“Our live shows are pretty fast and loud. I hate seeing bands live and they sound exactly like the records. I think it’s pretty boring, and I don’t understand the point.”

Sometimes you hear a song and it’s followed by an immediate and overwhelming desire to see the band live. That’s what happened when we heard ‘Young Girls In Space’ by Unwed Teenage Mothers from Oxford, MS. The track is from their unreleased album ‘Goodnight Girls’ and you can hear it here for the first time (and download it for free above). These guys will kick you up the ass with their punk infused pop-rock - it’s vigorous fun with a tendency to get a little gritty. We caught up with frontman Colin Sneed to chat about his current projects, playing in Bass Drum of Death, and getting that new ‘Teen Moms’ album heard.

How does the writing process differ when you are working on solo stuff as opposed to working with a band?
When I’m writing for myself I’ll usually write to my weaknesses and everything becomes way more simple, which is fine for my kind of songwriting.  When I’m working with the guys in Unwed Teenage Mothers or the other bands I’m in, I can write things that are a little different or unusual. I know Johnny, Landon and Shane can take whatever I write and write on top of that and really do the most with each song. I’m pretty lucky to have those guys making my songs sound good.

Do you prefer singing/guitar to playing drums?
I like both. I think I have a pretty good handle on how I play drums, and I’m comfortable with my style so it’s always fun. I’ve been really fortunate to play drums for some of my favourite guitar players and songwriters, so that helps. I’m not a great singer or guitar player, but I do like to write and perform. It’s just amazing to play shows, and even when things are going badly you can look over and remember that you’re playing with some of your favourite people - so it’s all pretty great.

How was your experience being in Bass Drum of Death?
Bass Drum of Death was incredibly fun, and I’m super grateful to John and Print for letting me go on all those tours and play all those shows. It was really a blast. I love those guys and how they play, I learned so much from those years. We definitely hit it hard in that band, playing tons of shows and working our asses off - I’m glad John is still doing really great things. Len Clark is his drummer now and he’s a fantastic drummer and a really awesome guy.

Why did you decide to make the move to Unwed Teenage Mothers? Great name by the way.
I have no idea where that name came from. People keep assuming it has some sort of political significance, which is funny to me. When I was doing Bass Drum of Death we were on the road pretty regularly and I really didn’t have too much of a chance to tour with the guys in Teen Moms. I think those guys were getting a little restless and wanted to get out on the road so we could do our own thing. I just thought I had some decent songs, great guys in the band and that maybe it was time to get behind it to see how far we could take it.

It seems like you guys have been touring quite a bit already this year. You play high energy stuff - what are your live sets like?
We did a pretty quick tour with Lover! which is Rich Crook from Lost Sounds, Reatards, and other cool bands. We would play our 25 minutes and then switch instruments and back Rich up for the Lover! set. It was a lot of fun and everyone seemed to have a pretty good time. Our live shows are pretty fast and loud. I hate seeing bands live and they sound exactly like the records. I think it’s pretty boring, and I don’t understand the point. We’re a little looser, more energetic, and we try to have fun while we play. If no one else enjoys it at least we have a good time.

Is there an LP on the way for Unwed Teenage Mothers?
We’ve got an LP recorded, mixed, and mastered, but can’t find anyone who wants to put it out. It’s kind of frustrating, sitting on the best music you’ve ever made. All the labels I’ve ever worked with, or talked with are all doing pretty well now and have a long list of music to release. That’s a great thing for sure, but it’s kind of a bummer for us. The record is called ‘Goodnight Girls’, it’s 12 songs in 30 minutes, and we’re all really happy with it. We recorded it with Andrew Ratcliffe at Tweed in Oxford, MS and Jeffrey Reed at Taproot mastered it. It’s a great record and I really hope people get to hear it.

What artists are you listening to at the moment?
The new Angel Olson record ‘Burn Your Fire For No Witness’ is an amazing record. It’s beautifully written, performed, and recorded. I also love the Radioactivity record on Dirtnap Records. Talbot Adams just put out a record on Spacecase Records and it’s pretty excellent. Talbot is one of my favourite singers ever, so I really recommend everyone go buy that record.

What’s plans for the rest the year?
We’re going to keep trying to get this record out and hope for the best. Johnny, Shane and Landon have a band called Game Control and I think they’re going to record a full length pretty soon. They’re fantastic so that will be really fun to hear. Johnny and I are in a band called E-Meters, and we may try to make a record soon. Other than that we’ll all just keep writing and playing and see what happens!