Fayetteville’s rock and roll three-piece Teenagers are back from a hiatus. The band, which includes Travis Keymer on guitar and vocals, Robby Huckabee on bass and vocals, and Chase Pagan on drums and vocals, recalls the infectious power pop abandon of 90s greats like Matthew Sweet, Urge Overkill, and Superdrag.
Teenagers recently played a Nirvana cover set, and released a new EP of their own songs. Catch Teenagers this Friday at the Lightbulb Club, and welcome them back.
KXUA 88.3FM Presents
I asked bassist Robby Huckabee some questions about the band, here goes…
1. You guys have been on a break recently, what’s been happening in the downtime?
Travis went to Wyoming to work at a national park in the Teton Mountains. It was a great opportunity to find inspiration and write potential new material. At home here in NWA, Chase and I worked on wrapping up our next release, the “WY” EP that should be out soon.
2. You’ve played shows with some bigger touring bands – what’s the best show experience so far?
Ringo Deathstarr! It wasn’t the best turnout, especially for a band that just got off tour with the Smashing Pumpkins, but they played an amazing set and were some of the coolest people we had the pleasure of meeting. Also, the Suuns/ Besnard Lakes show. This was our last show before the break, and we just played knowing that this show was going to be it for a while. It was pretty much a show to say, “see you soon Travis”. It was bitter sweet.
3. How did the recent Nirvana cover set come about? How has Nirvana affected your music and lyrics?
The set came about in a good way. We got to the point where our practice sessions became a chance to play only Nirvana songs. We didn’t think about making it a “thing” until we saw a chance to play Smoke & Barrel’s “bands as bands” show. It just happened.
Nirvana wrote pop songs and didn’t give a shit about it. They did what they wanted. It is a mentality that a lot of bands should possess or at least respect. They encompassed the ability to not worry if what they were doing was relevant, but more so about doing what THEY wanted to do and what came natural for them. The way they played heavy pop music because that’s what they did, that is their influence on us: do what we can do and do what comes natural.
4. Teenagers recently released a tape – give us the details. What other recordings are available?
We just put out an EP titled CA on Fat Sandwich Records. The physical copy is a cassette with five songs. It was also released on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and many other sites that offer digital downloads. It is the first work released with the full band.
Besides our new EP, we also have a ton of old recordings that are free for download at teenagers.bandcamp.com – Look us up and get some free tunes.
5. Is there a definitive Teenagers song? What’s the song you tell new listeners and friends to listen to first?
It is so hard to throw out a song. We often try to find a song that would most likely fit the individual, but for the sake of this question, “Concrete Youth” would be the choice. This song shows the folk influence of Teenagers, but it gets loud and shows that aspect as well. It kinda covers the bones of the band.
6. Are there any embarrassing band influences you’d like to confess? We’re not judging you.
The first band/artist Travis was shown when he returned to the practice space was Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”. Chase decided it was a priority, yet he covered the screen so that the video wouldn’t influence Travis’s opinion of the song. It was a great moment for us to look at each other in the same room for the first time in six months. It will influence us for the rest of our lives. Or not.
7. What has the band been writing about lately?
Nostalgia. It has been the gist of our songs for a while now. The idea of being young, or the reflection of being a teenager and applying it to how we feel now and the every day fact that we are getting older.
8. 2013 is almost over – any new discoveries or realizations?
That we should play a Nirvana set more often, it was such a rad time to share with our friends. Besides that, sort your laundry, never date girls from New England, and never pay full price for late pizza.
9. What’s next? What can we expect from the band in 2014?
Besides our WY EP coming out in the next month or so, in early 2014 we should have some vinyl coming out. It will contain the latest material that we are currently wrapping up.