TeamMate,
The TVD First Date

“When we were talking to each other about how to approach this write-up, one word kept coming up: ‘discovery.’ To both of us, vinyl represented discovery. Neither of us remember our very first album we owned on vinyl but we both remember very early experiences with records.” TeamMate

“I don’t remember the first vinyl I bought for myself, but I can remember the first record that made an impact on my life. A lot of people are able to point back to one or two really artful and classic records, and I think that’s really special. However, my first album was not that hip but it was just as meaningful.”

“When I was little, my brother and I would spend hours listening to Sesame Street’s Born to Add. The album art was of Bert wearing a leather jacket, guitar slung over his shoulder, leaning on Cookie Monster playing the saxophone. It was a recreation of Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run artwork and it was the coolest. Essentially, it was a covers record with the Sesame Street characters (with punny names) singing parody versions of rock & roll songs. “Letter B,” “Honk Around the Clock,” and my favorite, “Hey Food,” just to name a few.

This record was extremely influential and introduced me to Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones. Because of this record, vinyl has always represented a place of discovery. As I wore this record out, I dug deeper and deeper into my parents’ collection of Paul Simon, Hall & Oates, Billy Joel, the Supremes, the Shirelles, Michael Jackson, Carole King, and many others. Those were all some of the primary albums to shape my taste and influence me, musically. But, it all started with Born to Add.
Dani Buncher, drums, vocals

“My dad was not only a huge music fan but had been a radio DJ in the ’70s. In fact, in a roundabout way my parents met because of vinyl. My mom worked for a record distribution company in New York and my dad’s station in West Virginia was a client. She fell in love with his voice over the phone and soon after they were married.”

“When I was growing up, my parents passed down their love of music to me, especially The Beatles. I remember my dad handing me Sgt. Pepper’s and Revolver and saying “Learn these.” I discovered I wanted to write songs because of those albums and followed along with the lyrics printed on the album sleeve. From there, I discovered the solo Beatle albums, Wings, and keyboardist Billy Preston by reading the liner note inserts.

As an adult, I went through all of my parents’ boxes and crates of LPs and 45s, which I still have with me in Los Angeles now. I found my mom’s copy of Meet The Beatles with “I love George” written in blue ink on the sleeve. I found my dad’s Nylon Curtain by Billy Joel when I was a sophomore in college and it hit me at just the right time. I remember stumbling across my mom’s vinyl of Tapestry, put it on out of curiosity, and then listening to each side 3 times. There also was my dad’s favorite, Simon & Garfunkel Live in Central Park, to which he would sing the words, “counting the cars on the New Jersey turnpike,” every time “America” came on out of pride for his home state.

However, the most important discovery through vinyl for me was getting a fuller picture of my parents as people. By listening to their music, I am able to envision them as young adults before I came along. The fact that I’m holding and listening to the same exact disc that my parents did growing up is comforting and special to me. Not just the same songs, but the exact same disc they listened to them on. The same “wax,” grooves, and sleeves. My mom and I live 2,500 miles apart now and my dad passed away when I was 20. Holding one of their records in my hands while listening connects me to my parents, my childhood discovering music, and what I wanted to be.

We’re excited to release our cover of Jimmy Eat World’s “Sweetness” on Record Store Day this year. We’ve both loved this song forever but it was so guitar-heavy we could never figure out the best way to cover it without butchering the tune. One day, we had the idea to go the opposite direction with the song and strip it down to just piano with some orchestral elements. The song is composed beautifully and we hope we can help people discover the original through our version.”
Scott Simons, keys, vocals

The split Record Store Day vinyl single with TeamMate’s cover of “Sweetness” and label mate Mike Taylor’s cover of “Electric Feel” arrives in stores on Saturday, April 22 via Rostrum Records.

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PHOTO: SHAWN CORRIGAN

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