Teach evolves from cover band status

July 24, 2008|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

With an album already on wax, rock band Teach is ready to make its part-time cover band status a thing of the past.

"The stuff that we're doing now is an evolution," said bassist Rob Adair.

Teach, a four-man rock band from Hagerstown named for its frontman, Jason Teach, put the finishing touches on its first album, "Wake Up," nearly a year ago and has enough new stuff to make two new albums, Adair said. With the first record out of the way, the band has found its identity and hopes to be at a point where it can stop tossing in the obligatory cover song at local gigs and just play its own stuff.

The group has been together for three years. All the members are experienced -- they've played with other bands, with some of them still playing with other bands. But together, the four of them are beginning to click as Teach.


The Herald-Mail caught up with three of the guys -- Teach, Adair and lead guitarist Eric Wyckoff. They talked about what its like being a band in transition and their hopes for the future.

About Teach

City: Hagerstown

Lead vocals, guitar: Jason Teach

Lead guitar, backing vocals: Eric Wyckoff

Bass: Rob Adair

Drums: Trent Renshaw

Genre: Rock

Influences: Live, Radiohead, Porcupine Tree

Upcoming shows: Teach will host an open mic night at Broad Axe, 28 W. Franklin St., Hagerstown, on Friday, July 25. The band is scheduled for another performance Friday, Aug. 1, at The Peach Pub, 43 s. Potomac St., Hagerstown.


Q&A with Jason Teach, Eric Wyckoff and Rob Adair of Teach

Q: Working with four different people, with four different takes, that sounds easier said than done. How do you guys make it work?
We never really argue about anything because everybody gets to shine. He might do a solo here, he does great bass line and I get to do a great vocal and just get to sing and trip -- it's just perfect. My thought process with the writing, I'm just sitting around strumming on an acoustic guitar and I'll hear a melody and go with it from there. The lyrics are usually written later. I leave those up to the interpreter. I like to see what they think about it.

Q: Some songwriters like to write about what they're going through and if you like it you like it, and if you don't -- whatever. What is your approach? Do you try to make your songs more personal?
It's more subconscious. I don't literally sit down and try to do that. It just almost happens on its own. Sometimes people get two or three interpretations. I try to make it as intense as possible because that's the way I feel at the time.

Q: Do you have favorite songs?
Off the album I would say --
Rob: "Neverland"?
Eric: Yeah, I think we can all agree on that as one of our favorites.
Rob: The obvious rocker song on that album is "Vegas." That's always fun to play live.

Q: So tell me about your approaches to recording and performing. When you perform, do you try to sound like you do on the CD?
We don't try to sound like the CD. I mean we're not that critical of the music. We're more like the way it is is the way it is. But we do try to record like the way we want it to sound when we play live. Some of those songs have evolved, so we play them a bit differently, some are more dynamic. Like the song "No good." On the CD it's very simple and straightforward, but the way we play it now, we've added some parts for it. It's still the same song but it's --
Eric: It's developed.
Rob: It's developed a lot more. We almost wish it was the version that was on the CD, but at the same time, that's something you can experience when you see us live.

Q: So when you guys play, do you do most of your own stuff or do you throw some covers in there?
It depends on where we are playing. If we could, we would play 100 percent original music. You always have to play a song or two for people, especially if they know you play that song and they want to hear it again, you kind of get stuck, but you have to entertain them, make them happy, make them want to see you again. You play a couple songs they want to hear and stick in your own stuff and hope they like it just as much and ask for that instead of someone else's song.
Eric: Probably a year or two ago, we started tricking people with that.
Rob: We don't tell them we're playing an original song, we just play it in the middle of two songs they already know and they think they should already know it.
Eric: Which is kind of fun.

Q: Do you guys hope you'll get to the point where you'll be doing more originals than covers?
I think we definitely could. We've already got enough originals that we could go that way.
Rob: We've been doing that a lot more lately.

Q: Is it pretty easy to find gigs around here?
Around here it's easy because we've been here forever so it's not a big deal. It's harder ... to get gigs away from your hometown. We've played in Frederick. Sometimes it's been great. And other times not very exciting at all.
Eric: One of the hard things is that even as far as other projects, when you go down to Baltimore or something like that, nobody knows who you are. The people, they're going to go to the bar where they know the band playing.
Rob: The trick there is that you've got to ride some coattails so they'll talk about you, so they'll say, "Hey, I heard this band that played with so-and-so."
Eric: Otherwise, you're going to play empty rooms.
Rob: Yeah, on a Tuesday night at like 12 o'clock with four other bands trying to do the same thing that you're doing -- trying to get out there.

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