Science Partner is a Denver band that excels at three-part vocal harmonies and pop music that anyone can get into. I have been a fan of their quirky tunes about Miley Cyrus and the Heaven's Gate cult since about a year ago when I accidentally stumbled onto a birthday party, and I'm happy to hear that they are releasing their album, Rocky Mountain News, with Hot Congress Records. The album has been available for download on Bandcamp for just over a year now, but is finally seeing physical release and celebrating with a show at the Larimer Lounge on Friday with support from Achille Lauro and Hindershot.
I spoke to singer and guitarist Tyler Despres from Science Partner about the official release, playing more shows in Denver and what's next for the band. Celebrate with Science Partner at the Larimer Lounge on Friday September 14 - doors are at 8 PM and the show is at 9 PM. All ages are welcome and tickets are only $10 the day of the show, check out Larimer Lounge's website here for more details.
CE: How long has Science Partner been involved with Hot Congress Records?
TD: That's a brand new development. I just talked to Lucas, one of the main guys with Hot Congress, about a month ago right when we booked the show. He said they were really interested with putting out the record. It's great - we're going to be screenprinting CD packaging and all that stuff this week.
CE: So when you talked to Lucas, were you talking about booking a show or were you trying to set up a record deal?
TD: I've been a fan of everything Hot Congress is about, and we have friends in pretty much all of their bands . . . it just made sense. We weren't really doing anything with [Rocky Mountain News] . . . but now that we're pushing the album it seemed like a good time [to join Hot Congress Records]. It's been a long time coming, and I'm just happy to have it happen.
CE: Do you think Rocky Mountain News will be received differently now that you'll have a physical copy for fans to buy rather than just having your album solely available online for free?
TD: It's going to be hard to gauge that because we haven't really pushed the album at all, we kind of just made it available on Facebook. We never really sent it around. But now that we're gonna have a CD we can send that, with a press kit and pictures or whatever, to places. It will be a legit press kit instead of an electronic one. So it's going to be a combination of us having a physical disc and making a concerted effort to push it. Honestly, I don't know if there would have been a huge difference if we had been really pushing it this last year.
CE: Do you think having that physical copy of an album makes it easier to go out there and send it to places?
TD: Yeah, well it's a weird thing, because our band is made up of people from a bunch of other bands so we want people to hear it and buy the music, but we can't push [the album] on tour because people are committed to jobs and other bands. I guess we are more interested in getting exposure and having more people hear the songs. And by that I don't mean a big record label that's going to throw a bunch of money at us; that's not what this is about at all.
CE: Will Science Partner be playing more shows now?
TD: Yeah I think so. We played the UMS back in July, and it had been six months since we had played. So we played the show and everyone was all excited about it, both the band and the people there. Lots of people came up to us and asked, "Why don't you guys play more?," and immediately after that we wanted to do a CD and have a legitimate release show. Maybe get some buzz, maybe start playing around more. So I think it was a combination of putting together this show [September 14 at Larimer Lounge] and playing at the UMS that really sparked our interest in being more of an active local band. Yeah, I'd say for the next three or four months you'll be seeing us play at least a show or two a month.
CE: UMS! You guys filled up Delite, and that's saying a lot for playing on the last day of a 4-day festival at the same time as some of the headliners on the Main Stage. I was curious what your perspective was on the weekend.
TD: I think going into it we knew we were playing at the same time . . . and that's a restaurant, not a real venue, so we were a little apprehensive about if we'd all be able to fit in that area and if people would be able to hear us. We were really glad they had [the front window] open, that helped . . . we were honestly really surprised there was that many people interested in coming and watching us. When I first started setting up, I thought maybe twenty or thirty people would be there but there were fifty or more, however many could fit in there. We were surprised and it made it more fun, and like I said, doing that is what sparked us to start playing more shows.
CE: Will you be playing more shows with the Hot Congress bands?
TD: Yeah totally. And now that we are in with that group, when someone is setting up shows I think they would want to dip into those bands first. Not only are we going to be trying to put together more shows now that we have more support, but I think some of those bands with Hot Congress will be asking us to be added onto shows that they're already playing. And that's already happening; in November Hot Congress has a residency at 3 Kings and I think we are going to be playing one of those nights with four or five other bands.
CE: Is it hard to book shows with all of the members of Science Partner, given the other bands and commitments you mentioned earlier? I've seen you guys play with a couple of different arrangements and it always sounds good; I saw you guys play as a three-piece at Lost Lake and I thought it sounded great.
TD: I'm kind of a stickler for having good sound, and I think when you have six people in a small room like that, depending on where you are sitting or where you are standing in the room you are gonna hear something different. Especially when you have small PA's it's hard, and you never want to have the vocals fighting to stay loud enough to be above the guitars and drums. I know what show you're talking about because we have only played [at Lost Lake] once, and going into it when we were asked to play we [knew we couldn't] have the whole band. But Science Partner originally started as me Jess and Maria; I had a guitar and they would sing, for a period of time that was what the band was . . . And we still do that: we played a wedding this summer and we were asked to just have the three of us play.
CE: As far as writing new songs goes, would you say there is a core group of you that works on that or do you need the full band to do it?
TD: Well it's complicated because we don't really write that often. I wrote most of the songs, Charley (Hine) and I did; Charley is the bass player and lives in San Francisco. We kind of wrote all of the songs as we were recording. When we came in we had written a few parts, but when we started to record, that's when we wrote them. Putting the record together is what facilitated us, being in rooms together and actually writing the music. . . Now that the record is out, we are kind of scrambling to work on covers and new songs for the shows. For Friday (September 14th at the Larimer Lounge) we'll have two new songs. The reality is that it's hard to get everyone in a room to write together.
CE: With the support of Hot Congress now, do you think it will be easier to get everyone in the same room? I mean, except for that guy in San Francisco obviously.
TD: The guy in San Francisco also did our first recording, we did it in his apartment. And then he moved to San Francisco, but because of the album release he's gonna be flying back out to play this show. Normally John Evans, the bass player for Achille Lauro, plays bass for us or at least for the past year. I don't think it's going to be just Hot Congress that gets us to write more material, I think its moreso us just being an active band. Something about this period of time right now has us all really excited. I think after this show (September 14th at Larimer Lounge) if a lot of people turn out and we have a good time, that's gonna be the deciding factor.