Beyond Supernova: How Nova Twins are still breaking new ground

Nova Twins are meant to be in the studio working on their new album. Instead, they’re touring arenas with Muse and being fed scallops. As they do a victory lap at the end of another massive year, we joined Amy Love and Georgia South on the road to debrief the past 12 hectic months, look to the future, and watch as they prepare to blow up bigger than ever…

Beyond Supernova: How Nova Twins are still breaking new ground
Nick Ruskell
Federica Burelli

“We probably shouldn’t be here.”

In a room in the winding, windowless backstage of The O2, Amy Love is fessing something up to Kerrang!. Down the corridor, through a door, down more corridors and through a few more doors, a crew of techs in the employ of Muse are shooting fireballs out into the air. Stand around too long in said corridors and you will be asked – extremely politely – exactly who you are and what you’re doing here. There are untold amounts of things belonging to Matt Bellamy – guitars, pedals, a massive, weird mask – that are not to be touched, so many places into which access is forbidden.

A lot of people shouldn’t be – and aren’t allowed – back here. This isn’t what Amy’s talking about, though. She and Georgia South very much are meant to be here, on Muse’s year-ending victory-lap of the UK following their summer stadium shows. That’s fine – they’ve both got laminates with their faces on and everything. In a few hours the stage will be theirs. No, what Nova Twins mean is, they’re skiving off something they’re meant to be doing.

“We’re supposed to be in the studio doing the album,” laughs Amy. “But we’re obviously not gonna not take touring with Muse. We’d manifested it so hard, we had to say yes.”

And where were Nova Twins when they got the call? In a van, trying to work out what their manager was getting at.

“Our manager’s really cute when he says big news,” says Georgia. “What did he say?”

“He messaged us and was like, ‘You’ll be a-Muse-d by this,’” picks up Amy. “And we didn’t get the pun. We were like, ‘Oh, what is it? What’s happened?!’”

“Then he rang us and just started playing Muse down the phone,” laughs Georgia. “We were like, ‘Ohhhh.’”

And so, here Nova Twins are, getting ready for the first of two nights at London’s biggest and best arena, almost two years to the day since they last did it, with Bring Me The Horizon in September 2021. That weekend, as Amy notes, was the first full-capacity arena tour since restrictions ended.

The Twins themselves had released their excellent Who Are The Girls? debut just in time for the first lockdown (and, indeed, the second and third) to put the brakes on touring. Two years on, with a Mercury nomination, helping create an alternative music category at the MOBO Awards, a storming main stage appearance at Download, an equally banging show at Glastonbury, and the small matter of Kerrang!’s album of last year, Supernova, under their glittering belts, Amy and Georgia are returning as one of the finest young bands in Britain.

“When we played here with Bring Me it was just out of lockdown, so we were in a very different position to where we are now,” reflects Amy. “So much has happened. We’ve released the album, we’ve done so much touring everywhere, and there’s things we’ve been taught now, or that we’ve experienced, that we hadn’t then. It’s amazing to be playing here again, and this time we can be a bit more excited about it. We know the stage a bit better now!”

There’s worse ways to tour. Being part of a two-night beano here, the band are delighted that they get to leave their stuff rather than having to load out. Being “round the corner” from Georgia’s family homestead, it means seeing her nearest and dearest. Catering-wise, dinner the other night was scallops. You could get used to this, couldn’t you?

“Oh yeah!” chuckles Georgia. “We’re getting looked after so well. You get to play these amazing shows to loads of people, and then on top of that you’re getting amazing food as well. It’s incredible!”

Tonight’s show is immense. Though Amy and Georgia both note that the crowd for Muse isn’t the same as that of BMTH, or Download – older, less likely to mosh, probably less likely to know who they are – they’ve been leaving the stage every night having made a brace of new friends.

“We weren’t sure what to expect because it’s a different crowd,” says Amy, “but people are definitely getting into us. They might not be moshing or anything, but we get the vibe that they think we’re worthy of supporting a band like Muse, which is a good feeling!”

And it’s hard to resist them in full flow. Bangers like Cleopatra, K.M.B., Antagonist and the always-bouncy, attitude-loaded Choose Your Fighter have been pumped up to peak party energy after so long on the road anyway. Here, with a wall of blinding lights providing a backdrop, and Amy and Georgia projecting their charisma into every corner of The O2, they are a band simply born to be on big stages. And even if the pair have got to know this one previously, there’s still surprises to be had.

