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Q&A: Teenage Moods

Minneapolis psych-punk band Teenage Moods is all sorts of cute. To them, their band is more than just a band—it’s a way for them to have fun together, draw, get creative, and use their imaginations. They released their most recent full-length Grow on cassette back in August and re-released it on vinyl this past Saturday at The Hexagon, and put out a video for the song “Rock Man,” set in an art cave bassist Jillian Schroeder created out of her favorite medium—cardboard—in her basement. After getting a tour of the amazing art cave, I sat down with Teenage Moods (and the band mascot, Jillian’s cat Geo) to talk about picking words out of hats.

Photos by Justin Sengly

Photos by Justin Sengly

The Wake: How long have you guys been playing together?

Gordon Byrd (Guitar and Lead Vocals): Five years—somehow. Is that right?

Jillian Schroeder (Bass): I think so…

G: I don’t think we can say four years anymore.

J: We’re kind of slow motion.

W: How so?

G: Well it’s like we have a new record every year and a half. We’ve got three full lengths that we’ve done—so that equals five years pretty much. It took us a little bit of time before the first one came out.

Taylor Motari (Drums): And like touring in there.

J: We haven’t really toured much, just around here. But I bought a van last week.

G: So that’s happening.

J: Yeah it’s right there! [jumps up and points out her front window]. It’s a Honda Odyssey! You could live in it. It’s amazing.

G: Yeah, we’ve been stuck with a two-door car that gets us a couple days away no problem. But after that—

J: It starts to smell.

G: Well the van will start to smell too.

J: Yeah but at least there’s more room and we can last longer.

W: So you released Grow back in August, right?

G: Yeah, about.

J: Yeah, August 31st.

G: On cassette.

J: On cassette and CD.

W: Why on cassette?

G: Just because we could. I mean we had already spent more than we are usually used to spending on recordings and we mastered in and all that stuff. We thought it was going to come out on vinyl, and then couldn’t at the time. So we said let’s just release it ourselves, but then this Saturday—

J: Is the vinyl release.

G: Yeah so I guess we could’ve just waited longer to release it, but we recorded it last winter so we would’ve basically been waiting a year for it to come out.

T: Well we kind of did the same thing with the Mood Ring vinyl also where we just kind of made the recording and put it out ourselves as cheaply or however we want. And then someone else was like, “Oh I’ll put it on vinyl for you,” and we had more of a real release. But we haven’t done a thousand copies of a CD yet or that kind of thing. It’s usually just handmade things to get it out because we’re done with it, and then later have a vinyl release. That’s kind of the pattern that’s happened.

W: Do you usually do all of the mastering and recording on your own then?

G: We’ve got friends that are better at it than us.

J: Yeah we’ve got cool friends.

G: Yeah so we can spend what little money we have and get much better quality than we deserve—more than we could actually provide for ourselves. I think we all like the idea of recording ourselves but when there’s somebody that lives in your house or down the street that cares a lot more about recording quality than we do and has resources we don’t have. For the last record what we recorded was just in our friend’s basement but that ended up getting international distro.

W: Oh wow. In that case—then it’s just whatever [laughs].

G: [laughs] Yeah. So then the next step is to spend—well it’s like the difference between that and pro is you can maybe hear that it’s a local recording that we did in a couple days or you can spend four hundred to eight hundred dollars a day maybe getting one or two songs done a day, and then that’s not even fully mixing or—mastering a record costs blah blah blah. It adds up fast. And we’ve been able to make ourselves happy and, luckily enough, get other people excited without having to go those extra five hundred miles.

W: Definitely

J: More like five hundred dollars—thousand dollars.

W: Right. Are you guys planning on putting anything new out in the near future?

J: Yeah we’re gonna do a seven-inch pretty soon.

G: Yeah we’ve got a day we’re gonna record with Neil Weir (Old Blackberry Way Studios).

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W: Oh awesome!

J: He’s the best!

G: We’ve been wanting to work with him for a long time. My girlfriend, as the best birthday present, ever got me recording time with him, so it’s really cool. I wasn’t quite ready to do that on my own so it’s a nice little push. And we’ve got new songs ready, so hopefully get a seven-inch or a single.

J: A casingle.

W: Oh so you’re gonna do a cassette again?

J: [laughs] Oh I don’t know, I just said that.

G: And hope someone will turn it into a record for us again [laughs] because we’re helpless.

W: You guys have been pretty DIY with a lot of the different aspects of the band. Would you ever consider reaching out to other people to help you? Or would you like to keep it going yourselves?

