INTERVIEW: David Orton & Brandon Eisenbeis Of Varsity Week

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Infectious Magazine’s Sami Marshall had the pleasure of talking to David Orton and Brandon Eisenbeis of the alt-pop foursome Varsity Week just two days before the release of their debut EP If You Only Knew.

The three of them chatted about LA motivation, hilarious delicacy confusion, and what song you need to be jamming out to this summer! You can find the full exclusive interview after the jump!

You can hear more from Varsity Week buy purchasing a copy of their EP here.

Also, be sure to check out our review of If You Only Knew here

Infectious Magazine: Your debut EP is coming out in two days! How do you guys feel and how is everything going?
Brandon Eisenbeis: Really good! We’re super pumped because we’ve been working really hard for a long time.
David Orton: Neither of us, or the other guys in the band, have been a part of a project that has done an official release ever.
IM: So it’s a first for everyone! That’s great!
DO: Yeah! We’re massively excited. It’s super rad. We had a great team behind the whole project. And we’re really stoked for it to get out and for people to finally hear it.
BE: It happened really quick!

IM: You guys worked with Jim Kaufman and Kenny Carkeet on the EP. How was it working with two amazing producers like that your first time out?
DO: It was cool. Those guys did a really good job of letting us do whatever we wanted in the studio, but making it cohesive and making it work. Everyone just felt really creative.
BE: I think we should point out that our friend and songwriter Jarvis Anderson helped us write a lot of the songs. Super great guy. Really creative, amazing flow.

IM: What is something you guys learned from them that you’re planning on taking with you into future projects?
BE: Well you’ve got to have a lot of coffee around. I think the big takeaway from working with Kenny was do what you want. Don’t listen to anyone and let’s just get the best takes out and the best songs possible. Take all the ego out of it. Take the management out of it. Just try to remember why you’re doing this. If we weren’t in this band or if we weren’t on a label, we’d still be doing it anyway.
DO: That’s true. Kenny did a really good job of keeping us in the moment.
IM: That’s good. It keeps you guys grounded and keeps it where it should be, and that’s with the music, rather than a business.
BE: Yeah, because if you’re not careful, you can get really carried away with interns grabbing you coffee over and over again.

IM: The debut single, “Anyways,” has been on rotation at fitness facilities nationwide. We’re you guys expecting to hit a commercial demographic so early or even at all in your career?
BE: Oh we had no idea that was even going to happen! Apparently it popped into, I think, Gold’s Gym first. We had people hitting us up saying they were running on the treadmill when our video came on. It was cool to hear about. Definitely an interesting market to start with.
DO: Especially since when we wrote the song, we were like, “How can we make something that’s going to be great to exercise to?”
BE: We try to keep all of our songs above 160 bpm.
IM: I mean, that’s a great way to go about writing music!
BE: We just want to see you sweat!

IM: Has this sort of exposure helped you guys in expanding your fanbase?
DO: Definitely. Having that push into that market – one we never would have thought of on our own – has helped the natural progress of things. People are definitely taking a liking to it, not only at the gym, but where it’s popping up other places too.

IM: In the last track of your EP – by the way, how are you pronouncing that title? Because it’s just dollar signs?
DO: We wanted to hit it with a little flavor. And we used the dollar signs because when you see it you instantly think about money and getting paid. The dollar signs, I think, was one on Kenny’s ideas. The working title for the song was “Money.” But then we were like we gotta do something dope sick with this. It was going to be three dollar signs, but we bumped it up to four.
BE: We wanted to make it more money and make it more dope.
IM: I love it! But in that song, you guys list a bunch of lavish items that you could buy if you had a lot of money. Are these your actual monetary desires?
BE: Wouldn’t you want to take a ride in pink Corvette?
DO: Hell yeah!
BE: It’s cool!
DO: We were trying to think of the most ridiculous things that we would spend money on if we had it. And I think a pink Corvette, why not? And everyone likes Rolexes.
BE: Yeah, what time is it? Pink Corvette time.
DO: Actually, funny story. We wrote the caviar line and Brandon thought caviar was made out of beluga whales because of the brand Beluga Caviar.
BE: When, in fact, that’s not scientifically possible.
IM: Well at least you know what it is now, and that’s all that matters.
BE: Yeah, and I would still eat that shit off a Ritz cracker.
IM: Even if it was beluga whale? (laughs)
BE: (laughs) Hell yeah!

IM: You guys create a lot of content that keeps your fans in the loop, whether it be Facebook videos or tweets, and you’re constantly replying to fans. Why is that connection important to you guys?
DO: At the end of the day, we’ve created something that we really like and the ultimate goal there is to have other people connect with it. If you can accomplish that, I feel like you’re really doing your job as an artist. Having a relationship with these people though on whatever level is really important to us and I think it’s important to our fans too.
BE: That’s kind of the whole point, you know? Any connection that we can have with people who enjoy what we do, or even hate it, is what we’re out to do. We just want to make you dance.

IM: With all the exposure you’ve been getting and with your EP just days away, do you ever get concerned that that connection is going to be harder to maintain?
DO: I’m sure it’s going to be a little harder to maintain, but I think that’s also something we’ve taken a personal vow to keep those connections healthy. You’re never going to find someone else posting on our behalf. We’re always happy to answer questions and we’re really down to talk to whoever about anything. And if you have a connection with the EP, even better!

IM: Here at Infectious, we like to delve into the music scenes of different cities and have found that no two cities are ever the same. What makes the LA music scene so special to you guys?
BE: Coming down to LA, I feel like the caliber of people just take their work more seriously. The bands are just so much more consistent on a quality level. Every band is good out here.
DO: Everyone in LA is down here to hustle. You get to a point in your career where you’re too old to play the children’s game. You have to move to a market where you can really hustle it. And that market is LA. It breeds a lot of talent, and the best bands from all over the country will end up here. I’m not saying there aren’t great bands everywhere else, but at least with our experience in LA in the last 10 months, everyone crushes.
IM: I’ve talked to a lot of bands who have gone out to LA to work or to live, and they say it’s definitely a make or break town. It pushes you to your limits.
DO: Oh we have been pushed to the limit.
BE: (sings) To the limit, mother fucker!

IM: Is there anything you would change about that area’s music scene if you were given the opportunity?
DO: I don’t know. I think we’ve really been spoiled. All the venues have really great sound systems. Generally, people are very nice.
BE: It’s very professional out here.
DO: Maybe change the traffic patterns getting to shows and parking always sucks.

IM: What’s next for you guys after the EP drops?
DO: Right now, I know that there’s going to be some touring coming up, but we’re not supposed to talk about it. It’s all still in the works. But until then, we’re going to be doing a bunch of one-off shows. We’re always writing too. We always have something going on. In the immediate future, we’re going to be pushing the EP as hard as we can.

IM: Do you guys have any final comments or information you want to share with our readers?
DO: We just want to thank the people who take the time to listen to what we do. We really appreciate everyone who has been showing us the love on the socials.
BE: We also want everyone to know that “Against the Wall” is going to be a summer banger!

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Managing Editor of this lovely magazine! Music is my passion & I aim to make people love it as much as I do. I love concerts, cats, & quoting song lyrics on social media.

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