Pop-Synth Duo TeamMate’s New Song Was Brought to Us by Fate
I have to admit I accidentally found this band when for some reason my Spotify account tripped out and played whatever it wanted.
But, as luck would have it, when it started playing TeamMate’s “Nothing’s Ever Over”, I felt like it was fate. It was one of those moments where the Universe brings you a gift, and sends you song that you really need…
Perhaps, the thing that makes TeamMate even more interesting (besides their plethora of musical jams and keyboard melodies to-die-for), is their back story. Lots of bands have been together in relationships while writing songs, but few stay in the band after they breakup. Even more rare? Most people probably wouldn’t even stay friends if one came out to the other after being together in a relationship for TEN years! Though Dani Buncher and Scott Simons didn’t write music together when they were dating, Dani did come out to Scott after being together for ten years as boyfriend and girlfriend. Yet, they chose the more rare route: stay together as friends, write music together in a band, and be each other’s “forever teammates.”
Their music can most aptly be described as pop-synth — but their lyrics are true poetry, and obviously true-to-life, and based on their story. Together they sing in harmony in “Nothing’s Ever Over”: “We don’t have to fall out of love, ‘Cause nothing’s ever over.”
Most would say that “All good things come to an end,” but TeamMate has it figured out and suggests that you can decide on your own what happens next. Even if you can relate to the lyrics quite literally, it has an air of decide-your-own-fate. And though the song seems to have a certain level of sadness to it, overall, it’s pure pop precision beats make for a fantastic juxtaposition of happiness and sadness for your dancing pleasure.
Check out our Q&A with TeamMate, and check out both the original and Grizfolk remix versions of “Nothing’s Ever Over.”
First of all, we need the origin story – where did you come from? How did you realize you could make music? How did you meet, if you are a band?
Scott: We always joke that we’ll be doing this for awhile because we’re a band that broke up before we even started. We met in college and dated for ten years. We never played music together when we dated, but we were each supportive of each other’s music careers. Then we broke up and I moved to LA. For a few years, we tried to figure out how or if we were going to stay in each other’s lives somehow. And then, part of our healing process became creating music together. Eventually, that led to us forming TeamMate. We live about a mile apart from each other in West Hollywood now and we may be closer than we’ve ever been as friends and bandmates.
What are some of your influences? If you were to describe your sound, like Cyndi Lauper meets Guitar metal, what would it be? If you were to tell someone about your music that hasn’t heard it – how would you want it described?
Dani: 80’s and 90’s pop radio. Huey Lewis to PM Dawn and Cyndi Lauper to Lauryn Hill. But I’d probably stick to describing our sound as “Synth pop.”
Scott: Hmmmm… Like if A-Ha played your Bar/Bat Mitzvah? I’m not sure. We both love the 80’s. Everything from Peter Gabriel to The Cars to Pat Benatar to The Police. As a keyboard player, I’ve been drawn to synths my whole life. As a writer, I love Aimee Mann, Elvis Costello and of course, The Beatles. We both have loved Tegan and Sara for years.
If NOTHING’S EVER OVER were on a movie soundtrack, set to a specific scene maybe, what would it be and why? What is it about? Is it an anthem or a party song?
Scott: Dani is the movie expert. I defer to her on this.
Dani: Opening credits to hopefully any John Hughes movie.
What is NOTHING’S EVER OVER about? What inspired you to write it?
Scott: We’ve drawn a lot from our personal story to try to make something universal. We’re really proud of our ability to stay friends through a long relationship and painful breakup. This song is autobiographical but we hope other people can relate it to their own lives. I always feel we have a choice who we let and keep in our lives and luckily, Dani and I chose to stay in each other’s lives.
Talk about the new Grizfolk Remix of Nothing’s Ever Over – what do you think of it? Did you want to work with Grizfolk in particular for this remix?
Scott: Our label presented us with the opportunity to have Grizfolk remix “Nothing’s Ever Over” and we were excited. They’re such a talented band and it’s awesome to hear someone else’s take on your song. They did things we would’ve never thought of production-wise. We really like it.
If you could play an acoustic show like MTV unplugged, what songs would you cover?
Dani: I would like to cover the whole “Uptown Unplugged” album.
Scott: We really try to find songs we can flip or reinvent in our own way. There are tons of songs we absolutely love but we don’t feel we’d do it much justice so we leave them alone. That said, I’d love to do a cover of Nada Surf “Always Love”. (Ahem, Dani.)
Do you believe that every song is about something? Or do you think songwriters just write what sounds cool?
Scott: I think both. Sometimes we write what makes sense story-wise for the song or sometimes we like to write what sings best. Sometimes you stumble onto meanings or perspectives writing that way.
Do you think it’s easier to be an artist in the day and age of digital music and Spotify? Do you think it’s harder to connect with people in terms of getting the music out there?
Dani: It’s not necessarily easier or more difficult… It’s just different. Connecting with people in the new “digital age” is more accessible than ever. However, keeping people’s attention can be a little trickier with so much music out there.
Scott: Yeah, I agree. I think it has its pros and cons. There are way more outlets and ways to reach people now. But it’s easy to get lost in the forest of so much music being made now. The biggest problem currently, especially as writers, is that the laws haven’t kept up with the technology and writers aren’t getting paid what they should be. The money’s coming in but it’s not getting to the people creating the music the right way.
Do you think having been in a relationship with each other before, made any changes to your music (better or worse)?
Dani: We never really created music together as a couple. So, I guess you could say the breakup opened us up to a better/more creative writing relationship.
Scott: I think having been through so much together has given us a unique perspective of being experienced yet optimistic.
Did your relationship have any involvement with the naming of the band, Teammate?
Dani: Yes. Teammate is pretty much a literal interpretation of where we are in our relationship.
Scott: Yep. We’ve always said if we couldn’t be a couple at least we could still be teammates.
Dani, as a female artist, Do you feel there is pressure for female musicians to wear less and portray a very sexy image?
Dani: I have never felt pressured to be anyone other than myself. I can’t speak for all women musicians but there is an obvious and generalized societal pressure for women to look and behave a certain way. There’s also the stigma towards women who choose to portray themselves in a “sexy” or “provocative” light and there is nothing wrong with that, either. Be your true authentic self and express yourself in whatever manner that may be.
Scott, have you ever done anything using your musical abilities to convince a girl to go out with you?
Scott: Duh. Of course. 7th grade. I used to play girls Richard Marx’s “Right Here Waiting For You” over the phone on my Yamaha keyboard. It didn’t work.
What’s next for you? Is there an upcoming tour?
Scott: We’re putting things together to get out there and also release a full length record!
Where can we find out more about you? Social media links?
Scott: We’re pretty much anything @teammateband. Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter. What am I forgetting? Pinterest? I don’t know how that works.
Dani: You can find us on all the streaming services in addition to iTunes.