The Brooklyn band is currently on tour, and their Savannah stop is their first time in our city.
Argonaut & Wasp is a four-piece band, but its bandleaders are Trey and Theo, whose different music tastes came together in a nice way. Fans of Phoenix and Hot Chip will love their dance-y sound, especially their new single, “TVs.”
We caught up with Trey and Theo last week.
Trey: Theo and I met when we were at university in Vermont. We met in the dorms and we both came from different musical backgrounds—Theo came from a DJ background and was well-versed in electronic music, I was more of an indie rock background. I really appreciate electronic music, but the stuff I was exposed to, I was having a hard time sifting through the kind of crappier stuff. But when Theo and I started hanging out, he exposed me to a lot of cool stuff. We just came together on this mission of trying to write classic-sounding songs, but while keeping everything to a danceable beat.
CS: What was the formation of your sound like?
Trey: Forming a strong live show was obviously a big aspect in the beginning for us. There was a lot of electronic duos coming up around the time we started making music, and that’s essentially what we were. We were two songwriters and producers, but when it came to our live show, it was always super important that we formed a real rock ‘n’ roll live band performance.
We keep that in mind, too, when we do the songwriting, because we want to write songs that are going to bode well in the types of shows we want to perform.
It’s really crazy how separate those two things are, the studio work and live performance. It takes a lot of thought to try to bridge the gap between the two. We have a lot of songs that are our favorite recordings, but we never play them live. We also have a lot of songs that aren’t even released that are a big part of our live show. Some of the songs, maybe one or two, I can’t even tell you when I think we would put them out, right? But they’re just staples of the show.
CS: You and Theo are the bandleaders, but you play with other musicians. How does the band’s structure work; do you rotate musicians?
Trey: We don’t rotate them, and that’s been really important for us. A big part of seeing a band perform is seeing the chemistry they have onstage, and that comes with time. We’ve been playing with the same bass player and drummer for four or five years. We’re a real unit when it comes to the stage.
CS: What was the recording process like for your new single, “TVs?”
Trey: That song, Theo just woke up one morning and the whole song fell out in a few hours.
CS: Is that how your writing process usually goes?
Trey: Definitely sometimes. That’s how some of the best songs are written, when they just come out as fast and organically as possible. It’s not always that easy, but the way our process works is Theo or I will kind of write a song, and if we need help with certain sections, we’ll bring it to the other person. Or when it goes into production, we’ll share ideas on arrangements and stuff like that. A lot of the stuff we start together, too. We’ve lived together for a long time, and we live above our recording studio, so sometimes we just hop down and start something from scratch.
CS: Do you have an album coming after the single?
Trey: Definitely. That’s one of the things we’re most excited about—we’ve been putting out music for a little while, but we have not had the opportunity to really do a full record, and now fall 2020 is when we’re hoping to get our full length out there for the first time. We’ve been working hard over the last few years.
CS: You’re on tour now; have you ever been to Savannah?
Trey: We’ve never been to Savannah, but we just went to Atlanta and that was crazy, so fun. We played Terminal West with this band called Magic City Hippies, who are awesome.
We’ve done one small music festival before, but other than that we’ve never done any festivals. This spring, we’re doing some festivals which we’re really excited about too. We were itching to play festivals and this was the first opportunity we really had. We’re hoping to get more.
CS: What can we expect from an Argonaut & Wasp show?
Theo: Get ready to get rowdy.
Trey: It’s gonna be more cowbell.