I recently spoke with three members of the local psych rock band, The Everett Interpretation (fka PTSTD): Joshua Wentland, Teagan Devoe, and Austin Lombardo. THEIR BRAND NEW ALBUM, Tangerine Screams, just came out on February 10th with a rock show listening party the following day. We shared a lot of laughs, and a lot of *record scratch* “Don’t put that in there!” moments, but overall their views on making music and living in the world are pretty chill. Here’s what they had to say:
Maia Jacobson: How long have each of you been making music?
Austin Lombardo: I’ve been making music since I was about ten, and making music with these two since I was seventeen.
Teagan Devoe: I started playing violin when I was five or six, and I started playing with these guys at the same time he [Lombardo] said. . .I mean it’s all connected!
Joshua Wentland: I started playing piano when I was. . .I wanna say like third grade or something. Then I was a drummer in seventh grade. . . ? Yeah! I was playing with you in that band for awhile freshman year!
Devoe: Oh yeah! That was so fun.
Wentland: That was so cool.
Devoe: what’d we cover like Beethoven symphonies, like kinda funky or something!
Wentland: and we played for that guy and he was like *some surprised gesture, inducing laughter from everyone* . . .But yeah, I’ve been playing with this band since I was eighteen actually, because I joined late.
Jacobson: What was the intentions of starting this band, The Everett Interpretation?
Wentland: I wasn’t there –
Devoe: Well, we started it junior year just because we wanted to make like a ska-punk band, I’m pretty sure.
Lombardo: It’s gone through a lot of different phases. . .
Wentland: I remember when I joined, specifically, was when it started to become a psych rock band, right?
Devoe: that was when we were writing everything, and starting to put our songs together.
Lombardo: That was the biggest step forward, was when we decided to become a psych rock band. I was the drummer when we started writing the album, and then I stopped being the drummer, and Josh became the drummer. Then a few months later, right after they finished recording the album, I joined as the guitarist.
Jacobson: So, the shift from ska-punk to psych rock, what was the decision or motive behind that?
*laughter from band*
Devoe: I don’t think it was really a decision, we were just listening to a lot of psychedelic music. . .
Lombardo: I wasn’t in the band at the time, but I was all friends with these guys, we were all hanging out together. We started getting into The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Soft Machine
Devoe: all the oldies. Late sixties stuff.
Lombardo: The Pretty Things. . .All the stuff that will make you change your mind about music.
Wentland: And I had always been into that stuff, so when you guys asked me to be in a psych rock band, I was like, “yes!”
Lombardo: Yeah, Joshie was super excited.
Wentland: I was like, “that’s my jam, I can play those drums!”
Jacobson: What piqued the interest in psych rock to begin with? I mean, you [Wentland] were already interested in it, but it’s not something that a lot of young people nowadays listen to.
Devoe: probably. . .psychedelic. . .drugs. . .
Wentland: that further influenced me!
*still more laughing*
Devoe: yeah, we just got into that and then were like, “oh, there’s all this music that goes along with it. That’s so helpful.” And then we were like, “This music sounds very good. We should make music that sounds like this.” And that’s all we’re trying to do!
Wentland: yeah, so goes the tale!
Jacobson: Tell me about writing the album.
Wentland: There were a lot of separate sections that got brought in
Devoe: People would write songs, and then contribute littler parts-
Wentland: Or like, wasn’t “Laniakea” one of Luca’s songs that he was like, “let’s make this one of these!”
Devoe: yeah, yeah.
Wentland: and “Farm Animals Scream and Chant” and “10,000 Leagues [Into my Seat]” those were old tunes, right?
Lombardo: People would write songs, and one of the songs was actually on one of Teagan’s albums that he released, probably like a year. . or six months before. . .
Devoe: – we even started writing it. We just kind of figured out how to make them fit together. Or find sound effects that would make them go together so that we could make it all one thing.
Wentland: And really we would just jam a lot on them [the songs]. I changed drum parts so much on every song –
Devoe: the way that we play it now, or live, is different than the way we play it on the album even.
Wentland: Honestly, it just keeps getting better, but it’s already recorded.
Lombardo: We wanted it to be as cohesive as possible, especially since it’s the side A, side B format.
