The Weeks

Cyle and Cain Barnes were introduced to quality music early on -- and in the middle of the night.

The twins grew up with their aunt and uncle in Jackson, Mississippi, Cyle says, and were about seven when they were awakened one night with, "Come in here, you've got to see this."

The late-night attraction? The Last Waltz, the concert movie about The Band's legendary final show, was on TV.

"I was just excited to be awake," Barnes says. "[My uncle] said, 'You guys need to sit down and watch this.' I had no clue who it was at the time. It blew my mind."

The Barnes twins now lead rock outfit The Weeks, with Cyle on vocals and Cain on drums. The band performs tonight at Grand Stafford Theater in Downtown Bryan, before heading to Austin's Fun Fun Fun Fest this weekend.

The band has a new EP out titled Buttons. The infectious title track is actually one of their oldest songs, Barnes says, and it earned an update.

"We wanted to revisit it, because if we're going to continue playing it, and if we're going to try and share it with new people, we want to be just as excited about playing it as we were six or seven years ago," Barnes says. "… It's to breathe some new life in it, so whenever we're playing 200 shows a year, it feels as new as it does to the people hearing it for the first time. We just wanted to wake it back up a little."

Identical twins have peppered pop music over the years -- Kelley and Kim Deal of The Breeders, Tegan and Sara, The Watson Twins and Texas A&M graduates The Rankin Twins, just to name a few. Barnes says he's never been away from Cain for longer than a week or so, and their relationship has translated into a strong musical bond.

"I love it," he says of playing with Cain. "I think he's amazing. I wouldn't want to have another drummer in the band. There's no one else that's going to find a groove like that. He's ridiculous. I watched him from growing up and playing on cardboard boxes to being an actual drummer. He keeps me on my toes. He always knows what I'm about to do. I guess it's that twin sense, that twin vibe."

The band has a quirky connection to sports, primarily through guitarist Sam Williams and bassist Damien Bone. The group's 2013 album was titled Dear Bo Jackson, as a sort of connection between the band's versatility and that of the baseball and football star from Alabama.

"We started talking about the difference between being a ballplayer and being able to do a little bit of everything, which is what I feel like The Weeks try to do," Barnes says. "We don't want to just be a rock 'n' roll band or this and that. We love a whole bunch of different kinds of music, so we try to do a little bit of everything."

The band's Mississippi roots have meant exciting times this football season, with the remarkable rise of Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Barnes says the band cheers for both programs. (He attended Delta State for two years, but says the school's unofficial nickname -- The Fighting Okra -- "doesn't sound as cool in interviews.")

The Weeks performed at Mississippi State in October, the same weekend ESPN College Gameday was there, and Barnes joined in the Bulldog tradition of clanging cowbells.

"Only at Mississippi State can you control an entire crowd with a cowbell," he says. "That thing was so loud, and anytime I'd ring it, the crowd would just go crazy. I wish that would work with every crowd -- you could just shake something really loud and everybody freaks out."

Barnes says he's fully prepared for a more Aggie-centric crowd tonight.

"I will not have the cowbell," he says with a laugh. "I promise that."

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.