Friday, December 20, 2013
Local supergroup TEAM shrugs off Forever The Sickest Kids sound
The foursome is made up of two FTSK musicians and two others, but they're singing a whole new tune.
It’s been five years since Caleb Turman, the redheaded guitarist and vocalist from Burleson, joined the pop punk band Forever The Sickest Kids. And although that project is still going strong — the pop-punk group released their third studio album in June — Turman is working on a side band that recently served as the opening act for Third Eye Blind.
TEAM is a, well, team of musicians including Turman and fellow FTSK bandmate Rico Garcia, plus Bryan Donahue (Boys Like Girls) and Jay Vilardi (The Almost). While half the band is more familiar with the punchy pop-rock tunes more fitting for Warped Tour than SXSW, TEAM’s sound takes a stronger focus on lyrics and instrumentation.
“We’re not trying to be prescribed to a specific genre; we’re ever adapting. We just write what feels right and what comes out. I want to be honest with myself,” Turman said.
The idea for a new group started two years ago when Turman was writing so many songs that he didn’t know what to do with them.
“It felt like I was cheating myself by not recording them, so we put our heads together and started tracking the songs. We really had no intentions of releasing the music; we just did it for own sanity. One day I was driving and one thing led to another. I called Rico and said, ‘Let’s name this bad boy and start releasing songs.’”
Three out of four of the musicians call Texas home; Donahue hails from Boston. Their style is somewhere in between indie rockers Atlas Genius and Imagine Dragons, with a focus on softer vocals and relentless drumming. Their debut seven-song EP, TEAM*, isn’t trying to force anything with its pillowed vocals and succinct bridges. Standout track “Am I Alive” kicks off with a refreshing guitar riff and ends with a drum-and-guitar wrestling match that kept me listening until the last note.
Turman is the band’s main songwriter, citing classic rock as his main influence.
“I’m a huge Bob Dylan fan — he’s the reason I love songwriting. I remember hearing 'Like A Rolling Stone' on one of those greatest hits commercials and being amazed. The next day I bought three of his records. I remember thinking, 'This is nothing like I heard on TV — this isn’t rock 'n' roll. This is old country, kind of folksy.' But because I spent my hard-earned money on it, I was determined to listen to it, and I fell in love.”
I didn't find many classic rock influences on the EP, but the band's focus on strong songwriting is apparent. “Sinking” and “Come To My House” reflect this pen-and-paper process, showing there might be more to this band than just one EP.
Turman said he's in it for the long haul. “If you become a fan, hold on, it’s going to be a long ride. Nothing is going to be expected.”
Catch them Friday, December 20, at Lola’s in Fort Worth.