Interview :: Andy and Edwin White of Tonstartssbandht

Interview with: Andy and Edwin White
From: Tonstartssbandht
(conducted by: Jesse Locke)
Montreal, QC

Since transplanting themselves from the sunshine state of Florida to the frosty French Canadian north, pizza-lovin’ brothers Andy and Edwin White have been recording and releasing tunes at an almost nonsensical pace. On top of sparking up psych burners and daffy rappin’ trip-outs with their best-known band, Tonstartssbandht, the bros maintain a plethora of side projects/aliases (High Rise II, NASA, Superbud, Bladestoner, etc.) while also running the boutique labels Does Are and Black Cheeks. For this Weird Canada exclusive, they’ve remixed our interview with wonky vocal FX, answers read by Jason Harvey™ and what sounds like a chopped and screwed version of their posi-vibes anthem “Andy Summers.”

[audio:|titles=Weird Canada Exclusive :: Tonstartssbandht – Inferred Views] Weird Canada Exclusive :: Tonstartssbandht – Inferred Views

Jesse Locke
Texture Magazine / Weird Canada /

/////////////// TONSTARTSSBANDHT INFERRED VIEWS ///////////////

J. = Jesse Locke (Texture Magazine // Weird Canada)
T. = Andy and Edwin White (Tonstartssbandht)

J. :: What was life like growing up for you guys as brothers? Did you have any made-up games you would play, sibling rivalries or weird family inside jokes?
T. :: We were related, and then fed by older people. Andy knew all the secrets to life early because I let him drink from my brain after school everyday. I’m his ancient angel. We spent all of our time outside climbing ropes and making mud to prepare for the apocalypse. On a ranch, our grandpa makes great kielbasa and eggs.
J. :: When did you start making music together? Were there any other bro projects prior to Tonstartssbandht?

