“Babe” by Thee Internet

Local musician Tyler Lovell has been in some great local bands over the years including AE Bridger, Repartee and The Crooks just to name a few. Recently Tyler began working on a new project under the moniker Thee Internet. Today’s track, “Babe”, is a demo from that project. Here’s a Q&A I did with Tyler about Thee Internet.

‘Babe’ by Thee Internet
So what is Thee Internet? Is this going to be a full time band or just a side project?
After writing and recording some material I got some friends together for the band. It consists of Robbie Brett (Pre-Raphaelites, Repartee), Josh Bourden (AE Bridger, Matthew Hornell & the Diamond Minds, Vicar) and Steve Hoskins (Bonavista Chain Locker). Meg Warren (Repartee) will also join us sometimes. The plan is that any future recordings will be the band. Our debut show is Saturday, the final Crooks show.

Is anyone else playing with you on the demos or is that you doing everything?
Everything is played by me on the demos, with the exception of Meg singing some harmonies. I plan on redoing some of the stuff on them with the band before putting out an album.

Where did the name Thee Internet come from? It reminds me of the BBC showThe IT Crowd.
My dad keeps telling me to check that show out! I need to do that now. When I was playing in The Crooks I was asking those guys what to call the group, and Dave kept saying that Thee Internet would be an awesome band name. Seemed a bit too silly at first, but it grew on me. Now it seems like the right amount of silly.

I love your style of guitar playing on these songs. It’s not just straight power chords. There’s a lot of single note melodies that are mimicked by the vocals or bass and then these complex counter melodies running against the grain. What inspired this unique style?
Thanks! It has a lot to do with the way I write. While writing I usually record what I’m doing and try out a lot of ideas against each other. With this project I decided to step away from doing anything really electronic and focus on writing for a rock band, but I didn’t limit myself on how many guitars to use. Sometimes it’s a bit much with five different guitars going. But I tried to focus it a bit with this material, because coming from being so into recording I find it’s easy to just keep layering and layering excessively.

These aren’t your typical, “sit down with an acoustic guitar, pen and notebook” type songs. It seems to be more based around the musical energy than lyrical sentiment. How did the writing process for these songs go?
A number of the songs did start from some musical idea, but as that idea comes together I get a feel for what I want to say. Songs like “Fast Cars” or “California Games” were written that way. Once I get an idea of what I’m going to say, the arrangement comes together. Other songs like “The City” or “Karate Chop” were more focused on lyrics or an initial intent to write a song about a subject. But even with lyrics it’s sometimes less about what they mean and more about the vibe they set.

It’s hard to pinpoint any clear sonic influences for these songs. Maybe like a weird hybrid mix of AE Bridger, Minutemen, Captain Beefheart, The Stooges and Half Japanese…? But who would you cite as your influences here?
Playing in AE Bridger has definitely been an influence on me, and Alex and I have a pretty similar taste in music. I think there’s a bit of a Crooks vibe in some of these tunes too. I’m a big fan of Talking Heads, and the writing of most of these came about when I was listening to The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads all the time. I was also listening to Wire’s Pink Flag and Chairs Missing, Beehive & the Baracuda’s In Dark Love and Deerhoof’s Offend Maggie a bunch so I associate all the songs with them.

I love the male/female vocal trade-offs between you and Meg Warren. There’s a lot of cool call and response there. How’d that idea come about?
Beehive & the Baracudas really got me into the idea of doing it. I think with this kind of music it gives it a more interesting vibe when you have that tradeoff. When I decided I wanted to do it Meg was my first choice because her voice is killer.

So far what you’ve posted on Soundcloud are demos of the upcoming Thee Internet album. When can we expect to see the final product and how do we get a copy?
Over the course of this summer parts of those demos will be re-recorded for an actual release of the material. I’m trying not to rush because I think it will turn out sounding all the better for it, but hopefully something will be out by the end of the summer. Right now the plan is to release it on CD and up for download on Bandcamp or something similar.

Are there any plans for live shows in the future?
We’ve got our first show on Saturday, June 11th at The Ship with The Crooks and Be Alright. It’s The Crooks goodbye show, so it should be a really wild time. The Ship is a great venue and you don’t often see these kinds of bands there, so I encourage everyone to check it out! There will definitely be more shows throughout the summer, just keep an eye out for us.

Check out Thee Internet’s first show and say goodbye to The Crooks tomorrow night (June 11th) at The Ship. You can also listen to the rest of Tyler’s demos at the link below.