Hermajesty sat down with Anna Ryan and Jaida Stephenson from Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers, a punk band from Canberra, Australia.
Hey listeners, it's Hermajesty in the Edit. I would like to start off by saying thank you for listening to this interview. It's my first one as the host of the local bead salon just be confined to local bands as you can see by this interview with an Australian band. We will soon have many local acts coming into the studio doing performances and doing interviews, so stay tuned for that. But for now, I wanted to give some context on the Canberra hailing garage punk outfit known as Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers as we get into some of the nature subjects with the band we'll discuss some deep cuts in their discography, such as their EP Creep Show which has their first single and music video, Crime Scene, which they made in high school, and then signing to the record label Domestic La La headed by Australian legend James Tidswell of violent Soho, growing up with a band since you're 10 having members in different cities throughout Australia, such as Canberra, Wollongong, and Melbourne, and their favorite drink cruisers. Which are sort of like ices. And before the interview, here's the single AHHHH!
Welcome back to WKNC I'm Hermajesty, and I'm so excited to be interviewing Anna and Jaida from Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers today. They just released a new single AHHHH! out July 23, on their brand new label Domestic La La, and I have been absolutely blasting this in the car for a few days and every time the break down comes on, I can't help but smile. It's so good. So really, congrats to you guys. Before we get into it, y'all can introduce yourselves.
Anna Ryan 3:51
Well, hi, thank you so much. My name is Anna and I am lead vocalist and rhythm guitars
Jaida Stephenson 3:58
And I'm Jaida and I play bass guitar and do a couple of shouty gang vocals in the back. So yeah.
Alright, so I just wanted to want to start off with like the with the with the launch of the single. How is it like hearing yourselves from Triple J last night? Like what was that like?
Jaida Stephenson 4:14
Oh, like I teared up a little bit it was just like like it's happened before obviously but our last single was like ages ago so we were kind of I don't know, it just felt so good to finally get something out again. And hear yourself on the radio as well. Like it's always the best.
because we haven't released music in over a year cuz you were just dancing in our kitchen. I was like almost crying, it was a great film. Beautiful. Yeah.
Nice. You guys are together and I read in another article that you two were in Melbourne and and um the other two were, are they still in Canberra, or?
Anna Ryan 4:58
I think they're in Canberra at the moment, but they both like, um, live in Wollongong, well, I'm moving to Wollongong
Okay, so how's that? How's that with the band and being separated?
Jaida Stephenson 5:11
It's okay, so I lived in Melbourne for a couple years now. And then Anna just moved on to join me at the beginning of the year, which is very nice of her. But it's kind of alright because most of our shows, are usually interstate anyway. So whenever we have a show, we usually just meet up the day before and have a big jam. And also all of our families also live in Canberra. So we go back there. It's like a good home base. If we are like playing a show in Sydney or whatever sometimes, Jody, and I will just like stop into Canberra for like, a day or so and we'll do some practice in Canberra and then we'll go to Sydney or whatever. Like it's just a good base system camp
Anna Ryan 5:56
We've also known each other for so long that I feel like when we kind of get together it's a I don't know. It just gels Really? Yeah, how far we've been apart.
Jaida Stephenson 6:04
Anna Ryan 6:05
How long we've been apart. Yeah.
Yeah, you guys are good friends. You can just like pick right up. So Jaida, what was the deal with the with the van at the beginning of the pandemic?
Jaida Stephenson 6:15
Oh my gosh, yes, so, I totally forgot about that, because it's currently sitting on a farm. Wow. My, my partner, he bought a bus at the beginning of the pandemic. It's a Mazda 230 if there's any motorheads out there. And, yeah, we just really wanted to do it up and renovate it. And we kind of we did renovate it and we got like the whole roof made of wood, it would look really nice. And we just lived in it while we were renovating it. But we had to get a few things fixed on the engine. So now it's currently been sitting at like a mechanic's workshop in a farm for a while, but hopefully we can travel in it one day, maybe use it as a tour bus, who knows
Anna Ryan 7:04
it was so funny though. Because every time you like needed to have like a band meeting, or whatever, Jaida will be like, yeah, just give me like an hour. I just have to drive somewhere where I can get reception. And then she was just like, constantly on this. Her end was just like the crackly like awful
Nice. So yeah, y'all been together for a long time. And like, I was reading that. That desk chair was written a good bit before you guys released it. So like, Is there still like a lot of old stuff that you guys are like waiting to bring to light or is a lot of what's coming up, um, new new material.