J: I mean we all like to draw so it’s always fun for us to do the artwork side of things. I could think of asking friends—I’d be into that—but it’s always so fun. I’m like “Oh I want to do that.”

G: We have enough of the basic talent to do everything except the recording process on our own.

T: We should get a manager though. Or a booking agent or someone.

J: Someone to reply to emails.

G: It gets kind of exhausting. You have to work a job, and then you have to have band practice, and you have to play shows. And you have to piece together all the artwork and be a promo person.

J: But it’s fun!! Come on!

G: Yeah it is fun but it’s—

T: You don’t have to do it. You choose to do it.

J: [laughs] I wake up every morning and I have to remind myself.

T: Some people maybe wouldn’t know where to begin to draw the cover of an album or something. We don’t have that problem at least where we’re already off in our imaginations and already have the next album halfway written before the first one comes out or whatever, or just got to keep the process going. Other than that—other skills of maybe organizing a tour or knowing when to say no to shows and not just play six in one month or something—we just sort of make it up as we go in a sense. We’ve already been collaborating with people with Grow. The people who recorded it also play on it.

G: Also wrote their own parts.

T: Yeah so Trent [Urness] who recorded the first two records understood how the band was and it was kind of like collaborating on the recording of it. It’s still an underground type thing or doing it ourselves, but I’m not sure we’d ask someone to make the album art or that kind of thing.

J: If we did it’d be a friend probably. But I couldn’t imagine us being like, “I really like that artist on the internet, let’s pay him two hundred dollars.”

G: Yeah I don’t think we have to outsource art at all, just because if Jillian’s burnt out, Taylor’s just as good as she is.

J: [whispers] Better.

G: And I do art too but Jillian’s aesthetic works pretty well with our sound.

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W: Could you talk a little more about those collaborations you mentioned before?

T: Well the first recording we did was self-titled, and Mood Ring, we did both with Trent Ernest who played guitar in Ganglion and had a folk group called The Watch Tower Society.

G: He does a lot of awesome metal recordings.

T: He recorded a lot of punk bands that we bad been in in the past and that kind of stuff. But he also likes playing acoustic guitar and singing these beautiful songs. We chose to do Teenage Moods with him in his basement and tracked the whole thing like maybe live guitar and drums or something, and then later in his bedroom were plugging into headphones and doing a bunch of guitar solos over it or whatever. And just getting loopy, thinking of funny ideas on how to do it differently. So we’ve done that at least for recording with Trent. We like his music and his ideas and trust that he would not take a recording away from us—say, “This is how it’s going to be”—but let us listen to it and do what we wanted.

And then for Grow and for RPG Picnic Time cassette we had done, we had Elliott Kozel and Kyle Sobczak—Kyle was in A Paper Cup Band, and they’re both in Sleeping in the Aviary—we really like their bands a lot and they’re fun, nice guys—so we had already recorded the cassette of RPG Picnic Time with them which is just an acoustic thing in an attic. It was just like, “Why not?” I played just tambourine and a snare, I think, and we let them do all these different organs and do back-up vocals Beach Boys-style and we had a lot of fun. So Grow ended up being rehearsing to do a big five-piece band version of that with all new songs.

We went to Madison and recorded for four days with those guys again. We were familiar with those guys the same way we were with Trent. They had used that studio before and it was a bigger chunk of time in a real studio for us. But those guys were just goofy and they’d been there before, it was in the basement of a guy’s house and there were kids there, dogs and cats, and stuff like that. We were up all night drinking Mountain Dew—it was like a big sleepover. So those guys played synthesizer and second guitar and back up vocals and stuff. Those are really the only two people that have recorded us and we’ve always wanted to record with Neil.

G: Those guys spent more time on that record than we did. We pretty much just played the songs, did our parts. I had to go over to redo some vocal parts but then it was pretty much them alone in an attic obsessing over it, losing their minds over it [laughs]. We pretty much just got to play the songs and walk away from it.

T: They’ve also recorded their own bands in a similar way so I think they were excited to record our band and also be in the band, but I totally think they put their own fingerprints on it. It sounds like one of their albums. I like their recordings, their Paper Cup albums, their Sleeping in the Aviary albums. So, it sounds like it fits into that clump. But the other Teenage Moods recordings maybe sound like a totally different band or something, or different than we play live now. Now we don’t have synthesizers playing on a bunch of the songs but the songs are still there, the idea that we had when we wrote it is still there.

W: I’m always curious to how bands go about songwriting because it is so different for everybody. Could you talk about your process a bit?

