What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
Claeb: Josh began making music at the age of seven with his first acoustic guitar (a 1994 Fender AG-10) but didn’t create anything particularly palatable until high school. We began making music together during our sophomore year when we had a computer programming class together and our teacher would let us record in the school’s studio. Back then we were really into punk rock and really dug the first Meat Puppets record and tried pretty hard to emulate their sound with acoustic instruments. At first the lineup was myself on vocals, Josh on guitar, and our childhood friend Taylor on a junior set of drums that we picked up at Goodwill. We played for fun and never took it seriously whatsoever as our main goal was making ourselves laugh, but after our first band dissolved we wanted to take our music into a new direction, and that is when we decided to start Green Tea Goblins.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Josh: Our latest release “Sin Tax” is a song that has been around awhile and took us a good length of time getting it tracked. I wrote the guitar part last Winter and decided pretty quickly that I wanted to make sure I had the guitar perfected before I started writing the drums and the lyrics. I got started on the lyrics this April and wanted them to be a statement on our society that would make people question the typical processes that we go through in everyday life that make little sense to me, such as being locked up in prison for non-violent crimes where no one was hurt in any way except for the “criminal” themselves. Once everything was recorded Claeb and I really liked the way my rough mix sounded so we took extra time mixing and mastering it to get it even closer to our vision. The cover art is a picture of us from our sophomore year, before Claeb stopped eating loads of fried foods and I hardly ate at all giving us a rather funny contrast in terms of looks.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Claeb: I think our biggest influences music wise would be John Frusciante, Meat Puppets, Nirvana, and Pat the Bunny. John Frusciante’s first two solo records had an intense impact on us both and completely changed the way we look at music and other forms of art. We are also heavily influenced by the DIY ethic side of punk rock as it inspires us to create and invalidates the excuses that we have that keep us from getting things done.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
Josh: We have always described our music as Garage Rock or Acid Punk because we feel that most of our music fits in those two categories, but we never try to force ourselves to fit into those genres during the writing process. What makes us different from other bands would most likely be how we write our songs. We have a very strange and complicated way of composing and it has always been that way. Due to our unconventional and experimental methods our music feels very psychedelic to us at times, even when the tracks don’t necessarily have the qualities most people would associate with psychedelia.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Claeb: Our three desert island albums would have to be Smile From the Streets You Hold, My War, and Meat Puppets. For movies we’d have to go with the 1925 adaptation of Phantom of the Opera, a kids dvd we found in some clearance bin called Sitting Ducks, and The Devil and Daniel Johnston. Our desert island books would definitely be The One and Only Ivan, The Catcher in the Rye, and the first Captain Underpants graphic novel.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Josh: We love how things can just flow out in the studio and we probably prefer it, but we have only played one show so far as Green Tea Goblins. We’re ready to start performing again so we have some shows set up for this Summer and plan to spend much less time in the studio to keep the magic alive. The biggest problem with live performances for us is that we never want to replace our old drummer, Taylor, because it just wouldn’t feel right. That’s why I program our drums in a way that mimics his style. So when we do play shows we will be playing with the drum tracks that are on the studio recordings, or in other words the “ghost” of Taylor.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Claeb: There is a comical story that is really just the origin of our single “Chocolate Milk Jug”. After a night of partying by ourselves sometime in Fall 2017, we were walking a few miles back to my place. We were sharing swigs from a jug of chocolate milk and must have dropped it accidentally on the road half full at some point in our stupor. Someone who we won’t name drove by and honked at us multiple times basically telling us to go home, and then drove up the road and we heard a sound that rivaled a good firecracker. The car hit the milk jug and it exploded everywhere. We went back the next day to get the plastic corpse and then buried it.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Josh: Our most unique track would probably be “The Song Basement”. I wrote that song as a tribute to the basement that Claeb and I spent a lot of time writing and recording in when we were in high school. It had a very special atmosphere to it and I wanted the song to have the same feeling we would have when we’d just chain smoke and write songs down there. I also wrote the song after we were unable to keep spending time there so it also has both nostalgic and melancholic sounds to it. It’s the track I’m most proud of from our debut album Hand Hugs.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Claeb: We plan on getting a tour set up as soon as possible now that we feel our sound is consistent. We have some local shows we will be playing this Summer but we are planning much bigger than just gigging in our home state of Pennsylvania. On Sept. 5th we’re doing a show with a few other acts at Gooski’s in Pittsburgh starting at 8:00 PM.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
How did the name Green Tea Goblins come about?
Josh: We thought of our band name right after we had to call it quits with our old band. In high school we didn’t really care about what we put in our bodies and our lifestyles were both very unhealthy, but we loved green tea. We thought it was a hilarious contradiction and decided to mix something full of antioxidants that we enjoyed like our favorite beverage with repulsive and creepy creatures like goblins to form our name. The whole process took a total of five minutes.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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