Tonstartssbandht Talks Brotherly Love, Psychedelia, and Unpronounceable Band Names

Say it slowly, how it looks, and one syllable at a time: Tahn-starts-bandit.

What does it mean? Well, if you mean the word, Tonstartssbandht as a single unit of signifyin' and communicatin', well, then it means horseshit. As in nothing.

But if you were to see the aforementioned crypticism on a flyer, poster, or maybe FB (lol), then we would tell you to get your ass to the posted address pronto.

Because when billed on a marquee (or in a promotional retweet), Tonstarssbandht is the name under which brothers (and Florida expats) Andy and Edwin White compose anthemic psych-pop ditties that conjure a transcendentally harmonic barbershop quartet b/w maxi-chill Beached Boys.

The duo is playing a Death to the Sun-curated warehouse show tomorrow night. And - goddammit, we had some questions for them.

Crossfade: What is the story behind your heinously unpronounceable band name? I assume you get asked that in every interview but I can't be bothered to find out for sure because all of my research time is going toward spellchecking Tonstartssbandht.

Andy White: The name is a collage of letters and syllables that Ed made one day, before the band was even around. When I saw it, I said, "If we ever start a duo, just you and me, that'll be our name."

Tell us about Tonstartssbandht's connections to both Florida and Canada.

We had played together in tons of noise/psych related bands with our friends in Orlando throughout high school, but never as a duo. We started the band in August 2007 right before I moved to Canada to go to school. It was a public, creative relationship between two lifelong buddies who realized that sometimes your best bandmate is the guy on the bottom bunk bed.

Does Tonstartssbandht have anything to do with psychedelia? Is psychedelia dead?

Tonstartssbandht, and us as individuals, have something to do with psychedelia. Whether it's the religious, spiritual, the deeply personal reality-wakening aspects of experience, or just the reflection of it in culture, psychedelia is something we've explored and continue to respect in different ways.

As a cultural phenomenon, it is alive in both the sense that some people respect and practice it currently. And also, in the respect that it is easy to explore or touch upon due to its widespread reproduction and packaging, for better or worse.

Tell us about Tonstartssbandht's songwriting process. There are two members and you don't live in the same place. Do you email tracks? Do you wait until you're together? Does one person write certain songs or parts? Or is it a constant free-for-all?

Ed and I used to create songs using email tracks, back when the music was a bit more electronically based. In the last year or so, our music has been more based on live amplification, and we've been more prone to just jam and record a lot when either of us is in the other's town. Songwriting is shared pretty evenly.

What is/are Tonstartssbandht goal/s in 2012?
Continue to see each other frequently. Visiting each other's cities and sharing friends. Making new musical friends. Record and release anything we want. Travel to play music. And return to Russia and Ukraine to see our dear friends over there.

Death To The Sun presents Tonstartssbanht. With Universal Expansion and 90s Teen. Saturday, March 24, 2012. 164 NW 20th St., Miami. The building is located on the SW corner of NW 20th Street and NW 1st Court, enter through the back. Don't park in the back lot, it's only for the bands and building tenants. Music starts at 10 p.m. and there is no cover.

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Matt Preira