The Teen Age [Interview]

the deli

Expectations for your mid-20s are fuzzy at best, and The Teen Ageseem set upon doing what comes naturally. The band creates some of the best locally-sourced, fuzzed out garage rock (although brewed in Brooklyn basements), but what really sets them apart is an ability to seamlessly incorporate styles like doo-woop and surf punk into their sound. Buried under waves of reverb, The Teen Age write songs about an extended adolescence, told through experienced eye. Songs for, maybe not a lost generation, but definitely one waiting for that next band to sweep them off their feet.

Your video for “Ventura” depicts a dude down on his luck, kicked out of his girl’s place, and finding disappointment wherever her turns. What inspired the video? Does it turn out ok for said dude at the end?

Micah: That video was inspired by real events… definitely a memorable moment for Digo. You’ll have to ask him at our next show to find out how it ends. There could be a sequel in the works.

You’re often credited as a ‘”Doo Wop Garage” sort of band. Are there any particular musicians or records that inspired this sound?

Bill: Definitely lots of 50s and early 60s doo-wop and girl groups (like Frankie Lyman and The Teenagers, Martha and the Vandellas), some classic punk like the Ramones and Dead Boys, plus some current garage stuff like Ty Segall and Black Lips.

You’re back in the studio recording your next release. How is the process this go around? Are there any things you picked up in previous sessions that you’ll definitely do again, anything you’d do differently?

Micah: This is the first time we’re working at Galuminum Foil studios with the awesome Gary Atturio. We have so many vintage instruments and amps at our disposal. We’re trying to incorporate more group harmonies and layered guitar lines. This next set of songs is by far the best group of recordings we’ve made as a band to date. Really excited for people to hear them.

A lot of the smaller, DIY clubs have been shutting down recently, including recently, Death By Audio. Are there still any smaller rooms that you guys like to play? What are some of the up and coming venues that bands are decamping to?

Bill: It’s really unfortunate to see another favorite DIY space like DBA closing down. Glad we got to play there earlier this month before it shut its doors. There are some interesting spots popping up around Bushwick. Palisades is kind of a cool hybrid venue. We played a Northside Festival party at a place called Pet Rescue that was so difficult to find they had to post an instructional video online. We hope Hot 97 continues to have shows.

Imagine it’s a year from now, and The Teen Age has had an incredibly successful year. What does this entail, and what things would you like to have accomplished by then?

Micah: We would love to tour in Europe and record a full length album. Be able to play some bigger US festivals and also have a sponsorship with Papa John’s…

You have $10 each to spend on a bodega dinner. What do you buy?

Bill: We would pool our resources together and purchase several 40s, energy drinks, a variety of questionable meat and cheese sandwiches, and cuchifritos for Digo.

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