There’s no denying that SCAD students are hardworking and ambitious, and two current students — Giovanni Marcello Turra, B.F.A. in Branded Entertainment, and Josh Riccio, B.F.A. in Animation — are taking that creative drive to the next level with their band “The Twotakes.” I had the chance to chat with frontman, Gio, and learn more about this new group that’s not only making waves at SCAD, but out into Atlanta as well.
The Connector: Aside from being SCAD students, what brought you guys together and made you crank out an entire album on top of three classes, endless homework, etc.?
Gio: Basically, everyone in the band has music as a primary ambition. We have always wanted to be successful musicians. Beau, the guitarist, has been in multiple different groups since he was a kid, and the same goes for me. We saw an opportunity to get something done and we took it. There’s a concerning number of bands that only produce good music in a mahogany-wall room with a crimson carpet and dim overhead lights. We recorded guitars in a TV room in two days because that’s all the time we had before students would roam the building again. Obviously, no one slept, no one ate properly and it was a hassle all the way through. But, in the end, we hit the deadline and put out a good album.
The Connector: How do you find balance on top of school? What are your majors? Any goals after school (separately or together as a group)?
Gio: The toughest part of being in a band and going to college is time. I believe we’ve all come to a point where we accept that this multitasking activity will be exhausting, but we want this too much. We balance it out by double-checking our schedules and assignments, booking ourselves great venues with the promise of a good crowd (even if that’s not consistent). As of right now, I am a branded entertainment major, which helps in the marketing scheme of the band, and Josh is an animator, which aids the artistic side.
The Connector: Tell me about the name The Twotakes.
Gio: So, The Twotakes was originally supposed to be a duo with my ex-drummer, which then became a possibility when I recorded one song with our producer, Michael MacWilliams, and finally stuck to this current band.
The Connector: What musicians/genres of music inspire you? Any idols?
Gio: We are heavily inspired by a handful of bands. Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand are definitely the top contenders. But we go anywhere between Elvis and Muse. Each member in the band has a musical background pertaining to a genre. Josh is a jazz drummer, Beau is full-on rock ‘n’ roll, I’m into blues and Chase is … everything.
The Connector: You’re on Spotify. How does that feel, and have you seen a surge in interest since putting your music there?
Gio: When we distributed the album, we first saw our music on Apple Music and Google Play. Granted, they are important stream services, but we wanted Spotify. When the album cover came up after I searched “The Twotakes” on that app, I nearly knocked my head against the wall I was leaning on. We’ve seen a surge in listens and interest, but primarily, we now have a tool to reach out to people in a much more effective way. Spotify is universal, and is perhaps the biggest stream service.
The Connector: How many instruments do you play?
Gio: I started out with drums, moved on to guitar and bass, picked up a few derivatives (ukulele, mandolin) and then took on vocals. So in all, I’m guessing six.
The Connector: What’s next for The Twotakes?
Gio: Next, we have to maintain our focus and drive. Good bands die young when they think they’re invincible. We’re not. People will forget about us in a second if we aren’t smart about how we promote ourselves. First, we make sure people are blown away by our performances. We create a strong social media presence and establish something that makes us unique. When we get all of that checked out, we find another list to follow.
You can find The Twotakes on spotify, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Their album, “Submarine Races,” provides an upbeat, kick-ass energy for getting a project done or a Saturday night hangout friends.