftones, Metallica, and Slayer. I'm into melodic, R&B stuff.
You're into R&B? Like what?
Yeah, I listened to it a lot growing up. Like Aaliyah. I'm also into grungey stuff. I'm a huge Queens of the Stone Age fan as well.
Do you guys have guilty pleasure music you listen to?
I've been listening to a lot of Roxy Music lately.
Nothing to feel guilty about there.
No…I don't know what else. That's all I can think of!
I know your music's often compared to 90s shoegaze bands and, appropriately, Alan Moulder mixed your album! That's amazing. How did that happen?
Through conversation. We got introduced at a show and it was a dream come true. I'm a huge fan of everything he's done.
So am I.
He's like a wizard! He makes the album feel three-dimensional.
Tell me a little bit about the debut album. Was there a concept or specific inspiration?
We didn't really have a preconceived notion of how the album should sound. We just went with it.
Were you guys considering different band names before settling on 2:54?
No, that was the first one!
What do you miss about home the most?
It's like you're in another world when you're on tour. We miss our friends and family. That's it!
Do you guys have tour habits?
Hmm, I don't know. I guess we drink too much. [Laughs]
Not an uncommon habit for bands. You guys have a very cool look. Do you have musical fashion icons?
No, I just wear a leather jacket that's 15 years old. I've never tried anything different. There's no master plan. I can't really think of anyone, I'm afraid.
Well, I feel like visual aesthetic is an important aspect of your music.
Yeah, the videos and artwork, certainly. We like wild places and rugged, turbulent terrains.
Yeah, it's awesome, especially the "Creeping" video. Lastly, who are you listening to these days?
A lot of Bowie.
Me too. Always.
Here are their remaining tour dates:
6/21 Seattle, WA - The Crocodile !
6/22 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge !
6/23 Vancouver, BC - Biltmore !
6/25 San Francisco, CA - Independent !
6/26 Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour !
6/27 San Diego, CA - Casbah !
$ = Gross Magic & Echo Lake
! = Widowspeak
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