Q&A with Teen Daze


Hello Jamison!  It’s so wonderful to get the chance to connect with you over your blissfully euphoric album All Of Us, Together.  Your latest release is the melancholic and introspective The Inner Mansions, but what first caught my ear was the tune “Treten” from All Of Us, Together.

Your sound has morphed from when you first started out.  Early songs exude a rudimentary Beach Boys-like charm with obvious verse, chorus, verse structures.  Somewhere along the line you refined your sound and went from vocals and guitar/piano-based tracks to blissed-out, electronics-based numbers.  What inspired this sonic change?

It’s just the result of getting older, and being more comfortable in the craft. I’ve always idolized those artists that are able to reinvent themselves with each record, and though I wouldn’t necessarily say I’ve “re-invented” myself throughout my releases, I definitely strive to make something different each time.

Somehow from the cold, electronic, instrumental depths you wrest songs that emit a warm, inclusive, uplifting vibe.  How do you achieve this result?

It’s a very conscious effort on my part to try to create something that represents who I am as a person, and “cold” is not something I would consider myself to be.

I picked All Of Us, Together as one of my Top 3 Albums of 2012, describing it as “…the essence of a California surfer’s euphoric summer…”.  Is that an image that you had in mind when creating this album?

I had a lot of images of water in my mind when I made the record. I think that’s why the album design was so important to me, and why I feel like it worked so well. That image of falling into a teal blue is a pretty good visual accompaniment.

Many of your song titles refer to the sea or the beach.  Are you a surfer or/and beach barnacle or an armchair daydreamer?

I live on the West Coast, so I try to make my way to the beach as often as I can in summer. I’ve only been surfing a few times, but each time was a very transcendent experience for me, so I’m sure it will be something I’ll be doing more in the future.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 albums would be indispensable (Let’s forget that you need some way to play them…)?  Mine, at the moment, would be Hunting High and Low by a-ha, a mix of Dangerous Muse tunes (since the debut album is not out yet), and Dog Man Star by Suede.

Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue

The Beatles – Abbey Road

Radiohead – Kid A

There seems to be a New Wave 80s streak running through some of the synths used, especially on “For Body and Kenzie”.  Which artists from the 80s do you admire, or at least enjoy?  I’m partial to Wham!, Duran Duran, a-ha, Madonna, and Cyndi Lauper.

I think the future-aesthetic of the 80s is what I draw the most inspiration from. Musically, most of my favorite stuff from the 80s is a lot more guitar based, and doesn’t really show up on much Teen Daze stuff. Or in other words, I love David Byrne, and Teen Daze doesn’t sound much like Talking Heads.

Teen Daze - All Of Us Together

Teen Daze – All Of Us Together

 Where did you find the glorious artwork imagery for the album cover of All Of Us, Together?

 It was designed by a very talented, wonderful friend named Nathaniel Whitcomb (thinkorsmile.com).

How are things going for you at the moment? Is album #3 in the works yet, or maybe an EP…?

I’m getting married soon, so I’m not working on that much new music. I have plans to release a single sometime in the next few months, and hopefully an EP sometime this year. It will be a much more mellow year for me.

Lastly, can you please list your official site(s), so that we can find out more about you and your music?  Thanks so much!