INTERVIEW: A short chat with Andy White of Tonstartssbandht on radioactivity, Freebird, and Stereolab!

I do the music booking at Kaiju and the fine folks here at Never Nervous have asked me to interview some of my favorite acts that are rolling through town. I’m stoked to get this started with a band I’ve wanted to get to Louisville for years, Tonstartssbandht (Pronounced Ton-starts-band-it). They are a band of two brothers, Andy and Edwin White, who have put out something like 17 excellent, genre-spanning records over the past 10 years.

Andy, who also plays guitar for Mac DeMarco, was kind enough to answer some questions for me. You can listen below and check them out courtesy of Kaiju and Vectortone live at Kaiju this Thursday the 29th at 9PM with Exacta Cube and the Cooper, Davis, Rosenblum Band. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

Never Nervous: At what age did you guys start playing music together? Did you come from a musical family?

Andy White: We started Tonstartssbandht when Edwin was 20 and I was 18, but we’d been playing in different ensembles with each other through our teens and have played music together for fun at home (piano guitar singing) for fun since we were children.

NN: All of your records are so different. Do you have a specific idea for the sound in mind when you start working on it, or is it just whatever happens when you guys get together?

AW: Sort of a mix of those two scenarios! The sounds that different records have reflect the general attitude of the songs that we’re writing/recording in a given time period, which in turn reflect what we’re excited when we get together.

NN: You guys have never been to Louisville, right? Anything you’re looking forward to on your first trip here?

“First thing we’re gonna do is break into Fort Knox with a nuclear device and irradiate all the gold inside.”

AW: That’s right, all these years and we’ve never played in Louisville. Very excited for our first visit. First thing we’re gonna do is break into Fort Knox with a nuclear device and irradiate all the gold inside.

NN: Speaking of Louisville, how do you know the legendary Aaron Rosenblum?? I’ve realized lately that he has a lot of cool friends.

AW: I found myself downloading music from Aaron on Soulseek when I was in high school. Then I heard about him through Lea and Russ from Blues Control. Finally I met Aaron seemingly by chance at CKUT in Montreal, where we were both studying and getting involved in community radio. He is a sweet man :^)

NN: Do you find it hard or weird when you’re playing in the opening band and the headlining band?

AW: As long as you enjoy yourself while you’re playing and you enjoy the different people you play with, it makes no difference to me when you play or how many different sets you play in a night.

NN: What’s your classic rock guilty pleasure?

AW: Freebird.

NN: Do you like Stereolab? Emperor Tomato Ketchup or Dots and Loops?

AW: Edwin is a Stereolab fan. He likes Emperor Tomato Ketchup.