Tell us about Welcome center

Jesse and I have been making music together since we met in the freshman dorm in 2005. In 2017 we were each at a creative crossroads, wanting to tour more and collaborating again felt right. Since then we’ve put out a string of singles, two EPS and a third dropping in July, and we only got here through consistent dedication to refining our craft.

Favorite song of yours? 

“Is This All There Is” was the first single where we felt like we’d struck “our sound”. It’s such a simple song but the vision and arrangements were so rich that even years later it feels like the highlight of our set. “Burn” is a new one dropping in July that may be the new favorite – a total lightning in a bottle song that rides a pleasant groove but doesn’t get boring.

Who are your all time musical icons?

In no particular order – Bowie, Kate Bush, Lou Reed, Fela Kuti, and of course Radiohead.

How do you keep your creativity sharp?

Never stop producing and never stop consuming. If you never open up your DAW, pick up your guitar, etc. all those great ideas for songs are just going to bounce to the next creative mind. At the same time, you can’t just hop in the studio and expect to crank out some genius work – always be seeking out new music and be a sponge for the ideas that move you. In a pinch, I’ll spend a half hour just listening to music before going into the studio to get myself into the perfect headspace.

Who are you binge listening to these days?

The new Japanese Breakfast is incredible and we’ve been really into that. I’ve been trying to get away from “algorithmic listening” and the constant pressure of finding a new record to put on when I’m at home for 8-10 hours straight every weekday. Over the last year Internet radio mixes that are curated by real DJs has been a constant source of pleasant surprises.

Tell us about your latest release and how it came about

Our new EP, Talk Talk Talk was mostly written and recorded in lockdown. The pandemic opened up all of these channels of collaboration between musicians at a long distance, but we’ve been doing that for years. One of us will write the first demo of an idea, and we’ll just send the project back and forth until it’s done. Funnily enough we had all these grand plans for in-person collaboration before the lockdown hit, but we’re both so grateful to be starting that conversation again.

How do you prep for a show?

Probably our most peculiar pre-show ritual is… working our day jobs. We both work in the tech industry and, even pre-COVID, had very remote-friendly jobs. At least in 2018 this made the difference between maxing out our vacation days to go play a few weeks of shows vs. committing to a 50+ date schedule. Sometimes it feels like burning the candle at both ends but some of our best memories of the last few years were on those long days.

What’s the future looking like for you?

Bright! We are waiting to see how everyone else’s fall tours before we start booking longer runs, but local dates in Dallas and Philly are on the table. We are demoing out little ideas again, and decided it’s time to start working on an album. Having endured the last year we couldn’t be more excited for the musical landscape to come.

Who inspires your visual and musical style?

Sonically it’s an ever-evolving answer. Talk Talk Talk runs the gamut of nu-disco, indie synthpop and even some indie-folk elements. It’s pretty obvious to me that our songs come from whatever we’re feeling at a given time. Visually, we love simple minimal modernist art, horror movies and grainy analog photography.

What is the achievement or moment in your career you are the most proud of and why?

We were recently featured in SPIN magazine – I used to read SPIN as a kid and that felt like such a hugely legitimizing event. But also in 2018, the amount of touring we committed to and the positive reactions we got from that felt extremely gratifying.

What do you think is the best way to make it as an artist nowadays?

I’ve always been a believer in “1000 true fans” – share your message as often as possible and acquire fans one at a time until you reach that golden number. We are definitely in an era of industry plants and total commercialization of art, and a lot of people forget that music is often about connecting with people and changing their lives (one at a time).

How do you think we can make the music industry better?

The lack of arts funding in the US, compared to places like Canada/Sweden, is absurd. The entire world consumes what our entertainment industries create, some might say it’s our biggest export these days. But when shit hits the fans artists are left high and dry to fend for themselves – you really hate to see it. On a positive note, there’s been a huge spotlight shined on trans people and people of color in the industry over the last few years and that’s been such an exciting development!