Interview from Campfire Cassettes

  “My Name is Todd”

 When you decide it’s time to make a new single, is that more exciting or stressful?

Everything we do is exciting to me, especially writing new songs and there’s never any pressure; songwriting is easy for me. If it was stressful, I wouldn’t be doing it.

You write all of your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

Life and television are my biggest influences. Television taught showed me every conceivable character, plot, and genre. I think life is a lot like TV, but messier; mine would be a dark sitcom.

What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?

When I was 10, my cousin and I used to make tapes of ourselves mimicking our favorite songs. We’d play Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” on one cassette player and record us singing along on another cassette player; we called them “follies”. We made a bunch of them; I hope and assume they’ve been thrown away.

How do you balance your music with other obligations in life? How does it get effected if so?

The entire band works in television and we usually work 60 hours a week. Scheduling practice, shows, and tours is a bit of a nightmare, but we manage. I’m very lucky Angie, Todd, and Bobby are part of the band; they’ve sacrificed a lot so we could give this an honest go.

What is your favorite song to sing live?

One of our new songs is ‘My Name Is Todd’; it’s about our bass player, Todd Daniels. I sing it from his perspective, so it’s very silly, and by the end, Todd is completely off his leash and the crowd really gets into it. What originally started as an inside joke between Todd and me has become our most popular song.

Do you have any events coming up or recording going on right now aside from the newest record release?

We just finished a 33 day tour; we drove from Los Angeles to Washington DC and back and played 27 shows. On May 27th, we’ll be playing our album release show at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. After that we’ll start writing new songs and planning our next tour.

At what age did you start singing and what inspired you?

I was raised in the church, and the church loves singing, so I’ve always loved singing. I also loved watching musicals, especially Martin & Lewis movies.

How easily do songs tend to come to you?

Ideas show up all the time. I write down a line or make a little video and then when I have a free day, I make demos in my home studio. It’s all very DIY, but it gets the job done.

If you had a soundtrack to your life what song/songs would have to be on it?

‘Dragon Attack’ by Queen would be amazing. Too dramatic? I guess I like songs about dragons, so let’s include ‘Troy’ by Sinead O’Connor. She screams ‘I’d kill a dragon for you!’ How cool is that?

As far as non-dragon songs, ‘I Don’t Wanna Get Over You’ by the Magnetic Fields is a must. I listen to it incessantly after being dumped, which tends to decrease my ability to get over it.

Now that I’m depressed, I usually turn to Uncle Trent; he understands despair more than most. ‘The Wretched’ by Nine Inch Nails has a line “the sky cracked open and god himself will reach his fucking arm through, just to push you down, just to hold you down”. There’s something oddly satisfying about blaming a god you don’t believe in for a shitty situation.

But honestly, I’m happy most of the time, so add ‘Just Dance’ by Lady Gaga. It’s a great analogy for a happy, existential life.

Round it out with ‘Dead Man’s Curve’ by Jan & Dean. No matter how I die, I want this song playing on the radio, especially if I die in a car crash.

For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words?

we’re semi-fucked indie folk