Interview: argonaut&wasp

By Rachel Cabitt

Photos by Rachel Cabitt

Photos by Rachel Cabitt

Heads sway, hair flips, lips lick, brows shine. Bodies press up together as the band slows down the beat, bringing the crowd to a sway. Heart still slowing from the upbeat electronic infused funk, you close your eyes and breathe. The AC in the room is mute at this point, and the only thing that cools you down is a stranger pressing an alcoholic infused ice cube from their drink on your back. Normally you wouldn’t be okay with a stranger doing this to you, but at an argonaut&wasp show in the dead of a New York City summer, they are your saving grace.

Argonaut&wasp, fronted by Trey Schibli and Theo Klein, is your new go-to groovy five piece band from Brooklyn. Unlike your usual DIY garage punk group that dominates the scene, a&w also bring along Rock & Roll’s sister genres of Motown and Disco, mixing in modern electronic and pop beats to keep you dancing all night long.  Within just a year of moving to the city after graduation, the band has already had a residency at Piano’s, DJed their way through the LES, and just released their next single, “Always." So come see them next Thursday, March 3rd, at The Bowery Electric, where they’ll be playing our showcase along with CAFUNÉ and Yoh The Shaolin. Get your tickets here. Until then, get to know them in our interview below.


POND: Create a playlist for us to read your answers along to:

POND: How has the transition been from Vermont to NYC?

AW: Pretty darn great - we have a wicked cool studio/apartment space in Brooklyn. This allows us to escape the hustle and bustle of manhattan but be close enough to the city to play shows, network, and locate the finest eats.

POND: Retell the legend of Argonaut & Wasp to our readers.

AW (Theo): There are a few currently circulating… which we like, you know, a way to keep our fans guessing. But, the way it really went down was during our Sophomore year of college, at the University of Vermont. 

Trey: I was walking to my dorm on a Friday night when I heard outrageous, tribalesque house music blasting from down the hall. Curious, I made my way to the source of the music. With the door ajar I carefully peered in and in the midst of a dark room filled with changing shades of purple and deep blue, found Theodore Klein arming the decks rocking a sarong and bandana… the rest is history.

POND: You guys DJ as well as perform live, how do these two worlds intersect as well as differ?

AW: Correct. Our live set is all original material - including original songs, synths, and looks. We have the one and only Chris Corsico on drums, Adam November on guitar, Alec Donkin on bass, Curt (Trey) Schibli on vocals, and Theo Klein (me) on keys. Our live set is pretty darn great, if I do so say so myself. We follow by the legendary quote - "We liked to play funky, but all that funky meant was that we couldn't play smooth" -Muscle Shoals. We have also played DJ sets at numerous venues throughout the city, including the legendary Cameo and the swanky Verboten. 

POND: How do you think your sound has evolved since first starting?

AW: Since starting writing music together, Trey and I have grown as producers, songwriters, and musicians. While the project started as the two of us crafting electronic tracks with live vocals and guitar, our new songs are more "live". By working with such a talented group of musicians (Alec, Chris, and Adam) we are able to achieve the live rock and funk feel, while maintaining the "danciness" of an electronic record. Also, as we are exposed to new music and learn new styles of playing, our musical inspirations continue to change.

POND: How did each of you get involved in music?

AW: Trey played in a bunch of rock bands in high school. I, on the other hand was a bar mitzvah DJ. So naturally, or thankfully, we embraced each other's strengths and started writing songs that could both be blasted at rock stadiums, or, on the other hand, played on the dance floor at Aunt Carol's wedding. 

Theo Klein

Trey Schibli

Trey Schibli

POND: Theo, what's the story behind the toothpick?

AW: The story of the toothpick is a long one. Too long for an interview of this type. But to answer briefly, it has something to do with an addictive tendency and a knack for mint flavored wooden sticks. 

POND: Art direction is an important part of your work, who or what influences your look?

AW: We have an incredible team of artists working with us. First and foremost is Patrick Elmore - a young entrepreneur with a great eye. Also, can’t forget to mention that the kid is an extraordinary speed skater. Some other artists we have worked with are: Alec Donkin (Cigarettes artwork), Elizabeth Goodspeed (Future Protocol art), Abi Laurel (Crystal Stills Music Video), and David Janoff (Higher Ground Music Video).

POND: How is it creating music in a predominantly DIY Garage Punk scene?

AW: It’s cool. We like punk. Plus, punk girls are pretty cute.

POND: Who would die first in a horror movie?

AW: I asked Trey what he thought and he responded: "Me". I asked why, and he responded: "Ummm...I'd do something stupid." So, there you have it. He'd die first. Side note: I have to disclose that while responding to this question Trey was deep into a YouTube Bossa Nova guitar tutorial and don't know if his attention was fully with it. 

POND: It’s Friday night, where is Argonaut & Wasp?

AW: You will find us at the local bowling alley, the bar, or down in the stu.

POND: Favorite drink at a pregame.

AW: Whiskey.


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