J: Our process is really weird [giggles].

G: Yeah—I mean we’ve got some time tested and true methods.

J: We use black magic methods—some sacrificial ceremony.

G: We sacrifice a mouse to Geo.

J: He’s our big song inspiration. There are a few about him. One of our main ways is put words in a cup and then you draw them out. And then we’re like, “Ok what would this song sound like?”

G: Because sometimes we have music that’s a couple parts and it’s like, this is great, but maybe we should figure out what this song is about before we write the whole music and try to force lyrics over it afterwards. It’s kind of like having tools in a toolbox where it’s like having the music or having a couple parts—these scraps that aren’t a song. Or we have these sheets of all these ridiculous words. It’s like—these are words I like, these are words Jillian likes, these are words Taylor likes, and every once in a while it comes together in a magical way where it’s like, “Yes! Ok this song is totally called ‘Tulip Tattoo.’” And then it’s just finished in fifteen minutes. Because it’s like hammer plus nails equals—construction.

J: [laughs] It doesn’t always work though.

G: It doesn’t always work but—

J: A lot of them are stupid.

T: I think a lot of the time Jillian and Gordon come up with the basic premise of the song or a couple parts and maybe there’s already a name in their head. Some of the songs are not pulled out of a hat but we definitely use that trick to put together all these scrap leftover things. Most times those guys can have a couple parts and then we’ll all jam together and work out a structure, or if it’s not fully structured we have just a couple things to change too. And we all play together a bunch and see if it gets boring here, or that kind of thing, if we could do that less, or we usually cut them pretty intensely down to a minute or two minutes long. We’re doing longer ones now but longer meaning three minutes or something.

G: Hitting four minutes is—

J: —this song’s SO long.

G: Yeah I don’t know if we’ve even done it yet.

T: Only if there’s a huge solo in it.

G: Three minutes and forty seconds is I think as long as we’ve made it.

T: But yeah we just kind of use that formula for the most part or sometimes we come up with stuff on the spot. But for the most part it’s those guys coming up with one sweet riff on the bass or something and then just kind of jam on it. And another week will go by and then it’s like, “Alright well this song is called ‘Pool Hair’ or something.”

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W: So for the upcoming seven-inch, do you think you’ll be at all influenced by your work with the guys from Sleeping in the Aviary? Maybe change things up a bit?

T: Probably the opposite because I think that affected the way Grow was recorded. I see Sleeping in the Aviary elements in there, I hear those guys’ voices on the recordings and stuff. But the new thing will probably be—for the first time the three of us—the way we’ve played for the whole band’s career, but we’ve never documented it live kind of like that. It’ll probably be the most pure Teenage Moods—barebones—what people would hear if they came to a show.

G: We’re going to try to do three or four songs in a day, which in the recording studio is going to be doing two or three takes on all of them and then just cleaning it up a little bit. But hopefully it’ll translate and be the truest representation of our band. Because our other recordings, just because of resources, have sort of been like—we can only use two microphones at once and we’ll have to piece it together. So this will be more where we show up and do our job and prove that we’re decent enough in and of ourselves.

W: You just played a show with Prissy Clerks. How did that go?

G: Yeah, we’ve played a couple with them in the last couple of months.

J: It was good. It was at The Cedar, my friend Johnny set it up. It was called “Dream Sequence” so it was dream-themed. They’re our friends, they’re our buddies. It fit well.

W: When I saw you guys played a show together I thought, “Oh my god that would be the cutest show ever.”

G: It pretty much was. The Cedar is such a nice place. It’s a lot of pressure because having an all-local show and having it be worth them setting up and having their doors be open. All the bands are good but if you think so-and-so from L.A. isn’t going to be there—a lot of times local bands’ job is just to support somebody that people already care about more, not that anyone thinks less of a good local band. But it was kind of like, wow is this gonna fill The Cedar?

T: Yeah, it was a $10 show also and you could probably come to The Hexagon to see us every other month for free. Since it was all ages we got to play for a bunch of different people that maybe normally hadn’t seen us before. People were asking us, “Oh how long have you guys been a band?”

J: It was a lot younger audience—like Johnny’s little brother loves us but he’s never seen us. It was the first time.

W: Cute!

J: He was super excited. We relearned his favorite song and played it for him.

G: Yeah so that was a really good experience. And seeing people put a lot of effort into a local show to make it a bigger deal than just four local bands playing. It was making it more of a spectacle and it totally was—hopefully—worth $10.

