Music Spotlight: Teenage Wrist
LA-based rock trio Teenage Wrist released their debut full-length album Chrome Neon Jesus this past March, and we’ve had it on repeat ever since. the band, composed of vocalist + bassist Kamtin Mohager, guitarist + vocalist Marshall Gallagher, + drummer Anthony Salazar, raids our ears with their modern, underground shoegaze sound, complete with guitar distortions + a ton of energy. we chatted with Marshall about the record + their themes of growing into adulthood. be sure to catch their LA show on November 18 at The wiltern.
Asymmetric Magazine: You released your full length album Chrome Neon Jesus earlier this year. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Teenage Wrist: It’s our first LP via Epitaph Records, and we’re very proud of it. For the first couple of years, this band was more of a fun side project and we never really imagined it would reach so many people.T he title itself was originally something that Kam saw in a B horror movie. Somehow it went off the rails and became the focal point of this existential mess about belief systems, growing up and trying to understand who the fuck you are.
AM: What was the process like creating this full length?
TW: Some of the songs had been in the bank for a while, but we wrote and demoed a good chunk of it in the span of a month or so. Just the three of us in one of our apartments, recording on my laptop. Our main dude Carlos de la Garza took the reins on engineering and production once we had the tunes worked out. He was a blast to be in the studio with and really nailed the sound we were envisioning. So, that made it a relatively easy and very gratifying process. No studio meltdowns—we’re saving that for LP2.
AM: How does it compare to your previous work like Dazed?
TW: Dazed was thrown together purely for the fun of it, and it was super DIY, which made it cool, but I do feel like the songwriting grew quite a bit with Chrome. The LP got much heavier, probably because we were grinding a little harder.
AM: How would you describe your sound?
TW: Shoegaze that you couldn’t possibly stare at your shoes to.
AM: What themes do you typically pursue through your music?
TW: Dazed was essentially a heartbreak record; it served its purpose but we actually did make a conscious effort to move away from that with Chrome, since none of us were really all that heartbroken at the time. Chrome pretty much sums up your typical first world existential crisis in your late 20s or early 30s. It’s about disconnecting from everything you thought you knew as a teenager and seeing the world through a bigger, clearer lens. We cover a lot of stuff—failed marriage, depression, other relationships, things that you start to understand a little better as you find your place in the universe.
It’s about disconnecting from everything you thought you knew as a teenager and seeing the world through a bigger, clearer lens.
AM: What other musicians are currently inspiring you?
TW: Wildly different for all of us I’m sure, but personally I can’t stop listening to Shame, DMA’s, Parquet Courts and Code Orange. All of those bands are each doing something that I’m craving.
AM: What role does Los Angeles play in your work?
TW: LA is such a giant grimy melting pot of sounds, culture and art. We like to think we’re similar on a much smaller scale; we put a lot of seemingly random ideas from opposite ends of music into something that hopefully someone will find beautiful.
AM: Where is one place that you feel completely in touch with your creative self/music?
TW: Ha, I can’t honestly say that about anywhere. Creative forces find me in the strangest places at the most inopportune times. Like, I wrote a riff in my head the other night at 2:00am when I was sick as hell in a hotel bed in Nottingham, recorded it when I got back home, and now I can’t decide whether it’s the best thing I’ve ever written or total shit. I don’t think there’s ever been one specific time or place where I’ve felt completely in touch with music. It comes in waves, and it’s never the same.
AM: You recently started your tour. What can fans expect from a Teenage Wrist live show?
TW: A lot of hair and sweat flying around and even more chorus pedal. And our guitar player Chase doing an eerily accurate Bam Margera impression.
AM: Whats next after this tour?
TW: We’re on tour with Thrice and the Bronx, which is a total party and will probably round out the year touring wise. Then, we thought we’d do a Christmas album—mostly Creed covers with the lyrics slightly changed to fit the season. If the label doesn’t sign off on that, then probably something slightly less cool next spring. We’re firing up the writing machine again over the winter.
// listen to chrome neon jesus:
// Listen to more Teenage Wrist on Spotify.