ADD and Angst: Interview with the Teenagers

ADD and Angst: Interview with the Teenagers

by Marcos Colón
06.20.2008

The word ‘indie’ gets thrown around more than a ping-pong ball at a frat party. Any new band or artist comes out without big label backing and their sound is automatically labeled ‘indie.’ Some bands seem to like the attitude and image that the term has been associated with, others fear having it near their reputation. One band that rather be referred to as ‘pop’ rather than ‘indie’ are The Teenagers, but it seems like it’s a bit too late for them as well.

The Parisian trio whom now call London home, have been riding the wave of their hit debut album Reality Check, a modern day collection of tracks defining sex and love amongst America’s teeny pop generation; the cover says it all. After a short U.S. tour and enough buzz to claim them a spot at Coachella, the trio took a much needed rest and have hit the road once again for the barrage of European summer festivals.

Clubplanet spoke with frontman Dorian Dumont during his extended break between touring to chat about their 90210 influences, the dislike of their ‘indie’ reputation, and his cliché U.S. experience.

Clubplanet: How have things been going for you guys?

Dorian Dumont: Just having a holiday in Paris. It’s great because I’m from Paris so I can see all my friends and just hang out and ride my bike.

CP: Just doing normal things right?

Dorian Dumont: Yea, just doing normal stuff feels great.

CP: As far as the album goes, Reality Check, does the concept of the album appeal to listeners in Europe? Can you talk a little bit about the concept because it seems to focus on a satire of American teen pop?

Dorian Dumont: Yea it is. We’re so used to having all of the American music, and TV shows shown here that it really lets us into American pop culture. We wanted to write about that so that’s how the concept came about.

CP: Since the album is focused on the satire of American teen pop and is influenced on what you guys have seen, is it designed to go over the heads of those people, or is it meant to add to the appeal of the demographic?

Dorian Dumont: I don’t know. We really didn’t think about it in that way.

CP: Does that appeal to the European listeners?

Dorian Dumont: Yea, I think so because in Europe we have always been surrounded by American culture. Everybody knows 90210. Everybody knows the big American movies in Europe. It’s weird because in a way it’s almost like we grew up in America.

CP: What American shows are currently on out there?

Dorian Dumont: I’m just watching TV shows on the Internet right now. I’m watching Gossip Girl, it’s very American, and I’m also watching Lost, and I really really like Entourage.

CP: What are some of your musical influences?

Dorian Dumont: I think it would be some pop music like, The Strokes, maybe something really more mainstream like Britney. I like a lot of things in between electronic and indie rock.

CP: In terms of song writing do you all get together, or do you individually come up with ideas?

Dorian Dumont: I do the music, and then we work on the lyrics and the ideas and everything. I do all of the demos for the music, and we all work together to record it.

CP: What kind of band would you not like to be perceived as?

Dorian Dumont: An indie band. (laughs) But I guess a lot of people think we’re an indie band because we don’t have a lot of money and we play smaller shows right now.

CP: These days if you are a new band everyone automatically labels them as ‘indie.’

Dorian Dumont: Yea I know. I don’t feel like we are an indie band, I feel like we are more pop than indie. We are really more pop, we started with indie bands and we can respect them because we get a lot of respect from the teenagers.

CP: What’s one of your favorite re-mixes that’s been done from one of your songs?

Dorian Dumont: I think it was the first one by Slut. It was the first one we’ve ever had and when we received that it was like “wow,” this is crazy.

CP: What’s been your “holy shit” moment so far?

Dorian Dumont: I think it’s when we played at Coachella. Before the show I was like “woah, shit!” We played really early like 2PM, but still I was like “wow!”

CP: If you were to talk to somebody who has never heard you guys before, how would you describe your sound to them?

Dorian Dumont: I would say it’s like pop music that’s fresh and in English.

CP: How do you like things in the States?

Dorian Dumont: I think people are really open minded, the people at the shows at least, are really open minded and its great. I don’t know if everyone in the U.S. is really open minded, but I think it’s cool, I think it’s more fun than in Europe.

CP: When you were here were you witness to any cliché moments?

Dorian Dumont: I was at a highway gas station and I put my cigarette on the floor like everybody does in Europe after I finished a policeman’s car drove up, and in front of everybody he got on his mic and was like “Hey you! You don’t move!” He wanted me to put it in a trash bin.

CP: It's too bad that asshole had to be part of your experience. What kind of response have you guys been getting here?

Dorian Dumont: Good, it’s been good, especially in New York it’s always crazy when we play there.

CP: How many shows did you guys do on tour?

Dorian Dumont: I think 20. Almost 20. We did all the West Coast, Chicago, some in Canada, and all of the East Coast, well not all of the East Coast, we didn’t get to go to Miami.

CP: You guys should check out Miami I think you’d like it. It’s like a whole different country in the states.

Dorian Dumont: It’s really weird, you can be in a big city and travel 10 hours and it’s not the same at all. Where are you from?

CP: Miami.

Dorian Dumont: I would love to go to Miami!

CP: What are your plans for the rest of the year, what are you guys gonna be up to?

Dorian Dumont: This summer we are going to Australia on Monday, for a small tour, then we are going to Europe. Spain, Paris, Norway, Sweden, Germany for all of the summer festivals. We are doing like 20 or 25 festivals. It’s gonna be great. I think we’re gonna start to write songs again during the summer. We have a lot of days off with festivals, but in my free time I’m gonna write some songs, then we are doing a little tour in Germany. After that I’m going to write and record the next album.

For more on The Teenagers, check o

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