Punk stalwarts Teenage Bottlerocket recently released a new album titled Sick Sesh!, which I had the opportunity to review. I enjoyed it so decided to have a chat with Miguel Chen from the band and find out a little more – check out the interview below and don’t forget to listen to Sick Sesh! if you like what you read!
By Jane Howkins
You’ve just released a new album titled Sick Sesh! How has the reception been so far?
We’ve been playing a lot of the new songs on tour already and it seems people already know all the words to the whole album, so it seems to be going well!
What can you tell us about the album?
We tried to make the best punk rock album we could, and I think we did well. Fat Mike told us he thinks it’s our best record.
You recently released a music video for the track Ghost Story. What can you tell us about the song and the video?
I wrote that song after a conversation with my wife about what would happen to our kids if one of us died. I took kind of a morbid talk and turned it into something funny/dumb. The music video was done by Kaleb Kaiser, a super talented animator from Canada. He drew the whole thing by hand, it took him over 600 hours!
Do you have any more singles or videos planned for release anytime soon?
Why yes we do. We have music videos for at least 5 more of the songs coming out. We had originally planned on doing a video for every song on the record but it wasn’t meant to be.
Do you have any tour dates planned for the UK in the near future?
Nothing planned yet. Our European booking agent keeps touching base and we all agree we want to come back as soon as possible, we just don’t know when that is yet.
What can people expect from a Teenage Bottlerocket gig and why do you think people should come and see you perform live?
We play a lot of songs in a short amount of time. Something like 30 songs in 65 minutes. We want the party to go strong and for everyone to have a great time. So, if you like fast punk music and having fun, you’d probably like being at a TBR show.
This is your ninth album release! How do you keep it fresh after so long in the business?
We just try to outdo ourselves, make each record better than the last and make sure we’re having the most fun possible.
How has the writing and recording process changed over the years?
Technology has definitely made it easier. Back in the day Kody would call and play a song over the phone for us, or we’d get in the rehearsal room and learn. Now we all just write from home and email tunes around.
What sort of music influences you as a band and what have you been listening to recently that you can recommend?
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Banda, Mariachi and Norteño music. Natalia Jimenez is one of my favorites. I also listen to a lot of mantras and kirtan music such as Krishna Das and Deva Premal. I try to listen to music that connects me inwards and helps me be present in my day to day life. I’d recommend our fans to listen to whatever music helps them get out of their heads and into the present moment.
Any last words for the fans?
Make sure to get off the internet once in a while and go outside. There’s a whole beautiful world out there and we’re not getting any younger!