Ted Leo on Recording with Aimee Mann and the Next Pharmacists Album

Ted Leo performs in London, January 2013. Photo: C Brandon/Redferns

Ted Leo is happy to be very busy at the moment. The New York songwriter, who toured in support of Aimee Mann this past fall, is currently in Los Angeles about to go in the studio with Mann to record an EP for their new duo, #BOTH. Leo and Mann traded barbs on Twitter regularly before touring together, which explains the hashtag in the band name (more on that later). Leo called us from L.A. to chat about recording with Aimee Mann, goofy band names and where he’s at with a follow-up to 2010’s The Brutalist Bricks.

How did you and Aimee decide to go in to the studio and do this thing for real?

Well, we’d been friends for a long time, but never actually toured together. We would see each other either when I was passing through LA or Aimee was passing through New York. And of course on Twitter. Which is why we — it’s arguably a bad idea — have jokingly continued to keep a hashtag in front of our band name. It was really touring over this last year [fall 2012 tour] that we just kind of started to get inside each other’s heads musically more. I had a new song that I was playing on tour that we were talking about, and she started playing and singing on it with me every night. That led to the whole thing. I really have to give her credit for actually stepping up and making it happen. Because people talk about this kind of thing all the time. We should totally do something together! Yeah, we should do it. Let’s get it going. And it never happens. But within a week of getting back from that tour she had emailed me the verse of a new song. It took off from there.

So, seriously, why did you decide to put a hashtag in the band name?

Yeah. Well. [Laughs] It’s been really funny watching the reaction to that, and I think that was part of the point. Inside jokes are sometimes a pretty bad idea, but this was so stupidly indigenous to us and really reflects our stupidly amazing relationship on Twitter. We were doing it as a joke and then we got to the point where we were like OK, we really have to get rid of that. Then two weeks laters, we were like, actually, I’m kinda into that. In all honestly, I think my eyes have become so accustomed to seeing that kind of thing that I actually felt like the word looked better on the page with a hashtag in front of it than without. So we just decided to leave it, and let the chips fall where they may.

Embedded from www.youtube.com.