After seeing TCK perform live at The Kickstand in Gainesville, I had to catch up with the boys from Denton, Texas for a Saturday afternoon conference.
Teenage Cool Kids @ The Kickstand during THE FEST 7
Billy T of UTG: Ok! Go ahead and introduce yourselves and tell me what you do in the band.
Andrew of Teenage Cool Kids: I am Andrew Savage, I play guitar and sing
Daniel of Teenage Cool Kids: I’m Daniel Ziegler, I play guitar and sing
UTG: So, I saw you guys at THE FEST and I wanted to know how was your Gainesville experience?
D: The Fest was awesome. It was the most fun I could have in one weekend probably ever and our shows were great and positive, and the bands we saw were just fantastic, so it was great
A: It was sweet seeing a whole city being taken over by kids going to the Fest
UTG: What bands were you excited to see?
D: The show Saturday night was Daniel Striped Tiger, Sinaloa, Ampere, Young Widows – it was my favorite show
A: I was excited to see Dillenger Four
UTG: Yeah that show was huge
A: I saw this band Sharkface from Tucson, and they were awesome
UTG: Was the Fest part of a tour or did you guys come out for it?
D: We just drove out for the Fest. It was like 18 hours each way, it was crazy
UTG: What other bands have you toured with?
A: Yea our first tour we were with was with Koji Kondo from Fort Worth [Texas] and we also toured last summer with Trifle Tower from Dallas, and we share a member, our bassist Chris is in that band too
UTG: Any silly tour stories?
D: Silly tour stories? I mean yea, Andrew Savage turns into a bear and hibernates on tour. One day he woke up at a gas station and we were driving through the night and were like can you get $10 out of the merch box and put it in the gas tank? And he’s like what number? And we’re like, nah dude just get $10 out of the trunk and put it in the gas tank. He’s like what dude? And he walked out of the back and was like, can’t get the money out, man. Tours are like the weirdest time ever
UTG: What are your day jobs?
D: Everybody except Chris go to school, University of North Texas, ‘the mean green’. We all work at school as well and have campus jobs. Me and Bradley are building monitors for the art department and I’m an english tutor, so on the weekends we practice and play shows.
UTG: What’s recent news for Teenage Cool Kids – recordings, tours?
A: Right now we have been recording almost daily for the past two months, and now recording and mixing this full length called “Foreign Land” and we also have two 45 singles that will be coming out sooner and the full length will be due out in February.
UTG: Who’s pressing them?
A: The label thats doing the full length is called Protagonist. Our friends Brandon and Bill from Tucson and Baltimore respectively, they did our first record.
UTG: What is the writing and recording process like?
A: With this band we don’t bring a lot of outsiders into our creative process. Me and Bradley do all the art and record here in the house, and this is like the first time we brought someone else in, we got Jason Kelly and hes been really awesome on this record. With the money that we made on our last tour we bought a reel to reel tape recorder and so we just started in September laying down tracks on that, and and this point we have about 15 songs. The whole song writing process is pretty vertical – we keep all our creative input within the band, as far as we do all the art work and write all the songs, and me and Bradley have been working on artwork for that lately and as far as DIY goes we are pretty into that
UTG: Tell me your musical and life influences that affect your music.
D: For music, I grew up listening to 90’s emo, anything like Jimmy Eat World and I got into Chicago Kinsella bands, that’s why I do so much noodling on guitar. So its like 90’s emo and American Football and like Capt’n Jazz, and as far as life influences, the DIY scene. Well it’s not even a scene, it’s our lifestyle and we do everything creatively that we want to do ourselves
A: We have been fortunate enough to play with some of our favorite bands
UTG: Like who?
D: Meneguar from New York, Psychedelic Horseshit from Columbus, Thomas Function from Alabama – probably my favorite band right now
A: Yea, me too
A: For me my influences – I kind of came up in the hardcore scene and weird underground rock too, and the thing about this band is we all get each other into different music. Because of Bradley I’ve gotten into some K Records stuff and I’ve gotten the other guys into Thomas Function and our bassist also plays in hardcore bands
UTG: So what genre would you put yourself into?
A: Not pop punk. We get that a lot
D: I don’t know, it doesn’t really matter. It’s pretty asinine to just to assign yourself a label. I guess all were really trying to do is write songs that we like and hopefully other people will too. That seems like a selfish answer, but we’re not writing these songs to be anything besides who we are. I think what’s important about this band is that all four of us come from very different musical backgrounds – I guess our musical tastes all come together in the sound we make. I think its really awesome – if you listen to the demo tape, if you can find it, or the 7-inch or the CD or what’s coming out now, it’s a process with whoever is in the band at the time and it’s so varied. The members we have now are the band, as far as I’m concerned. I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else and it’s perfect the way it is and it’s an awesome process to find our sound and we’re sort of where we want to be as a band
UTG: So, we don’t have final questions – we just let you say whatever you want.
D: Oh wow, I would say DIY. If you want to do something, do it. We have been really blessed to have a show house or venue I guess, and we have sort of made a scene in our small town, and a scene has sort of sprung up from the DIY ethic
A: I would say check out Denton bands – The Wax Museums, The Secret Bangs, Bad Sports, Silver Shampoo. Check out Orange Coax
UTG: Thanks for your time, and we hope to hear from you in the future!
*Written by Billy Table*
James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.
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