“There’s a rich history in rock of exes making beautiful music together. But what makes TeamMate’s story particularly compelling is how insurmountable drummer Dani Buncher and singer-keyboardist Scott Simons’ break up seemed. One day they were daydreaming about growing old together, and the next, Dani came out to her boyfriend. The two had been dating for a full decade. In the four years since that gutting split, an extraordinary connection and a mutual love of music have helped them dismantle, then rebuild, their relationship. “If we couldn’t be partners,” explains Scott, “we were still going to be teammates.” Getting there took work, as chronicled in their self-produced debut album (out in 2012 on Rostrum Records), an indie-pop memoir that charts the times and tides of their lives.”
Check out the band at their official Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. The duo recently released their debut, “The Sequel EP” and are performing a ‘Stage-It Show‘ tonight from Morgantown. They also play Pittsburgh tomorrow at Club Cafe with friends of the blog Triggers and The Wreckids. My thanks to my pals Dani Buncher (Drums/Vocals) and Scott Simons (Keys/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.
- The first album you ever bought?
- Scott Simons: By myself, with my own money? Young MC, “Stone Cold Rhymin’”.
- Dani Buncher: The first cassette I ever bought was George Michael “Faith.” My brother and I shared 2 copies of it and listened straight through, both sides, daily. When my brother was in the 5th grade, he made and starred in a music video for ‘Monkey’ for a school project. He was so cool. The first CD I bought was a BMG Music Club accident. It was the Breeders’ “Last Splash.” It was mailed to my house and I forgot to send it back so they charged me like $800 for it. Remember that crap? Anyways, it was one of the best music mistakes I’ve made. That band has definitely influenced my music tastes and playing to this day.
- Your last album bought?
- Scott: Daft Punk, “Random Access Memories”.
- Dani: Boy, “Mutual Friends”.
- Favorite album of all time?
- Scott: Oh man…I can’t pick just one. “Sgt. Pepper’s”, “Rubber Soul” – The Beatles, “Pet Sounds” – The Beach Boys, “The Stranger” – Billy Joel, “This Year’s Model” – Elvis Costello, “Heartbeat City” – The Cars, “Spilt Milk” – Jellyfish, “Ben Folds Five” – Ben Folds Five, etc etc etc.
- Dani: Um, George Michael, “Faith”.
- Least favorite/most disappointing album?
- Scott: Anything ever by Rush ever. Ever.
- Dani: Ok, so I bought Alicia Keys “As I Am” and I know it’s not cool of me to admit that, but whatever. It was so disappointing. I talked myself into liking it for days… Nope.
- First concert attended?
- Scott: Jackson 5 ‘Victory’ Tour at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati!
- Dani: 5th grade. New Kids On The Block – ‘Step By Step’ Tour. SO WHAT?! Later in life, you know when I hit my 20’s, I spoke to Joey McIntyre on the phone and I couldn’t believe how anti-climactic it was. If “10 year old Dani” knew that “22 year old Dani” had talked to the 2nd cutest NKOTB (I liked John the best) things would have been a lot different in 5th grade.
- Last concert?
- Scott: Saw Fitz and The Tantrums, Tegan and Sara, Vampire Weekend, Jim James, Flaming Lip and The Divine Fits at SXSW this year.
- Dani: Neighbours and Meeting of Important People at Mr. Smalls.
- Favorite concert ever?
- Scott: I saw Arcade Fire play a small show on the Saturday Night Live set once in front of about 40 people. It was incredible.
- Dani: This is a tie. I was at a U2 “secret” concert in Dumbo (Brooklyn) a few years back. I was so close to Bono and the Edge – it was mind blowing and inspiring. Cliché, I know. Lionel Richie did somewhat of an intimate performance for the company I worked for and I have never seen more people (men and women) swoon so hard and fast, in my life. I danced my butt off. “Woooooah-oooooh-ooooh… Yeah!”
- Least favorite concert?
- Scott: I played keys for another artist on a bill with Flo Rida last year… So,yeah, that.
- Dani: Actually, there’s been a lot. I’m not naming any. Sorry.
- Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
- Scott: I grew up less than two hours south of Pittsburgh. It was always my big city. In my hometown in West Virginia, we got all the local Pittsburgh TV stations, took school trips to Buhl Science Center, drove to Squirrel Hill just to buy good bagels and were die hard Steeler fans (…and sworn Pitt enemies. It’s complicated.). I love so much about Pittsburgh and enjoyed my time living on the Southside.
- Dani: I lived in NYC for several years before I returned to Pittsburgh and I have never been part of a music scene like this. The Pittsburgh scene is so inviting and supportive to musicians and listeners. The genres range from all over the place and there is a good band that represents whatever kind of music you’re into. I love it here.
Thanks, guys. Funny you mention “Heartbeat City”, Scott. I love that album but when I saw the band on that tour, I was…SOOO BORED. Wang Chung opened and even though I didn’t particularly dig them all that much, I like them way better that night than The Cars. Go figure.
Last night I had the pleasure to hang with Scott and Dani as they rehearsed for their very first shows as a band. Tonight they play in Scott’s hometown of Morgantown, and tomorrow they make their Pittsburgh debut at Brillobox with favs of mine and labelmates Donora. If you are in either area, these shows are not to be missed. I got a small taste of what to expect and what struck me was the honest and almost brutal lyrics that reflect their unique, and thankfully for us, resolved relationship which brings them together to make music. I can’t wait for the full set!