Let's Take Five: An interview with TEST

TEST were our track of the day earlier in the week with their latest track ‘7th Street Metro’! We caught up with them to discuss the track, strange gigs, the future and more!

First though, here’s a brief background… Two thirds of the band (Blake Stokes and Wayne Meza) met at a dive bar in their hometown of Houston whilst playing in separate bands and drinking underage. Fast forward a few years… TEST moved into a windowless, lockout rehearsal space in Vernon (a corrupt, autonomous city of industry within Los Angeles). This rehearsal space was surrounded by warehouses, garment factories, and meatpacking plants. It was in this smelly, industrial urban-scape that they collectively forged their sound alongside drummer Morgan Ponder.

The band released their debut EP “Tremble and Vibrate” earlier last year and is a mixture of dance-punk rhythms, alternative riffs, and macabre lyrics.

gred585-049Firstly, so that our readers can know a bit more about you, please introduce your band.

We are TEST and we are from Los Angeles. Genre wise, you could call us alternative, but we have strains of britpop, punk, post punk, and noise. TEST are Blake Stokes on guitar and vocals, Wayne Meza on Bass and Morgan Ponder on Drums.

Where did the inspiration your latest single ‘7th Street Metro’ come from?

‘7th Street Metro’ was written very quickly and purely out of instinct, the three of us knocked out the foundation of the song in about half an hour. Simplicity and urgency were the guiding principles and the whole song is an exercise in not over analysing the creative burst that naturally happened in the room. Plus, the false stops are fun!

Where did the initial spark to create music and start a band come from?

My dad always played the radio when we were in the car, so from a very early age I remember hearing things like INXS, Depeche Mode, U2 and loving it. As I got older I started getting into my own stuff like Oasis, Smashing Pumpkins and Beck. By the time I hit high school and wanted to start a band, it was the height of early 00’s garage rock resurgence. So bands like The Strokes, The Hives and The Vines really caught my imagination and that’s when I started my first band.

What is the strangest venue or gig you have ever played?

In a former band we got mistakenly booked on an all-female bill in Las Vegas and the promoters were shocked when we showed up. So far all the gigs with TEST have been great though!

Finally, have you got anything to share regarding upcoming tour dates and what have you got planned for the rest of 2017?

We will be playing around California and beyond this year, but most importantly we will be releasing our debut full length album!

We thank TEST very much for their time! You can listen to their latest track ‘7th Street Metro’ below via Soundcloud and we look forward to hearing their debut album later this year!


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