Sometimes you just get snowed under with the amount of music out there and to listen too. I hear a lot of similar sounding music and trying to find the best is sometimes a tricky task. Its fun of course and ultimately rewarding, but what I like is when a track jumps out at you, pricks up your ears when your least expecting it.
Its normally something different, something unusual, quirky but ultimately cool.
Enter Teenage Waitress – a few weeks ago I was just playing some songs randomly late at night, quite tired and about to hit the sack when I’m Leaving Berlin came on – the new song by Teenage Waitress. I had no idea who they/he/she were? But it got me straight away – mostly because it was a different sound to what came 100 times before then but also because I couldn’t and still can’t really put my finger on what it sounds like – early 80’s sounding maybe, a love song yes, great chorus of course but not obvious. I had to find out more, so I contacted the artist and asked a few questions.
Intros – Who are you/where are you?
My name’s Daniel J. Ash and I’m something of a bedroom (and occasionally when I need the reverb, bathroom) musician from Southampton. I’m just about to release my debut album’Love & Chemicals’ on Andy Crofts’ Colorama Records.
How did you get the name Teenage Waitress?
A lot of my songs tell other people’s stories. I liked the idea of an eavesdropping waitress picking up little tidbits of people’s day in between serving tables. Then I mentioned the idea to a good friend of mine who said it reminded him of Twin Peaks. That’s when I knew it was a keeper.
What do you do in the band? Is it a band?
On record it’s a solo project. I’ve had some help making noises along the way from my producer Michael Bissett and Xav Clarke who’s mixing the record, plus some fantastic vocal performances from my friends Harry, Mike, George and Erin. I’m just putting together a little band now to take this album out on the road once the world starts turning again.
When did you start making music?
I’ve been making music all my life, even when I was bashing a radiator with a drumstick and yelling into a TalkBoy, though I can’t vouch for the quality of the songwriting back then. I also wrote and sang in my previous band The Lost Boys. We had a lot of fun but when it came to its natural end I started thinking more and more about writing with a computer. It’s a whole different thing in itself from the left to right process of writing a song on an acoustic guitar and was a much needed shot in the arm.
Describe your sound and inspirations as I can’t – which is a good thing.
Well thank you very much, that’s a really nice thing to hear. My main influence has always been David Bowie, even when I was 5 at school and everyone was talking about what they wanted to be when they grew up my answer was always David Bowie. But I love lots of music, The Beatles, Weller, Kate Bush, Outkast, Scott Walker, Big Star, Grandaddy, Stevie Wonder, Pavement . . I think maybe on this project I can see a strong connection to a record like ‘McCartney II’ , which I believe was an album that Paul McCartney at first never intended for public release, he just plugged his synth into his mixing desk and was just exploring and experimenting with different sounds and styles purely to see what came out the other side. That was very much my approach with Teenage Waitress.
What are you future plans? Singles/Albums/Tours?
My debut album ‘Love and Chemicals’ has just literally been sent off to print. It will be released on vinyl and digital download through Andy Crofts (The Moons/Paul Weller band) label Colorama Records. I’m very proud of it and excited that it’s gonna be on record. Please do give it a whirl!
What is your favourite song or album?Always a toughie! I think my favourite album at the moment is 69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields. Length wise it’s quite intimidating at first but is a real beauty and stunning that the quality of writing can remain so high over three discs. As for my favourite song . . .. right now I’d say Debaser by Pixies. Everytime I hear it I want to smash up my kitchen but I’m too lazy to clear up the mess afterwards.
How do you think grass roots music/venues will survive post lockdown?
I think it’s going to be a real struggle and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be right now for the people who are reliant on live music venues operating, but music will always bring people together and I believe once things return to normal people will be itching (more than ever!) to go out watch live music and support the venues. Hopefully we can all work together on that.
Where can I hear and buy your music?
Make sure to keep checking the Teenage Waitress facebook page for the link to buy the album! I really believe that the LP is the best context to hear these songs in. You have to release 3 or 4 singles these days but I really don’t like that and think very much in album terms. It’s definitely the way it’s supposed to be heard. I’m also on Spotify, Apple Music and all the usual digital services so go check us out on there too.
Well thanks Dan, appreciate the answers. I think if your into music thats a bit avant garde in the way that The Associates were or Scott Walker you will really enjoy Teenage Waitress. If your looking for something different to big anthemic indie rock then this will be right up your street. Music should be light and shade and great songwriting will always do well. You can do a lot worse then take a listen. I’m excited to hear the album in full but for now I will just have listen to the few songs I’ve heard on repeat.
Check it out here….
I’d love to hear your comments on this blog and what you think of Teenage Waitress.
Since completing this blog, Mr Waitress has been able to confirm the release date of his album on the newly formed record label Colorama, home of and created by The Moons, so he is in good company. I’ll be ordering mine so make sure you do. Further details below.