Aside from crooked politicians and the mighty milk-loving Raiders, Canberra's actually got some pretty cool stuff going on. Case in point: Teen Jesus & the Jean Teasers. Fresh out of high school, these girls are making major waves both at home and abroad, and their latest single, the anthemic, '90s-nostalgia invoking 'Desk Chair', looks only to assert that further. We caught up with Teen Jesus to chat all things 'Desk Chair', School of Rock and what we can expect from the group this year as they continue on their path to super-stardom.
Introduce us to Teen Jesus & the Jean Teasers. Who’s in the band and what do you all play?
Anna belts the sing songs and plays a nice yellow guitar named Agnes.
Jaida has huge hands and plays bass, with some cheeky backup vocals from time to time.
Scarlett’s guitar is named Bruce and is our favourite member of the band; she also does harmonies in before-mentioned sing songs.
Neve is very organised, polite, and plays the drummies (also with some cheeky backup vocals from time to time.)
You guys have got one of the best/worst band names in Australian music. Who have we got to thank/blame for it, and what would you envision an actual Teen Jesus to look like as a participant of Canberra’s live music scene in 2020?
Unfortunately the story behind the name isn’t nearly as exciting as people expect. Scarlett’s Dad’s friend thought of it many moons ago and she somehow remembered it when we started the band. And honestly, almost any all-male modern indie rock band has at least three members who look like Teen Jesus, so it won’t be that hard to guess!
You famously formed Teen Jesus & the Jean Teasers after watching School Of Rock at a sleepover in Year 10. Who’s the best character in School Of Rock and why?
Wow what a difficult question. We love every single character in the movie with our entire hearts, but one of our favourites would have to be Spider who is probably the smallest role in the movie, but there’s that one bit where he wears that shirt that is nothing but tight, shiny, leather sleeves and we think that makes him superior. (For context, he is the guy that replaces Jack Black in his original band as the guitarist who says “Hey man” and that’s it).
Tell us about Canberra’s music scene. How do you guys fit into the ‘Canberra sound’, if there is one? Do you play in other bands in the scene as well?
None of us play in any other bands, as this one keeps us so busy it’s hard to think about doing more stuff!! But we really don’t need to, as Canberra’s music scene is epic and already jam packed full of sick bands. Whether or not we fit into ‘Canberra sound’ is hard to answer, as Canberra is so small that every band in the scene contributes to the sound. We definitely have a sound that is more commonly found in other Canberra bands, but every band that has come out of this nice little city is lovely, supportive and so damn talented. Some our faves include Sputnik Sweetheart, Charlotte and the Harlots, Slow Dial, Groovy Daughter, and Neko Pink.
Your new single ‘Desk Chair’ has quite an exuberant, ‘90s grunge-pop sound to it – it’s definitely reminiscent of angsty high-school experiences. Walk us through this track – how’d you write it, who did you record it with, and what’s it all about?
‘Desk Chair’ was written in the heart of Year 11 when we were 16/17. You’re completely right with the amount of angst it has, it’s definitely a tribute to our teenage drama and the dumb problems that seem life-threatening. Scarlett wrote it in her tiny bedroom for a school music assignment as an angsty 16 year old and we have been playing it ever since. We decided to record it finally after releasing our two most recent singles, 'I Like That You Like That' and 'See You In A Bit (I Still Care)' because it has a bit more of a pop influence than our other two singles which we like. We recorded it with the beautiful Mr Jon Grace of Homesurgery Recordings in Brunswick, VIC. We love Jon so much and had the absolute best time recording ‘Desk Chair’, so we’re confident that it sounds exactly how the Year 11 versions of us would have wanted.
Describe a Teen Jesus & the Jean Teasers live show in five words or less.
LOUD PLAID GIGGLES #ROCKK YAY
What else can we expect to see from Teen Jesus & the Jean Teasers this year?
We are heading over to the UK in May to do a bunch of different festivals which should be frickin awesome! We’ve never played internationally before so we are sooo keen to see what it’s like to play to a crowd with new accents. Maybe we’ll even announce some more cheeky things over there soon? Who knows….
Listen to Teen Jesus & the Jean Teasers' new single 'Desk Chair' and keep up to date with all the band's misadventures here.