Transmission Party’s TJ Byrnes answered a few questions for Truth Or Sarah. See what TJ says about his music, his inspiration, and his goals in the interview below:
How did you come up with the name, “Transmission Party”?
I was making my Dad listen the Franz Ferdinand song ‘Do You Want To’. There’s a line: ‘Here we are at the Transmission Party/I love your friends, they’re all so arty’. He mentioned that Transmission Party would be a cool band name.
Even though you are a solo artist, do you or will you perform with a full band?
I plan on performing with a full band sometime later this month. It wasn’t even considered when I was putting together the first EP. As of this past Tuesday, I had a few guys over to jam. So we will see what happens!
What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
There’s an overall theme melancholy in my songs. I feel that our generation is getting the butt end of many adults’ mistakes. Many of us who are at that age when you move out of our parent’s house and make a living are not given the chance because of a lack of opportunity. I felt that no one was writing songs that represented any of that. I wanted to translate these frustrations into lyrics. ‘Boredom’ is the darkest representation of these despondent feelings. No body feels like doing anything cause there is nothing worth doing. ‘Right Left’ is ignoring everyone and believing yourself in what you’re doing. ‘Beautiful Breakdown’ and ‘So Unlike You’ are observations of the gloominess, not direct examples.
What is your favorite song you have recorded?
I had a fantastic time writing and recording the forthcoming single, ‘Ghosts’. It’s one of those songs that just grow from a single idea. Everything came together very naturally; the music, the lyrics, the mix.
Is there any band(s) that inspired you to start?
I had heard the Beatles’ ‘Love Me Do’ at my parent’s friend house at the age of four. The second time we went there I asked to hear it again. That convinced my parents to get me the Blue Album by the Beatles. From that moment on, I couldn’t see myself not doing anything but being in a band. It was a life changing moment. I remember the feeling of overwhelming excitement and euphoria from the music. The only other time I had ever felt that way was the first time I heard ‘Take Me Out’ by Franz Ferdinand. That convinced me to start writing songs.
How would you classify your music?
I say it’s Indie Pop/Rock, but I feel that’s it’s closer to Psychedelic Pop/Rock.
Who is your ideal audience?
I don’t have a particular audience that I’m writing to. I’m usually writing for myself. I’m not picky about who listens to my music. I want everyone to enjoy it. The best music can speak to the masses no matter how young or old, or if their gay or straight, or black and white.
What’s your ultimate goal in your music?
I want to push the boundaries of music. David Bowie changed music and made new genres. He was fearless and I want to bring that sense of fearlessness back to music.
When can we expect a full length album?
I haven’t thought about a full length! Its a massive undertaking. I would definitely write some new material, nothing that I’ve released prior to the LP. That’d be a cop out if I just put the two EPs together, added two new songs and called it a full length. It would be its own work, something like Wowee Zowee by Pavement or The White Album. Massive and sprawling, touching on a number of genres and musical types, only less than 40 minutes.
Do you have a dream collaboration?
I’d love to work with Mark Ronson. He produced Kaiser Chiefs, Lily Allen, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Christina Aguilera, and Duran Duran’s latest album. He’s one of those genius producers that can help any artist and augment what makes them unique. Damon Albarn from Blur and Gorillaz would be another choice. Everything he does is just magnificent whether it’s Britpop, Post-Rock, or Synth Pop it’s always interesting and well-written.
Are you planning a tour for 2011? If so, where are you planning on going?
I hoping to get some gigs in the local area by me. It’s real artsy-fartsy up here. Bands play in clothes stores and strange places in these towns. The plan is to do rounds in Poughkeepsie, New Paltz, Kingston, and Newburgh for now and hopefully head down to the New York City. For next year, I would like to get a little tour that hits college towns in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. All depends on what happens, how much can be done this summer and if the band is willing to take a chance.
Will you do a music video for any of your songs?
I have a few music videos right now actually. Three are up on Youtube and they’ve yielded a few views. I ‘m not striving for perfection or serious Spielberg filmmaking, but something interesting and not so traditional from what we’ve been seeing in most music videos today.
If you choose exactly how the rest of the year would play out, what would you want to happen?
If I had it my way, the band would get signed to an artist management firm. Then I could be pushed in the right direction. Just to have someone make and answer phone calls and deal with the less musical and creative side of the business would be a lot off my mind. Get the band on a tour with another band and record an album with an engineer would be great.
Is there anything else you would like to say to your current and future fans?
Thanks for your support! It warms my heart to have people listening to my work and enjoying it as much as I enjoy it. Stay tuned for what’s next…
What is the most unexpected song on your iPod?
I absolutely love Fountains of Wayne; they’re like a guilty pleasure. ‘Stacy’s Mom’ is one of all time guilty pleasures.
Would you consider playing on a television show? If so, which one?
One of my goals is to do SNL. That’s like a huge milestone. That’s when you know you made it. If there was a show like The Young Ones where they had bands pop up to play a song, I’d probably want to do that show. Unfortunately, no ones done a show like that in years.
What’s on your bucket list?
I want to experience the world. See all the sights in the world. I always wanted to publish some fiction or be in a few movies. I want to try a few things before I kick it.
If you could be a musician during any other decade, which one would you pick?
I’d always wondered what it would be like in late 60’s around Carnaby Street. It was like the UK’s equivalent of Bleeker Street in NY. Everything about it, the fashion, the music, is amazing.
What do you do to ‘save you from boredom’?
I read a lot to save me from the boredom. I like Stephen King way too much. Recently, I’ve been reading about mythology and theology. It’s kind of like a rock start cliché to find God, but I find it’s a good way to keep the ego in check.
You’ve allowed fans to make a couple of your songs into ringtones. What is your current ringtone?
Right now, I have the theme from season four and five of the Twilight Zone as my ringtone. It makes people jump whenever I get a call. It’s so recognizable and creepy. It was a good conversation piece whenever it goes off.
Learn more about Transmission Party.
Check out a review of “Transmission Party ’11”
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