Twenty7 Rock The Loft


Twenty7 is a band that is a unique blend of classic rock n roll with some Middle Eastern influences thrown in, and they have recently been playing a lot of shows in L.A., as well as touring overseas in Turkey. Formed in 2007, they have been building buzz over the past few years, collecting praise for their live performances, and recently released their debut E.P. Papatya. Before their set at The Loft at UCSD, I had the chance to sit with the band and find out a little bit more about their musical style, how they got started, and their plans for the future.

First of all, where did the name Twenty7 come from?
Well there are a lot of musicians and important people that died at 27, so we thought it would be cool to kind of pay tribute to that. There are a few other reasons as well, but they’re a little too complicated to get into.

How did you guys meet and form the band?
Well we have a lot of people coming in and out of the band while we play in L.A. Twenty7 as it is now has been together for a few months. The orignial formation came together about three years ago. 

Your sound, rock n roll with Middle Eastern influences, is that a common sound where you’re from?
I wouldn’t say it’s a common sound. With us, everybody has a different musical taste here. We grew up in Turkey listening to American rock and roll, so we wanted to make music with that kind of flavor. We wanted to put some of our own personality in there, with the American rock n roll sound. 

Once you came here from Turkey, you were the house band at Whiskey A Go Go, correct?
Yeah we did that a while ago, back in 2008. 

How did you come across that gig?
What happened was there was a booking lady who had found us through Myspace and asked us to play there. So the first time we played a show there, everybody seemed to like it. So playing there kind of became a habit, somehow we got a regular gig there, playing once a month for 6 months on the 27th of each month. 

What have been some of your favorite places to play, between here and overseas?
Well we play some shows around Turkey and we enjoy that, but we really like Hollywood the best I think. 

I read that you were featured on MTV, how did that happen?
We were touring in Turkey, and people were inviting us to play shows, and one of the shows we did MTV Turkey was there so it just kind of happened. We were just touring Turkey. Things like that just kind of happen to us. Like we got this random call from The Viper Room asking us to do a show. I guess stuff like that is just in the cards for us.

And you’ve actually played a show for 35,000 people, right?
Yeah we were playing a festival and there were about 35-40,000 people there, but with the lighting we couldn’t really see all of the people that were there. So it was kind of a unique way to play to 35,000 people, not being able to see them.

As far as songs go, what do you find yourselves writing about most? Is there any common theme?
There isn’t really a common theme, it’s just whatever is going on, whatever we are feeling at that point in our life, that’s what we write about. Most of the songs are about love, but love…. we don’t really even know what love is. I think our music is just emotional.

And you have a five-song E.P. out right now?
Yeah, we just put out an E.P. called Papatya, which means “daisy.”

Are there any plans for a full-length album in the near future?
Definitely, yes. We are working on it right now, but it’s going to take quite a bit more time. But when we feel ready, we’ll go for it.

Are you on a record label right now or unsigned?
Currently we’re unsigned.

Have you received any interest from labels?
Basically right now we just keep getting gigs, and every show we’re at we book another gig, because people see us and they like us. So right now that’s where we’re at.

That could be because from what I’ve read you put on a really good live show. Do you work hard on putting on a good show, or does your performance just flow?
I think honestly we just love playing music, and that’s what shows. Even in just our practices, that energy is there. It’s something you can’t really explain. For us we just go up there, and it’s like we’re getting naked, showing who we are to the audience.

After seeing them perform live it was easy for me to see why they get so much praise for their live shows. You can just tell that they are genuinely doing music that they absolutely love. Their performance never seemed forced. They have often stated their influences as Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix, and while those influences definitely show, the band’s music doesn’t come off as a 60’s rock n roll knock-off band. Their music has its own unique flavor to it, and it just sounds incredible live. Their lead singer, Okan, looked as if he would have fit right in at woodstock, working the stage with classic rock swagger, mugging for the crowd not in a cheesy way, but as a guy that absolutely loves what he’s doing. These guys are genuine rock stars, and it was truly refreshing to see such a passionate, energetic performance from an incredibly talented group of musicians. This show was probably the most fun I’ve had at a show in a while. Their music and energy has a way of seeping into you, so the more excited and energetic they get, you feed off of it and have a better and better time. This band isn’t a rock n roll knock-off, this is the real deal, and I wish these guys the best and can’t wait to see where they go from here.