WORDS RACHEL EDWARDS - PHOTOGRAPHY EVA PENTEL
Somebody stepped on my foot on the tube today and I apologised! I’m not proud of my annoyingly apologetic self and actually I didn’t think it was possible to meet anyone who said the word sorry more than me but I guess if it’s the name of your band you’re inadvertently apologising all day long. ‘Sorry' Band’s lead singer Asha arrives to our zoom interview standing outside holding her phone with a mischievous grin on her face - ‘Sorry I’m late, oh no my phone’s on 3%’. I like this about her, informal conversations are always better in my opinion.
Asha speaks like someone who hasn’t had the success that the band has had. They have a big summer ahead - not only are they working on finishing their second album but they have back to back tour dates to look forward to. I think it’s the raw, unpolished nature of the band that people connect to most. The lyrics are honest, the music videos are personal.
The interview is punctuated by Asha’s dry sense of humour and anecdotes of her childhood with fellow band member and old friend Louis. As fans eagerly anticipate the release of the next album Asha tells me she’s excited to just have the world slowly returning to normal. I have tried to resist every urge to end this intro with another joke about the band having ‘nothing to apologise for’ but here we are - sorry, I couldn’t resist.
Rachel Edwards: Hi Asha! How’s your day been?
Asha Lorenz: Yeah it’s been alright, it’s nice and sunny so that’s always nice and I’m meeting an old friend I haven’t seen for a while for a pint.
R.E: (Laughs) Are they just waiting while you do the interview?
A.L: Mhm… I’d completely forgotten and I was like ‘oh my god fuck I need to charge my phone’
R.E: (Laughs) When was the last time that you apologised? I bet you hate this question by now!
A.L: (Laughs) Umm probably today at some point...
R.E: Do you do the British thing where you apologise for everything?
A.L: I do yeah, I’m a sorry advocate.
R.E: Where did the name twixtustwain come from?
A.L: I was staying in this random flat and there was this book of poetry by a poet called Krishtin who I’d never heard of before and there was this book and there was a poem I liked with a line that said ‘but Twixtustwain has drawn a line’ and I just thought it had a ring to it and it means ‘between us two’ - it was kind of a project between me and Louis and I just kind of liked it.
R.E: It should be added to the dictionary! Do you prefer - this is an important question - twix chocolate or Shania Twain?
A.L: Ehh Shania Twain, I don’t really like Twix chocolate. I like Daim bars
R.E: I only like Daim ice cream. So how do you see your sound changing for album number two?
A.L: Umm I think the last album we kind of chapped it and then added the trinkets and electronic things after and in some respects I think it kind of let the life and energy down a bit so we’re kind of doing it in reverse now and sort of demo-ing everything before and adding those bits and then going to track it with everything. So it’s more into the room and just lets the songs shine a bit more and just make it a bit more concise. We haven’t done it yet so it’s hard to say.
R.E: Yeah it’s still in the process, I guess there’s only so much you can predict with creative projects until retrospectively when it’s finished.
A.L: Yeah it’s true.
R.E: What contemporary artists are you kind of inspired by?
A.L: I like Arthur, I like Kanye West (laughs)...
R.E: A mixture?
A.L: Yeah a mixture!
R.E: So you and Louis are childhood friends… what age did you actually meet?
A.L: We met when we were like thirteen.
R.E: What were young Asha and Louis like?
A.L: Well I had short hair and Louis had long hair and umm I don’t know, I think I was a bit cheeky and Louis was a bit cheeky too.
R.E: Did you go through the crazy teen phases of emo and goth and things?
A.L: A little bit yeah, a bit of all the stages - I think we always had quite an eclectic music taste.
R.E: And when did you first decide to make music together?
A.L: We both used to have Soundcloud so we’d both upload songs and we’d compete with each other through that and then we sort of formed a band after that but I think we always shared songs that we liked.
R.E: Do you all live together now?
A.L: No we all live in different places, kind of North West so Camden, Kilburn, Stretham. Dotted around really...
R.E: A lot of your songs touch on fear in a way like ‘Snakes’ and ‘Don’t be Scared’ - do you have any fears yourself?
A.L: Yeah snakes!
R.E: Really are you actually scared of snakes? So in the music video you must have been terrified!
A.L: Yeah I was actually but I feel like this snake was actually quite sweet. His name was Bertha.
R.E: Okay that’s not a scary snake name.
A.L: But I feel like people are always scared of either snakes or spiders.
R.E: Yeah my granny was scared of snakes, I had to hide my soft toy snake when she came round to the house.
A.L: I think I’d have felt that before, but everyone has fears.
R.E: Maybe what you’re scared of is what killed you in your last life so maybe you were strangled by a snake.
A.L: That’s what my dad said to me!
R.E: No way, that literally just came to my mind now so maybe this is a premonition.
A.L: Are you my dad?
R.E: (Laughs) Maybe I am, maybe I was your dad in my last life. This is getting weird...
A.L: (Laughs) Yeah...
