Teenage Dads on navigating the Australian music universe and their quest to become the biggest planet
| Last updated
Teenage Dads have been navigating the Australian music landscape for quite some time now and have picked up an incredibly dedicated following while doing it.
They’re a band that oozes a whole lot of carefree charisma into their upbeat sound while tackling pertinent topics of love, heartbreak, and growth.
Their relatable lyricism and down-to-Earth approach to their life and music has seen them consistently grow their fanbase since their formation in 2015.
2022 felt like the year in which many Australians developed a real affinity with the band with Vincent Kenna (drummer), Angus Christie (bassist), Connor McLaughlin (guitarist), and Jordan Finlay (vocalist).
It was a year that proved that they were more than just a little planet in the big universe that is the Australian music scene.
More on the planet metaphor later.
The Dads saw their first entry into the triple j Hottest 100 with their single ‘Teddy’ making the countdown - a grand achievement for any Australian band.
Although the four-piece had grown quite a devoted fan base over the years, many of whom are part of the Facebook community ‘Teddyposting’, they were still surprised they made the illustrious countdown.
Vincent tells LADbible: “We just couldn’t believe that it got in the 60s, it wasn’t just number 100, so yeah really cool feeling.
“We really liked the song but we kind of didn’t expect the response that it got until we started playing it live.
“I wasn’t sure how that would translate to listeners in their own time, because it was a fun song to play live but I wasn’t sure it would be a good radio song.”
Their solid fanbase certainly fell in love with it beyond the live scene, but the success of ‘Teddy’ in the chart came down to a lot more than just their enthusiasm for the tune.
The band exudes an authentic quirkiness that resonates with a lot of young Australians, and along the road to the Hottest 100, that side of their personality shone through.
They ran a satirical campaign for ‘Teddy’ to make the countdown that reflected that of a political movement along the road to an election - building a real character around the song.
Angus says: “It was just meant to be a take on your standard political promos, like a press conference, community infomercial.”
Vincent adds: “And we thought we could do like an interview with 'Teddy' and have his identity all blacked out because we don’t know where he is as the lyrics say.
“The whole thing was a whole lot of fun and I think the fans enjoy getting involved in that sort of thing.”
It was an idea that actually evolved from the Facebook group ‘Teddyposting’ - if you need any indication of how committed their fans are.
It’s a relationship that the boys cherish and put a lot of effort into.
Angus says: “We wanted to be the ones responding to messages and the ones giving real interaction to them and showing our personality.
“It feels like you have a more significant connection than simply liking someone’s music.”
Vincent adds: “We just try and keep it fun and joking with the fans - that’s just cause that’s who we are, we don’t like to sound too corporate or whatever. It’s not an act in any way in how we portray ourselves online.”
Their light-hearted nature has definitely beamed through over the past year, going hand-in-hand with the growth of their popularity.
Take for example this piece of ‘DILF’ merchandise they released last year.
That sort of take on life has attracted some heavyweights in the Australian scene to not only their music but to them as people.
Spacey Jane and Lime Cordiale looked to the four-piece to support them across headline shows in 2022, where many Aussies may have been first introduced to the band.
Beyond the live shows, these sorts of acts have been very public in their support of the Dads.
Angus says: “It is a really solid community within Aus music because it is a little smaller, so it feels like everyone is more cohesive as opposed to trying to step on each other and trying to platform off each other.”
Vincent adds: “I think a lot of these artists have put in the hard yards to make it, Lime started from nothing and just toured and put out music, just grinding to get where they are.
“And I feel like we’ve definitely done that and currently still doing that very much and hopefully a bit of our hard work is being seen by them.
“I think learning from Lime and Spacey and how accommodating they’ve been to us has been very much a pay-it-forward kind of thing.
“We hope we can do that for someone at some stage.”
While they’re now selling out their own headline shows and getting set to tour overseas for the first time in the United Kingdom, it wasn’t smooth sailing from the beginning for the band.
But when it comes to touring, they’ve always been persistent.
Vincent says: “For us, we didn’t wait in any way when we first started. We just tried to book our shows around the rest of the country and just go even though we had no idea if people would come.
“And evidently, people did not come to begin with. But that didn’t matter, because you go one time and two people come, then you go the next time and they bring a friend each.”
Angus: “It’s like that game where you start as a planet and you eat all the smaller planets and become a bigger planet.
“The music industry is like the game Tasty Planet.
“At the start it’s s**t but as you grow and eat more planets until you’re a big planet.”
While the schedule can be hectic, they aren’t slowing down anytime soon.
Despite their nonchalant natures, the release of their EP ‘Midnight Driving’ delves into a more melancholic side of the band.
There’s still that sonic adventure that comes from many of Teenage Dads' tunes, but with a touch of maturity and introspectiveness within the sound.
It’s a sign that the Dads have a lot more to explore within themselves and their sound, something that fans should be genuinely excited for.
It’s all a part of the plan to as Angus puts it, become ‘the biggest planet in the game and finish the game’.
So if you haven’t started your expedition to planet Teenage Dads, it’s time to strap on in.
‘Midnight Driving EP’ is out now, catch it below.