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  • Interview: TeamMate

    Tue, 14 May 2013 15:41:11

    Interview: TeamMate - By ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino…

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    TeamMate's cinematic swagger definitely makes good on the implications of their new release's title, The Sequel EP [iTunes link]. However, unlike most sequels, the EP truly stands out. TeamMate's knack for an infectious hook remains utterly invigorating, and this collection makes you yearn for a trilogy…

    In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, TeamMate's Scott Simons and Dani Buncher talk The Sequel EP and so much more.

    What threads together The Sequel EP for you?

    Scott Simons: Given the story, I think we were trying to write for that story and attempting to take different angles on that but keep it universal. That way, it's not alienating to people. While we're taking different angles, we had this batch of songs that all had a thread to them. Even the odd man out might be "Causing a Commotion", but I think it goes with it lyrically. There are some lyrics in there that work. These were the songs we had ready, and we thought it was a good introduction to the band. We have a bunch of songs ready for whatever's next. It's a continuing story, and it goes with every angle we've been through.

    What's the story behind "LA Winter"?

    Scott Simons: I moved to Los Angeles about five years ago. I grew up in West Virginia. We lived together in Pittsburgh, and then I moved to L.A. When I moved to L.A., I was like, "I'm not going to be one of those guys who writes L.A. in the title of one of his songs" [Laughs]. I had this concept. When it gets a little cold in Los Angeles, everybody starts to complain about how cold it is. I'm like, "Guys, you know what other people are going through? It's really not that bad". I made that a metaphor for life. However bad things can get, it's just temporary or it's not as bad as it is compared to what other people are going through. We should be thankful for what we have. That's where the "LA Winter" metaphor came in. I contradicted myself and wrote a song with "LA" in the title.

    Is it important for you to paint pictures with the songs?

    Scott Simons: Once I have the initial idea, I try to look at every angle. With "LA Winter", it pertained to the metaphor I was trying to show, and I felt like I could put a picture in people's heads that would help. Your picture may be different from mine. It's important to paint a picture, but it's important to keep it open and vague so people can apply their own meaning to it.

    What influences you outside of music?

    Scott Simons: I try to find inspiration outside of music. Generally, I hear something and I get jealous like, "Dammit, I wish I wrote that song!" Then, I sit down and try to outdo that song. Most often, I don't [Laughs]. Often, that's how inspiration works. I hear something so good that I try to match it or beat it. Lyrically, inspiration comes from reading or the fact I listen to a lot of podcasts. I try to do things outside of music. It's important to be really tuned in when you're having normal conversations with people because sometimes the best lyrics come up then. If you really want something universal and conversational, you have to listen to how people are talking and what they're saying. I think I get a lot of inspiration from talking to people and hearing their experiences.

    Dani Buncher: I'm very inspired by other musicians who aren't in the same genre as we are. Musically, I pull from all over the place. As far as how I play the drums, a lot of my influence comes from not only the music I listen to but marching in marching bands.

    If you were to compare the EP to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?

    Scott Simons: That's a good one!

    Dani Buncher: I'd say anything with Fred Savage in it…

    Scott Simons: Like Short Circuit.

    Dani Buncer: He's not in that, but The Wizard maybe. That's a good one! I'm not sure though.

    Scott Simons: In some ways, it feels like a documentary to me.

    What artists shaped you?

    Dani Buncer: I'm a huge pop music fan. I grew up listening to Michael Jackson and Madonna. Those have been recurring influences in my life.

    Scott Simons: We're always referencing nineties R&B. I grew up listening to The Beatles because of my parents. I'm also obsessed with Aimee Mann and Ben Gibbard's writing.

    Rick Florino

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    Tags: TeamMate, Dani Buncher, Michael Jackson, Madonna, The Beatles, Aimee Mann, Ben Gibbard, Scott Simons, Fred Savage, Short Circuit, The Wizard

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