Twin Peaks just released its second album, 'Wild Onion.' (Pooneh Ghana)
Chicago indie rockers Twin Peaks might have a name culled from David Lynch’s surreal TV murder-mystery series, but the band’s tastes run much more innocent. To wit: The guys just wrapped shooting a music video for their new single, “I Found a New Way,” and it’s inspired by the 1993 coming-of-age tale “The Sandlot.”
“We all loved ‘The Sandlot.’ Who didn’t?” says Twin Peaks frontman Cadien Lake James, on the phone last month from Chicago. “If you watched that movie growing up, how could you not love it? I sucked at sports, and I still loved ‘The Sandlot.’ ”
While Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” is an influence — James watched it for the first time only after christening his band with its name — “The Sandlot” is more representative of Twin Peaks’ style. The band — James, Clay Frankel (guitar), Jack Dolan (bass) and Connor Brodner (drums), all 20 years old — plays fun, scrappy, carefree indie rock and will perform at PJ’s Lager House on Friday night.
“Wild Onion,” the band’s second album, was released last week. It follows the group’s debut set, last year’s “Sunken,” and it doesn’t pretend to be anything else other than a new batch of songs.
“It’s our follow up; it’s our next record,” says James. “We didn’t think about it too much. We’re not a band to think too much about much; we just kind of hang out and play songs we enjoy playing. We’re winging it.”
That attitude extends to the group’s songwriting. “I’m terrible at having good lyrics,” James says. “I just kind of sing about babes, and I make up words and phrases that I think sound cool.”
That’s been the approach since high school, when the foursome came together, eventually making Twin Peaks a full-time commitment when they dropped out of college to pursue their rock ’n’ roll dreams. James, Dolan and Brodner were all at the Evergreen State College in Washington, and Frankel was studying film at USC; none of them made it to their second semesters.
“What it came down to was, would I rather be in school when I don’t know what I wanted to study, or would I rather get to travel and play music that seems to make people happy, and therefore makes me happy?” James says. “It seemed like a no-brainer.”
James in part got the touring bug from his older brother, Hal, a touring drummer for Chicago indie rock darlings Smith Westerns. James’ brother was always a big influence on his music; the two of them played together in Teenage Dream, a two-piece that got James’ feet wet in the Chicago music community.
Now Twin Peaks is making its own waves, part of a thriving Chicago rock uprising that also includes the Orwells (“Those are our dogs,” James says).
With “Wild Onion” now out, James is hoping the band’s profile grows, and he’s looking forward to the group’s first European tour — a stepping stone on the road to bigger things.
“Everything this whole time has been awesome, since our first tour playing basements two years ago,” he says. “Things keep getting better and better, and if this is the plateau of the band, I would not be unhappy. But hopefully we can keep climbing up and see what else we can do.”
with the Lemons, 3FT and Failed Mutation
9 p.m. Friday
PJ’s Lager House
1254 Michigan, Detroit