The Velvet Teen practices in a shack. The shack, which sits in the shade of a large, leafy tree, is made of long white planks covered in fuzzy, sea-green moss. Located a couple of dozen feet off the highway, next to the home of bassist Joshua Staples' parents in Petaluma, California, the shack is a small room with low ceilings; if it were underground, you'd call it a bomb shelter. Smelling of sweat socks and beer, the cramped inside is littered with battered drums, well-worn amps, roughed-up guitars and keyboards covered in stickers that say things like "Jealousy Is to Love as Asthma Is to Breathing." To observe these details is to imagine the work that occurs here, the band members spending countless hours inside this den, laboring over their songs, arguing with one another, laughing, drinking canned Tecate. One assumes that when practice is over, when the musicians are covered in sweat and a little drunk, they walk outside, breathe the moist, cool air of Sonoma County and take in the golden, windswept grass that rolls in waves over... More >>>
When the major labels came a-knocking, Velvet Teen did the unimaginable. They walked away.