Thursday, March 4, 2010

Why Cant We Have Fun: Interview with Debutaunts

Debutants is one of pop rock's newest discoveries that is working their way up from nothing to one of the best unheard talents since Green Day emerged from the indie scene back in 1994 when their album, Dookie came out of nowhere and won a Grammy for Best Alternative Album. With the help of grammy-nominated Platnium record producer, Matt Goldman, they are poised to do just that.

In the Why Can't We Have Fun album release, they have exemplified the essense of how a power-teen-rock band should look and sound like. They have that Jonas Bros. look, but rather than having a "vanilla" sound, Debutaunts has a more mature and colorful sound that is appealing to all ages, and all without sacrificing the bands integrity.
Their ground breaking song, "Everything's Perfect" is the bands iconic song that shows they are ready for mainstream radio, television shows, movie soundtracks, and not to mention this song could easily make it all the way up to the top spot in the music charts.
Directed by James Edward Jr, Debutaunts video release of "Everything's Perfect" is a fun and wity music video that perfectly captures the bands artistic craftsmanship and the result of hard work and dedication.
Debutaunts definitely shows from this album, they are ready for the spotlight.
So, where are all of you originally from? Are you all from Atlanta, Georgia? We're all basically from South Florida. We went to school together at The University of Florida in Gainesville. There used to be a pretty big scene there for music. They still have The Fest I think.
You guys recently released your first real music video and it was directed by James Edward Meyers Jr who did such a phenomenal job. What did you think of your finished product? He exceeded our expectations. We're still very much "Independent" as far as funding. We don't have a label to pay for our records and music videos. Ultimately we got a $50,000 music video for a fraction of the cost. James is really cool like that. He's into working with indie artists. Overall we pulled the idea together, shot it and wrapped it in under 3 weeks. We all had fun shooting it too.
While you definitely possess your own unique sound, I noticed some similarities in your music to The Smiths. I cannot pinpoint what songs, but it is your overall tempo that reminds me of your band. Is this intentional or just a coincidence? It's neither. It's not intentional because we were never like "Lets write songs that sound like The Smiths." And it's not really coincidence because The Smiths are one of our main inspirations, we listen to those records quite a bit. I think we get that comparison a good amount for a couple of reasons. The lyrics are very poetic and meticulous, that seems to be a Morrissey thing. Also a lot of the guitar stuff is intricate and layered, that seems to be a Marr thing.
The Debutaunts music crosses many styles of music through many era’s including the 60’s rock era, 70’s beach music era, to 80’s “new wave” era, to the late 90’s pop, and this generation of “power pop” along side of Green Day and Jonas Bros. Would you say this is a fair comparison of your band? Too many bands pick an era. Like "oh that band sounds 60's" or "That band has an 80's vibe" and it's terrible. There's great artists and records from all eras. For us it's more about moving forward. If that means mashing everything into one sound then we're all about it. As far as Jonas Bros. I don't think any of us have heard that band. I thought it was more of a Disney Channel show.
Do you think there is a fine line between staying true to the sound you created versus what record labels wants you to sound like to make you sound more commerical? We're not interested in what record labels think or want. If you start thinking "am I being true to myself.. my sound?" then you're probably already f**ked. You should quit immediately. We make music that we like hearing, playing and recording. And it just so happens that a lot of it comes out sounding Pop. It's harder to write a good pop song, I mean, really good, than to write some progressive depressing sh*t.
Most bands do not like to categorize themselves or place a genre type of label on themselves. Are you no different in that sense? You can't escape labels. People will always want to shove you into a neat little package. We're over it. If it helps people feel comfortable or understand more about us then it's fine. We're and Indie (unsigned) Pop / Rock band.
What is behind the title of your album, “Why Can’t We Have Fun”? We all put so much blood and sweat into the band. We're always sacrificing things in our lives to continue to live this life, to create. During the writing of the album I wrote a song about the process itself. One of the lyrics "Why Can't We Have Fun" just stuck with me. It summed it all up. It's basically just saying... the everyday mess and all peoples sadness and problems are so trivial. Things are so dark sometimes.... lets just have fun.
As an indie artist, you have a “very mainstream” appeal about your music. While you are still in the developmental stage of your career, you sound ready for the air-waves, TV soundtracks, and movies, all with almost no need to change your sound. Who is ultimately responsible for helping getting your band so well produced and prepared? We wanted to see if we could make commercial / pop music good again. You hear old popular stuff like Motown and Beatles and think " This is pop, its radio, but it has soul and it's so real." We wanted to write songs that were catchy but not cheesy and meaningless like 99% of everything in the mainstream today. Our producer was keen to that idea and helped a lot to develop it further.
How did you get to meet such an iconic music legend like Matt Goldman? We met Matt in 2008. We played some showcases in NY for Universal, Sony BMG, Atlantic etc. Through those contacts we went shopping for a producer to do our "Flowers From Evil" EP. We met with a number of "big shot" a**holes and Matt was the only sincere one. His tastes and personality just seemed to fit. Plus he's a drum God and that's a huge part of our sound.
More about your songs. So, who is the writer in the band? Or did more than one person contribute to the writings? The songwriting (instrumentally) is shared mainly between me and Jonny. We'll take it to Jeff and Stephen for fine tuning and their input. After we have the basic concept and structure they tend to add great stuff. I write all the lyrics (except the 2 songs Jonny sings on the album.)
Are the songs based on life experiences? No
Is there a specific theme to your music or do you consider the lyrics to be random and like a piece of fine art, purely based out of spontaneous inspiration? I don't think there's a completely unifying theme to all the lyrics. With this new record I tried to really express the emotion of the song (instrumental). When you close your eyes and listen to an instrumental song you start to see a big picture. For a song like "who could've lost you" it's more of a short story, a snapshot in two peoples lives, a conversation. For "This is Yours" it's more of a inner dialogue. I guess a number of songs have a kind of conversational vibe. It's really difficult to explain the lyric writing process.... It's really a bottle of wine, a typewriter, scribbled bits of indecipherable mess and a hundred scattered books (pages torn out).
With this latest project, “Why Can’t we have Fun”, think this is your breakthrough into the next level? We are always trying to top ourselves and progress. I like to think this record is more accessible than our previous releases. I'm not quite sure what's meant by "Next Level" but we certainly are doing everything we can to expose as many people as possible.
More by Debutaunts:

Listen to a special 4-track preview with a special guest appearence from the band on The Great Unknowns Presents
Debutaunts official Website
Purchase music by Debutaunts on iTunes and CDbaby
VIDEO: Everything's Perfect by Debutaunts

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