Interview: Teen/Ragers

An interview with the three members of  math punk unit Teen/Ragers about the Oklahoma City music scene and attending concerts alongside their parents.

How did Teen/Ragers come about? What’s the main focus of the band? What major influences do you guys have in common?

Jake: The three of us wanted to start a new band together and explore the kind of music we think is fun to play. Fun and Friendship! Sagen has said in the past that Teen/Ragers is a bunch of happy people writing sad songs; but we don’t really know what what true sadness is. It’s just a logical way to take things to the extreme, and the expression of the raw performance is just really fun. There’s something about getting to be something you’re not that is really interesting. One weird hiccup. Obscurum per Obscurious. We don’t really write casual music, all the parts are completely intentional. To name a few common influences, father figure, Two Knights, Choirs, Native, Alta, and Algernon Cadwallader.

On your new album “Rick Neagan”, there's a nice lo-fi sound quality. Was that a stylistic choice, or does that just come from necessity? What lo-fi bands do you like?

Jake: Kind of both. Sagen recorded and mixed it so I’ll let him answer but I’ll tell you what we all wanted from this album. We wanted a true sound that we felt accurately represents how the songs sound live. We wanted it to be clearly heard and understood but did not want it so clean it sounds unauthentic. I write a lot of the lyrics to these songs apart from playing drums and they’re very personal to me. We recorded the songs the way we did because we could do it ourselves and it just so happened to sound great to us! Its all about context. These songs weren't written for the radio or even a stage, they were written for the back of a thrift store. Aidan: (List of influential lo-fi bands)
1 Footnotes
2 Midwest Pen Pals 3 Early Merchant Ships recordings 4 French In Van

Coffin Boner Records offers up tons of quality Oklahoma City punk music. What’s the scene like there?

Jake: I love the shows and bands that make up OKC’s ‘scene’. A lot of the DIY punk and emo bands I love are centered around a great local venue, Bad Granny’s. There is a lot of talent and creativity that comes through or thrives at this place. Its like the CBGB’s of OKC if you will.
Sagen: It’s a bunch of friends making bands and playing music for other friends. I feel like we make a healthy competition of trying to make the most kickin’ jamz. It’s a pretty fun way to hang out.

I heard there are many other projects made up of members of Teen/Ragers. What are they?

Jake: I also play drums in a ska band called Sunny Side Up. A punk band called Anti-Patterns and an emo band called Otters. I love all these bands although Teen/Ragers is my baby. Check em out on bandcamp or faceboook. More local DIY OKC music.
Sagen also plays drums for a badass instrumental math rock band called Shelton Pool. They just finished recording a new album with Aidan on bass! Check em out. Aidan plays guitar in Otters. He also plays bass in local bands Dave and Shelton Pool.
What was the first band you saw live?
Jake: The Queers at the conservatory in okc. Crazy night!
Sagen: Lynyrd Skynrd, actually. I have a pretty dad rock dad.
Aidan: My dad surprised me with tickets to a Green Day concert in the 7th grade. He had no idea what I listened to.
What do you do in your free time that doesn't involve music?
Jake: I also do art and work. I was an art major in high school and its really rewarding. ‘Do art, no problem’. I’m reading How Music Works by David Bryne and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Both are really good.
Aidan: As a music student with only really that as a talent, I don’t do much that isn’t music.
Sagen: I’m a physics student, so I end up spending most of my free evenings arguing about math with my friends.
Is there anything in the future for Teen/Ragers?
Jake: Us playing locally and writing more. We are planning on recording a split with one of our friends soon. We have a bunch of new songs we’re really excited to share! We are also talking about touring but nothing to announce yet. Keep an eye on the facebook~~~