The members of TEST, at least two of the three, met as most band members do: in a bar, underage, and performing in other bands. But after a couple shots of cheap tequila in their local Houston dive, guitarist Blake Stokes and bassist Wayne Meza bonded over their musical ambition and eventually wound up living in a windowless rehearsal space in industrial downtown LA. They soon met drummer Morgan Ponder, who fully rounded out their intense tone, and set the pace for their power pop garage rock future. Their debut album Brain In / Brain Out, a reflection of their years spent in the concrete wasteland of Vernon, drops this fall, and reveals a band bursting with growth and maturity. “Our past is all over this record, but our future is too and that feels good.” Watch their new video for single “Entertainment Tonight,” a glimpse into what could’ve been dinner during their grimy gutter punk days. It’s disgusting, but you won’t be able to look away. Plus the track is super catchy, hook heavy, and raw. So press play, and read our interview with the band below. –Maya Eslami
“‘Entertainment Tonight’ was an attempt at writing an Oasis song that ended up sounding like the 1990s covering the Pixies, to me anyway. The lyrics all came at once and touch on everything from my love of getting fucked up in the mid 00s to my career as a child actor in the 90s. And it’s got a drum solo.”
WHAT YOUTH: What’s the song “Entertainment Tonight” about?
TEST: It’s about whatever the listener wants it to be about. I can tell you this though. The lyrics came really quickly, almost stream of consciousness style and upon reading them back I can see that it covers my love of getting fucked up in the mid 00’s to my career as a child actor in the 90’s and then maybe some events that haven’t even happened yet!
I was certainly thinking about that feeling of getting ready to go out for the night. How the pre-party in your apartment feels. Blasting music, drinking, making sure you had the right jacket, good shoes; that feeling.
Tell me about the video. Who came up with the concept?
I came up with the concept of the video. We didn’t really have a budget so I wanted to come up with an idea that we could easily bring to life without it looking like our reach was far exceeding our grasp.
The idea itself just came to me when it was clear Entertainment Tonight would be the first single and very quickly I knew the artistically what I wanted to create. I hope people feel something when they watch it.
What exactly is in those cans?!
Trade Secret. The viewer can decide what’s in the cans.
Did any of you guys taste the food?
Wayne (who is a founding member of TEST and shot the video with me) thought about eating some of the finished product. But ultimately decided against it. I think he ate some of the cheese out of the bag and I think I ate some of the chips as we shot it. We were our own craft services.
And how does the video relate to the song?
I wanted it to add a new layer or a different angle to the song. I hate when videos are just a literal retelling of a songs lyrics. I’ve always felt videos are a chance to create a brand new piece of art that is simply using the song as a starting point. I think this video creates a specific vibe and feeling that actually can bend the vibe of the song along with it. I love it.