Saturday cannot come soon enough. This week has dragged on at a particularly sluggish rate, and the anticipation is eating me away from the inside. This weekend, a couple of our favorite bands, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong and Teddy Midnight, are hosting a night of jam and funk at New York’s historic Gramercy Theatre. It’s been a blast supporting this concert with interviews (check out our Pigeons interview here), album reviews, and guerrilla-style street work. To top off our pre-performance coverage, we had the opportunity to catch up with the guys from Teddy Midnight.
The first time we saw Teddy Midnight perform was at this summer’s Catskill Chill, where the band performed a tasty Jamtronica set, and then Wiley Griffin (lead guitar, Teddy Midnight) joined the stage with Twiddle to collaborate on “BeeHop.” The second time we saw the guys perform was back in February when Teddy Midnight threw down a spectacular opening set for Twiddle at the Irving Plaza. Their music and stage presence stunned some people I was talking to in the crowd who had never seen them before, so if you’re headed to the show this weekend and haven’t seen Teddy Midnight perform, get to the show on time and be prepared to get stunned! With their debut album coming out soon, this up-and-coming band is not one to sleep on. They’re based in Brooklyn, they kick ass, and are comprised of members Adam Magnan (drums/sampler), Sean McAuley (keys/percussion/vocals), Sean Silva (bass/synth) and Wiley Griffin (guitar). Check them out on Facebook, SoundCloud, and make sure to grab your tickets right here for Saturday’s show before it sells out!
Sound Fix: Hey guys, thanks guys for taking some time to answer some questions for our readers and your listeners. First off, what are you currently up to and what’s in store for the weekend?
Wiley Griffin: We’re currently working on our album and writing new tunes. We’re also preparing for the festival season and of course Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at the Gramercy!
SF: For folks new to Teddy Midnight, tell us about the origins of the band. Any cool stories?
Sean McAuley: Interestingly enough the band started in a college ensemble titled “Jamband Ensemble” at SUNY Oneonta.
Sean Silva: The funny part is that our professor wanted the music to be as far from Jamband music as possible. We were basically an R&B group for a while.
SF: You brought on your new lead guitarist, Wiley, in August. How has this addition influenced the dynamic and sound of the band?
Adam Magnan: He’s become a primary songwriter, and with that comes a new spin on the Teddy sound. He’s constantly leading us into new territory and pushing us deeper into the sounds we dig. At one moment we’re a very different band but he helps us retain what we love about music.
SF: Where did the name, Teddy Midnight, come from?
Silva: It was actually based off a former roommate of mine who had a thing for teddy bears and fuzzy sweaters!
SF: What festivals are in store for the summer? Any in particular that you’re excited for?
SF: We’re looking forward to the upcoming debut album. Tell us everything and anything about the project. Name? Release date? Recording studio?
Wiley: It was tracked at Telefunken Studios in Connecticut, and there’s a lot going on behind the scenes with it now. Currently it feels like we’ve turned the bend and are on the home stretch for release… when that will be, most likely soon!
SF: Take a second to explain the creation process you take as a group to pump out new music.
Adam: Generally one member comes in with and idea and we all work on it until it comes to fruition.
Silva: Most of the time we come from a production standpoint and bring it to life with the live band.
McAuley: Occasionally we come up with stuff organically as a collective or from improvisation.
Wiley: We’re pretty efficient at writing together and that was apparent from the first time we sat down together. We have a good balance of Ableton produced and organic tunes back logged.
SF: We’ve interviewed Pigeons Playing Ping Pong ahead of your show at the Gramercy on April 16th. What an exciting gig! What do you have in store for that concert?
Silva: we are dropping some new tunes that we haven’t played for a New York City audience yet.
Wiley: Shout out to my home girl Elizabeth Elle who wrote some amazing lyrics to our new track “You’ll Never Know.”
SF: If you could share the stage with one band you have not performed with already, what group would that be? If you had to name one.
Adam: The New Deal Silva: Holy F#ck McAuley: Ozric Tentacles Wiley: Prince
SF: In the past, you’ve called your sound Electro-Dance-Funk. In your own words, how would you describe that genre?
McAuley: We wanted to come up with something simple so that people who are seeing us for the first time have a general idea of what we sound like. Something they can elaborate on after they hear us. It is a title that stands out on its own but doesn’t confine us to any particular genre.
SF: Going down the line, tell us your favorite movie, band, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
Silva: Empire Strikes back, Radio Head Donatello! Adam: Space Balls, Pink Floyd, Donatello! McAuley: 2001 Space Odyssey, Pantera, Donatello! Wiley: Pulp Fiction, Phish, Michaelanglo.
SF: Finally, open forum. Anything else you’d like to share with your listeners?
Wiley: GO SEE MORE LIVE MUSIC FROM BROOKLYN!!! Silva: Cousin Earth, Chromatropic, Space Bacon. McAuley: You know- The Brooklyn Jam Syndicate. Silva: BJS we dem boyz! Wiley: Holla!