The Teenagers Interview (Part 1 of 2)
The Teenagers, a London-based band by way of Paris, are looking like one of the next big things to come out of the UK. The group's distinctively poppy tendencies meld perfectly with their garage, jovial aesthetic. They're onto something gold here, and with endorsement and remixes by the likes of SLUTTT (and soon, Crystal Castles!), it looks like they can do little wrong. Hipster at it's best, pop at it's height, and a stateside-released EP on SLUM Records in the works ... this threesome is going places.
Okay, I'll start off with some predictable questions, to sort of set the stage here ...
(1) How would you describe your music? It's got a garage sort of edge in its grittiness, but there is obviously a lot of pop structure there. Your songs are very appealing, and while they're a little messy, they've got a clean sound about them.
THE TEENAGERS: I would tell that our music is mainly pop. Of course we got a lot of different influences, but if we have to say one word, that would be pop, yes. And for the structure, you're right, all our songs are very classic in that way. We want to give people music they can listen every time, and easily. For the sound, i don't really know, it just came like that.
(2) How'd you start playing? How'd the band get together and start recording/doing gigs?
THE TEENAGERS: We started the band one year ago, last Christmas we were bored. Voilà and Mighteen are my best friends and we just decided we should start a band to have fun. We were drunk and we wrote "Fuck Nicole." That was the first try. We put it on MySpace for our friends, and they told us it was fun/cool and that we should do more songs. But there wasn't any career plan at the beginning, it was a party night with friends and some vodka.
(3) You've got quite a few remixes on your MySpace page, which is cool since your stuff definitely allows for a lot of remixing and tinkering around with. How'd you get that stuff hooked up?
THE TEENAGERS: When we created the MySpace profile, we asked everybody if they wanted to do a remix of "Fuck Nicole." We had like 20 answers, but only 10 did the remix. And all the sounds weren't really exciting. Only SLUTTT gave us a fucking good remix; very dancy. So we kept that one and later, we asked him to do one for "Homecoming" as well. Actually, we don't like a lot of remixes, i think they have to be very different of our songs ... different mood. We are waiting for a Crystal Castles remix of "Homecoming", and we are very excited.
(4) That sort of leads me to this question. One thing that Americans are interested about in terms of the British music scene is it's compactness. You all tend to form into scenes (or that's how it looks like from across the pond), and while you don't necessarily all share the same sounds and styles, you stick together. How has that environment affected your music? What sort of dynamic exists between you and other bands?
THE TEENAGERS: You'll laugh but we are not English. We all come from France. But of course I can understand what you say and it makes me feel good. We are two in Paris, and one in London. We are French but for music, we don't really feel like we're French. We are not influenced by French music at all, and we all have an interest in English/American musical culture, I think. There are a lot of rock bands emerging in Paris right now, and our first fear is to be associated to them. We don't think we have anything in common with them. So i don't know if we sound English, but if you think that, we take it like a compliment! But yeah ... now, there's no dynamic between us and some other bands, we just do our thing alone ...
(5) Okay -- the usual question here ... what sort of music has inspired you to make your own? What sort of stuff do you like?
THE TEENAGERS: We all have different musical backgrounds. Voilà is definitely into pop music, R&B, and Mighteen is definitely into metal/hardcore music. I'm from metal too, but I listened to a lot of indie rock, and i like a lot of different music now. Actually we are open i think, and we all like all kind of music. And to give you some influences for our music, I really don't know how to start ... there's too much. So I don't know but we like Britney Spears, Cristina Aguilera, Mariah Carey and Nelly Furtado a lot.