Anna Ryan 7:54
We start we've sort of had like a set that we've been playing for a very long time. But over the lockdown periods and COVID when everything just like stopped, we've been able to write so many more new songs. So yeah, I think a lot of the stuff that we're playing now is like just a pretty much whole new set.
Jaida Stephenson 8:19
But actually all these Indigo river coded and then I think we're maybe hoping or like release some old music eventually,
Anna Ryan 8:30
Jaida Stephenson 8:32
But it's mainly mainly new music.
Anna Ryan 8:34
Jaida Stephenson 8:35
I think that all when we talk about old music that dates back to when we were like in high school juggling, like getting our year 12 certificate at the same time as trying to write music. So I think our songs are definitely better.
Anna Ryan 8:47
They weren't the best. But we love them.
Jaida Stephenson 8:50
Yeah, we love them.
Anna Ryan 8:52
The history behind the songs is the best part.
Yeah, Are we recording a crime scene?
Anna Ryan 9:01
How dare you! Don't you ever speak those words again! Oh my god, it's such a great... No, we, I mean, I think it would be kind of funny if we did it for a joke.
Jaida Stephenson 9:18
We whip it out occasionally.
Anna Ryan 9:20
Yeah, sometimes when people ask about it, we just do a little like snap cover. Like a 20 seconds.
Um, if you guys if you guys were gonna add like a few, like a cover to your set. What would you guys do?
Anna Ryan 9:40
Oh, well, there's already been
Jaida Stephenson 9:42
I don't know, we toss around a few covers.
Anna Ryan 9:44
Okay. So. We have been playing wildest dreams by Taylor Swift. Um, because it rocks, um and what we dabbled in- okay. We had a stage where We were literally playing Mr. Brightside for like, f**kin three years. And I- also because when we started like we weren't the best musicians so we didn't quite understand that we could like transpose A song. And so I was singing Mr. Brightside like way up here like. I was like guys like can't sing this song anymore like we're not I'm not gonna be able to sing
Jaida Stephenson 10:32
but I think our best ideas yet are, um, like s&m by Rihanna. Um, and also we did we tried doing good 4 u the other day, like by Olivia Rodrigo.
Anna Ryan 10:44
I just don't have that.
Jaida Stephenson 10:45
Anna Ryan 10:48
That, uh, high pitch sparkle.
Jaida Stephenson 10:52
S&M by rihanna would be amazing. Oh, Paparazzi by Lady Gaga. We'll see. Like, I
Anna Ryan 10:57
I think the vibe is very much like early 2000s bangers girlboss bangers
so you guys signed with domestic la la and united. So like, why was kind of now the time for you guys to, get in with a label or have representation.
Anna Ryan 11:16
Um, I just think like, we've been sort of so ready for like a fresh start. And then when we were like, it was teed up to do recording with James Tidswell, which, by the way, was incredible for us, because we were such, like big, violent Soho fans. And so even doing that was just like, so surreal. We're just like, trying to act really like, normal and casual, just like hanging out with violent Soho, but it was like, AHH, um, but yeah, and then after that, I think we just meshed so well. And then James was like, really want to keep working with you guys. We.. I don't know. We just fit really well together .
Jaida Stephenson 12:02
Anna Ryan 12:02
That perfect time. We want a fresh start. He's lovely. Whole team's lovely. So
Jaida Stephenson 12:09
Yeah we wouldn't want to be in any other label.
Anna Ryan 12:11
Yeah, he's awesome.
