Here’s some excerpts from a great interview with the Mad Tea Party about their new Halloween EP- Rock n Roll Ghoul
The Blue Banner: www.thebluebanner.net
By Anne Louise Bouchard – Staff Writer
Mad Tea Party, a musical duo from Asheville, got its name from the children’s book “Alice in Wonderland.”
“I was thinking about being Alice in Wonderland. Becoming a musician is a lot like jumping down the rabbit hole. It’s a leap of faith and a new world. It’s sort of surreal. You are really big and then small, really confident then insecure,” said Ami Worthen, singer and ukulele player for Mad Tea Party.
Worthen said Mad Tea Party’s name is whimsical and fun.
“Ultimately, it’s about having fun,” she said.
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The songs on the band’s new album Rock ‘n’ Roll Ghoul are all Halloween-related. “It’s our second Halloween release. The first was The Zombie Boogie. We love Halloween. It’s fun to play with that theme,” she said.
The idea for their album came from Krekel.
“Jason had this image in his mind of someone in the business who metaphorically eats the flesh of the artist,” Worthen said.
The new album’s artwork features the Rock ‘n’ Roll Ghoul devouring a human arm.
Worthen said their music as a mix of garage rock, rockabilly, and ’50s and ’60s rock.
“Southern Cultures on the Skids are really similar to us,” she said.
She also said that to an extent they are like The White Stripes. King Khan & BBQ Show has also had a big influence on the band, Worthen said.
Worthen said they want people to have a good time when they listen to their music.
“We want to give people a sense of abandonment, a sense of joyfulness and passion,” she said.
She said their live shows are really high energy.
“Our music is really driving. It’s a lot about rocking out,” she said.
Worthen said the audience affects their live shows. “It’s a partnership between band and audience,” she said.
“An engaged audience is going to make us play better,” she said. Worthen also said a good sound system really makes the show. “If the sound is bad, we have trouble connecting with the audience.”
Worthen said she believes their duo provides a unique experience that listeners may not expect.
“Our society as a whole doesn’t place as much value on live performance or on handmade art. We have a homogenized tendency. We shop at the same store, eat at the same place, listen to the same radio. In any given town in the U.S., you can eat and shop at the same place as the other town,” Worthen said.
She said things that are different are looked at with skepticism.
“There is a barrier to being an independent,” she said.
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Worthen said what makes them different is their instrumentation. “Jason is a one-man band.
He plays the drums with his feet and his guitar,” she said. Worthen herself plays the electric ukulele.
Worthen said their band is not for everyone and appeals to a niche of people. “We are for a person who is an independent thinker and wants to discover something off the beaten path,” she said.
Worthen said she thinks it is important to be authentic. “At the end of the day, looking back, what’s the most important? You had a million fans and you were not making the music you believe, or you had a thousand fans and you made the music you wanted to?” she said. “Authenticity is the most satisfying.”
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