Formed in a small East Village apartment in 2006, TV/TV have taken a short time to achieve success with their itinerary of solid punk-pop songs, such as, “Get It … Get It” and “Let it Go.” Their EP, “Something to get Excited About” has caused a buzz in the entertainment industry that has already showcased TV/TV’s music on MTV’s The Hills, E! Channel’s Living Lohan, The Real World, and Sci Fi’s Flash Gordon. Their success is testament to their catchy shout-along lyrics and having-fun vibe. They draw musical inspiration from an eclectic mix of rock pop and punk fair; bands such as The Hives, The Beachboys, The Prodigy, The Beatles, Radiohead and Green Day. TV/TV are musicians who take their influences from a wide mix of music genres and turn it around into something of their own, and that always impresses me. It tells me that these guys are the real deal and are serious about their careers.
TV/TV are still on tour and looking for the ultimate prize of a record deal. I spoke to the band before their LA gig at The Knitting Factory. TV/TV are: Josh Ocean (singer and guitars), Eric (guitars), Mr. Francois (bass), and Camillie Oliver (drums).
I asked Josh Ocean, TV/TV’s charismatic front man, if he was surprised by TV/TV’s success.
Ocean: We have a solid appreciation of pop music and I think that is telling in our success so far. The Rolling Stones make solid pop rock songs and that’s how we see ourselves making music.
GL: Where did you get the name, TV/TV?
Ocean: We took our name from a San Francisco-based, 1970’s pioneering video collective that endorsed rebellion from mainstream film.
GL: Describe your music?
Ocean: Our music is cheeky and fun. We have a big pop sound with a lot of angst and a lot of attitude.
GL: What angst? What are you angry about?
Mr. F: Girls. Yeah, it’s usually girls, our frustration with girls.
GL: Which bands did you listen to in your teens and have influenced you in your music?
Eric: Steely Dan, The Beach Boys, Mariah Carey, and The Beatles
Mr. F: The Prodigy, Queen, and Radiohead
CO: A lot of Jazz, Green Day, N Sync
Ocean: The Killers, Metallica, and The Hives. We listened to a lot of California punk bands such as, Face to Face and Third Eye Blind.
GL: Tell me about your backgrounds?
CO: My parents are jazz musicians and I’ve been playing music since I was 3 years old. I also went to music school. I spent a few years in LA, in the music scene here.
Eric: I have a showbiz mom whose appeared on Broadway and I sang in the choir and still do.
Mr. F: I spent my early years in Poland and I hope the band will play there one day.
GL: What differences do you see between the LA and NYC music scene?
CO: When a band does well in LA, the industry jumps on the bandwagon and copies it to make money.
Ocean: LA is so spread out that it’s hard to build a scene that musicians can feed off. NYC has some incredible and talented musicians. All this music is within an eight-mile radius. It’s an incredible vibe.
GL: You’ve been touring a lot, which cities have responded well to your music?
TV/TV: Austin, Texas; Anaheim; Chicago; San Antonio.
CO: When we played in NYC, it was incredible.
GL: What does each of you bring in to the mix?
Ocean: Everyone produces the music. I bring my lyrics, my ideas, to Eric and then the rest of the band. Together we make it a TV/TV song.
GL: What’s been the hardest for you as musicians and touring?
Ocean: We’ve met so many amazing people on the way and we’ve traveled to places we’ve never been to before. We do it because we love it and we are still having fun.
GL: What’s been your favorite moment on tour so far?
CO: The New York Show. It was sold out.
Ocean: Going to places we’ve never been to before, like Wisconsin.
GL: What is your favorite song to play live?
TV/TV: “Let it Go.”
GL: Which song sums up your music?
TV/TV: “Get it, get it.”
GL: What will your fans expect at your show tonight?
Ocean: We will play our hearts out.
Mr. F: A record contract. That would be nice.
GL: When you’re not playing music, what else makes you tick?
Ocean: Surfing, going to museums, and visiting new cities.
Eric: I’m a gear head. I make things and fix things, like guitars.
CO: I’m always playing music.
Mr. F: Shopping and hanging out. Since we’ve been on tour we haven’t had time to do anything else but play and rehearse music.
GL: Where have you eaten out in LA?
TV/TV: In and Out Burger; Kitchen 24; Snack Dragon.
GL: Where do you buy your clothes?
TV/TV: Diesel; Burberry; Urban Outfitters; Cliché.
GL: What are you doing for Thanksgiving?
TV/TV: None of us can cook. Our mom’s are cooking for us.
GL: I’m not going to ask you whom you voted for but do you think 2009 will see many changes with a new president?
Ocean: Well, we’re from New York so you can probably guess whom we voted for. We are all excited about it. America came together for change. It wasn’t a 50/50 thing, everyone went out to vote for change.
GL: What are your plans for 2009?
TV/TV: New songs and a WARP tour. There’s also a video coming out. We’d love to play in London. London’s music scene is similar to New York. Mr. Francois would love to play in Poland.
Words & Pictures: Ginger Liu