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The Retinas: Caught in a Lo-fi Struggle.

February 17, 2015

The RetinasCheck out the new track from The Retinas, Philly’s evolving lo-fi, post-garage, indie rock, whatever band. And read Darragh Dandurand‘s conversation with singer/guitar player Tom McHugh and bass player John Brennan below.

Talk about the inspiration behind the song. Who wrote it? About whom?

Tom: The song was written kind of by accident. We were getting ready at practice one day and Jake (Brennan) started playing part of the chord progression to the song. As we all got ready, we joined in on it and jammed on it for awhile. Afterwards, it fell together so nicely that we polished up and started demoing it.

John: Yeah, it was one of those happy accidents. He happened to play the chord progression and we all fell into it, like something clicked in. I believe we actually had the main idea for the song done that day.

It has a beachy, surf sound, reminiscent of The Donkeys, Cayucas and similar groups. Is this something new you are trying out?

Tom: We love all different kinds of music and avoid being put into one specific genre. So, we like doing things out of the ordinary for us, changing up the mix and keeping it interesting.

Why this single? Why now?

Tom: One of our goals this year was to release as much music as possible and we thought this would be a good start. Usually we record things ourselves and this is the first time in awhile we’ve worked with an outside engineer/studio, Andrew Meoray. We’re happy with the way it came out. We’re caught in a lo-fi struggle cause we love lo-fi sound but we’re trying to bump it up a smidge so people have a better idea of whats going on when they listen.

Is “Take Me By The Hand” part of a larger project coming along shortly? Will the album be concept? 

Tom: “Take Me By The Hand” is just a single. We have a lot of songs that we’ve been working on and putting together, so there’ll be larger projects coming soon. We also have another single we want to release after “Take Me By The Hand,” which is completely the opposite in every way from the song.

What should fans expect from The Retinas in 2015?

Tom: A lot more music.

John: Releasing more music, playing more shows and a tour.

How would you describe how the band has changed since coming together in 2011?

John: I don’t know if we have changed a whole lot as a band since we got together. Our minds are still aimed at practicing songs, releasing music, playing show etc. I still feel we’re the band from the basement just a little older and more ambitious.

Since the start, have their been any goals for the band you’ve accomplished? Ones that haven’t worked out?

John: Our main goal since the beginning was to always play music and have it reach out to as many people as possible. In retrospect, I feel we’ve done that in our short existence, at least in the Philly scene.

If you could open for any band touring this year, who would it be?

John: The Pixies. Fidlar. And Mozes and the Firstborn

Ideal pizza topping?

Tom: Sausage, green pepper, onion.

John: Pepperoni and sausage.

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