Who are Tonstartssbandht exactly? Pronounced tohn-starts-bandit (we're not the best at phonetics, we admit), the two-piece band has been around for a while but they've been keeping themselves busy with constant shows and uploading a hefty amount of material on their Bandcamp page. Made up of Floridian brothers Edwin and Andy White, their hard work even earned them a spot on the soundtrack of a film by James Franco. While the term 'experimental' gets thrown around a lot these days, the term befits Tonstartssbandht, who playfully teeter along the lines dividing indie pop, blues rock, psych rock, krautrock and electronic music.
Aesthetically, they share a lot of ground with buddy Mac DeMarco (who Andy will play with in his set here at Laneway Fest next year) and to a lesser extent, former outsider artist/current weirdo Ariel Pink, so as a result they're one of the more intriguing packages out there in underground rock music. We took some time to chat with the duo over email before their show here at BluJaz.
Hi guys, how are you?
Feeling real damn good. Really really damnly goodith for sureth.
How has the tour been so far?
I'm not actually on tour right now. I'm home in Brooklyn, New York. Tour is fun, always but being home is wonderful. Pseudo bliss, work and home life give balance and structure. Home is where the heart is, etc. so i'd say... things are great, I mean it. We have great cats too.
Is there a story behind your band name?
Our band name is a real word that means: "the music created by the brothers Andy White and Edwin Mathis White". It was first seen and recorded as a word collage assembled by Edwin Mathis White sometime between 2004-2007.
Your dad’s a musician himself. What does he think about your music?
Our dad (Edwin George White) is a fan of our music. I'm pretty sure he's familiar with our entire dscography.
Has being in a band together made you both learn new things about each other?
Absolutely, being in this band together has broadened our perspectives and relationships with each other. Playing in a band with a brother whom you love and trust and admire is an incredibly rewarding and continuing experience. My respect for him grows each day.
Any crazy tour stories?
Not really. I mean, our tours are for sure f**king amazing, indelible experiences that have changed us forever and shaped who we are incrementally throughout the past 7 years. But it's difficult to think of anything one moment in particular. We've loved the whole timeline. I've been psyched since day two.
You guys seem to blend a lot of different genres together. Could you describe your music in five words?
Heavy-psych-boogie-pop-blues or I don't f**king know, yo.
What can we expect from the Tonstartssbandht show in Singapore?
It's Singapore ya know? You gotta expect the unexpected. I have no idea what to expect. What's gonna happen? I'm ready to play.
TOP 5 INFLUENTIAL ALBUMS
Pärson Sound | Pärson Sound
Jazz swedes playing psych rock '60s drone and it changed us forever. It did for everyone I think.
Rides Again | James Gang
Our dad drove us one winter from an airport in souther Wisconsin to visit his sisters in northern Wisconsin. We were on a highway blasting this album seeing snow everywhere (still new to us) and the band is on motorcycles on the band album cover. It all made sense suddenly. Classic rock or, whatever this was, could uplift you so f**king high. The riffs, the fucking drumming. This album is a band favorite. Also, it was Andy's first tattoo.
Live | High Rise
Heavy psych blues rock minds blown. Thank you High Rise. Thank you P.S.F.
Psychedelic Underground | Amon Düül
Good wholesome German '60s commune psych.
Parachute | The Pretty Things
This record is the perfect mix of a straightforward tight rock band doing something more highly evolved. Still being a heavy rock unit but doing beautiful sometimes almost sparse arrangements in a studio setting. Good ideas played out just enough before moving onto the next medley. Heavy and fragile, boogie with thick honest choral harmonies. Big time record for us.