TV BABIES - Posthumous
7" lathe-cut picture-disc EP
Limited edition of 20
Tenth Fret Bend and Fuck You
INTERVIEW: TV BABIES – members Nate Bartolome (Bass Guitar) & Mark Mulroney (Drums)
What first got you into music?
NB – I wanted to say that I started playing guitar as a teenager, so I started at 19. I took the required piano lessons and played trumpet in grade school, so had a good foundation and understood a little bit about music theory. My family had keyboards, kalimbas, auto-harps, pump organs, and lots of things laying around all the time so we would just make noise for fun. I seemed to always have an earworm going inside my brain, so having an instrument to manifest the tunes was always on my mind. Listening to Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Doors, and Beatles at an early age on the record player probably had some type of osmosis effect on my brain early on as well.
MM – I’m not sure what it means to get into music. But there were a few important records at an early age. The first record I owned was a 45 of Frank Mills’ the Music Box Dancer, I wore that record out when I was 6. Then AC/DC’s Highway to Hell. Besides being a great record, it was a nice fuck you to the nuns in Catholic school. It seemed like a dangerous thing for a kid to have.
Who inspired you to make music?
NB – My friends served as the main inspiration and it was fun. Our goal at first were just to make noise, then it progressed to “let’s try to make people move and not run away screaming”, the applause came later, which was pretty satisfying to meet goals incrementally. Recording and preserving the music was always there and I knew at the time we would always appreciate it as we got older and on in life. I got a Tascam 4 track recorder, a few mics, and really enjoyed playing around with it and making tapes. I always had it in my head that we would have that “demo tape” and be discovered at some point. We did pretty good in retrospective.
MM – That’s a long list but I am pretty sure Devo is at the front of it.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
NB – People ask this of me a lot when they find out I have been in a few bands. Typically, I will say punk rock and/or progressive rock. I also enjoy melodic ballads and stuff you can create that has deep lyrics and makes you think. I can’t stand cover bands yet appreciate a good cover that is done differently so you can hear it from another point of view.
MM – Fun and terrible.
What is your creative process like?
NB – A lot of the time it was bass lines that I just was able to drop – and it came from a lot of listening to a wide variety of artists. Everything from the blues to jazz to Bob Dylan to Public Enemy to Fugazi and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Sometimes you just experiment, and something hits right, then the drums come in and you go from there. Other times it is the lead guitarist – “hey I came up with this riff”, what do you think? Then you have it in your mind what the heaviest yet still not overpowering bass line should sound like that underlies everything. Bass is where it’s at but when you hear a tune you need to be able to pick it apart and appreciate everything from the squeaky chair to the triangle.
MM – Wake up, have some coffee, and make whatever seems the most promising. Don’t criticize the work in the moment, save that for later.
Who would you most like to collaborate with given the opportunity? Visual or musical artist?
NB – Something to be said for collaborating with friends and people who you know. I could say someone like Flea, who inspired me on bass, but I think when it came down to it we have such different backgrounds that it would really just be deep meaningful conversation. I think you need to have existing shared experiences and bonds formed to be able to be comfortable to collaborate completely free of judgement.
MM – I am a bad collaborator with regards to visual art, but I think making music with Ornette Coleman or Charlie Haden would be pretty cool.
Who is your favorite visual artist?
NB – My great uncle Jack who I never met. I also appreciate Jackson Pollock, Picasso, the post impressionists, and Ted DeGrazia
MM – Any kid with a box of crayons and no instructions.
How is making music different from creating fine art, or is it? Do you see them as separate?
NB – I have never been much of a visual artist, I have seen them as separate until recently the person who hosts this website made some pieces that fused the two.
MM – In many ways they are both totally different and exactly the same, they both have things that they do well and it’s just a matter of figuring out which is the best for a given idea.
What is one message you would give to your listeners/viewers?
NB – The TV Babies were real, people had fun at our concerts, and if you listen carefully, there is a lot there beneath the chaos. Give it a chance and it will grow on you.
MM – Be patient, I’ll get better.
What’s next for you?
NB – Continue to take care of my family, work, dabble, and make shit happen.
MM – More painting. Always more painting. I’d like to make just one good painting before I die.