Bone-piercing sounds

Local band Twice makes music that throbs, screeches and grooves

Twice will play at 7 p.m. June 1 at Ark-a’ik, 555 E. Fourth St. The cover is $6. The band’s EPs, Less Than Before and Within the Silence (pictured), are available at Mirabelli’s Music City. Visit for show dates and information.

They asked me to come to a storage unit in Sparks. After a last cigarette in the parking lot, I was led into the 20-by-20-foot room that Twice calls home. It may have been a cramped metal shell, but they didn’t forget to decorate. The Hulkster was flexing fondly next to a framed picture of Jack (of The Box). Jack had somehow sprouted evil eyebrows, fangs, horns and a handlebar moustache.

I heard 30-year-old lead vocalist Jim ask, “Show set or recording set?” I didn’t hear the reply, but whichever it was, I got a live set that made the steel walls ring. I really should have remembered earplugs. The screech of the guitar and the grinding bass pierced my head, while the drums took care of my bones.

While Twice played, the band members’ faces were masks of intensity and studies in focus. The lyrics and music were hard-hitting and took occasional trips down musical side streets, blending metal riffs, Eastern melodies, double bass rhythms and harsh screams.

And, of course, the groove. Before and after their songs, however, they can’t go two minutes without cracking a joke or poking fun at one another.

“We have this in common: We like to get together and have fun and play,” said drummer Daren, 25.

They all agreed that it is all about them having a good time.

“I’m not good at anything else,” Jim added.

Guitarist/backing vocalist Tony, 25, and bassist/backing vocalist Dave, 22, round out the band. (For pretentious reasons of punk rock anonymity they have chosen only to use their first names, but I think it’s really because they want to be like Cher or Prince.) This is the most recent incarnation of Twice, which has in various forms been an active part of local music in Reno since April 1999. While talking after the rehearsal, Jim cringed when I said the word “scene.”

“There is no scene in Reno,” he said. “There are a lot of really good bands playing right now, but no ‘thing,’ no support of one another.”

Tony agreed.

“Yeah, a lot of kids will come out to shows, but …”

“But they’re just there to see one crappy band their friend is in, and they don’t stick around to see any of the other bands,” Daren finished.

They tried to keep things light and talked some trash about their own CDs and how “horrible” they sound, “except for that one part.” They all see the danger of taking themselves too seriously, given the example of the record industry at large and not just any local scene.

“Besides, we all have girlfriends,” Daren said, shrugging.

“Yeah, no groupies for Twice,” Jim said, laughing.

Outside of screwing around at practice, they’re pretty serious about what they do. Twice has been a huge supporter of all-ages shows and local benefit shows since they started. Playing at these shows has been a way of reaching an audience that the band feels Reno neglects. It’s also a way of strengthening the local community.

Jim said they would be picking the benefit shows a little more carefully in the future, though, due to some misrepresentations of where the proceeds of a show for leukemia patients went. However, band members said they would continue to do what they can for “good, better, more” shows in Reno.

And as with everything else, the band was quick to add that "it’s just fun."