The Home Team is pop-punk/pop-rock that we have been rocking out to a lot lately (shout out to Guild 4 for not complaining about our music taste)! Hailing from Seattle, Washington the band has a unique sound that perfectly blends punk and rock aspects from the music we loved growing up to. We spoke with Brian Butcher (vocals) and Daniel Matson (drums) about their recent album release, Better Off and their plans for the future.
WCBG: How did you guys become a band?
Daniel: John and I were in a hardcore band before The Home Team was a thing. John wrote some pop-punk demos and we hashed out some of the ideas. The Home Team was a side project of ours for a while and then the metal bands we were part of disbanded. In 2013, we started The Home Team full time and Brian is actually our second full time singer. Then in 2018, we released our first full length album, Better Off.
WCBG: What’s the local scene like in Seattle?
Daniel: There’s a lot of metal and hardcore bands and indie is popular. There aren’t a lot of Warped Tour or pop-punk bands in Seattle, metalcore is thriving.
WCBG: If you could be any utensil in the kitchen, what would you be and why?
Brian: Daniel would be a lemon zester
Daniel: I’d be a heat resistant spatula so I wouldn’t be affected by the burns from my band-mates
Brian: I’d be a knife.
WCBG: What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?
Daniel: I’m part of a startup company, and I used to manage bands—people on Twitch, but I recently had to give that up. On the side, I print t-shirts. I’d basically be doing the same thing I’m doing now except I might have more time and energy to put into Twitch streaming and to participate in more marketing tours.
Brian: I’d work for this brewing company in Seattle; It’s a trendy brewery. I really enjoy craft beer and trying different types of craft beer when I travel for work or for The Home Team.
WCBG: What are you currently listening to?
Brian: As a band we collectively listen to Don Bronco. I actually don’t listen to pop-punk, I like a lot of lo-fi, like the chill out beats to study with playlists on Spotify. The chord progressions and instrumentation are so good. I really like this artist, Birochratic. This type of music actually inspired the vocal parts I’ve written for Better Off.
Daniel: From Indian Lakes is one of my favorite bands. I remember seeing their shows early on in about 2012. I listen to a lot of podcasts. When I’m driving, I don’t like to listen to music since I’m around music so much.
WCBG: Tell us about your album Better Off?
The Home Team: There were a lot of minds that worked on the process. Ryan, our guitarist, and Rob, our bassist, worked on a lot of the music for the album. Rob added more of the pop-punk sounding songs, he wrote the instrumentals for “She’s Quiet” and “Ageless.” Ryan wrote a lot of the rock riffs. John probably wrote the most for the album- he wrote “Jack of All Trades” and “Since We All Fell Apart.” The record is drastically different, it’s dynamic. The next record will be a little more cohesive sounding.
Brian: I wrote a lot of the vocals. It was about two years of writing. “Fashion Forward” is probably one of the oldest. I wrote this one instrumentally.
Daniel: “Jack of All Trades” is probably one of the oldest, if not the oldest song. We released the acoustic version of that one on our first EP with Brian in about 2016 or 2017.
Brian: The album is a collection of stories. Basically, the album describes my college life. There is an actual chronological order and track list to show the meaning of the songs, it’s not the track list on the album.
WCBG: What is your opinion of releasing an artists unreleased music after they’ve passed away, should it be released or should it not?
Daniel: It should be released; I think the question should be more so if the label should make a profit off of it? Where do the royalties go, will the go to the family, charity in the persons name, or their heirs?
Brian: You don’t get to make fine tuning on the tracks, but they have probably worked with people they trusted who could carry on the process for them.
WCBG: Describe your sound in three words.
Brian: Can we agree that the first word is rock?
Daniel: I was going to say Fall Out Boy not musically or based on sound, just inspirationally. Inspiration wise we never got over that phase.
Brian: I would say Paramore for writing style
Daniel: It’s the era of music we grew up listening to. John is seven years older than Brian, so they grew up in a different musical time period. Fall out Boy was established when Brian began listening to them. So, the musical and lyrical influences we have are different.
WCBG: What is your favorite part of a song you’ve written? It could be a lyric, a riff, a drum cadence…
Brian: One of the new ones. Off Better Off I would say the lyrical build up in “Something To Hold Onto,” that climax. The lyrics are “'Cause I never showed her the only way out/Was for her to learn to love herself.”
I never meant any lyric more than that one. If I had gone back and told myself that I could have saved myself and the “her” in that song a lot of grief. I also really like the bridge of “Fashion Forward.”
Daniel: The drum fill near the end of “Fashion Forward.”
WCBG: Top three songs for a road trip?
Brian: Coheed and Cambria, “The Light and The Glass”
Daniel: “Duel of Fates” the Star Wars song
Brian: Can we do albums; I tend to listen to albums on long drives?
WCBG: Of course!
Brian: Okay! I’m a bit of a prog head—The Deerhunter, Color Spectrum. When you listen to the album, you’re like this song feels red or this song feels green.
Daniel: I’ve been listening to the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire audiobook. obZen by Meshuggah.
WCBG: Since you mentioned audiobooks, what is your favorite book?
Daniel: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I read it in a management class, and it changed my perspective on things.
Brian: David Seadaris, which is clique because I’m from Seattle
WCBG: You’ve recently toured for your album, Better Off tell me about tour!
Brian: We actually toured before the album came out and then once it was released. Touring pushed us to our limits, we learned a lot about ourselves. I’m grateful that our band isn’t big on drama, we like to have fun during tour—go somewhere, let’s go have fun!
Daniel: We like to go sightseeing. We do a lot of driving in the van and normally you have to entertain yourself so you’re on your phone, maybe watching anime like Brian. Those 20-30 minutes when we are on stage and performing is the best part.
WCBG: What’s your favorite state that you’ve been to?
Brian: California has a lot of stuff, there’s so much stuff to do there. New Orleans was great, I loved walking around it so I guess Louisiana.
Daniel: The more I tour the more I love Seattle. The gray rainy weather I’d take any day and those four months of the perfect Seattle summer. We were in Vegas and it was about 118 degrees, I missed the gray skies.
WCBG: What’s your favorite type of food?
Daniel: My favorite regional cuisine would have to be Indian. My favorite type of food is anything tapas style. I want 50 small plates to try a little bit of everything.
Brian: My favorite regional cuisine would have to be Japanese then Indian. We have specific spots in certain cities.
Daniel: Proud Mary Coffee in Portland best breakfast and coffee.
Brian: WE also stop at Cheba Hut in Phoenix, Arizona. We like to try the different food in the area. California has some awesome ramen and sushi.
WCBG: What is one thing you would change about the music industry?
Brian: The cliquiness of the touring industry. It matters if you’re friends with someone, or if your agent or manager knows someone. It’s definitely a bummer. There are some awesome bands out there that would perfect for certain tours but because they don’t have the connections they’re not featured on the tour. Sometimes it’s the same bands touring with other bands.
Daniel: Sometimes you have to get up and take things for yourself. In 2018, we were told something was going to happen, and it didn’t so we were waiting around. I realized it’s best to stand up and take things the way you want to.
WCBG: What are your plans for 2020?
Daniel: To take over!
Brian: I want to play tours and not have to worry and think about it.
WCBG is grateful to have spoken to Brian and Daniel from The Home Team. Thank you for such an amazing interview and we can’t wait to keep rocking out to Better Off and what’s to come.
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Listen to their music here