W: Yeah, because was there an art aspect to it as well?

G: There were a bunch of colorful art installations.

J: I made some cardboard art.

G: It was like if eight different people made that cave.

J: Yeah, my friend made a giant Wharf head, like Wharf from Star Trek, out of pizza boxes.

G: It was cool. It made me want—I know it’s a lot of extra work than you’re average local show but it definitely translated.

J: Our friends did projections and stuff. So they put that together the week before. Cats projected on us.

G: A lot of cat GIFs.

W: That’s the way to go! So then for the most part do you play shows at The Hexagon?

T: Not just The Hexagon but we play the Turf Club, Hexagon I guess…

G: I mean we’ve played everywhere we want to play around here except the Mainroom stage at First Ave.

T: I think right now the people that book that like us and will offer us shows usually ends up being at the Turf Club or if there’s a band coming through on tour that we can sometimes ask to do shows like that. But there are other venues that we don’t really desire to go play, or we’ve already played there.

J: That’s why we need to go on tour.

T: We really should’ve been going on tour for the last couple of years. We’re a little bit burned out playing Minneapolis.

J: We want to “Grow.” [laughs]

G: Yeah we’re more than ready for the next phase.

W: And now you have the van! Do you know where you’d like to tour?

G: I don’t know, I’m kind of itching to go out West because I haven’t been out there for a long time. The East Coast is cool maybe that’ll be the second tour.

J: I feel like we’ve gotten the honor to play with a lot of really good bands that have toured through and it’d be fun to—

G: —call in some favors.

J: Yeah. Call in some favors.

G: We’ve gotten to play with some of my favorite bands just being here, which is rewarding, but the rest of the experience is out there. We’ve been so lucky to be treated the way we have here.

W: Jillian and Taylor, you went to high school together, and you all have known each other for a long time. Were there any bands that you really liked or appreciated that you drew inspiration from, or pulled aspects of their music to contribute to your sound?

T: Bikini Kill.

J: Yeah—Bikini Kill.

T: We listen to a lot of different kinds of music and have in different times. Me and Jillian probably got into Riot grrrl and bonded over that. Or Shellac, Pixies, there’s weird bands that I can think of after hearing us but I don’t think there’s any band that we think of when we go in to play together. It just kind of ends up being Jillian’s personality on the bass or Gordon’s guitar. They just kind of have their own moods or whatever. After the song is done I think, “Oh I can kind of hear Flaming Lips there.” But we never go into it thinking, “Alright ZZ Top song!”

G: I think you can hear a lot of my guitar influences in stuff. I mean, I like so much stuff. But all of my efforts to sit down and copy something somebody else has done don’t add up to it. It’s only worse so I try not to think about it. I just have to sit down and play guitar and wait for myself to like something.

J: But we like a lot of pop music. I feel like me and Gordon like a lot of 60s.

G: I like a lot of 70s.

J: A lot of psych, garage…

G: Yeah I grew up on a lot of 60s pop and psych stuff.

T: I think there’s a joke in the band of us going along with the Ohio Express kind of thing or The Archies—kind of like a cartoonish, sugar-sugar kind of thing. Or we have a song called “Sugar Band” and I think that was about a fictional band in our heads that could be a cartoon. So sometimes I think we kind of run with that, but we still rock out way harder than any of those bands ever would. It’s more of just a flavor in there—it doesn’t sound just like The Archies.

G: You can still hear that I like The Buzzcocks more than The Archies.

T: Or I think—Dead Moon, or there’s a few bands maybe that we like together that we try putting into our songs or that kind of thing. There are kind of a lot of weird things that go into it. But if we’re in the car listening to music it’s like hip-hop or something, ya know? It has nothing to do with how we sound.

W: Yeah, of course. I think I read an article that described you as very guitar-heavy. Would you agree with that?

G: I mean these knobs are always turned all the way up [laughs]. That might have something to do with it.

T: I would say so. I have a pretty minimal drum kit, just a snare and a cymbal and a hi-hat. Me and Jillian can lock in and get a rhythm going and do that kind of stuff, but Gordon can let it rip on the guitar.

J: He’s got wild guitar solos.

T: For most of our records we’ve done more than one of his guitar takes to make the record even bigger. We could do endless guitar takes over it and they’d all be different.

J: Yeah, you pretty much play different guitar solos every time.

G: Yeah the chords are the same, but I also don’t know how to read music.

J: Yeah none of us do.

G: The notes go up and down.

W: When did you all start playing?

J: I started for this band. I had never played guitar-bass before.

