“There ain’t no fire that can put me out” – Teen Men
As part of TMG’s Yellow Collar Collective, Teen Men will be performing their colorful melodies this Saturday at Black Bear along with Tiiidal and The Suits — Grab your tickets here!
In our exclusive interview, we learn the secrets to Teen Men’s DIY success
What’s your band’s name? Where’d the name come from?
Our band is called Teen Men, we found the phrase written in an old 1960’s Playboy magazine, in an ad selling pants.
The Yellow Collar Collective is all about the daily grind musicians go through to perfect their craft, what has been your biggest struggle and accomplishment as a musician?
The biggest struggle is sometimes getting your music through all the millions of bands that are easily accessible these days….or maybe the stuggle is just plain old saying “this song or recording is finished.” honestly sometimes the biggest accomplishment is just finishing an album. when a musician feels like they have a body of work that is complete and ready to share i feel like we should throw them a party and hoist em on our shoulders…anything after that is a bonus.
What other instruments can you and your fellow band members play?
We’ll make noise on anything or with anything…
Why’d you start making music and why specifically did you choose your genre?
Well…for starting to making music…some feelings are scary to talk about…but easy to make noise about. i never felt like i’ve “chosen” a genre…that idea seems strange.
Do you have any memorable musical experiences that have shaped who you guys are?
Jeez…just years and years of musical and non musical experience that have all gummed up to clog our heads at the moment. everything from hearing Daniel Lanois play a pedal steel guitar to hearing photographer Richard Benson analyze a photograph.
Have you ever released any albums or are working on any now? Any special projects?
Our self titled debut album came out this past June on Bar/None records.
Do you collaborate with other artists? Inside and outside your genre?
Yes, Nick and Joe also play in The Spinto Band, and nick plays in Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Nick also Mixes and produces records for other bands. Albert has made music videos for a bunch of artists such as Ra Ra Riot, Dr. Dog and Generationals. Catharine also makes music videos and phtotographs bands. She has worked with bands like Austin Leonard Jones and Nightlands.
What venues and events have you performed at in the past five years? Which has been your favorite?
We went on our first US tour this summer…and we got a chance to play a bunch of great venues…we love the Torubadour, the Black Cat, Johnny Brendas, the Cresent Ballroom, Boot and Saddle, and the Mowhawk.
How do you acquire shows and promote yourself? Do you have any recommendations for other artists?
We’ve booked all our shows ourselves…just through meeting other bands and talking with them about planning fun shows….best advice is just to make friends with bands you dig, and start putting on shows together.
Do you have any mottos?
We made this one up: “there ain’t no fire that can put me out”
What artists inspire you?
Daniel Lanois, Richard Benson, John Carpenter, Helen Frankenthaler, Gregory Crewdson, John Waters, Alexander Calder, Television, Brian Eno, Willie Nelson, Geoff Emerick, Tchad Blake, the Beatles, Les Paul, Charles and Ray Eames.
What’s next for your band?
We are gonna play some more concerts and write some more songs.
What do you do when you’re not listening to or making music?
Make photographs, teach art classes, make movies, make cocktails, research old guitar amplifiers, hack super nintendo games, mess up the house, clean up the house, pick crab grass out of the lawn, write emails, talk on the phone, send and receive text messages.
What’s your favorite song(s) right now?
“The Maker” is a great song written by Daniel Lanois…my favorite performance of it is by Willie Nelson on his album Teatro.
Thank you Teen Men for taking time to do this interview for all of us!
Check out more of Teen Men and their music through the links below