INTERVIEW: The Meme Team on memes, teams, and Mountain Dew Pitch Black!

You might recognize the name Dave Carroll as the man behind TinyForest or Dronewater, or even his work with Bird Zoo. Most recently, Carroll has teamed up with Savvy Dee, aka iNTELLi G, to form The Meme Team, a DJ group that does DJ things with DJ stuff. While we quietly await their debut, we caught up with Carroll and Dee to ask them about their music, their top memes, and why that last Terminator movie was so unbelievably bad! You can catch them live on May 21st for the Blaklyt EP release show alongside Cave DWLR, Sarboza, CPHR DVN, and Halfspun. You can catch a track from both below in the meantime.

TinyForest x Sather Bass – “Louisville Streetz”


Never Nervous: What lead you both to music? What was the first instrument you played and why?

Savvy Dee: Always had a musical obsession. I started collecting CDs when I was 6 or 7. The first instrument I played was piano, my grandmother had one I could play when we visited. I started writing music on it when I was 10, before I ever studied music theory.

Dave Carroll: I had a similar story. I grew up in an extremely musical household. My dad plays the accordion, and my brother played the piano. Music and CDs were all around. My mom used to take me to buy CDs as early as or before kindergarten.

NN: How did the Meme Team start and why?

SD: Uh, it kind of started out as a joke. Dave?

DC: It was absolutely a joke. We both post absolute bullshit on the internet, and pretty quickly on to things came up with the name.

NN: Tell us a little bit about the concept at play here. The name implies a spread of ideas, like you’re trying to broaden someone’s conscious. Is that intentional?

Memeteam: Kind of. We’re playing with every form of media we can get our hands on. We’ve also tossed the idea of making lighters, cig boxes, clothing, anything we can put designs on so people are constantly reminded of our stupid faces.

NN: How important is image in music and why?

SD: It’s kind of important. Image tells people what you’re about before they even hear you. It shouldn’t supersede the music though.

“Music is what matters. Image will never make a bad musician good.”

DC: It is important, but not as important as the sound. There are a good number of artists I currently listen to who have very little social media presence of visual accompaniment to their music. The music is what matters. Image will never make a bad musician good.

NN: What is it like to collaborate with someone that you are in a relationship with? Are there any stresses outside of the process that have to be attended to, or is it like any other collaborative project?

SD: It’s really awesome because we can bond over things, but I often find myself distracted by his butt.

DC: Ditto. It’s pretty easy. Savvy might make a track I really want to fuck with, so she’ll send me the pieces of it, I’ll work on it, send it back to her, and so on. We drive around with her laptop hooked into my car sound system to mix tracks down sometimes.

NN: What can you tell us about your writing process? Is it collaborative or does one person bring in all the core ideas for a track?

Memeteam: We’ve mostly remixed stuff for each other thus far. We work in different DAWs so that’s been the easiest way to meld ideas.

NN: When is a track done and why? Can a song evolve in the moment live, or should a concert reflect an accurate representation of the recording?

SD: We haven’t done any live production yet, but we’re playing with the idea of having the basic elements of a track playing off stem and then playing around with the one-shots in sort of a jam format. It’s gonna take some more gear investment.

DC: I dunno if this is a good answer, but I often find myself exporting half-finished tracks and mixing them into sets to kind of test the waters. If people really fuck with a loop I know to keep it how it is. If I had the controllers or software necessary to facilitate a more open-ended musical set, every time you saw me would be totally different. There is no reason electronic music cannot carry the same organized chaos that other forms of live music contain. Frank Zappa wanted every time you saw him to be completely different. When I go to see artists I always hope they flip their music on its head in a way I can only see right in front of me.

NN: When should we expect a proper release?

Memeteam: We’re currently sitting on a few tracks for the first Memeteam EP and will probably have it ready to go sometime this summer. It will have solo originals, partner remixes, and collaborative stuff.

NN: What can either of you tell us about your solo work? For Dave, how is TinyForest or Dronewater going? Are you still working with Bird Zoo? For Savvy, what is your musical resume?

