I never imagined this job would ever lead to opportunities like interviewing a former Hillary Duff tourmate and Seventeen cover boy, but Teddy Geiger was kind enough to tell us about upcoming Peter Cattaneo film The Rocker.
Starring Rainn Wilson, Josh Gadd, Emma Stone and Christina Applegate, it tells the story of a hair-band reject who gets a second shot at glory while drumming for his nephew’s rock band. Judging from this trailer, at least, the movie looks hilarious.
Geiger told us about acting, the similarities between the movie and his real life, and his unorthodox method of letting fans choose which songs will be included on his upcoming album, due out in September.
What was it like on set with all those comedians [including Will Arnett, Fred Armisen and Aziz Ansari]? Were they always “on,” trying to crack each other up, or did they chill out between shots?
They were always on, always joking around with each other. I was kind of the only non-comedian there, so whenever I would try to make a joke, it would go completely silent.
Christina Applegate plays your mom in the movie. She’s somewhat young to be the mother of someone your age, and is still really hot. Was that tense, to have to act like someone that attractive was your mom?
Ehh, it was all right. She’s very cool. Actually, she turned out being a lot like my real mother, just some of the mannerisms she would use. But she did a really good job, so it was easy to adapt.
You’ve been on TV before [including short-lived CBS music industry series Love Monkey], but this was your first film. How was it compared to filming a TV series?
I was really nervous about it, because I didn’t know what I was doing. I was there with a bunch of people who make a living acting, and was worried: “What are they going to think?” But it ended up being a lot of great people. Once I kind of settled in, I lost that nervousness.
Do your acting roles as a musician reflect your real-life experiences?
The movie is pretty close. There’s actually a scene where the bus pulls up in front of the family home in the neighborhood, and they load out their stuff in the garage. That’s actually happened at my house.
Let’s talk about your upcoming album, the TG33 project. What gave you the idea to record 33 songs and let fans pick which ones go on the album?
We had a bunch of songs recorded, because when I was at home I was recording music. So we had all these songs recorded, and said, “Instead of picking them, why not give them all to the fans and let them pick which ones they like the best?” So that’s what we’re doing. I’m just excited they get to hear all of them and pick them.
Do these songs have a lot in common, like were they all written about the same theme or at the same time?
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It’s a hodgepodge. There’s three groups: One I wrote about a year ago as an album, another I did with some producers from Sweden, and then there’s some I recorded at my apartment in L.A.
You’ve been in the music business since you were a kid. How has growing up and maturing changed your songwriting process?
Songwriting is pretty mercurial. I try to approach it a little differently every time I sit down to write a song.
Teddy Geiger performs with Hillary McRae at 7 tonight at House of Blues in Dallas. --Jesse Hughey