THE ONLY WAY IS UPWARDS...

IT MIGHT horrify a few of their fans - but Glasgow rock kings Twin Atlantic can't wait to see One Direction play the Radio 1 Big Weekend today.

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The Glasgow Green festival appearance is set to kick-start a busy summer for the local lads, building up to the hotly anticipated release of new album Great Divide on August 18.

And bassist Ross McNae is looking forward to the pop showcase, which features Coldplay, Katy Perry and Kasabian, amongst many others.

"We've always been fans of different kinds of music," he says.

"If you look back at the beginning of the band I never thought we'd get any radio play at all, so we feel quite privileged to play it.

"If we're there in enough time on Saturday I'll stroll over and see One Direction strut their stuff.

"Example's headlining our stage and he's a good guy, so we'll stay and watch him too."

And the bassist is full of admiration for pop superstars 1D.

"Maybe I'm wrong, but it doesn't matter your taste in music - it's very hard to dislike a good pop song," he adds.

"They really do have the best pop songs at the moment and they seem like nice guys, so the best of luck to them.

"They're killing it everywhere they go, so I'm a not so secret admirer."

Twin might not quite be on the same level as One Direction, but they've enjoyed massive success in recent years.

After slogging around the Glasgow gigging circuit for years and earning praise for pounding live shows and complex, clever rock, 2011 album Free catapulted them into the mainstream.

Going by the amount of airplay their fist-pumping new single Heart & Soul has received, it doesn't look like the Twin boys will be leaving that zone anytime soon.

While some bands try and shy away from being considered part of the mainstream, Twin are welcoming it.

"Yeah, there are people who think mainstream is a dirty word," says Ross.

"The reason why we've never thought like that is because if people like music, you shouldn't be ashamed of it.

"Nothing should be a guilty pleasure, whether it's a pop boy band or if it's Metallica. If you like it, you like it."

The foursome - Ross, singer Sam McTrusty, guitarist Barry McKenna and drummer Craig Kneale - will be hoping plenty of people like Great Divide come August.

For Ross, the record represents the band trying to keep things simple.

"Heart and Soul sums up what we've tried to do with the record, although not everything on there sounds like it," he says.

"What we were trying to do, and what we've always been trying to do, is simplify everything.

"In the beginning, although I wouldn't change anything about then, we were still learning how to be in a band and how to write songs.

"What we've tried to do was distil it down, and make it as simple as possible, but still exciting."

The band worked with two different producers on the album - Jacknife Lee, based in Los Angeles, and Gil Norton in Wales.

Their work with Norton led to the quartet getting to borrow a bit of rock history, with none other than the piano played on Queen classic Bohemian Rhapsody being used by the group on the songs Why Won't We Change and The Ones That I Love.

"Queen are a massive inspiration for most of us, and it was a surreal experience to be sitting there playing the same piano in the same room that Bohemian Rhapsody was recorded in," recalls Ross.

"It's the same family that still own the Rockfield studio, so it was quite surreal, quite an experience.

"You never think that'll happen - we've been listening to those songs our whole lives, and you don't think you'll be talking to the people who were there at that time."

As for the album title, Ross quickly points out it's got nothing with independence, or politics at all.

Instead it's a reference to what the band have gone through over the past couple of years.

"We've had some interesting times and we've all been growing up," he says.

"There's been a lot of big changes, from where we're living to some of us getting married, and the whole record is about that transition from still kinda being children, where we're in a band and ignoring reality, and in the time we've had off we've transcended that."

l Twin Atlantic play the In New Music We Trust Stage at Radio 1 Big Weekend today.

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