R.E: So you can see one band live this summer - any band at all, who do you choose?
A.L: (Pause) Probably Nirvana, come on...
R.E: That would be cool, are you a good dancer? Who would win in a dance off out of the band?
A.L: Maybe Lincoln the drummer, he’s an amazing dancer. He can properly do head spins and stuff so probably him.
R.E: No way, I tried to learn the worm in lockdown and hurt my shoulder.
A.L: He can do that! Big time, big time baby.
R.E: What’s been the best gig that you’ve ever played?
A.L: We had a gig in Paris two years ago on Halloween and it was just a really fun gig so for me that was one of my favourites.
R.E: What gig are you most excited about once you start touring again?
A.L: Probably the next big London show, I haven’t played a big London show in ages.
R.E: Would you say you’re a pessimist or an optimist?
A.L: Pessimist. Optimist on a good day.
R.E (Laughs) Pessimistically optimistic. I really liked the dog in the 'Favourite' music video. It’s a good dog, what animal would you be if you were an animal?
A.L: A snake.
R.E: You would be the animal that you’re scared of? Oh my god.
A.L: You gotta get over your fears at some point...
R.E: That’s true, if you don’t get over them you become them - wait no, you can get over them by becoming them… or something. Do you have a lot of creative input into your music videos?
A.L: Yeah me and my mate Flo we basically make all the music videos together so we just try and make them low budget and have fun with them. We usually get our mates involved - like that was my mate’s dog, my friend Sydney. She just got a cool dog and it’s just a cool dog so -
R.E: It feels so much nicer and more personal than something polished you know?
A.L: Yeah I love seeing home videos - it can be the smallest thing but if it’s kind of emotional I think it’s important.
R.E: What song would you most like to have been born to?
A.L: Ummm that’s too hard for me, it’s got to be a happy one.
R.E: Yeah it can’t be ‘born to die' can it?
A.L: It’s just too hard! I have to skip it.
R.E: That’s okay, do you feel more inspired when you’re in love or going through heartbreak when you’re making music?
A.L: Emm probably in love.
R.E: What’s one food you always have in the fridge?
A.L: Sweet chilli sauce.
R.E: Do you like sriracha?
A.L: Yeah but it’s all about sweet chilli sauce.
R.E: Would you rather that everything smelt like hand sanitiser or you had to wear a face mask for the rest of your life?
A.L: Hand sanitiser!
R.E: Yeah in this heat…
A.L: You’d get over it.
R.E: If you could delete one emotion from your brain what emotion would you delete?
R.E: Do you know that’s the first one that came to my mind too. I’m kind of jealous of people in polyamorous relationships because I’m like how do you not have jealousy you know?
A.L: Yeah I feel that.
R.E: What’s your favourite song you’ve written?
A.L: I like ‘lies’.
R.E: What would you do if you were prime minister for the day?
A.L: I’d sperm in all the hand sanitisers.
R.E: (Laughs) That’s so good, it’s like you had that ready. I was listening to ‘Starstruck’ today - have you ever been starstruck?
A.L: Yeah we went on tour with Alex G once and I love him so I was a bit starstruck then.
R.E: If the whole band was in a zombie film which band member would come out alive?
A.L: Me! Joking, it would definitely be Lincoln cos’ he can head-spin.
R.E: Oh yeah of course he can head-spin his way out of anything. Do you ever have self doubt when you’re making music?
A.L: Yeah all the time.
R.E: Do you? How do you get past it?
A.L: Well you just gotta make it and hope for the best. You just have to learn from your mistakes.
R.E: It can get easier when you push through I think. What’s the way to your heart?
A.L: Probably Asian food.
R.E: I love Asian food. My housemate’s eating edamame right now and I wanted to sneak a little edamame bean from the plate but I didn’t. Are you in love right now?
A.L: (Laughs) Maybe...
R.E: Okay okay… I hate the question where do you see yourself in five years time. Where do you see yourself in 48 years time?
A.L: Probably dead. No I’m joking I’m going on Elon Musk’s space adventure with Grimes. I’ll be there.
R.E: (Laughs) You obviously have a dream job but what was your first ever job?
A.L: Umm I worked in a bar called ‘Salisbury’ in Queens Park. They always made me clean the dishwasher at the end.
R.E: Oh god I used to hate that in the bar I worked in. Or when someone smashed a glass in the ice tray!
A.L: Yeah you had to clean it out and it sucks!
R.E: What are you most excited about for this summer?
A.L: The sun to come out more.
R.E: What’s your favourite F word?
A.L: Fuck. Who’s is not fuck?
R.E: What’s the meaning of life?
A.L: Sorry band UK
R.E: I love it. Do you ever wear odd socks?
A.L: I always wear odd socks - look! *tilts camera to show odd socks* If you don’t wear odd socks you’re a loser.
R.E: Me too, I don’t even put socks in pairs when they come out of the washing machine. OK thanks for talking to me!
A.L: Thanks! Sorry I was late!