SD: I’ve been performing for a long time. I have 5 released EPs and a lot of singles. I’m kind of into this 2-3 track EP thing right now, my creative flow shifts gears every few months now. I’m just riding the next wave.

DC: I just kind of make tracks right now. I have loose plans for EPs and albums, but find myself just getting so caught in the composition that they all end up sounding different from each other. I’m trying to spend most of my efforts on Dronewater right now, and build it into something very rich. I feel like Tinyforest has just become an umbrella name for countless genres and styles. As far as Bird Zoo goes, we are cool, calm, collected, and planning very carefully to destroy this city like we always have. Being a band with so many members poses obstacles, though. Mostly in finding time to congregate. I’ve had projects and tracks I’ve wanted to do for a long time now that can’t be done unless all of the people necessary are together and everyone is busy 24/7. Adulting is fun.

NN: What constitutes a good show and why? What about a bad show? Feel free to cite examples.

“The worst show I ever played was a rave that put me on the flyer as doing a b2b with a friend of mine who plays nothing similar to me. He did this because we are both women. He also asked neither of us if we wanted to play this thing. We didn’t show up, but since I was on the flyer I still say it was the worst rave I’ve ever played.”

SD: The worst show I ever played was a rave that put me on the flyer as doing a b2b with a friend of mine who plays nothing similar to me. He did this because we are both women. He also asked neither of us if we wanted to play this thing. We didn’t show up, but since I was on the flyer I still say it was the worst rave I’ve ever played.

DC: A good show is a show where everything runs smoothly, a large turnout, and the musician(s) and audience share the same experience. Or just a show that runs ON TIME. My personal worst show was with Bird Zoo at Tim Faulkner over a year ago. I was sick as a fucking dog. I drank enough DayQuil to kill an infant to show up to an empty Tim Faulkner gallery. There were maybe 5 people. On top of that, one of the tubes in my amplifier was nearing the end of its life, so toward the end of the set I couldn’t even play. Let’s just say you can’t always hit them out of the park. Murphy’s Law likes to stop in and say hi every now and then.

NN: What is your favorite meme and why? What about your least favorite?

SD: Favorite is Pepe because I need to be shut down. Least is rape sloth, because it’s mostly used by fuckboys.

DC: Favorite meme? BOI HE BOUT TO DO IT. Or any meme featuring a blurry photo of Mike Wazowski. Least favorite meme is any meme that people share in a serious manner. Like the ones that take a meme format but aren’t memes. My obsession with memes has hit a point that I can’t always find words to describe the perspective through which my mind interprets its meaning. It’s like trying to explain the peak of an acid trip in concrete words. I guess memes give me a psychedelic experience.

NN: Why did that last Terminator movie suck so bad? And if you haven’t watched it, feel free to just make something up, because it might be better than the movie anyway.

SD: One time when I was in elementary school I was talking to a boy I liked and long story short I sneezed and flung a rocket of bloody snot onto his face and he never spoke to me again. Heart wrenching.

DC: The first two are the only good ones. The third one was atrocious. Why the fuck is Common in one of them? How many are there at this point? What day is it? WHAT YEAR?

NN: What is the worst song ever and why?

SD: This is the song that never ends yes it goes on and on my friends some people started singing it not knowing what it was and now they keep on singing it forever just because this is the song that never ends yes it

DC: Jack & Diane, by John Mellencamp

NN: What non-musical things have you riled recently? Have you read, watched, drank, or eaten anything that has you fired up?

SD: Oh man do you watch Supernatural? I love Supernatural. #teamfreewill

DC: Mountain Dew Pitch Black is back!!!

NN: What are your top three and a half desert island album picks and why?

SD: Drink The Sea, good kid m.A.A.d. City, Kraddy’s Labyrinth, and half of the songs from whichever Now compilation had Goodies by Ciara on it.

DC: DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing, Tool’s Lateralus, Beach House’s Bloom, and the second disc of Diplomatic Immunity from Dipset.