Jaida Stephenson 12:12
And unified as well. They they approached us and they're like, managers we've got there and the names that ash and Sarah and they're just two absolute girl bosses. And so cool. So cool. And yeah, they were so happy that we've like managed to score them as managers.
Anna Ryan 12:31
Jaida Stephenson 12:32
Like they've honestly been so helpful. So far.
Anna Ryan 12:35
I feel like we've just lucked out
Jaida Stephenson 12:37
Honestly, on the best team. It's incredible.
Anna Ryan 12:39
Yeah, it's awesome.
No, yeah, they were incredible to talk to to get into contact with you guys. So like for in between the singles like at all, it obviously, like, It all sounds like Teen Jesus. But there is like kind of a change in texture and stuff. So like is it more of like, what you guys are going through when like the songs are happening? Or like, you're just kind of getting older or like you're listening to different things that are influencing you?
Anna Ryan 13:04
Hmm, yeah, I don't know. Like, I think it's just because I don't know, we're just growing up.
Jaida Stephenson 13:10
Anna Ryan 13:11
And it's sort of changing with us, I guess. And look, we've probably gotten a bit better at our instruments. Maybe thats why we sound a bit different too.
Jaida Stephenson 13:23
I think we've also gotten like more confidence in like what we want our music to sound like
Anna Ryan 13:29
Jaida Stephenson 13:29
So it sounds like we'll kind of like we'll go into the studio. They'll get recorded or be like crap, That's that's what it is, like, what we've recorded.
Anna Ryan 13:40
Jaida Stephenson 13:40
And then now what kind of industry? Do we want this to sound like this,
Anna Ryan 13:41
Jaida Stephenson 13:41
And this is going to be louder, and this is going to be everything? We've got more of a vision.
Anna Ryan 13:25
And we're not afraid to speak up.
I think now we like sort of know what our sound sounds like. When before we were like we want to sound like like Nirvana. You know, putting ourselves in like, some other box that is totally not us. And then we tried to like squeeze into that and it just like, it doesn't sound as good because we're not like being ourselves and whatever. So we just sort of decided to lean into whatever the hell we did.
Okay, so for the, for AHHH! Is that okay? Is there a better way to pronounce it? Or is it just or is it
Anna Ryan 14:30
Um so it's kind of like just a scream because it's just like an emotion like uh, AHHH you know uh, yeah I, we've always sort of like had it as AHHHH in the like, demos and stuff. And then we had planned to like change the name because we thought like, Oh, it's not very, like, radio, uh, friendly. I don't know. It's like it's a bit weird, saying it. But then we tried other things and it just didn't like fit. And so we were like how, you know, let's just do it.
Jaida Stephenson 15:10
Let's just do AHHH!
Anna Ryan 15:10
It sounds a bit weird, but it's the only way to describe what the song is. And we're just angry and screaming. So ah.
So for, AHHH!, looks like he kind of you were talking about it was like you really having to just leave you behind when you had to? Was it like kind of about realizing that you were putting like too much energy into them and they weren't worth it? Or like you were just
Anna Ryan 15:36
yeah, I mean, it's, I didn't want it to come across as like, a very particular like, situation. I wanted it to be like, just a whole feeling of the song that people can just be like, Oh, this is what it means to me, sort of. But, um, yeah, I think my general idea behind it, it doesn't like, exactly correlate with the lyrics, like you can't, like really pick it out. But what I was thinking is, it's just like, you've known someone for a really long time, like, even like a friend or going out with someone or like, it's a relationship and you like, find, like, you're making excuses for them, you when, you know, maybe they're actually not this great of a person and it's just because you've known them for a long time or whatever. And you just gotta like, ditch em and move on sometimes. Like, it's just how life goes. Yeah, you know. Um, but yeah, it's more of just a lack of feeling the song.
So you said that, like, you didn't want to do anything specific, like when the band would be most likely to write a song that would like, @ someone.
Jaida Stephenson 16:53
I don't know.
