The government may be shutting down but the music continues with Mad Tea Party at Star Bar. While their name may resemble the other tea party, this Asheville duo leaves politics at the door. Jason Krekel is too busy playing drums, guitar and singing simultaneously, and Ami Worthen’s hands are better served playing electric ukulele than making picket signs. It all works out for music lovers as the Mad Tea Party comes to Atlanta on April 9 for “Night Terrors.”
A night of trashy punk garage pop surf for only $8 may be what the weekend calls for. Not only is Mad Tea Party playing but Pinche Gringo, Ghost Bikini and Mermaids are jamming too. The lineup may change, but Krekel said Mad Tea Party would be the first band to play upstairs, just one more reason to get there early.
Making the trek from North Carolina to Georgia is not something the band does often, however Krekel is hoping to play Atlanta more than their staple twice a year.
“We’re more like weekend warriors,” Krekel said discussing Mad Tea Party’s tour schedule. “We probably average two to three weekends a month and every now and then we do a weeklong tour. The game has changed a lot out there on the road for small bands. It’s just not quite as worth it to go out and beat the highway like I did when I was younger. There are a lot more bands touring and lot less people listening. The recession has hit.”
There infrequency in Atlanta makes the opportunity to see them on Saturday too much to pass up. Where else are you going to hear punk ukulele? Exactly.
During their live performances, Krekel sings, riffs the guitar and puts his legs to work on the drums.
“It’s just something I’ve been doing for about six years now,” he said. “I started doing it playing on the street and playing more ragtime when we got started. The more I did it the more rock and roll it became.”
The Mad Tea Party vibe has taken years to form, but with two strong songwriters, the foundation is solid. Songs do not always start out to fit the Mad Tea Party vibe though. Worthen recently penned a few songs to mark her 40th birthday including “It was Snowing” which appears on Worthen’s 4 for 40 EP. Now the song is making a transition from soft folk to party.
“We’re not sure the song will fit with the format to Tea Party until we sit down and play,” said Krekel. “If the song works for us, it clicks right away, and if it doesn’t we usually pass it over for something else.”
Later this year Krekel and Worthen will release their second full-length album, which has yet to be titled. Rick Miller, front man for the SCOTS, is producing the album.
“Rick has a great sensibility for rock and roll,” Krekel explains. “[We are] probably going to do half the record as a duo and the other half use bass and drums, even though we don’t have bass and full kit drums in the live show.”
The album is in the works for later, but their live show is tomorrow. Tickets are $8 and the doors open at 9 p.m.
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