G: I started playing guitar when I was maybe fifteen. I started a band with my neighbor. It was so terrible.

J: What was your name?

G: Purple Regret.

[everyone laughs]

G: We got and lost the same drummer like three times.

J: Like he quit and joined back again?

G: Yeah he got bored…

J: Taylor’s a great musician. He’s been playing since I’ve known him, and he’s been in amazing bands all through high school.

T: I took drum lessons probably in ’91 or something at the mall at Schmitt Music—in one of those sound proof cubes. I had this drum teacher, this really big fat guy named Jim Piccolo and he was a jazz drummer, exactly like Wolfman jazz [laughs]. He taught me how to move my feet and my hands at the same time and I just wanted to play drums because nobody I knew played drums. I was not even in junior high maybe, I don’t know, really young like probably eleven or something.

I never started a band though. I just needed to know how to play drums because if anybody wanted to start a band I’d be the only person they knew [laughs]. Then I ended up moving two cubicles down and learning how to play guitar a little bit from this guy Craig and he was this bluesman, Stevie Ray Vaughn type dude, constantly going for a cigarette break in the middle of my thing, playing “Smoke on the Water” on a tape deck. He just kind of showed me how to play really easy riffs but I didn’t want to just learn that kind of crap. I only took lessons when I was in high school—that kind of era. But I found a guy, he used to wear all camo and had a giant dreadlock beaver tail, his name was Tom Brown and my dad met him on the bus because my dad was a bus driver. And he rented out this dentist’s office and taught every instrument imaginable. He went to Berkley and was a Vietnam Vet.

J: Wow.

T: He could play Jimi Hendrix songs right-handed or left-handed and had really, really long fingernails and this big huge beard. I was terrified of him! But he was a super nice guy and he was really bubbly, like “Hey man let’s practice voices: Ahhh!” He sang in the choir and was a really macho metal dude but really super nice. And then he showed me The Ramones. I was like, “I want to write songs,” and he was like, “Here’s The Ramones.” And I was like,
“…that counts? That’s a band?” And then I stopped taking lessons ever since then and started writing my own music and starting my own bands.

He kind of encouraged me like in The Ramones, he wanted to be the fastest guitar player, all these power chords, and it’s about the speed not how well you play the chords. I thought it was hysterical. I guess from then it was just finding friends who wanted to rock out and teaching them together, or all making up our own stuff. Like Jillian, I’ve been in bands with people who haven’t taken lessons or played an instrument before but they are fun and want to rock out.

J: Yeah. Music is fun.

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W: Jillian, how did you like learning to play bass as you went along?

J: It was very challenging and I think the guys were very patient.

G: She didn’t want us to make anything easier for her. She just didn’t.

J: Yeah, I mean it was fun. I don’t know. It was challenging and fun.

T: Now you’re the best bass player in the world.

J: Oh yeah… [laughs]. No. Not even close.

T: It’s freaky seeing Jillian play some of the bass parts that she plays now knowing that before she was in the band she didn’t play bass.

J: Oh yeah I remember learning some that now seem easy, but when I was learning them I remember thinking, “This is so hard. I’m never going to learn this. How am I going to get this?”

T: Now it’s easy.

G: Yeah pretty much after the first couple songs we wrote she could’ve dumbed her parts down to exactly the chords I was playing.

J: Yeah I think it was cool because it was kind of shocking how not easy music is, but how easy it is to make it fun because it can be whatever you want. It’s a very intimidating world to jump in to but it’s fun and it’s like The Ramones! It’s awesome to remember that all you need is two chords and you have a song. What you do with it is the fun, powerful, creative part. [whispers] Imagination.

T: I think there is a little Ramones attitude in the band but these guys both stretch really far actually to make it difficult. You know if it’s too easy it’s not really fun for those guys. There is a lot of growth that happens in just the writing of each song—making it just a little bit harder or just a little bit weirder, and trying different tricks where The Ramones kind of stuck to the same four tricks. Which I think is great, but I think we need to try a few new tricks here and there.

G: The Ramones are definitely one of my favorite bands, but I feel like we’re doing maybe a little bit something more on our own level. I’m singing and playing guitar so already graduated past The Ramones right there [laughs].

W: Now that you’ve pushed into the vinyl world with this rerelease of Grow, do you think you will start recording on vinyl more?

J: Ah, that would be awesome.

T: If somebody pays for it then sure!

G: Yeah it’s expensive.

