By: Sheena Lyonnais
November 2, 2011
When a buzz band launches with a debut album titled Drink Dance Destroy and a lead track called “Wasted” it’s safe to assume you’re in for a messy, good time. Toronto’s Teenage X aren’t trying to be anything they’re not – and perhaps guitarist Rich Gaskin says it best, “We’re not guitar solos. We’re not flash. We’re not costumes and makeup. We’re just good catchy songs and a hot singer.”
With pretty punk posters plastered around the city from when DDD dropped in June, Teenage X are getting ready to announce new gigs in Toronto this November, likely a return to the Bovine where they seem to call home. We caught them there sometime in the summer, which saw vocalist Sarah Page growl out power pop tracks with a subtle sweetness she tries to deny. Even when she’s telling the world to fuck off, it’s her champagne-soaked pout you notice first – from the posters to the stage. And it’s a confidence that stems from years of classical training (and then abandoning classical training!) that really gives her an edge.
“I started playing piano at age five, trumpet in grade six, and in high school I discovered punk music,” Page says. “It was right up my alley, but I thought how can I play what I know yet be in a band? Then I saw a band called The Specials.”
Page joined Toronto’s Skaface as a trumpet player shortly after, before heading to Humber College to study jazz. Jazz simply wasn’t punk rock enough, so she dropped out. “Jazz music is stodgy and they think you’re not going anywhere playing in a punk band. It’s not like I’m looking to go anywhere anyway. I’m just doing what’s makes me happy and doing what I like so fuck you!”
When it came time to turn Teenage X into something tangible, Page, Gaskin, bassist Phil Page and drummer Mikey Hawdon enlisted Simon Head (SNFU, Closet Monster) to record, mix and master the album. Recorded over a mere three weekends (thanks in part to shoddy minimum wage jobs), Head had no problem telling the band when their takes were shit.
“You have to have someone who is going to put you in your place and say ‘what you just played sucked, play it again!’ We sat down with Simon and instantly all our good ideas and good performances came out and he captured them. If you’re going to make a CD you gotta hope you’re gonna get a good performance because otherwise you can’t release it. Simon’s the guy I would like to work with for many albums. He has a way of getting it out of you,” Gaskin says.
So what’s next for Teenage X? Writing new songs, practicing (which is apparently a mad party by the way) and planning shows should keep them busy for the winter. Trying new styles though? Not so much.
“We play music that totally comes from the heart. We’ve figured out what our sound is and we play it. We’ve tried to expand it, but no matter what direction we go in it tends to sound old school,” Gaskin says.
We’ll keep you updated as to when shows are announced. After all, who doesn’t like to spend a night drinking, dancing and destroying alongside a punk rock soundtrack orchestrated by a hot chick? Sounds good enough to us!
UPDATED: Teenage X’s next show is at Bovine Sex Club on November 19 and it’s FREE!