Will Erickson has played drums in bands such as The Travel Guide, Spirit of the Stairs and Bridegeist, but a few years ago he wanted to see if he could return to another musical love, guitar, and write songs for a project that, at least at first, existed only at his home. That project would eventually become the band Team Tremolo.
“It was probably about two years of me doing demos in GarageBand, playing all the instruments,” he says. “I think I spent about a year-and-a-half with the demos until I felt like I couldn’t really expand on the ideas without some other input. I thought I’d be good to get some people together and see what kind of synergy we could have. How we could expand this stuff beyond what I could do myself.”
He eventually got some help from his friend Ryan Stoldt in the writing process, then turned to his bandmates in The Travel Guide, including guitarists Kristyn Chapman and Thayne Coleman as well as bassist Caleb Drummond for further support. Then he called in vocalist Jenny Wood, who lent a hand with lyrics as well.
Wood penned lyrics for two of the five songs on the group’s EP, Intruder. Wood recognized something familiar in the lyrics that Erickson had shown her and found it easy to adapt her writing and performing styles to Erickson's.
“I recognized what he was going for,” she says. “It’s [about] shortening your entire thought into three or four words. I recognized what Will was doing because I used to do that.”
Erickson had first considered handling the vocals himself, adding that he was “lucky” to have Wood take an interest in his material.
“I thought, ‘I’m just going to work until I can sing well.’ That would have taken so long,” he says. “I decided that I’d just focus on playing guitar and maybe writing some lyrics and having Jenny delivering the songs in a meaningful way. Because I can’t sing well.”
“That’s not true,” Wood says.
“It is true,” Erickson says.
“Will has a beautiful voice," Wood says. "Tenor or mezzo tenor."
That the members know each other well on a personal and musical level is an added plus for Wood, who sees working with Team Tremolo as a freeing experience.
“Even the smallest criticism in a band setting affects me,” she says. “It affects me to where I shut down and I just conform to what I think they would want me to do. With this band/family that we have, I’m so comfortable with them. I love them and it helps me to get out there, creatively.”
Team Tremolo performs Saturday night at Harvester Arts as part of this year's ICT Fest.
Jedd Beaudoin is the host of Strange Currency. Follow him on Twitter @JeddBeaudoin.
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