T: We’ve had nice people help us to put out vinyl and stuff, but for the most part I think we’ll keep just recording no matter what. That’s how we’ve done everything else and then after we’re done as long as we’re happy with the recording then people say, “I like that too.” And nobody’s had to say, “Change that, or do this.” We’ve mixed things to sound good on vinyl also.

G: I think the plan is just to hope the world keeps taking care of us.

J: Namely our friend Ian. He started a label—it’s called 25 Diamonds—and he just saw us playing somewhere and said I want to put out your album on vinyl. And we were like—

G: “Do you want to hear it first?” [laughs]

J: But that was the dream come true!

G: He put out that record—

J: —and Mood Ring.

G: —and Howard [Hamilton] from Red Pens put out a Red Pens seven-inch at the same time.

J: He’s gonna put out Prissy Clerks’ too.

G: No, NPC’s.

J: Oh was it NPC’s!? They’re amazing.

G: Yeah they’re playing our release show on Saturday. That whole show is his—since we already kind of released Grow ourselves we let him book bands he’s interested in putting out on his label.

J: Ex-Nuns, who are playing, put out a seven-inch with him I think—or something, some kind of record. But yeah—Ian.

W: I noticed something about YEYE Records on your Facebook page and your contact information. Is that your own label?

G: Yeah from that tape we recorded and our first self-titled album we just made that up for releasing our own stuff.

J: Well we were maybe going to or wanting to start a record label.

G: But it’s so much work.

J: He had a cassette-only tape label—Gordon did.

G: Yeah I delivered tapes on my bike.

J: Yeah, but he knew how much work it is—

G: Yeah it was like, “Oh that’d be great! Except I don’t ever want to be spread that thin again…”

J: I think we’re good at creative things. We aren’t good at the business stuff.

G: Yeah, I would love to spend all of my free time putting artwork together and making stuff look cool, but as soon as it’s time to get it out into the world…

J: Like launch a website and…

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W: Yeah it’s definitely a lot of work.

G: Promotion. I hate doing promo stuff. Although I’m starting to like doing it for shows a little bit more—make a poster and get people excited about it and trying to get a music video done in time for this show, that’s getting to be fun again. But trying to make people buy things, even if I believe in it—I know there’s a lot of opinions out there and I don’t know if I want to wade through them.

W: Definitely. How long did you have that cassette label then?

G: That was like 2004 to 2008. It’s been buried in the ground for a while. I still have templates—I put out like eighty tapes. I was just into helping people out. It was fun but I still have a file drawer full of all this crap, and I think, “I should probably just burn this.” [laughs] It was so much time invested, and it was good, but I went through all these different phases of my life just in this drawer. If I’m ever going to do that again I think I need to actually clean the slate. I’ll frame a couple things and the rest will just go away.

T: Like a forest fire. It’s good for the soil.

G: Yeah definitely! Put those nutrients back into the ground.

J: That’s funny you noticed the YEYE records thing. Nobody has ever really noticed that before.

W: Oh really? Well yeah, I mean I know there are a lot of bands out there that have there own labels so I was wondering if you did too.

T: Basically everyone has their own record label if they just put out something and don’t ask anyone else to do anything for them, ya know? I think for the most part we’ve kind of had record label experience in the past that’ll be just putting a logo on the back or something for different bands, just to self-release it. And now with the Internet anyone can just make a Bandcamp and it doesn’t really matter if you have a label or not. It’s just kind of fun to be mysterious and make people think, “Oh where’s their headquarters? Do they have YEYE Records meetings? Or a promotion team?” But it’s just in our imaginations.

G: Our meeting would be just like us sitting here with a pile of papers on the floor.

W: I hear you guys used to do a lot of basement shows, right?

J: Yeah! We still do. We love—I love playing basement shows.

G: I think that’s when we play the best and sound the best.

T: I think a lot of basements have changed. We used to play a lot of basements before and then people moved out of those houses and stuff. We’ve played in Gordon’s basement a couple times for Gordon’s birthday or if touring bands are coming through we do basements.

J: And we lived in houses that had shows.

G: Yeah we all lived together when we first started playing. I moved in with Taylor, and then Jillian moved in. After that house having maybe three years of shows, we were all living together for the last year of that time period.

T: Yeah it’s the best practice to all live in the same house together, practice in the basement, and just have your first couple shows be in your practice space. We kind of did that for a while and we had other friends who had basements.

J: Basements just kind of come and go. We always love them.

T: It’s more comfortable when people are standing on the same level you are. It’s more exciting.

G: Yeah we still almost prefer basement shows.

 

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