Anna Ryan 16:55
Oh, my God, that's, I think that, like, the most like non.
Jaida Stephenson 17:00
Anna Ryan 17:00
What's the word?
Jaida Stephenson 17:02
Like we didn't but like I don't know
Anna Ryan 17:03
We do not know how to like be mean. Like, I don't know, I couldn't like, confront anybody?
Jaida Stephenson 17:11
Anna Ryan 17:12
Jaida Stephenson 17:14
Um, I don't know, I feel like, I have uh, we did have a song when we were like, 15 years old. We made this song called You make me sick. That was about Anna's 15 year old ex boyfriend at the time.
Anna Ryan 17:32
We wrote a song. I wrote it, it was called You make me sick. And then the next line was your long hair. We played that in our year 10 formal and he was just in the crowd. And he was dancing along to it.
Jaida Stephenson 17:47
So I guess the answer to your question is, Anna would be the most likely to call out someone.
Anna Ryan 17:52
Jaida Stephenson 17:53
Because she already has.
So you guys are I read that you guys were recording or working on new EP or something? Um, so what are your goals for the new projects and just kind of going forward with the band in general.
Anna Ryan 18:10
Um, I just like, I just want to get all of our stuff out there. Like I I feel like we've been for the past like, couple of years or whatever. We've just only had like a couple songs that can like define teen Jesus or whatever. But I just want to, like, paint a bit more of a picture of us because I feel like a lot of people just only know us for how we are on stage. And that's really good that we've been able to, like, create an image just from literally live performances and stuff, but it would be nice to have like his stuff to back it up.
Jaida Stephenson 18:48
Yeah, totally, like a whole body of work to be like, this is our music. Yeah, on Spotify at the moment. like we've got like, three four songs out. Obviously, we had like, like an old AP, we always we don't we don't talk. It's very hard to find. And it's gonna be exciting to get new music out that we're like, proud of but I don't know. It's like, even with this song. Like I just want to show everyone, um.
Anna Ryan 19:14
I know! Its so awesome!
Jaida Stephenson 19:17
And yeah, it's gonna be really great to have like,
Anna Ryan 19:19
Jaida Stephenson 19:20
A whole whole lot a whole lot of songs.
Anna Ryan 19:23
Hello Teen Jesus.
So like when you guys are recording, like what's the what's the process? Like? What kind of role does every member in the band play?
Anna Ryan 19:34
Um, gosh, I don't know. I think we sort of like we definitely started by just like, oh, playing a song and like getting the vibes up.
Jaida Stephenson 19:43
Anna Ryan 19:44
I'd like just all together in a room. I don't know. It's really it's kind of different every time we record, but um, because this is the first time recording with Jimmy T. James. It was just like, it was a whole new experience. But I, I want it to be but no,
Jaida Stephenson 20:07
Anna Ryan 20:07
Because it was so much fun. Like,
Jaida Stephenson 20:10
I feel like we just do like a lot of dancing.
Anna Ryan 20:12
Jaida Stephenson 20:13
Every time and then what does happen like so?
Anna Ryan 20:15
Jaida Stephenson 20:15
Someone will be like in the room like you'll be in the room during a vocal tape and we'll be doing weird, weird dancing on the wall.
Anna Ryan 20:23
Yeah, I worry that maybe we are a bit much here because we are very high energy like, and we're all there the whole time. Like everybody's doing that takes like, I thought it was just like, a normal thing to do, like just be in the room while everyone's doing their tapes, listening, whatever. But apparently not. Um, but yeah, I think we're just really high energy. Sometimes people are a bit taken aback. But it's lots of fun. Just having a good time. Um, Yeah, but I think we we just, we dance a lot. We just try and keep the vibes high. It gets kind of crazy when you're stuck in a room for like, 10 hours a day. But as long as we're all on the same level of crazy. It's fine.
What is, what is y'all's hype song at like, hour nine of that, like what comes on?
