in which i chat with teen girl scientist monthly

so, i recently wrote about teen girl scientist monthly’s hyper and addictive safari. intrigued by the band and definitely digging their sound, i wanted to learn more. two members of the band, matt berger, lead male vocals and guitarist, and matt gliva, the bassist, were kind enough to answer some questions for me about what’s going on with TGSM and where they’re headed.

have you met heather: so, i have to ask – how did the name teen girl scientist monthly (which i love, by the way!) originate?

matt gliva: Out of the great random blue yonder and a sense of nostalgia?

matt berger: I was going through a bunch of old papers last year, and I found it written down. I write weird stuff like that all the time, and I don’t always leave any clues as to what I was thinking when I do. But I found this scrap of paper and I tacked it to my wall because I liked it and when I was trying to name the band about a week before our first show and hating everything I came up with, there it was. And I was like, well, that’s a hell of a lot better than “Gang Coach.”

hymh: how did the band come together?

berger: I was offered a gig and accepted without actually having a band, so I just called up all of the people I really wanted to work with. It was all really last minute, so we were sort of grabbing people from strange places. Morgan and Gliva I knew from a previous band, which isn’t too weird, I guess. But Cathy was a musical director for a show I composed for and Matsu is a classically trained jazz percussionist I know through a few friends. Anne’s an old friend, but I had no idea she played violin before I was freaking out a week before the gig and she was like “oh, I play that.” It came together on it’s own, which was nice – it was sort of under the banner of “wanna do something fun next week?”

hymh: what’s the creative process for your music like? does everyone in the group have a say in building your songs?

berger: It’s been changing over time. I like to record full demos before I get a song to the band, just because how everything in the arrangement builds affects how I like the structure. Everyone always has a say in his or her parts, and, now that we’ve been playing together a while, we’ve started to have a say in how each other plays as well. So arrangements have become democratic and much more organic to the band.

gliva: We craft the group dynamic by way of repetition, using the audience at our shows as our soundboard, until it feels right. Seems like the set for every show is a hypothesis… IF we were to play like THIS, THEN the audience will feel THAT. When the audience dances uncontrollably and sings along at the top of their lungs, we’ve hit bullseye, and the song is like a good answer, to what, I don’t know.

berger: Yes. That.

hymh: you recently put out an EP – what’s up next for teen girl scientist monthly?

gliva: More shows and more shows, some East Coast touring perhaps, and a second EP to be recorded and released this summer.

berger: We’re shooting the music video for Fever, off of Pioneer Ghost, this weekend. Michael Raynes, the guy that did the Safari video is heading that up.

gliva: Think Carson Daly’s got his eye on us for TRL…

berger: We want to play TRL!

hymh: any plans to tour across the states?

berger: Yeah! We’re hoping to get up and down the east coast this Fall. We’ve never toured before. We’re looking forward to it.

thanks, guys! gotta say, i’m looking forward to seeing the video for fever – the song, which sounds a bit like the national on amphetamines with a whole lotta groove and david bowie 80’s vibe, is awesome. listen to it below:

and then there’s maya dance trees, which has pac-man sounds. YES. PAC-MAN SOUNDS. you know you’re intrigued:

buy pioneer ghost, the ep fever and maya dance trees are off of, HERE on TGSM’s bandcamp site. then go HERE to learn more about the band.

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