Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

Smells Like TEEN Spirit

Written by Cassie J. Sneider
Photos by Jason Rodgers
Hair and Makeup by Ahbi Nishman
Voted one of the "11 Great Bands You Don’t Know (But Should)" by Time magazine last year, TEEN is hardly the bubblegum girl group you’d expect from their band name. TEEN was formed in 2010 by Teeny Lieberson, formerly of Here We Go Magic, when she rallied her sisters Katherine and Lizzie and their friend Jane Herships to form a lo-fi pop group whose sound ranges from dance-punk jams to psychedelic, hypnotic tracks reminiscent of another era. Photo by Jason Rodgers
The band dropped their digital-only EP Little Doods in 2011, but it was the release and emphatically positive reviews of their debut album In Limbothat really put TEEN on the map this August. They are currently in the middle of a national tour, which included a recent show in New York with Ariel Pink. Teeny took a few minutes to chat with Cassie J. Sneider via email about what’s up and what’s next.
Photo by Jason Rodgers

Cassie: How did you all meet?

Teeny: We’re sisters and we met Jane by playing in a band called Amazing Baby.

Cassie: What was the first record, tape, or CD you ever got?

I have been actually quite shocked and disappointed in the amount of misogyny that still exists. It feels a little passé to be quite frank. 

Teeny: TLC’s Ooooooohhh...On the TLC Tip or the Beatles Anthology. The blue one. 

Cassie: How does being an actual signed rock star in the year 2012 compare to the rock star dream a lot of us grew up believing in? (The one where a guy with a cigar and a ponytail says, “Kid, you got what it takes!” then hands you a contract, and the next day a dump truck delivers cash and babes to your door.)

Photo by Jason Rodgers
Teeny: I think that might still happen for some people, but not us. YET. Record number three. 

Cassie: As a band of awesome women, what sort of challenges has gender presented? And how do you combat creepy dudes at shows?

Teeny: Luckily, we haven't really encountered too many creepy dudes. They have been pretty awesome. But with press and blogs, I definitely had to stop reading comments because some of the feedback is so negative, and it was always about the way we looked and not about the music. Going into this project I was aware of the fact that women in the public eye have do deal with this all the time. But experiencing it, I have been actually quite shocked and disappointed in the amount of misogyny that still exists. It feels a little passé to be quite frank. 
Photo by Jason Rodgers
Cassie: What was your Plan B if you hadn't made it in music? Farmer? Neuroscientist? Dental hygienist?

TeenyI wish I could say there’s a Plan B, but there's not. I would consider farming though.

Cassie:OK, so there's a van accident on tour. Everybody lives, but each of you is melted to one other person in the band. Who do you choose to be conjoined to, and what sort of mutant ability will this bandmate bring to the table?

Teeny: Jane so she can cook us beef stew. 
Photo by Jason Rodgers
Cassie: What can we expect from TEEN in the future? And what’s going to happen in your episode of VH1 Behind the Music?

Teeny: The future: more records, loads of touring. Behind the Music: Everyone will be happily married and pregnant, and I will be a hermit living in the woods building synths. 

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