L. :: We recorded a song together one day in 2006 called “High Roller”, but the band didn’t form until august 2007 so we could play a show in Orlando. Other projects include the bands NASA, Buttsavage, Horus Hawk, Great Feelings, and Superbud, which recorded in Orlando, Totally Dad for freeing demons in NYC, and Black Dad / Andy Summers and Bladestoner in Montreal to fill the void.
J. :: I understand you guys are Orlando natives originally. What made you want to transplant yourselves to Montreal?
T. :: Andy is an undergrad at McGill. Edwin moved here in September to record with Andy and check out Montreal, but is moving back to New York in May. Montreal is a nice guy.
J. :: What’s your favourite restaurant or place to eat in this city?
T. :: When we aren’t cooking at home, we only eat at PIZZA DU PARC or PIZZA STEVE or PIZZA FAMILIA or PIZZA BELLA DONNA. We maintain lifestyles.
J. :: Your music integrates a ton of different sounds and styles, but the biggest noticeable split seems to be between the sample and vocal-based stuff and the rock ‘n’ roll ragers with guitar and drums. Why have you decided to maintain a dual personality within the one band, as opposed to splitting into two?
T. :: Tonstartssbandht is two people and represents the personalities and emotions of these two people. Traditionally, we’ve only created different monikers so as to differentiate between the personnel in our assorted projects. For instance, the project called Superbud is a veil for Andy White and Sean O’Loane. Similarly, Tonstartssbandht tells you it’s Andy White and Edwin White playing music together. Within the projects we do whatever we want. We can’t be concerned with maintaining some kind of sonic consistency for the sake of easy categorization, or just to please people with specific expectations of your sound. If it ends up being consistent, so be it. But it’s more important to create the sounds we want to hear as they reveal themselves to our consciousness. Ultimately, it will leave a clearly exposed record of our inner psyches for the public, ourselves and one day our children. Our music is a rendering of ourselves in transition. It will always change. Maybe our names will change and perhaps I’ll lose my vocal chords in a gardening accident. We don’t give a fuck about genres or movements. We’re just musicians – we are people who’ve found music to be the best fit for our need for self expression, and thus we are two among many. We can write one-liners, create fake words, chop .jpgs and screw pop songs, and do head stands, and jog backwards and it’s all connected to our energies and desire to create – to expose ourselves to ourselves, and ultimately, to others. We’re trying to communicate with Basic Channel. Are you hearing us guys? It’s easier to have one band.
J. :: On top of Tonstartssbandht, you also play together in a High Rise cover band called High Rise II. What caused your addiction to the psychedelic speed freaks?
T. :: We started taking psychedelic speed and now we’re addicts. We cannot escape the aura of it all – 1980s TOKYO, fastest growing economy in the world at that time, biggest city in the world by all accounts (urban, metro, etc.). Sober punks making the fastest, most blindingly, loud and energetic rock music ever created. Layered by choice with the thickest set of distortion, fuzz and white noise imaginable. Their records were released by a friend who decided – “this music is too good to be heard by only me and my friends,” and so began PSF records and the Modern Music record store in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, And decades later, it found its way into our impressionable music-obsessed Floridian heads and provided us with a jolt of creative overdrive. It’s just total TOTAL power. Count us among the many fans worldwide who can only bow in reverence at the altar of Nanjo. As far as heavy rock music goes, NOBODY does it better, nor will they. All you can do is move on and enjoy the recordings of the pinnacle achieved 25 years ago in Tokyo. Or, as we’ve done, start a tribute band, so you can experience the thrill of High Rise in their prime vis-à-vis a facsimile of equally determined young musicians a generation later.
J. :: How would you describe a typical High Rise II show?
T. :: Come to our shows! We let it all out. We don’t wear shirts, and we play songs by High Rise, Mainliner and sometimes songs by Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, and the MC5. It‘s Edwin on drums, and Andy White and Jesse Hicks switching between guitar and bass for different songs. Most importantly, be safe and bring your ear plugs, so you can live to hear another day. It’s like pulling the plug on a tub full of energy and you’re worried that the pipes will explode. We play until exhaustion sets in and blood has been spilt. It’s adrenaline, live and in full display.
J. :: What can you tell me about your label, Black Cheeks? What have been some of your highlight releases so far, and what else have you got coming down the tubes?
T. :: Black Cheeks started as a way to release material by our Orlando groups in 2005 when Andy was a high school sophomore. It has continued with his move to Montreal to release side projects and eventually the first Tonstartssbandht cassette, Water Buffalo. Coming up next is a new pressing of the Tonstartssbandht Parson Sounds tape from December and tapes by Homosexual Cops and Lil’ Baby. Edwin began his label Does Are in 2008 and has released a majority of the Tonstartssbandht catalogue to date: the full length An When and four months later, Dick Nights, the Maihama cassette EP, as well as a Superbud cassingle, an amazing lost NASA album Boogie Chillin / Too Heavy, and later this month, Cool World’s full length debut, Gaydream Nation, from our friends in Providence. Does Are will be making a limited run of tapes and CDrs to coincide with the release of the newest Tonstartssbandht full length 12” available later this spring on Arbutus Records.
J. :: Tonstarttsbandht has a new 7-inch coming out in a couple months on Psychic Handshake. What can people look forward to with that one?
T. :: The Midnite Cobras 7″ on Psychic Handshake Recording should be available in early March. Side A contains two new recordings of “Midnite Cobras” and “I’m a Welsh Souper”, originally heard on An When, while side B reveals the unreleased psych burner “Electric Dragon Sword” that you might have heard at various live shows in the past year. Look forward to the whole thing! It’s a psych rock 7” for sure…
J. :: Do you feel like your music is continuing to change and evolve? Where do you see it – and yourselves – going in 2010?
T. :: Look for the new full length sometime before summer. And soon after, more tapes and EPs. Our music changes as we do. We can’t predict where it will go this year, because even we aren’t certain of our future. We will be living in separate cities again by the start of summer, and Andy graduates in December, which opens up the question of what to do and where to live in 2011. We still dream of the sunshine state, and this summer we found comfort in L.A. as we saw it – Orlando plus New York… A giant Florida with mountains. Wherever we live, our sound will be influenced by our surroundings, our memories and our expectations, our highs and lows, our fears and dreams, the limits of technology and finances, theft and acquisition, but ultimately, no matter what it is channeled through, the source remains to be our souls: Brothers bonded by life.

High Rise II play Tuesday, March 6 at Friendship Cove in Montreal. For further show info, see

file under: Inferred Views, New Canadiana, quebec.

birthed: 2010-03-01


8 thoughts on “Interview :: Andy and Edwin White of Tonstartssbandht

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