Melbourne four-piece Mr. Teenage deliver punchy rock’n’roll with pop sensibility and a whole lot of heart. Featuring brothers Nic and Joe Imfeld (vocals and bass, and lead guitar respectively) Carey Paterson (guitar) and Nadine Muller (drums), this outfit may be new but they are far from green.
After an impressive late 2019 debut, the band quickly garnered attention and airplay in Australia and abroad for the Bandcamp release of a demo of the song Neighbourhood. The track prompted Bandcamp to feature the group in their NEW & NOTABLE section and describe the song as “A banging feel-good garage-rock song.” Shows with The Murlocs, Lydia Lunch, Civic, the Girlatones and others followed in quick succession, and the band had a promising 2020 ahead of them with Boogie, Meadow Festival, Amyl and The Sniffers and Cosmic Psychos shows all in the pipeline. With calendars suddenly clear and 2020 pretty much in the can, the group got busy working on the release of their first EP, Automatic Love, which was recorded for them by Anti-Fade Records’ Billy Gardener. Drummer Nadine Muller talks more about the EP with Hi Fi Way.
Is there a feeling of relief or excitement that your EP is about to come out?
Absolutely! It’s always hard to sit on something that you’ve put a lot into and then wait for ‘the right time’ but we had the COVID hurdle, as well as the usual things like; mixing/ mastering and artwork but now that it’s finally out, we are all really stoked with the response and all of the great feedback that we’ve received.
Was it as much hard work as you thought?
I never really see that stuff as hard work to be honest. I feel privileged that I can be doing something so fun with my friends. For me, the hard part is the admin and the non-creative elements to playing in a working band but the gigs, the recording and the writing are what we all love to do.
Did COVID add another layer of complexity in getting it done?
A little bit with releasing the EP.. There were delays with the pressing plants and things like that but we had luckily already recorded Automatic Love before lockdown so it’s been more difficult with trying to make things from scratch during this time, like making a music video and working on new recordings- as we haven’t been able to hang out in the same room for about three months now! But as of today, restrictions have been lifted in Victoria so hopefully we can get the music video finished and get back into writing and playing.
Sonically, how would you describe your music?
Well my drumming got described as ‘neanderthal like’ in a review this week (not sure if that’s a compliment or not? haha) so on that note, if Wilma Flinston was playing drums with Kermit the frog on vocals, accompanied by Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum on guitar, I think that would be in the ballpark of how we sound. Power pop/ garage!?
How did you get the band together?
Nic and I had a few drunken conversations about having a jam and about five months later followed through! Nic’s brother Joe is an incredible guitarist (who had never played guitar in a band before) and he came along to maybe the third rehearsal and when Nic played some of our phone demos to his housemate Carey (who luckily, also happens to be a great guitarist), he was keen to join in on the next one and it all just fell into place after that.
What are some of your main shared influences?
The Ramones, Thin Lizzy, the Dictators and a bunch of the 60s, girl groups like; Sangri- Las, Ronettes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.
Is there anything symbolic about the name Mr Teenage?
Nics favourite wrestler from the 1980s went by the name of ‘Mr. Teenage’ and it was the best of an average bunch of band names we had floating around early on. Joe hates it, haha.
Are there plans for more new music?
We’ve got something coming out early next year on a compilation (which I can’t disclose much about yet) but I can tell you, it’s going to be pretttty, prettty, pretty good. And now that restrictions have eased hopefully we will be able to get cracking on an LP very soon.
How excited are you about the prospect of touring?
Very! I imagine it will just be touring within Australia for the next twelve months or so- with border restrictions and all of that stuff still going on but I’m excited to play as soon as we can.
What’s a fun fact that your fans wouldn’t know about Mr Teenage?
Nic and I met at a TAFE music industries course in Bendigo when we were 15/ 16 and Joe’s middle name is Delmar.
Interview By Rob Lyon