Interview: Teenage Sweater
Published on August 23rd, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Deliciously chillwavey San Francisco duo Teenage Sweater are busy readying their debut album, so Rocksucker fired them over some questions to find out a little bit more about how they operate. First, though, get yourselves an earload of this…
What’s the line-up of the band? How did you all meet, and how long has the band been going for?
Mario Armando Ruiz: synths, vocals, drum machines and percussion
Connor Alfaro: drums, vocals and sequencing
Teenage Sweater started out as a solo project by Mario a few years ago and went through a few member changes before finally settling on being a two piece with Connor. The new Teenage Sweater lineup has been going since about March of this year.
We met through some friends and kind of knew each other but never hung out and one day I was hanging out downtown and Mario came up to me and asked if I wanted to play drums for his set the next week. I played the show, had fun, so I kept playing with him and now we’re starting to do a lot of fun stuff.
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
I would describe it as ethereal experimental noise pop. There is a “chillwave” vibe to the songs in the recordings but live they are definitely more hard hitting.
Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?
We are based in San Francisco, CA. GarageBand on our laptops has been our friend for most of our recordings besides the new record we are making.
Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like…)
Yes! We are recording a full-length as we speak. We are really excited to show people the new songs we have been working on. We are considered pretty lo-fi with our last EP but the new songs are huge and more complex compared to the old stuff. We’re hoping to have it out by the end of this year. A local label from our town wants to put it out on vinyl and we want to make it available online for people to buy wherever.
Where can we hear your music online?
Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?
Playing with the Brooklyn band The Hundred in the Hands was a special treat in San Francisco a few months ago. It’s great to already be a big fan of a band and meet them and they are really down to earth, nice people. We also have played our share of tiny basements/houses/barns in our time as well. Those are definitely fun as well but it’s nice to have a reliable, great sounding venue to play in as well.
Got any more coming up? (Gigs, that is…)
We are playing 3rd September in SF at Cafe Du Nord with Superhumanoids and JJAMZ. We are also venturing out on a US West Coast tour in October. We hope to come to the UK next year when our new record comes out.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
There is a two piece from Seattle, WA i really love right now called Haunted Horses. They will give you post punk nightmares…in the best possible way.
Prescription Pills from Portland, OR has also been playing in the van a lot.
Virgin Blood from Portland, OR is also someone we really enjoy to listen to.
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
New Order, Roxy Music, The Smiths, Void and Dolly Parton.
Teenage Sweater, thank you.