By Rachel George, Entertainment Editor
The Gateway chatted with local band The Answer Team about who they are, where they’ve been, their times at UNO and plans for their next big album.
Q – How did the band form?
A – Brandon: The band originally formed out of Tom and my old band South of No North. After having abruptly come to an end, we didn’t see each other or write music together for awhile but after a few months. Tom approached me with some new music he had written (Summer in the Rain, Dead Letter Office, and some parts of Are You On the Team) and said we should start playing music again. I agreed. We searched around for a long time for another guitar player. After a year (maybe less) I ended up meeting Jason through a random
acquaintance he and I both had. We asked him to start playing with us and the rest is kind of history. Dustin Treinen joined in 2009 after our old bass player, the lovely poet and comedian Tim Greenup, left for grad school to Spokane, WA. We’ve been through several member changes, which has seemed really difficult at times but we’ve really started to hit our stride and have had our current lineup for a little over a year now.
Q – How would you describe your sound?
A – Brandon: I would describe our sound as a more approachable postrock sound. Although, many of our songs still maintain some of the traditional rock song structures with their own little Answer Team twist. We try our best to draw on as many different sounds as we can and consistently try to challenge ourselves by testing out new areas and styles we’re not always the most familiar with.
Tom: Various beautiful snow-covered city parks bursting into thunder every so often.
Q – Who are your influences and inspirations?
A – Tom: All of us have wildly different tastes and inspirations with a few common bands we all love, like Mogwai, Godspeed! You Black Emperor, and Broken Social Scene. Regarding our sound, I’ve heard comparisons to bands as diverse as Sonic Youth, the Appleseed Cast, Explosions in the Sky and Tristeza.
Q – Do you guys have any big things in the works?
A – Brandon: We’re currently working on finishing up our first fulllength album. We’ve been looking forward to getting this album out for some time now and we’re all really excited to finish it up and get it out the door. We’ve been very fortunate to be able to record in some of Omaha’s finest recording studios, including the Faint’s Enamel Studio with the gracious Joel Petersen (of the Faint) and the Mogis Brothers’ARC Studios with AJ Mogis (of Criteria) right across the street from UNO. The record will also feature our good friend Kaitlyn Filippini on Violin and Chelsie Hartness on piano on various tracks (we can’t thank them enough for the contribution to our music) as well as some transitional minimalist musical stylings coupled with poetry written by our guitar player Tom McCauley. We’re also going to be touring the midwest Feb 17-25. You can find the exact location information on our website at theanswerteam.net. Our next gig in Omaha is February 25th at the Waiting Room for the Noah’s Ark was a Spaceship CD release party. Once we finish recording the album, we’ll book our own release show for sometime in March.
Q – Where is your favorite place to play?
A – Brandon: We absolutely love to play on the Slowdown main stage. There is something about the sound of that stage that just really gives our music the breadth and body we’re looking for.
Dustin: We’ve also had great responses from our O’Leaver’s shows. Maybe it’s a combination of us being really loud and that place being really small that makes us difficult to ignore.
Q – I hear you have roots to UNO. What’s the story?
A – Tom: We all went to UNO at various times. Brandon and I still go there. We basically formed in University Village when I would come over to Brandon’s dorm the summer after our freshman year and play these awesome new songs I’d written. We’ve also played in the student center. Plus I used to write for the Gateway many moons ago.
Dustin: Oddly enough, all of us, including Kaitlyn and Chelsie, have graduated from or close to graduating from UNO, but that hasn’t been how any of us have met (with the exception of Tom and Brandon). I had seen Tom and Brandon around on campus every once in a while, but I didn’t know Tom at all and only recognized Brandon from seeing him at the Ranch Bowl.
Q – How does being from Omaha impact the band?
A – Brandon: Omaha has been very good to us. There are several terrific venues in town and a very supportive musical community that has really allowed us to do one of things we love to do most — play music. More recently, we’ve had the opportunity to record at some of the midwest’s premier recording studios and work with one two of the biggest names in indie rock without ever having to leave home. We also are fortunate to live in a town with a Mayor as supportive of the art community as Jim Suttle. We encourage everyone to go out and vote NO on the recall on or before Jan. 25. We’re all behind the Mayor 100%, and it’s important to recognize how much of a loss it would be for Omaha and, more specifically, the music community, if the Mayor were recalled.
Tom: We’ve played in various Omaha bands throughout the years and have befriended tons of local bands who inspire us to keep going. There’s such a great, diverse artistic energy pulsing through this city, and I guess we’re just responding to that in our own way.