How many scientists and architects does it take to make a pop record? Well, you can do it with one of each, actually. Take emerging British duo, Tweaks: Aman Singh's day job is in the design and construction of buildings (fun fact: he once designed a swimming pool for Gotye but it never got built!), whereas Johnny Drain's daily bread is baked on the proceeds of science.

Outside of their respective vocations, however, they find the time to make music and their first release, a track called 'Sisters' (from a forthcoming EP of the same name), has just come out, accompanied by one of the eeriest videos we've seen of late. The song itself is one long crescendo of drum-fills and hypnotica and the sound hints at the twosome's self-professed muses, including Arthur Russell and Yeasayer.

Here, The 405 puts Singh and Drain through a brief grilling to find out a little bit more about Tweaks, their debut release and plans for the future.

How did Tweaks come to be?

Singh: We're both from Birmingham and have mutual friends, but we only met while living in Belgium. I was an architect there and Johnny had gone to live with his then girlfriend, who was the sister of my girlfriend. We were the only two - we think - Brummies in Bruges. We didn't really like each other to start with but, eventually, we bonded over a love of chips and 60s garage rock and roll.

Were you living there for quite some time?

Drain: We were there for about six months. Both relationships broke up - mostly amicably - and when we moved back to London we started a garage rock band. That also disbanded pretty rapidly but we think this time it's the real thing. We still try to eat chips together once a fortnight to keep the old magic alive.

Any sauce preferences?

Singh: I like ketchup but JD's a mayo guy - very continental.

Now, look here, you are essentially two men making sombre pop whilst wearing nice clothes. We've got Hurts for all that already, haven't we?

Singh: Our trousers are cut slightly looser than theirs. We'd like to think that comes across in the music.

Was your first track, 'Sisters', written about the siblings you were both dating or is this a case of pure, unadulterated coincidence?

Drain: Well, the song is really about wanting sisters and longing for sisterhood, rather than already having them. So it's not about "those" sisters, but of course it's influenced by them. It's more about privilege and institutions and it was inspired by Bruges and the rich Catholic history there. There's a famous Michelangelo statue - Madonna With Child - and because that was in my head I was listening to Madonna's 'Like a Prayer' a lot. I wanted 'Sisters' to be like that in some sense. And that's, in part, what inspired the video too.

Let's talk about the video, then. What's the story behind it?

Drain: We took a treatment to director, Jake Hopewell, in which the female protagonist is in a shrine she'd made in a warehouse, beating the shit out of various mannequins and objects that represent her life. Jake built a narrative around this that elucidated even more of her background. We ended up switching to a male protagonist because it was more opaque and there were more things to explore that way, plus we met Ben who seemed perfect for the role. That we would be angels was, naturally, part of the original treatment. With a heavy hat-tip to Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire, we bring hope in the darkest hour. We'd like to be gods in our next video.

You're doing some live shows with Algiers soon - what is a typical Tweaks gig rehearsal like?

Singh: We start with a beer, finish with a platter of fresh tropical fruit and practise the songs in-between.

And what can we expect from your stage show?

Singh: Apart from the nice clothes and modestly loose-fitting trousers, expect a mix of intimate moments and expansive, hook-laden, dance floor-filling grooves. We want to bathe people in a little bit of darkness and a little bit of light.

Finally, is there an album down the line or are we going to discover during the coming months that you are an "EPs band"?

Drain: We'd like the emulate the Beta Band by doing three EPs. The first two are in the bag. We'll see about the third.


'Sisters' is out now on Outset Recordings. For live dates and further information, head here.