Wentland: it’s kind of composed like songs with interludes, cause you can definitely tell when a theme that’s repeating ends and just becomes something that happens for a bit. It’s kind of like, I don’t know. . .I wanna say “Forever Dolphin Love” does that, where it’s just kind of guitar noises and then it suddenly fades in and it’s a new song.
Lombardo: it’s also a lot instrumental.
Devoe: yeah, it’s mostly instrumental.
Wentland: It’s like 90% instrumental!
Jacobson: So browsing the released singles, and the song titles, I noticed a theme of animals and animal noises. And then the dog and cat in the music video [for “Laniakea”], was that a purposeful theme?
Wentland: Oh wow. . .There’s nothing that correlates there.
Devoe: no, that dog just happened to be there when we filmed. Me and my girlfriend are fostering that dog. . .
Lombardo: could you tell what was happening in the music video?
Jacobson: well that was my next question, so why don’t you tell me.
Wentland: Me and Austin were wrastlin’!
Lombardo: It was me and Joshie wrestling!
Devoe: and then I gave them that clock to wrestle over. . .
Wentland: I like how it turned out, I like kaleidoscope-y things. Kinda trippy. . .
Wentland: but to answer your original question, we didn’t plan those themes
Lombardo: there’s musical themes, but not conceptual. . .
Devoe: well kind of. . .
Wentland: we were gonna make it a concept album, but. . .
Lombardo: the concept is young guys who like to do psychedelic drugs.
Wentland: yeah, but like anything that people pull out of it will be completely unintentional because we didn’t intend to put anything into it.
Jacobson: Do you have any hopes for the band?
Lombardo: Get. Trump. Impeached
Devoe: Yeah, getting Trump impeached, that’s our band goal.
Wentland: I mean personally I don’t think bands and politics should mix. . .
Jacobson: how would you feel about Pence being president then?
Devoe: Impeach him too. And impeach everybody. Or just man the barricades. We’re all about revolution.
Lombardo: you know, the VP along with eight cabinet members can overthrow the president, it’s true. That’s not fake news, that’s a real fact.
Wentland: good luck getting through to them all. Unfortunately, the American political system is corrupt and dangerous., and there’s not much I can do about it.
Lombardo: Just go to protests! Anyone who thinks – this is for the recording! – if anyone thinks that protesting doesn’t do any good it’s not true, it does do good, and at the very least, it makes people think! Protesting is the first step in changing things.
Jacobson: That’s all I have for questions, anything else you want to add?
Lombardo: make sure to put in the article that we are definitely against homophobia in the music industry and Migos can f*** off because they’re homophobic. . .And shout out to R. Stevie Moore.
*noises of mutual agreement*
Devoe: that guy rocks, everyone should listen to R. Stevie Moore. Go to your Bandcamp account-
Wentland: right when you read this and just find Phonography by R.Stevie Moore, and just listen to it.
Lombardo: Um…did we already talk about bands we like?
Wentland: yes, do you want to talk about bands you like some more?!
Lombardo: People should talk more about influences! . . .CAN
*noises of mutual agreement*
Devoe: CAN is good.
Lombardo: Everybody should go listen – I’m saying this to the recording – Everyone should go listen to the first album by Chick Corea, Return to Forever.
Wentland: Everyone should listen to The Elektric Band by Chick Corea cause –
Lombardo: hey, you’re giving them too much information [. . .] Let it be known that I have horrible stomach problems.
Devoe: yeah, he does. He’s got a problem.
Wentland: everyone, give your hearts to Austin’s stomach problems.
Devoe: Pray for him. . .
Below are random interview outtakes that are really funny both in and out of context.
[. . . random conversation. . .]
Devoe: Anything we say is a lie.
Wentland: anything I’ve ever said is probably a lie
Devoe: you can’t trust anything we say.
Lombardo: we’re not even in a band.
Devoe: I don’t even know these guys
Wentland: I don’t even exist
[. . . more random conversation. . .]
Lombardo: If anyone wants to view my club penguin videos, my YouTube name was Cirt89
Devoe: what does that even stand for?
Lombardo: nothing, I don’t know, it was my penguins name.