I'd heard Tsar, a band some of the members of The Brothers Steve were in, and liked what I heard a lot. The Brothers Steve are just as good. Their second album, Dose, with its cool harmonies, is a lot of fun to listen to.
The band was kind enough to answer a few questions about it.
AndreaWeiss: Could you give a short history of the band, for people who don't know your music?
Os Tyler: We’re a five-piece band made up of longtime friends who each believe that the world may get you down from time to time and the best way to shake it off is by playing some powerful, poppy-licious, harmony-laden rock songs.
Jeff Whalen: A general denial of reality is also helpful. Let’s see, some of our band members are also in a group called Tsar, some in Shapes of Race Cars, some in a group called the Swarp. We’re from the City of the Angels: Los Angeles. Shakey Town, they call it.
OT: There’s so much going on in Los Angeles you gotta leave town to see what you’re missing.
JW: But the apartments are so small, you have to leave the room to change your mind.
OT: We’re really excited about our new record, Dose. It’s our second album. If you give it a listen, you may find it’s just what the doctor ordered.
AW: Who are your influences?
JW: I dunno! Early Bee Gees, T. Rex, Olivia Tremor Control, Guided By Voices, Tommy James.
OT: Bo Diddley, ELO, Harry Nilsson, the Everly Brothers, the Monster Squad, Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, really anything Chuck Barris endorses. But seriously, there’s a lot of great stuff in the past. What’s influencing us now is what you hear coming out of the car stereo next to you and getting piped in while you’re pushing a basket through the grocery. The modern world is gorgeous, because it’s this astounding blend of the every every.
JW: Os and I might disagree slightly on that.
AW: Your music is so happy, never a downtempo moment. Is this a primary aim for you?
JW: Good question! I dunno! Kinda? I wouldn’t have thought so, but maybe you're right. I’m glad to hear that’s how it’s coming off.
OT: It’s all about making the music you want to hear. If I go to the movies, I don’t need sad, stressful, depressing stuff. I want to walk out of there feeling great. When I’m listening to music, I want it to energize me. I want to feel fun and good and just a little bit happier. I hope that’s the music we’re making.
JW: When I go to the movies, I wanna see The Matrix.
AW: I love your melodies. They're bouncy, happy, and fun. Does that come naturally or are they more planned out?
JW: Thank you! Pretty much nothing is planned out. I’m always impressed by groups or songwriters or whatever who can do things with a plan in mind and actually carry it out. Whenever we try to do something with an end product in mind, it always comes out with extra legs or more fur than we were intending.
OT: I wanted the hat I’m wearing to be a fur coat.
JW: Well put.
OT: Thanks for the compliment on the melodies! Absolutely natural. In fact, I don’t think we have very much at all to do with the melodies, they’re just flitting around the atmosphere and on special occasions we focus on wrapping some chords around one of those melodies and before you know it there’s a song.
JW: I’d agree with that.
AW: Most of your lyrics seem to be stream of consciousness. Is that what you strive for?
JW: Well, Abraham Lincoln’s hat was a very tall hat, but it couldn’t reach the beaches till they became obsolete.
OT: Jeff’s right about that, notwithstanding the contrary.
AW: When your lyrics are about love gone wrong, it's a nice contrast to the happier songs. Is that contrast part of the plan for the album?
OT: There’s definitely a variation throughout the record. There are a few twists and turns. I don’t know if it’s love gone wrong, though, so much as it is love learning to love better.
AW: What is “Mrs. Rosenbaum” about?
JW: I’d say it’s about 3 minutes, maybe a little longer. Os?
OT: I think what it’s really about is what you feel if you’re not paying attention to the words at all. Give it a try and let me know if you agree?
JW: I actually like that answer a lot.