The Teenage Symphonies
Where did the band name come from?
Eric: It started with a Brian Wilson reference. There was a record that I was really into at the time, and it was called “Smile”. This was back in 1966, when they were trying to promote the record, someone asked him to describe it, and he said it was “like a teenage symphony to God”. I thought that was such a cool phrase. I think a lot of things that The Beach Boys were trying to do back then, was stuff that I was really into, with their harmonies and melodies, and I thought of naming a band The Teenage Symphonies.
How did the band form?
Eric: I’ve known Gavin, because we went to school together. I was working on some songs, and I gave Gavin a song and said “lets start a band, lets make it happen”. So Gavin and I started working together, then Pete got involved in the mix because he was a friend of Gavin’s. That was how we met. Chris was added not long after as the last piece.
How long have you been together?
Eric: things only really started happening in March of last year, because that was when Chris joined. That was when we really started practicing, and started realizing we could really turn this into something. So, March of last year was when we really became official, but we started working back in 2003.
Any musical influences?
Eric: Obviously, there’s a lot of Beach Boys influence. Really into a lot of the late 60’s pop. The Beatles. A lot modern bands, also. The Strokes, OK Go, Stone Temple Pilots.
Pete: Have we mentioned Queen?
Chris: There’s definitely a Queen influence, also.
Eric: I think what we try to do is we take all these things that we really like about music, and I’d say a lot of it stems from the late 60’s era, to the more instrumental parts of the early 70’s, and then putting a modern edge to it, and making it poppy and accessible. It’s all about finding a good balance between all those things.
Who is the primary songwriter?
Eric: It’s me right now. We started out on the EP with the songs that I’ve written. We’re sort of moving in the direction of more collaborative effort stuff while we’re working on some songs right now. They are a lot edgier. We’re all trying to work together. We’re doing some songs by Gavin right now, like a song that we’re working on right now has a lot of Queen influence in it. It’s cool.
You produced your self-titled debut EP independently. What was that experience like?
Eric: It was a good experience. The way the production went on the record, it was actually pretty fragmented. They started out as demos, and we made some adjustments here and there. The recording actually started back in 2004, I think? But it spanned over 2 years of refining and getting it just right. Gavin would add things to it, Pete would add things to it, until we finally came together. I mean, it was a good experience. Very fragmented, but it was a good learning experience. It was definitely fun. We’re happy with the results.
Where can people buy this EP?
Right now, it’s on our Myspace page. There’s a link there that will redirect you to the label, which is an independent label that we’re on right now called “Light In The Dark Records” out of Pennsylvania. You basically just order it online. There’s a couple of stores in Boston that have it now. We’re hoping to get it on iTunes, it just hasn’t happened yet. Or you can get it at the shows.
What is the writing process like for you guys?
Eric: It usually stems from an idea that one of us has, then everyone has something to bring to it.
Pete: Like right now, we have some songs we’re working on, and Chris wrong the song, but then we’ll get the melodies, the most important thing with the chord changes and the melodies and all that, then record the parts, and then go back and try to add to it. Like now, I’m listening to it trying to create a bass line, then we will talk about it and change it around to use what works. We’re trying to pack it with our own, I guess, specialties. We put everyone’s good ideas to use.
Eric: Initially, I always used to write everything by default on my own, but everyone has their own thing to offer, as a band, now.
Are the lyrics based on personal experiences?
Eric: Yeah, they are definitely from personal experiences.
Describe your music in one word.
Dream band to play with?
Eric: Van Halen.
Pete: Paul McCartney.
Chris: You guys see the Super Bowl? Prince.
Gavin: I’ll go more modern. I wouldn’t say ‘dream band’, but I’d like to play with The Strokes.
What sets The Teenage Symphonies apart from other bands out there?
Eric: I think that we’re bringing something back that lacks in a lot of music now. I just don’t feel like there’s very much sophistication in music anymore. There was a lot of that going on before in music that was popular, and I don’t know if it was just people being lazy, or whatever, but I think that people can write really good sophisticated music that’s given thought, and be successful. We are just trying to bring back things like that, things that we love about music. We love guitars. We love harmonies, we love melodies. We really do music that moves you, that makes you feel good. It’s not too contrived, it’s natural.
What is your ultimate goal as a band?
Eric: To conquer the world! No, I mean, obviously we want to get signed. The main thing, is we want to be playing our music for the world.
Gavin: On the west coast.
Eric: Yeah, we just want to be out there playing.
What’s next for the band?
Eric: We’re just trying to take it to the next level. Right now, we’re still working on new music. We’re gonna be doing a little bit of shedding. And, after that, we’ll start booking more shows, and just get out there. Get our name out there. Last year we played a decent number of shows, and everything was well received, and it was definitely a booster. Now we want to crank out more material, get out there, and just start playing it. We’ll just see what happens. We’ll keep rocking, and everything will just sorta fall into place.
Any last words to the fans?
Chris: Thanks for listening to our music, guys. Make sure you get our record when it comes out. Whenever it gets up on Myspace, it’ll be easier to get. Keep coming to the shows! We’ve met a lot of fans, actually. A lot of people come out to shows that we’ve met through Myspace, and it’s really cool. They’re all really cool people. It really helps a lot when we go to a venue and we don’t expect anyone to show up at all, then some fans have comes from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We get to talk to them, hang out at the show, and just hear what they have to say about the music. So, yeah, thanks again for your support! Keep coming out to hang out with us!
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