Interview: Teen Mortgage

I recently reviewed Teen Mortage’s latest EP released, SMOKED, and I really enjoyed it. I wanted to find out more about the band so decided to have a chat with them to find out more – read on below and make sure you check out Smoked if it piques your interest!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a new EP titled SMOKED. What can you tell us about the EP?

SMOKED is our sophomore EP through King Pizza Records. The album was recorded by Justin Day of New Noise Recordings and vocalist for the incredible band METH RATS. It was mastered by Mat Leffler-Schulman of Mobtown Records. 

Do you have any plans to release a full-length album anytime soon?

I think we’ll eventually put out an LP but it won’t be until we have a set of songs we think will work well together as a whole.  We’re not interested in putting a hodgepodge of songs onto a release just to hit a target length.  

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

I’d love to say we’ve settled into some kind of groove but the writing and recording process is always different.  One pattern we’ve settled into is we’ll start playing songs out before we consider them finished. We’ve gone months performing songs, changing parts and lyrics, before deciding whether it’s worth recording.  We don’t like keeping songs around that we think are just okay.   

Do you plan to release any singles at any point in the near future?

We have at least one orphaned track from our last session that will see the light of day sometime in the near future; though, it’s unclear as of now how it’s going to be released.

You’re based in the Washington D.C. area. What is the music scene like there and are there any local bands you can recommend?

The music scene in DC is pretty diverse, punk being only the tip of the iceberg.  We love dropping names so here are some recommendation to name a few in no particular order: METH RATS, Den-Mate, Des Demonas, SWOLL, Venray, Tired all the Time, Burial Waves, Lazlo Lee & the Motherless Children, Dead Ringers, Grishka, The Mostly Dead, and Caustic Casanova. 

What/who influences you most as a band? What have you been listening to recently?

Our strongest influence is fear of failure and a desire to be loved.  As I respond to these questions, I’m listening to my tinnitus. 

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

The pandemic caused a medley of changes in our lives. We never considered stopping our musical aspirations and decided recording would serve the best use of our time. It’s fortunate in a way because I’m not sure when we would have found the time to enter the studio otherwise.  Having a forced hiatus from live shows really helped us reevaluate our relationship with performing.  I didn’t realize how much time I passively devoted to each project I’m in until I was forced to stop.  It’s helped us appreciate having the opportunity to share our music with a live audience. Things are showing some semblance of normality but COVID continues to cause logistic problems, making each gig that actually happens seem like a gift. 

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

11/27 @ Metro Gallery – Baltimore, MD: Supporting Human Impact (Ipecac Records) & Eye Flys. 12/16 @ DC9 – Washington, DC: Shrewdness of Apes Album Release Show. 1/14 @ Metro Gallery – Baltimore, MD: w/ Lazlo Lee & the Motherless Children and Deadlines (First Show). 1/22 @ Alecraft Brewery – Bel Air, MD w/ HEAD and Dead Ringers. 4/1-2 @ The REC Center – Fredericksburg, VA – BUDDY FEST 2022.

What can people expect from one of your gigs and why do you think people should come and see you perform live?

We’re a band that’s built our reputation off being an exciting live act.  It’s great to know people love our recordings but they’re only getting a fraction of the experience unless they come out to a show and see it in person. 

Any last words for the fans?

Wawa is better than Sheetz. However, in an ideal world, you’d have both.