AP: Thanks very much for doing this interview - could you start off by telling us a little about TV/TV's formation and history thus far?
Josh: Well I started the band out of my East Village apartment; I had started writing songs with the idea that they would be TV/TV songs in late 2006 or so. It was me and my roommate at the time just kind of messing around writing songs and we actually booked a residency at Piano's, and we didn't have a band, so we needed to put a band together, searched online and started playing with a few different people. I found our bass player Matt online and we were both still in school so it was kind of just like we were doing it as a hobby to play clubs in the city, but as the music started to come out, people started to catch on more and more, and we decided that this is what we wanted to do and we needed to form a band that everyone was very committed to, as in touring and doing it full time, and that's kind of how we came together. And then we've been touring since September.
AP: I'll be honest and say that it's a little surprising that you guys are still unsigned - has it been a choice on your part to stay unsigned or is the music industry really that strange?
Josh: Everything that we're doing is definitely a conscious decision. The music industry is changing so much that a band like us is able to do a lot of the things we're doing such as being able to tour nationally, create a fanbase, we're able to put music out all on our own. We wanted to do as much as we can on our own to develop our fanbase and develop ourselves as a band before committing to something, because a lot of times bands can commit to something and they don't even get to do a lot of the stuff we're doing right now, so it's definitely a conscious decision. We're focused on building the band we want the way we want to.
AP: Are you guys looking to sign to a label at some point or are you content with doing it yourselves?
Josh: I think probably pretty soon we'll do something but for the time being, to be able to be unsigned and do things like be on the whole Warped Tour, we're very excited about that.
AP: You've got a new EP, Not Enough Red, coming out on the 30th, can you tell us what fans can expect from this new release as opposed to the last one?
Josh: The sound is very different, it's evolved into a much bigger rock sound than the last EP which was more poppy and fun. The thing is that TV/TV is still gonna give you really exciting rock songs but these new songs are much bigger sounding, and I think after being a band for such a long time--well it's actually not been that long, but it feels like we've evolved so much--we've kind of just realized what kind of band we want to be, and this new EP definitely embodies the sound we want to have. We're coming into our own and finding our own unique sound and I think that's what this EP does.
AP: What are the influences on the new release?
Josh: A lot of the influences have been the same between the first EP and this new EP, but we've just found different ways of voicing them. I think there's definitely a lot of rock, some classic rock influences, like The Rolling Stones or bands like that, AC/DC, and Kings of Leon. Definitely The Killers as well, The Killers is the biggest influence on me personally. That's pretty much it.
AP: Who did you record the new EP with?
Josh: We recorded the new EP with this guy Blue, who's worked with Boys Like Girls and Ace Enders, he's also worked with the Jonas Brothers a little bit. I had worked with Blue in November while we were in LA and kind of just got together and started working on some stuff, and then I had so much fun that I wanted the band to get together and do a new EP with him.
AP: We had some readers wondering about your decision to release another EP instead of a full length, and were wondering when they could expect a full length.
Josh: I think that that's what's next for us, I think the next release will definitely be a full length but since we've been so busy touring, we really haven't had the time to record a full length, so releasing the EP is kind of a nice way of getting a new sound out there and us doing a whole bunch of new things without having to take so much time off to record an album.
AP: You were a coach on MTV's MADE, some of our readers were wondering how that came about and what you thought of the experience.
Josh: TV/TV has gotten a lot of songs on MTV and the opportunity came to my manager and they asked if I wanted to audition and try it out, so of course because we've done so much with MTV, I thought it was a good opportunity and it seemed like it would be kind of fun while we had time off, so I put together a curriculum and did an audition and they chose me to do it. The experience was really, really surreal because a lot of people think, "Oh my God, MTV's so fake," but the fact is that all that stuff is real. That really happens. These people are really like that, and all this stupid drama that comes across in the shows just really happens and it was surreal for me to feel like, "Oh my God, I'm in a MTV reality show, this is so weird," but it was a lot of fun.
AP: Can you tell us about a memorable tour experience?
Josh: I'd say we've had a lot of really good tour experiences, and we've had a lot of bad experiences [laughs]. I'd say one of the highlights would definitely be being at SXSW in Austin this past March, that was one of the best things for us, we had so much fun. One of the worst was on our way back from recording this EP; we decided instead of going the southern route we'd take the northern route on Rte 80 and got stuck in Wyoming in a huge snow storm. We were snowed in, and couldn't eat anything but Wendy's which was across the highway from the hotel, and we had to walk there. We were gone for 8 weeks and finally on our way home we were just stuck in a blizzard!
AP: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Josh: I wish the major music industry would stop basing everything on record sales and kinda start focusing on the really good music that's out there right now, because I think there is a ton of really great music out right now that doesn't get as popular as it could because someone at a label says, "Oh, it won't sell" or something like that, and I think the whole model just needs to be changed.
AP: What are some of those bands that you think aren't getting the recognition they deserve because of potential lack of sales?
Josh: Well, a band like Phoenix, which is actually getting really big--I think they're gonna get a lot bigger in the US in the next couple months, I'm starting to see them all over the place--they've been around for years, and been making absolutely great music for years and years, and they've kinda been super under the radar for such a long time in the US, and I feel like now that certain people are starting to think more forward and put them out there, they're starting to react more which is kind of an example of what I'm saying about not basing things on record sales. They had been on a major label for the past 3 albums and no one had ever heard of them.
AP: What's something most people don't know about TV/TV?
Josh: I don't think people really know anything about us [laughs]. But I think most people don't know that we're really a diverse group of guys. The 4 of us have such different musical backgrounds. Our drummer went to music school and is really trained in jazz and stuff like that, our guitar player is also a music student and comes from a background of jazz and Motown, our bass player comes from a real New York indie rock scene, he played in indie bands for a while, and listens to bands like Radiohead and Spoon, and then you have someone like me who grew up from the California punk thing, listening to NOFX and Pennywise and stuff like that, but also really appreciating bands like The Hives, the Rolling Stones, Kings of Leon, MGMT and kind of bringing that modern twist to everything. So I think what most people don't know is the musical background that we have. It's so diverse, and combined, it creates something kinda cool.
AP: What would you like to say to the readers of AP.net?
Josh: I just want to encourage people to come see us on the Warped Tour. We're doing the whole Warped Tour, definitely come say what's up. We'll be playing the Skull Candy stage. I just encourage people to listen to new music whether it be our new stuff or any other new band.
i went to that denny's thing after warped and this band seemed like the biggest bunch of asshats ever. they are a bunch of cocky assholes who are only in a band to pick up chicks. don't support this band.