TEN TALKS TO TEENAGE DADS
Teenage Dads’ Club Echo has landed, and has already solidified itself as one of our favourite projects of 2021. The band from Mornington Peninsula have evolved and elevated their sound. The new EP is a no-skips compilation of more adventurous, refined and totally nostalgic feel-good songs, capturing “the last five years but from our current perspective. It looks at the concept of change and how life continues to move in spite of everything that may be going on in your life: the friendships, the obstacles you face and next chapters.” We spoke to Angus Christie, bassist of the band, about making the new record:
We love the EP! Congratulations. Tell us all about it. When did you begin making it? Where did you record most of it?
"Thank you! Well Jordan had revisited some old demos from 2017 during the early stages of lockdown last year and found what eventually became Cheerleader. All of these songs were born in lockdown 2020. A cool thing about this EP is that we had the chance to perform all but one song live several times before finishing them up and so this helped us figure out what parts worked and what didn’t. A similar feeling to our first EP and album. There were heaps of changes for a few of these songs, to the point where at some shows we blanked on which versions we were playing. Thankfully we got it right. All the songs were recorded in our usual studio space, same as ever."
Who did you work with in terms of producers etc? What did they bring to your world?
"We produce and record all of our music ourselves although for the first time in our band’scareer we had a mix engineer and a mastering engineer on board for this ep. Steven Shram and Zeon Zervos did a fabulous job."
Do you have a song you’re most proud of on the EP?
"We’re all really proud of all the songs on Club Echo, but there’s a few songs that some fanshave been asking about since hearing live that we’re super excited to have out in the world, namely Come On, Cowboy. Fire your Gun!"
We have heard you were high school friends. What’s the story?
"Jordan and Connor started playing some music together at school and tried to form some sort of musical group; who then invited Vince and I (Angus) after trialling a few different people we knew but none were working out. We all then used to rehearse in a music roomat school during lunchtimes and then began jamming (although not very well) at Jordan’safter school on fridays. We did quite a few 18th birthdays and had a lot of fun so I guess we tried to continue from there. It was all a natural process really. We eventually wrote some of our own music and got asked to play some shows in the city (I think through seeing our facebook account). We probably realised we wanted to keep taking things further once we started writing several more songs, recording them and booking shows interstate."
A lot has happened in the world since you released your last EP, Red. How do you think you guys have evolved musically and as a band?
"I think one of the most noticeable evolutions in our sound is a greater ability to write music that fits within our own sound and refine it so that our music is a lot more coherenttogether. We still like to try new things and experiment with different sounds, but it’s more within the scope of what we’d like our overall sound to be for the time being anyway."
Your sound has been compared to The Strokes and the Beach Boys which is impressive. Who’s on the Teenage Dads playlist? Or which artists are you inspired by?
"It still varies between each of us, but the acts we generally use as reference are The Beach Boys, the Strokes, Phoenix, and to some degree Talking Heads and Devo. Some artists on our playlists at the moment are The Garden, Dr. Dog and Timi Temple."
You have been working with photographer Ted Min (who we love) and also Gabe Hanvey on music videos. What did you want to convey visually for this EP?
We wanted to convey a lot of the themes that underpin the content of the EP: isolation,regret, reminiscing etc. We’re particularly proud of the cover art too. The songs look at the last five years of our lives so this sort of collage layout of memories as a band was a sweet touch. Working with Ted and Gabe was super epic. Next time it would be awesome to do soin a face to face format where Gabe wasn’t having to direct through facetime and the camera of a broken 2012 macbook. The Cheerleader video focuses on the idea of seizing the day, taking action, doing what you want to do. Especially in the last two years it has beenhard not to think that you’re doing nothing with your life so the video showcasesovercoming these blues and doing something about it, even if it’s as simple as singing in the shower or eating a bean croissant.
Why ‘Club Echo’? What does the world of Club Echo feel like?
"A lot of our songs have a juxtaposition between the lyrics and music. Sad lyrics but happy music. Jordy likened the overall feeling of the EP to looking through a window to a party you weren’t invited to. The club part is more like an exclusive group and not a nightclub. It’s likea club of your memories. It’s bittersweet."
What is the ideal setting for the first time listen of the EP?
"The EP definitely has a summer-y quality to it so anything in nice warm weather could compliment it. Up to you! Alternatively though, a regional KFC car park. If you can find the time, support regional communities by making it out to their KFC and streaming Club Echo. Ifyou can get to an Eagle Boys’ pizza that’d be even better."
And for those who don’t know, why ‘Teenage Dads’?
“We had lengthy discussions about the name for quite a while when starting out, and it was pretty contentious. I guess we settled on Teenage Dads as we thought Zambrero would reallylike it, and did it to impress them. We really like Zambrero.”
Listen to Club Echo now.