Heya everyone! It’s such a treat to touch base with you all about your recent video for “Pins” and upcoming album titled Eclectica – and to go into your history as an indie rock band, because you’ve previously released three albums and have been touring like crazy for the past few years. First off, who’s in the band and what instruments do you play?
Hunter: I'm Hunter and I play bass.
John: I'm John and I play guitar.
Tyler: Tyler, drums.
Deirdre: I'm Deirdre, I play the villain/superhero and also I sing.
When will you be releasing Eclectica and will you be touring to promote the album?
Deirdre: Mid 2015 - and most definitely touring to share it everywhere we can.
Can you reveal some details about Eclectica? Is it in line with your other albums stylistically or have you ventured into new sonic territory?
Hunter: It's more us than before. If that makes sense.
Deirdre: We haven't deviated too far from our musical identity.
John: These songs are songs we've been playing live for quite some time.
Deirdre: So if you like us live, you should be happy with these.
Tyler: The recordings on this one were recorded at more studios than any other CD of ours - so maybe it's a wider, broader view into the music.
Deirdre: That was a really long answer. Really, really long.
You formed Grown Up Avenger Stuff in Charlotte, NC in 2009. Deirdre, how did you meet the guys (or vice versa)?
Deirdre: One day, when I was sitting with my guitar on the street corner, I started to play a song that I knew from my childhood and all of the sudden these gents walked up on me and they knew the song that my father had taught me as a child in Seattle in the kitchen dressed as a superhero.
John: It was MySpace.
OK, I just have to ask, Tyler, Hunter, and John, what’s it like to be related to each other (as a father and two sons) and be in a band? Does the parent-child bond still hold or does it get tested, especially being out on the road so much?
Tyler: Sunshine and rainbows.
Hunter: It's fucking awesome.
John: No cussing. Seriously. Not cool. But it is that awesome.
You’ve had a prolific output of albums (Disagreements with Gravity in 2011 via Spectra Records, Alive in 2012, Sparkleton in 2013, and soon Eclectica) in a few short years. How did you crank out the albums so fast? Do you write and compose while you’re in touring mode?
Deirdre: We eat sleep and write and repeat.
John: We write a lot, it's fun for us. We have enough songs that we really love for a few more CD's.
Deirdre: We need to get better at writing hits.
Hunter: In the face!
Speaking of touring, you’ve pretty much covered the U.S. and parts of Canada. You’re a fixture on the music fest circuit with stints at SXSW, Launch Music Festival, Music Gorilla Fest, and SEMFest and headlining slots at Festival In The Park and NoDa Summer Music Festival! What are some of the most interesting experiences you’ve had at big events like these?
Deirdre: One time we got trapped in a flood in a portapotty.
Hunter: Playing in the middle of a field on a trailer stage in 106 degree heat was interesting.
Tyler: Meeting other bands at these things is always awesome - they are usually top notch and we have fun no one knows about.
John: Venues during SXSW are crazy - often small. Once I spun around and crushed Deirdre full on in the head with the guitar so hard it almost knocked the guitar out of my hands. She was okay, but I missed a note.
You recently released a video for “Pins” and its creation was super-secretive. Can you give some details into how and where you shot the live video (with added visual effects)? I’ve heard that there was smoke, sirens, and running away involved!
Deirdre: That's all true. We were doing all kinds of things we weren't supposed to. We can't really talk about it.
Tyler: Am I being detained?
Hunter: Is this being recorded?
John: Don't taze my bros.
Who are some of the singers and bands you most admire and that you feel have influenced your sound and/or mindset in some way?
John: Well, Deirdre is amazing singer if we are talking about the best singers. For influences, my top 3 influences would change day to day. Today would be Bowie, Beatles, and Beach Boys. Keeping it to B's.
Deirdre: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Regina Spektor, Feist, Breeders.
Tyler: Switchfoot, Foo Fighters, U2, Nirvana. Heart, Manchester Orchestra.
Hunter: Rage against the Machine. Artic Monkeys, Silversun Pickups.
You’re band name is intriguing with both playful and serious connotations. My interpretation is that your music ‘n’ lyrics aren’t about larger-than-life Super Hero stuff, but about real life, “grown up” challenges. Am I off the mark here or is that what you’re going for?
Tyler: You are right on the mark.
Deirdre: I think that tackling the small stuff in life is what makes people superheroes. So, yes.
John: I like that answer. We try to make music that makes people feel good.
Hunter: We call it feel good music.
That being said, on your Facebook site you write that you’re a “rock band with super powers”, so… maybe you’re Super Heroes in disguise as regular folk? LOL If you could have a super power, which one would you choose? I doubt this one exists, and it's kinda selfish, but I’d like to be able to eat as much sugar as I want and not have it wreak havoc on my body.
Hunter: Super Strength.
John: Total mind control of everyone all the time in a way that no one would ever know about. Actually, I might already have that one…
While you revel in restless guitar and drums turmoil and at times, uncertain and searching lyrics, you also project enthusiasm and hope in your vocal and music delivery. You’ve stated that you want your audience to have a positive listening experience with your music. How difficult, or easy, is it to create songs of this character – to look for that silver lining in each cloud?
Deirdre: It's a challenge but coffee and chocolate help.
Tyler: I just beat the drums as happily as I can.
Hunter: It's hard not to be happy playing music.
John: I think it's tricky - the happy part of things is the smallest fraction, it's easy to do dark or sad or angry, but to do that in a way that is positive is very hard, but very worth it.
This past fall you were selected to be part of an ambitious project, 52X52 – A Year In Your Ear, for London Tone Music where you recorded “You Never Know” at London Bridge Studio in Seattle with Jonathan Plum producing. Will “You Never Know” be included on your new album or was it a one-off specifically for London Tone Music?
John: Man, you sure know a lot about us. Which is awesome.
Tyler: Seattle. I love Seattle.
Hunter: Yes it will be on the new CD.
Deirdre: Yes and I'm so excited about Eclectica!!
Lastly, can you please list your official site(s) where we can find out more about you and your music?