The Prog Report: USA

The Tea Club are an eclectic and psychedelic prog outfit from New Jersey .

Consisting of brothers Patrick McGowan (vocals/guitar) and Dan McGowan (vocals/guitar), as well as, Joe Rizzolo (drums), Jamie Wolff (bass, vocals), and Renee Pestritto (keyboards/flute/vocals), the group released their debut album in 2008 with the second album Rabbit released in 2010.

Brothers Patrick and Dan told me of how the band formed and their upcoming album. “The band started when me and my brother Patrick started writing songs together. Our drummer Joe joined the band after we released our 2nd album, Rabbit. Our keyboardist Renee and our bassist Jamie both joined the band after we released our latest album, Quickly Quickly Quickly. Hilariously enough, we met Jamie after he responded to a Craigslist ad we’d placed in search of a new bassist.”

Drawing from influences such as The Beatles, Genesis, Sunny Day Real Estate, King Crimson, Nick Drake, Koji Kondo, Yes and other, The Tea Club released their breakthrough third album, Quickly Quickly Quickly, on November 15th, 2012, garnering the group more attention nationally and making many top 10 lists of 2012. “Last year was a big year for us. We played the Terra Incognita Festival in Quebec City. Then we went on tour with the lovely Thank You Scientist and played the Indie Music Reviewer Festival in Atlanta. We ended the year with a performance at the NJ Proghouse Homecoming Weekend. Before that, we did a small tour with Beardfish in 2012, and we played ProgDay 2011 in North Carolina.”

The Tea Club is currently finishing up their 4th album expecting to be released this year. “We’re in the process of finishing our fourth record and are planning to release it this autumn. We’re also planning on touring in support of the new record later this year and next year. We’ve been toying with the idea of recording a live-in studio performance similar to The Beatles All You Need is Love Our World TV special. But our audience members will most likely consist of silly and frightening creatures of our own design depicted in watercolors and cardboard cut-outs instead of famous British pop stars.”

They also took a different approach in terms of songwriting for the upcoming album. “In the past Dan and I have worked individually on our own songs before bringing them to the band in rehearsal. But for this record he and I worked together very closely from the birth of each song before bringing them to the rest of the band. We then would record these jams and listen back for moments of inspiration. Each song had a vision and we tried to create a soundscape in accordance with that mood but sometimes a song wants to go in a different direction than you envisioned and hopefully we were smart enough to get out of the way in those instances.”/o:p

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.