As the late Bon Scott once sang, “It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll,” and although fame doesn’t seem to be the most important thing on their to-do list, a rise to the top of the musical ladder seems imminent for brothers Ashton and Caleb Bird of Tweak Bird.
Over the last ten years, the Carbondale, Illinois based duo has played music in a handful of bands; this most recent endeavor has proved to be the most successful thus far. The brothers attribute their recent accomplishments to their move to Los Angeles, as it provided them with opportunities that were unavailable to them while living in a small town.
“Our older brother lives here, and we wanted to move here for the band,” Caleb says. “It was definitely beneficial. We came from a small place, and the scene here is different, the people, the bands, everything.”
It wasn’t until they began recording their self-titled debut album, however, that the band came up with the moniker Tweak Bird.
“It was Ashton’s idea, we were in the studio in LA one day, and he was like ‘alright, if we are going to do this, it has to be Tweak Bird,’” Caleb laughs. “I’m not even sure where it came from, it was just kind of a joke.”
Branding their project was a bit of an antic for the pair, but the work that they have put into it and the success they have accumulated over the past three years is no laughing matter, landing them a contract with Volcom Entertainment, a stint at SXSW two years in a row, a tour opening for TOOL during the summer of 2009, their own headlining tours across the United States and Europe and a substantial amount of critical acclaim in support of both their live performances and their 2010 debut.
For Caleb, the experience has been “a dream.” He explains, “We’ve always been the type of guys who played just to play music, but I wouldn’t say we didn’t want that success either.”
While the modern day resurgence of heavy, ’70s rock ‘n’ roll seems to be a bit played out, the brothers are able to create heavy, old school inspired metal while still managing to maintain their own sound, noting the use of heavy guitar riffs, loud drums and spaced out, hazy musical and lyrical formations. The combination makes sense, as the band says they were influenced lyrically by outer space travel and musically by heavier metal bands on their last record.
“I know what it sounds like in my head,” Caleb says, “but each person can take so many different things from a band.” He then went on to describe the band’s sound as a “poppy Black Sabbath” that mixes heavy rock tunes with upbeat lyrics.
Caleb has recently moved back home to Carbondale, but that doesn’t mean the band will suffer, and while he says the group plans to continue touring and recording more music over the next year, Tweak Bird’s only definite plan is to continue to improve their sound as time goes on.
“A lot happened for Tweak Bird the first couple of years,” he says, “and the only way you can get better is to keep doing it.”