Duo delivers a dreamy, indie synth pop sound
June 27, 2019
Bands come together in a variety of ways with some reflecting years of friendship and musical experimentation. But others come together as paths cross through different bands and ventures, and that’s how Ethan Kattau and Tyler Laspopoulos first came to discover their mutual interests and desire to forge a new musical pathway together.
Calling their new partnership Twiceyoung, the pair met as they found themselves playing on an endless string of tour dates.
Constructing a sound
“Tyler and I toured with different bands and crossed paths a few times,” Kattau said. “When those bands dissolved, I saw him and he was starting a new project. He had started Twiceyoung before as a solo project then added a couple folks who fell in and fell out of it.”
Eventually Kattau, a Huntington native who now lives in Fort Wayne, and Laspopoulos, a native of Reading, Pa., who now lives in Nashville, Tenn., decided to work together though they had no clear plan in mind.
“We didn’t really have a specific goal,” Kattau said. “We just weren’t happy with the situations we were in where we had to tour to survive. We wanted to make music more central to what we were doing so that concerts were a supplement to what we were doing instead of the main thing. We were looking for a studio project, to write as much interesting music as we could.”
Both were listening to a lot of indie rock at the time and began to put together a sound they could call their own. Writing some of the music from 400 miles apart, they have been able to branch out from their own instrumentation as they’ve written music together.
“Although we both play guitar as our primary instrument, we don’t write on our guitars,” Kattau said. “We write on the synth in a style similar to the Japanese House or James Blake. It’s atmospheric, experimental.”
Together now for four years — even if that togetherness is sometimes virtual — Twiceyoung have been together for four years and have released an EP. With their emphasis on writing original music over touring, the time came when they wanted to start sharing their music.
“We’d been writing for a couple of years, rediscovering and redefining the sound,” Kattau said. “One of the things we took a long time deciding was what to do with the music, how to share it. We have the EP, but streaming has been a big part of that effort to get the music out.”
The distance between them hasn’t prevented them from being fairly prolific as proven by the amount of music they have available to stream.
“We communicate almost daily,” Kattau said. “We do a lot of work when we’re apart, but one of us is in the other place quite a lot of the time too so we can work together in the same room. We have different approaches to writing, to producing, so getting together helps us, and we do that more than you’d expect, especially since Tyler moved to Nashville. Reading is 10 hours way, and Nashville is only six, so that’s helped a lot. It’s easier now.”
Sharing and deconstructing
Though they love creating music and are glad they can now focus on making music instead of touring, they do still enjoy sharing that music on stage, which they will do with their upcoming performance at Neat Neat Neat Records in Fort Wayne. For those who haven’t checked them out yet, Kattau described their overall sound as “a dreamy indie synth pop” sound.
“We both like to write and produce, and I think we invoke images and ideas that I’d describe as intimate and nostalgic. Those are the words I’d put at the forefront of us as a band. We want to provide a sound that can lead you to that feeling. Although a lot of our music is produced on synth, on stage we use guitars, keyboards, and vocals. We also have a drummer, Christian Delzoppo, who is exclusively part of our live show. He doesn’t work with us but is a big part of the sound we generate live. He adds dynamics to what we’re presenting live, and he helps us take that synth sound and turn it into a live sound.
“The sounds really aren’t so different. Anything we do on the synth, the beats you program onto a computer, are really familiar sounds and patterns, and Christian helps us to transfer those familiar sounds into our live show. Since neither Tyler nor I are drummers, we can’t play the drum beats, but it’s typically easy for him to figure out what we want to hear.”
In addition to the songs they write and record for streaming, Twiceyoung will often release variations on those songs, what Kattau called “deconstructed” or acoustic versions of the songs. Unplugged, if you will. They plan to continue with more of that in the future.
“Those deconstructed versions are really laid-back versions of what we do,” he said. “We released a lot of music last year, and in the next year we hope to release more deconstructed music as well as a live video performance of our show.”