Music

Twin Oaks Conquers Summer

Her voice will entrance you and the instruments will entrap you. The band may live solely in the utopian society they created….but listeners want the key. Twin Oaks has conquered the music scene with their new album White Noise. I invite you to dive right into this panorama of musical bliss, meet:

Aaron Domingo (32) – Guitar, Backing Vocals, Keys
Louis Bernal (31) – Guitar, Keys
Rhyan Riesgo (22) – Drums
Lauren Brown (28) – Vocals

During an interview, we discussed the band’s origins, upcoming shows, and fears that threaten to conquer.

MUSE Alyssa Bautista: What city was Twin Oaks originated?

Lauren: Twin Oaks originated in Upland, CA.

AB: How did the members in the band come together to form Twin Oaks?

Lauren: We were originally formed as a two-piece folk duo. I was meant to be the back
up vocalist for some of Aaron’s songs but the roles eventually switched after we continued writing new material. Aaron decided to bring on Louis Bernal into the project during the making of “The Lion’s Den” as a co-producer who later officially joined the band when we started playing our first shows.

Aaron: Rhyan Riesgo came on as our drummer, through a Craigslist posting. We started out taking along stand-in drummers for our earlier shows, but Rhyan brought some new life to what our live sound eventually became.

AB: Where does the name Twin Oaks come from?

Lauren: The name Twin Oaks was inspired from a sociology class Lauren was taking. She read about a town that was formed on the idea of creating a utopian society and it stuck. Lauren discussed naming the band with Aaron and then after going through the options, it was decided to stick with the name Twin Oaks.

AB: How would you describe the sound of your music?

Lauren: Twin Oaks is a projection of each our individual perspectives of an environment converted into music. We attempt to evoke feeling, along with particular scenery for each song we write.

Aaron: Whenever I thought of music, I’ve always connected it with a particular scenery. Sort of like when you listen to Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’ there’s this metropolitan vibe…the feel of busy city streets. For ‘White Noise’ in particular, I always had frozen landscapes and water in mind when it came down to the production.

Louis: Definitely as a band we are inspired through our personal life experiences as well and do not restrict our sound to one particular direction or genre.

Rhyan: I think that thought definitely stems to our live performances as well. We’re constantly trying to find new elements in each of these songs as we either perform them in front of an audience or during rehearsals in a garage. We’re constantly working on progressing forward.

AB: Please describe your latest album “White Noise” and what it means to you?

Lauren: The album “White Noise” as a whole is about the struggle to overcome difficult times and not lose yourself in the midst of that. Each song was meant to convey the highs and lows that we’ve experienced in our own lives.

AB: What message do you want to share with fans through your music?

Lauren: We definitely want to give something to feel. From our musical composition to the lyrics, each song is meant to give the listener a specific emotion. So ultimately the message we want to share is that we need to open up to the entire spectrum and range of emotion, in order to be a whole.

AB: As a group what is your fondest band memory?

Lauren: We all agree that the in-between times are the best memories. From being able to just talk, play pool, make horrible jokes and enjoy each other’s company.

Rhyan: Also, I would have to say our small victories of playing a song really well, when you hear people responding well, we quickly acknowledge it among each other.

AB: Anything that sets you apart from other bands?

Aaron: I don’t know if this is a thing that would set us completely different from other bands but I think the changes of our live set in comparison to what people hear on our albums kind of shifts our listener’s expectations. There’s this strange balance of energy and mystery that goes into our performance as a live band. Because we try to push and progress things so much, we along with our audience never know what could come of it.

AB: Lauren, when we met at dba256, you were telling me about your stage fright. How did you decide to become a lead singer of a band? Has this always been a dream of yours?

Lauren: Well, I decided to become a lead singer in my early 20’s, but it was based on my love for music more so, than obtaining a dream career. It has taken me years to muster up the courage to be able to sing in front of others and I’m pretty critical of my abilities to this date, but I think that goes for so many artists. Nevertheless, my love for music arose when I was a child, I went from belting Disney songs to strangers as a young girl, to singing songs by Carol King, The Doors and The Rolling Stones, with my father in my early teens. I’ve drummed along to songs, hummed rhythms and learned lyrics verbatim since I can remember.

AB: Lauren, What are some things you do to prepare yourself before going on stage to ease your anxiety? What are some things you do while performing?

Lauren: My anxiety stems from two things: being the center of attention has never been my main objective but I love singing, so I get up there and do it… and my reluctance of allowing myself to be emotionally vulnerable to a room full of strangers. To be a singer is to layout a lot of your personal thoughts, experiences and emotions. There’s a beauty in that, but typically it doesn’t come with ease. So a few things that have been really beneficial is that I will actually use one hand to drum on the side of my leg. It helps me keep time to the song and focus on the music. The other thing I do is close my eyes and that works like a charm.

AB: Who are some musical idols and bands that inspire your music?

Aaron: It kind of changes from time to time. I’ve been recently finding lots of inspiration from a lot of the Erased Tapes label artists like Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds. Lots of Nick Drake as well.

Lauren: One of my musical idols is Paul from Interpol.

Louis: For this particular project, Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead and Jimi Hendrix were major influences in terms of manipulating sound.

Rhyan: I don’t really have any particular drummers that I would say I idolize, but Victoria LeGrand from Beach House is someone I’ve always felt artistically and universally connected to.

AB: What can fans look forward to within the year from Twin Oaks? Any concerts, new albums, singles?

Lauren: Currently planning some summer shows in Northern California and looking to reach the Pacific Northwest in the fall. We are also back in the studio, working on a new EP and will be releasing our fist music video come this summer.

White Noise is available to stream via Spotify and available for purchase on Bandcamp. Check out Twin Oaks at these upcoming shows:

• Sunday May 1 @ Open Space Theater in Los Angeles, CA. (All ages show)
• Saturday July 23 @ Hotel Café in Los Angeles, CA. (21+ show) Tickets on sale at www.hotelcafe.com

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