Anna Ryan 21:24
Ah, I think it's like, oh God it's gonna be like,
Jaida Stephenson 21:29
Like, I feel like I use this in every like, interview whatever but Veronica's Untouched, it's a classic
Anna Ryan 21:37
And we'll suggest it until the day we die.
Jaida Stephenson 21:39
Yeah, it's uh, also Wildest Dreams again, that can come on anytime and pick up our story.
Anna Ryan 21:39
Jaida Stephenson 21:44
Yeah and I don't know.
Anna Ryan 21:49
No, I think we should just start with Untouched because it's...
Jaida Stephenson 21:53
How can it get any better?
Anna Ryan 21:54
This the song we walk on to every time we're on getting on stage, you know, do a little boogy, gets our vibes up. We might be going insane in the studio, but Veronica's is always there for us.
Has y'all's songwriting process, like changed a lot from COVID. Like, like, obviously, everybody was isolated, but like wasn't work collaborative before? Or like, when you guys are into the studio, is there like jamming? And then collaborative songwriting? Or does everybody come in with their own stuff? Or how does that normally go?
Anna Ryan 22:27
So we usually, like have a couple songs that we'd like practice up and ready to record. I don't think we've actually tried to, like go into the studio and see what comes out of it. I think we're just like, we want to get stuff done. We want to go in there and just like have some stuff ready and do that. But I think definitely over COVID like our writing style had changed a bit like, because we just weren't we weren't practicing together for ages.
Jaida Stephenson 23:01
Like over six months.
Anna Ryan 23:04
Yeah. Like I was literally just like writing songs by myself with my guitar, the vibes are very different to when we're like, all together. But then, it's I think it's really good that like, it's been awesome that Jaida and I live together. So whenever I like, like, come up with a song, she comes up with a song, we can play it together and get a bit more of an idea of what it's gonna sound like in band form. Rather than like, like when I yeah, when I write by myself, I'm like, I literally cannot picture this being my badge. But yeah, I dont know if that answered your question.I kind of ramble.
I think I think somewhere in there, it definitely did. Um, so like, like, I've been like I keep saying you guys have been together for a long time. Um, what were your first gigs like? And has it become comfortable yet together on stage? Or when did that kind of come together?
Jaida Stephenson 24:06
Well, our first gig ever was at our schools Spring Fair. So we went to a Steiner school. And we'd all like gone there together since we're like very, very little little bubbas.
Anna Ryan 24:17
Like six or seven.
Jaida Stephenson 24:18
Yeah. And it was around a standard school Spring Fair. We had like flower pounds on
Anna Ryan 24:25
Jaida Stephenson 24:25
Our name wasn't even teen Jesus yet. It was dandelion and the uniqueness.
Anna Ryan 24:31
But at the last second when we're about to go out and relax. scrap that. Don't you dare say that scrap that it's Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers and like, our teachers are like, Really? You want to say that? Are you sure? And we're like, yes. Do it.
Jaida Stephenson 24:46
It was great. Okay, but yeah, like we were really awkward and quite terrible at playing music that stage. But then I'm so glad we started like when we did because now it's like led us to like down this whole little path and we've kind of reached the spot right now. I feel like we're all so comfortable with each other
Anna Ryan 25:05
Jaida Stephenson 25:05
On stage and like, we just gel like,
With each other so well and then even like, like, I'm not the best bass guitarist in the world, but like, I feel like I'm the best and I play with you guys.
Anna Ryan 25:16
Jaida Stephenson 25:17
Anna Ryan 25:18
Alright, yeah, I just have a few more more fun questions. You guys can go international with one band. who would it be and why?
Anna Ryan 25:28
Oh, my God. Oh,
Jaida Stephenson 25:30
I know who mine would be. That's just personal choice.
Anna Ryan 25:36
Yeah, but we want to keep the vibe.
Jaida Stephenson 25:38
Anna Ryan 25:39
Oh my god. I'm gonna say um Dream Wife. Because I'm in love with them. And then just like, the best.
