The indie pop-making duo of Scott Simons & Dani Buncher describe the sounds that informed the DNA of their debut album
TeamMate’s Scott Simons and Dani Buncher are a duo unlike most others. Formerly in a relationship, until Buncher came out to Simons, this is a partnership whose trust and communication is solid. Continuing to write songs and create music together portrays levels of intimacy and trust that’s rare, and evidenced by a collection of standout tracks on the band’s debut album. These are tunes that celebrate a partnership, and universal problems that are conquered with, well, teamwork.
It’s not all sensitivity and soul-searching on the album though – these are tracks that know how to fill a dance floor. Melodic hooks that borrow from 80’s influenced synth-beds, and lyrics that show as much strength as internal reflection, TeamMate have delivered a carefully balanced album of their time.
ARTISTdirect caught up with Scott and Dani, asking them to share their favorite musical memories, and the sounds that shaped their approach to music.
First single I bought…
Scott: “Bust A Move” by Young MC on cassingle. I wrote down all of the lyrics by hand and memorized them.
Dani: Really hard to remember the first, but one of the earliest cassette singles I can remember buying was “C’Mon and Get My Love” by D-Mob featuring Cathy Dennis. SO good.
First live show I attended…
Scott: The Jacksons “Victory” Tour at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. My parents surprised me and took me out of school early that day. We drove 5 hours to Cincinnati to see my favorite musician Michael Jackson and his brothers’ reunion.
Dani: New Kids on the Block “Step by Step” tour. During the finale, they all got into a giant box and then I remember pyrotechnics and them disappearing. It was WILD.
First song I learned to play…
Scott: “Right Here Waiting For You” by Richard Marx. Another kid was playing it and girls were all hovering around the piano swooning. It was a no brainer to switch from clarinet to piano. Once I learned “Right Here Waiting For You” I used to call girls on the phone after school and play it for them.
Dani: “Red Barchetta” by Rush. The LIVE version! I knew every single hit, beat, everything. Ha. I’m such a cliché.
The song that encouraged me to learn my instrument of choice…
Scott: “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” by Billy Joel. My dad was a huge Billy Joel fan and used to ask me to learn songs by ear just so he could hear me play them. This was one of his favorites.
Dani: There wasn’t one song in particular that led me to the drums… I was a very physical child and I connected with the drums at an early age.
The song that reminds me of home…
Scott: “Country Roads” by John Denver. It’s the de facto song of my home state West Virginia. It’s sung after every college football and basketball game win or lose, it’s sung at weddings, it’s played on jukeboxes all over the state every night. I get choked up about 50% of the time I hear it.
Dani: Whenever I listen to anything Motown I immediate feel nostalgic for home. When I was a kid, the only radio station my mom would listen to in the car was the oldies station and I loved it.
My guilty secret track…
Scott: I don’t believe in guilty tracks. I just own up to what I like. With that said, I think Bieber has released some great songs recently. Judge away.
Dani: I totally cried by accident the other day, in the car, listening to Kelly Clarkson’s version of “Quiet Uptown” from Hamilton. I’ve never seen Hamilton and I can’t figure out whats happening to me emotionally when I listen to that song.
The song I wish I wrote…
Scott: “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel. Or “Everlong” by Foo Fighters. Or “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division. I have a lot…
Dani: “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears
The finest song from my all time hero…
Scott: “And So It Goes” by Billy Joel is so heart breakingly good.
Dani: “Praying for Time” by George Michael.
The song that should be played at my funeral…
Scott: The theme from “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, please.
Dani: I don’t know. I feel like anything by Enya would have a nice funeral vibe.
My favorite track from my most recent project
Scott: I think “Nothing’s Ever Over” is my favorite. I’m proud of the writing, production and vibe of the tune. I get sick of myself easily, but that one doesn’t grow old for me.
Dani: “Souvenir” and “Nothing’s Ever Over” hold a special place in my heart.