AN INTERVIEW WITH TRIATHALON
GEORGIA NATIVES TURNED NEW YORKERS, TRIATHALON, ARE TAKING THE CITY BY STORM. WITH THEIR ECLECTIC MIX OF LO-FI AND R&B, CHAD CHILTON, HUNTER JAYNE, AND ADAM INTRATOR ARE SOAKING IN THEIR NEW SURROUNDINGS. REVELING IN THE VAST EXPANSE OF THE NY MUSIC SCENE, THEIR LATEST EP COLD SHOWER REFLECTS THE BAND’S TRANSITION. AS THEY ADJUST TO CITY LIFE WE SPEAK OF THE NEW RELEASE, THE INTERNET, AND MORE!
HOW DO YOU TRANSITION WITH GOING FROM A PRETTY SMALL SCENE IN SAVANNAH TO A PLACE LIKE NY WHICH IS HOME TO ARGUABLY ONE OF THE MOST EXTENSIVE MUSIC SCENES?
All my love to Savannah but damn I had to get out of there. I was so excited to just be dropped in the middle of nowhere and start all over again. I knew moving to NYC would be difficult, but it’s a lot more chill than people think. There’s too much going on here for you to be “uninspired”. Yo NYC is inspiring as frick. Everyone’s hustling & I’m into it.
HAS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS CHANGED SINCE YOU HAVE MOVED? HOW HAS THE NY SCENE INFLUENCED YOUR MUSIC?
My creative process has stayed pretty consistent actually. I usually flow best in my bedroom. Be a classic homebody, chill and write songs. I did buy an old Casio in a random flea market when I moved here and that definitely changed the game for me. I’ve also been coming up with a lot more ideas while on the train. NYC has definitely shifted my focus to explore a more soulful sound. The city’s got me listening to way more jazz & hip hop which has influenced a lot of newer material.
WHEN YOUR ALBUM LO-TIDE CAME OUT IN 2014 YOU HAD IT TAGGED YOU HAD IT TAGGED AS A FEW DIFFERENT GENRES INCLUDING ROCK AND SURF. WITH YOUR LATEST RELEASE COLD SHOWER IN 2016 YOU SIMPLY TAGGED IT AS R&B. WHAT PROMPTED THAT PROGRESSION? WAS IT A NATURAL MOVEMENT OR A CONSCIOUS CHOICE?
The progression is really the result of us maturing together as a band. Songs we used to play will always have a place but to me a lot of it feels young. The older I get the less I want to “rock”. R&B is for the lovers. That’s literally me.
DESPITE THOSE LABELS, YOU’VE MENTIONED IN THE PAST WANTING TO DITCH GENRE SPECIFICS. DO YOU FIND LABELS TO BE RESTRICTIVE?
Not necessarily. I think society sometimes needs labels to help define and separate things from each other. There’s nothing wrong with categorizing. But when it comes to music it can be annoying when someone decides to use four different genres to describe an artist’s sound. But I think people are starting to step away from genres and letting the music speak for itself. No one should ever be described as a folk, rock, surf, metal band. Unless that’s literally the music that you make. In that case you’re fucking crazy. But I respect you.
AS MENTIONED ABOVE, HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR MUSIC WORKS TO DEFY THOSE GENRE NORMS?
I’ve always struggled with staying consistent with our music, especially on past records. I never try to stay on the same sound for too long. Not because I want to stay current but I just get bored really easily. A lot of our songs are all over the place so when someone tries to describe our sound it just ends up being something ridiculous. I wouldn’t say we try to defy genre norms but we definitely work towards a sound that can’t easily be defined.
YOU GUYS SOLD A NUMBER OF COLD SHOWER VINYL AND TAPES. WHAT DO YOU THINK DISTRIBUTING MUSIC IN A TANGIBLE FORMAT DOES FOR THE ALBUM?
I think it makes the record more special to those who own a physical copy. Plus they’re probably more likely to listen to the record if they own it. But also I bought “DAMN.” on vinyl and only listened to it once. BUT physical merch does glorify that body of work in a way that you can’t when you’re streaming it online. I can’t even remember song names let alone album titles when I listen to music on the internet. That also could very much be my problem. But for real shout outs to everyone who bought Cold Shower. As it turns out, I still haven’t listened to the EP on tape, SO, if anyone out there has it and would like to play it for me, I’d appreciate it!
COLD SHOW HAS A VERY COHESIVE FEEL, HOW DO YOU CREATE FOUR ENTIRELY SEPARATE SONGS WHILE STILL STICKING TO YOUR TRADEMARK SOUNDS + HAVING THEM FLOW TOGETHER SO WELL?
When I was moving from Savannah to NYC I already agreed with our label that I would have an EP done basically by the time I got there. So each place I crashed, I would just sit down and write and shit just got magical really fast. I wrote every song in a different apartment. (Besides “South Side” which I wrote in Savannah prior to moving. I know my band mates will fact check the freaking crap out of me when they read this.)
THE MUSIC VIDEO FOR “COME THRU” IS SO BEAUTIFUL. CAN YOU ELABORATE ON THE TIES BETWEEN THEMATIC ELEMENTS + AESTHETIC OF THE VIDEO AND HOW THEY CORRELATE TO THE SONG LYRICALLY?
We actually had very little to do with the music video! Our friend Madeleine Daste came to us with an idea and she just did her thang. Which turned out to be really great! Madeleine had a very strong vision that she worked really hard on to convey and we are very thankful for all the work she put into it. Mucho love to everyone who was a part of it (‘:
YOU HAVE A NEW ALBUM COMING SOON! IS IT SIMILAR TO COLD SHOWER OR ARE YOU SWITCHING THINGS UP A BIT?
We do! (: (: (: You can expect something from us in the next couple of months. We are about to switch things up. But it’s still us! I’m trying hard not to babble about it but I’M REALLY EXCITED.
WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING A MUSICIAN IN THE 21ST CENTURY????
Thanks to the Internet, anyone can be anything they want to be. Even if you suck- people still back you. What’s crazy is that regardless of what people think we still have the privilege to access anything we want. I can watch fake rappers on my instagram feed all day and be bummed out but then I can also listen to Frank Ocean whenever I want and have a good cry. To be an artist in the future is fun, there’s just a lot more distractions out there. Like this interview took me so long to answer because I got in like 50 different internet holes but now I’m back and damn I had a good time. (: Thanks for having me!