August 16, 2006
The Year of The Geiger
Teddy Geiger On Music And Life
Teddy Geiger's new album Underage Thinking and his performance on the CBS series "Love Monkey" have made him one of the hottest young faces around. He sat down with the legendary disc jockey and Independent contributor Pete Fornatale for this exclusive interview. He'll be appearing at WHBPAC August 30th.
Pete Fornatale: My first question to you is what is your definition of "underage thinking"?
Teddy Geiger: Music has always been a way for me to positively express myself as opposed to some more negative forms of expression, like drinking. There's the whole underage thinking, that whole thing going on.
Pete Fornatale: But there is a great deal of maturity in both your songs and in your performance.
Teddy Geiger: Thank you. I remember sitting in my basement with my little four-track recorder and playing songs, and being like, "Oh yeah." It was purely just for fun and just kind of to see what songs I could write. Then when I was 15, I kind of started thinking, "Oh. Maybe I should actually use this for something." I started playing out and, I don't know, I just didn't think that I'd actually be able to get to this point.
Pete Fornatale: There's a song of yours that figured prominently in one of the episodes of "Love Monkey" that I saw. You've chosen to close your CD with it. Could you tell me a little about it?
Teddy Geiger: Yes. The name of the song is "Love is a Marathon," and it was actually one of the first songs we wrote — during the making of the album, we wrote a couple of the songs, me and Billy. I changed the tuning and kind of started messing around with stuff. I wrote all the music, and kind of came up with some lyric ideas. Then we came back and ended up coming up with this idea, "Love is a Marathon." We finished the song.
Pete Fornatale: The entertainment industry eats its young. That's what it comes down to. So beware. There's such a long history of television contributing — being the launching pad for music starts. In the 70s there was a show called "The Partridge Family."
Teddy Geiger: Yes.
Pete Fornatale: This somehow connects to your legend.
Teddy Geiger: Yes. Actually, there was this ad running in search of "The Partridge Family" auditions in whatever towns they had them in. I was, like, "That's kind of cheesy. That's weird." Anyway, I got this call from my mom, it was like, "Come home now." It was obviously something pretty intense if they were pulling me out of junior golf. I got home, she took me and my dad, brought us home, and we were like, "What?" She was like, "All right. Teddy's flying out today to New York to do the In Search of the Partridge Family."
I ended up meeting a lot [of people] and I made a lot of good friends on the show. One of the people I met on the show was Billy Mann, which really ended up being really great. The show really did help me a lot, and I have to thank my mom for that, because there was no way I would have ever realized that without her.
Pete Fornatale: In a case of art imitating life, in one of the episodes of "Love Monkey," you did a video.
Teddy Geiger: Yes.
Pete Fornatale: Now, you've done one for the album of a different song, right?
Teddy Geiger: Same song.
Pete Fornatale: It was the same song?
Teddy Geiger: It was the same song in "Love Monkey," and the same song on the album. Actually, the day we finished shooting video — literally the day of, we finished shooting around 5 o'clock — I went right to the airport, got on a flight and flew out to LA to actually shoot the video. It's weird.
Pete Fornatale: Tell me something about growing up in Rochester, New York.
Teddy Geiger: There isn't really much to talk about when talking about Rochester, New York, and growing up there. I wasn't really into sports. I pretty much just played music, except for bowling. You can always find a good bowling lane in Rochester. But I played a lot of music and my friends all played music, so we'd get together and, I guess, jam and play music and write songs.
Pete Fornatale: They're probably on eBay as we speak.
Teddy Geiger: I don't care!
Pete Fornatale can be heard regularly on Mixed Bag (XM) radio. Geiger's upcoming appearance at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center will benefit the Stella Maris School Music in Education program. If you wish to make a donation send it to the school at 135 Division Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963 or purchase tickets to the concert on August 30th by calling 631-288-1500.