“We wanted to make something we all loved and would continue to be proud of for the rest of our lives. It’s that simple.” said Varsity Week frontman, Brandon Eisenbeis. “Working with Jim Kaufman (Atlas Genius, Night Riots, Anti-Flag) and Kenny Carkeet (Night Riots, Anti-Flag) was extraordinary, they were able to hone in our influences from all eras and genres, and weren’t afraid of letting us work those ideas. They gave us free range in the studio and when we went in with no rules, we came out ourselves, Varsity Week.”
And so after quite the leap of faith in the form of uprooting themselves from Washington to Los Angeles, CA, Brandon, along with bandmates David Orton (guitar), Justin McDonald (bass) and Troy Wageman (drums) have their shiny debut EP, If You Only Knew (out on Another Century Records), and its deliciously caffeinated lead single “Anyways” to show for their efforts with Kaufman and Carkeet. It’s five songs of solid grooves and infectious, sharp alt pop serving as a fine primer on Varsity Week.
We’re always curious about what’s behind the music, so Brandon was cool enough to give us a tour of If Only You Knew track by track.
Against The Wall
“This song was just destined to be recorded. It sincerely felt like that. It just fell together. The way the bass moves around the drums, and the interesting staccato vocal hooks that get’cha. It was just fun, and c’mon, who hasn’t felt like an underdog or heard, ‘It’s not you, it’s me,’ before?”
“‘Anyways’ was an essential song for us. This was the first time we really experimented with keys and really started moving into the direction that, ultimately, became a big part of our sound. Lyrically, I was just touching on a situation that caused me to walk away from something I gave way too much to, and in doing that, I ultimately changed my life into exactly what I wanted it to be.”
“This song was something that just really started with a piano riff that came out one night. I may or may not have been dealing with a few things personally and I may or may not have had a little too much to drink, but this song really helped me put that time in my life to bed. Also, every band needs a good ballad.”
“‘Arsonist’ is another one of those great songs that just fell together. We had some beers, a couple smokes, and it was done. This is also a crowd fav. Everyone gets pretty crazy when we play ‘Arsonist.’ It’s always a blast!”
“We gave up a lot to be wherever it is that we are. Probably a lot more than most people will ever know. Sometimes the road to your dream just gets a little hard to walk down and you have to daydream about something a bit more glamorous for a minute.”