“It’s a weird stage, because Muse have got this clear floor, made of Perspex or something,” says Georgia. “It’s like you’re just running around on bars and metal. That took a bit of getting used to on the first night.”

“Yeah, that was a bit weird,” agrees Amy. “Getting to use our lights and have cameras has been really amazing, which was nice of Muse to let us have. We’ve seen our friends support bands and they’ve got nothing. They’ll get one colour wash [with the lights], no room at all onstage, and they have to play really quiet. So this is amazing to bring so much with us.”

Even without this, though, Nova Twins have gotten very good at playing big spaces. At Download in June, they hit the main stage to find an audience that stretched to the skyline as one big mush of unidentifiable humanity.

“I remember we came out, and it was just a sea of people,” says Amy. “It wasn’t even like it was a big crowd – you couldn’t make people out. You could see faces in the first few rows, but after that it was just a blur.”

“That was mad!” agrees Georgia. “It was the windiest day ever as well, completely the wrong day to have your hair out, but it was crazy. We’ve always wanted to play the main stage at Download, it was always on the bucket list. And then coming out with Bring Me for that headline show [to play 1x1], that was the most people we’ve ever played to. It was mental. It just felt like a weird dream. Honestly, it was one of the best days ever.”

“It was amazing to have such a communal vibe backstage, as well,” says Amy, of Bring Me The Horizon’s hand-picked supporting cast, also featuring Neck Deep, Architects and Hot Milk among others. “A couple of years ago when everyone came out of lockdown, we were very insular, all of us were isolated. So to come out and actually form real connections with people and to be able to talk with other bands, or do festivals, or meet new people, or meet someone that you’ve spoken to online but haven’t actually met before, is amazing. What’s exciting now is that when we go on tours, it feels really nice – there’s a bit more of a family vibe when you go out. And that’s really important, because it can get quite insular on tour. So one of the great things about that day at Download was that we got to see loads of our friends.”

Then there was Glastonbury, where their performance was shown on the BBC. Fortunately, says Amy, “Loads of people came out.” Even more fortunately, even with a travel itinerary that would give James Bond a headache, and technical gremlins waiting to screw things up, it was a blinder.

“We had the most mental schedule leading up to it,” explains Georgia. “We had no sleep and loads of traveling and flights. Then the screens were going to not work, and they said we were going to have to cut a song. But then suddenly everything just worked and it was amazing.”

“At the gigs before, we were in Germany and Greece, there were some technical problems where things weren’t set up properly, and it was just mental,” recalls Amy. “I just remember thinking, ‘This can’t happen at Glastonbury because we’re getting fucking filmed!’ And then at the last minute, everything was perfect.”

“The universe was on our side in the end,” laughs Georgia.

Looking back at all this, already it feels like Nova Twins have covered an atlas’ worth of ground in what seems like no time at all. When we last sat down with the pair in 2022 to take stock of what an incredible year they’d had following the release of Supernova, it felt like a mammoth story. At the time, they were gearing up for the MOBOs, and to then head to Australia and Japan. Glastonbury, Download and this run with Muse weren’t even in the diary yet. Turns out, even with everything going on, it was only halfway through the chapter.

“It’s been mental how much we’ve done,” says Georgia. “Just sitting here now and remembering some of it, whether that’s massive gigs, or travelling, or doing stuff like going shopping in Tokyo, it’s been crazy.”

And now comes the third album, although as Georgia says, “I think this feels like our second album. Supernova felt like a debut, because our actual debut was kind of swallowed by COVID.” They can’t reveal much about the progress they’ve made, but both beam even brighter than normal when they say it’s going well. This tour’s a break, but it’s a well-earned one. And, really, you would, wouldn’t you? For Nova Twins, it’s a party at the end of a glorious two years.

“We’re going to really soak it up and enjoy playing these shows,” says Amy. “Fundamentally, our core is that we’re a live band – that’s where we started and that’s what we most enjoy. So when we go back to the studio, it’s great, but then you get offered something like this. It’s a way to have a last party with our crew before we really get into the album. That’s it, it’s a party.”

Yes it is. Nova Twins hadn’t quite planned to be here today, but they most definitely should be.

“Oh yeah,” laughs Georgia. “When these things come up, you have to say yes.”

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