New Haven, CT-based band The Problem With Kids Today are a hot new trio of rock and roll delinquents. The band formed in 2020 and is comprised of frontman “The Great” Tate Brooks leading the charge on vocals and guitar, his childhood best friend Silas “The Slayer” Lourenco Lang on 4 string buttery bass guitar and vocals and the glue that keeps them together “Rock N Roll” Reena Yu holding it down on the skins and backing vocals.
The Problem With Kids Today are excited to share their new single “What Else Could I Say” and it’s accompanying music video, which was directed by Kicker Pictures’ Connor Rog. “What Else Could I Say” is the first track to be releases from the band’s full-length debut album Born To Rock out on February 9, 2024. “What Else Could I Say” is on all streaming platforms now for any playlist shares.
“Born To Rock” is the band’s debut album. How would you describe the creative journey and recording process of this album?
It was a long time coming. We had most of these songs already, and had recorded a few with Sam Carlson – a producer/engineer in New Haven – before getting the opportunity to record with Adam Lasus at Q Division. While we waited for the studio to open we took the time to practice these songs over and over, not stopping until they were perfect. We knew what each song was supposed to be before we even set foot in the studio.
The single “What Else Could I Say” is described as an indie punk anthem. What inspired this song and how did it set the standard for the rest of the album?
It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly inspired this song, or any of them really. We all listen to a lot of different types of music and it all sort of bangs around and combines with different stuff in our heads, but it definitely felt more in line with the indie rock we listened to as teens then say, KISS or something. In terms of setting a standard, it was the first one we felt we had really gotten down, really nailed. That sort of became the backbone of the record, growing into what is now a very varied and fun record.
The music video for “What Else Could I Say” was directed by Connor Rog of Kicker Pictures. What was it like collaborating on the creation of this music video, and what can fans expect from it?
It’s always great to work with Connor. We had done a music video and a live session before with him, so we had that history together which is always helpful. We have very similar tastes and he really gets our vision and aesthetic, making collaborating lots of fun and very easy! Reena, who plays drums, actually made a lot of the background set stuff you see in the video. As for what to expect, you’ll just have to watch it!
You’ve mentioned that the band revisits sounds and themes from the ’70s, creating an original version. What are the key musical influences that shaped the sound of “The Problem With Kids Today”?
There’s so many, honestly. We could list bands for hours and still leave people out. Just a few that the three of us have in common however would be The Beatles, The Who, The Replacements, and Big Star.
Apart from the album release, you’re scheduling shows in New England. What can fans expect from these live performances?
Lots of energy. We made a name for ourselves in New England based on our live shows. We’re tight, we’re fast, we’re loud, and we like to have a good time. We’re a bit crazy but we won’t hurt you, promise.
The band is known for high-energy live performances. How do you translate that energy into the studio during the album recording?
Both us and Adam Lasus knew that the live feeling – that crazy, about-to-fall-apart-energy – is the cornerstone to these songs and this record. Capturing that was essential. We recorded live, eschewing perfection for feeling and energy, often times doing 10/15 takes until we all agreed we had got a great one.
You recorded the album in eight days, exploring a wide variety of instruments. Could you share some interesting experiences you had during the recording process?
Well it was our first time being in such a big and grand studio, we were all a bit awestruck at first. After we got over that, it was really like being kids in a candy store. They had everything you can think of and more you never heard of. Every pedal, every amp, every guitar pick. We spent at least an hour picking out each piece of the drum kit. The studio also had an apartment next door, so we were able to pretty much live there for the 8 days. That was invaluable. We got to go in early and leave as late as we liked, often doing 12 or 13 hour days, just shutting out the rest of the world and only focusing on the music.
“The Problem With Kids Today” was featured in the Pitchfork article about Verso Studios. How was that experience, and how did it impact the band?
The Pitchfork thing was really awesome. A big thanks to Brendan Toller and Verso Studios for that. Pitchfork was basically our generations Rolling Stone, so to have that under our hats is really something.
Being a debut album, how do you expect “Born To Rock” to be received by fans and critics?
We hope you like it! If not, keep it to yourself.
You mentioned a blend of styles and varied musical references on the album. How was it to balance those influences to create a cohesive and characteristic sound for the band?
Easier than you would think actually. At the end of the day influence comes from everywhere. Every movie you’ve seen, every song you’ve listened to, every person you’ve talked to, they all mush together and help create the person you are. We didn’t set out to make a record as varied and crazy as the one we did, only a good one. We just took it one song at a time, choosing the ones we loved and leaving the rest. By the time we looked back, the only thing we saw was “Born To Rock”.
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