Jaida Stephenson 25:50
Anna Ryan 25:51
Or like, I don'y know I would really like to go on like a world tour with another like epic girl boss band. Like, I think it would just be so much fun.
Jaida Stephenson 26:03
Yeah, that would be insane. And I would love to go on tour with Arctic Monkeys one day, but we can all dream. You know, maybe one day?
Anna Ryan 26:11
Yeah. That would be iconic. I think I'd be a bit too intimidated though.
Jaida Stephenson 26:16
Anna Ryan 26:18
I feel like they would just like go into the dressing room and like, be moody.
Jaida Stephenson 26:23
Anna Ryan 26:26
And we would be like so do you guys want to hang out?
So seeing as you guys are no longer teenagers. Would you guys ever consider changing the name?
Jaida Stephenson 26:38
Yeah, so like Young Adult Jesus and the Jean Teasers?
Anna Ryan 26:42
Yeah, it doesn't have a ring to it
Jaida Stephenson 26:43
Yeah, no, definetly. And we could try it out. Like the whole like Chet Baker, Nick Murphy, switch it up a little bit kind of thing.
Anna Ryan 26:53
I'm into it.
Jaida Stephenson 26:54
Anna Ryan 26:54
I'm not saying no, but depending on how long we're in the band. We could go with like, middle aged Jesus.
Jaida Stephenson 27:01
Yeah. Grandma Jesus and the Jean Teasers.
Anna Ryan 27:04
Yeah, it's a work in progress. I think we might stick with Teen Jesuse for now. It's just, you know,
Jaida Stephenson 27:09
Anna Ryan 27:09
It works a little bit better
That's fair. That's fair. How do you guys stay hydrated.
Anna Ryan 27:16
Um just so much water.
Jaida Stephenson 27:21
Also, lots of well no, alcohol doesn't keep you hydrated
Anna Ryan 27:25
Jaida Stephenson 27:26
No, lots of water
Anna Ryan 27:28
Jaida Stephenson 27:29
Teas! Lot's of teas.
Anna Ryan 27:30
Gatorade. Let's just say we've had a lot of those emergency ones by the Airbnb bed after a gig. You know.
That does lead into next question. What is the best cruiser flavor?
Anna Ryan 27:48
Oh, I think we're on the same page.
Jaida Stephenson 27:51
Anna Ryan 27:51
But Neeves' gonna say watermelon, but ours is
Jaida Stephenson 27:54
Anna Ryan 27:54
Definitely guava. I don't know. It's something about guava. Oh, it's good. It's good. And it's refreshing. It's be beautiful actually.
Jaida Stephenson 27:58
Oh for sure, yeah.
Anna Ryan 28:05
Yeah, I think yeah. Vodka cruiser, if you're listening right now, we would really love a sponsorship. Only if you want to. But we would love that. Yeah. Wow.
All right. So that gets me that gets me through everything I wanted to know. Um, you guys have any things you guys want to plug? For where they can find Teen Jesus everywhere?
Anna Ryan 28:32
Yeah, well, definitely just the new single Please listen to it. Because we're really proud of it.
Jaida Stephenson 28:38
Anna Ryan 28:38
And we did it. We did something good. And yeah, I don't even really know what else to plug.
Jaida Stephenson 28:48
Yeah. I don't know, that's kind of it.
Anna Ryan 28:50
Just stay tuned. Because you got, you know, we're cooking.
Jaida Stephenson 28:53
We've got so much stuff coming.
Anna Ryan 28:55
Yeah, it's very exciting. You know, I don't know what we're gonna do next. But I know it's gonna be something. We saw Linda tune into.
Jaida Stephenson 29:03
And hopefully it'll be soon as well. Like, might be a big COVID gap like it has been.
Anna Ryan 29:08
Jaida Stephenson 29:09
Well, guys, thank you so much for sitting down with me and talking.
Anna Ryan 29:14
Thank you so much!
Jaida Stephenson 29:15
Thanks for having us on.
Anna Ryan 29:17
It was so much fun. I'm so sorry for rambling so much.