Get to Know NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS [Interview]

Ian Hansen

NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS are literally a Zoom band. The trio all went to the same university and met through parties and quickly became friends with little plans to become a band. After going into quarantine in 2020, the band did Zoom studio sessions and grew into who they are now. They just recently released their highly energetic EP, bad things come in 3s, with a sound that is different from any music out. Get to know the band below:

Being from different parts of the country, how did you guys meet in the first place and form this band?

Perrin: We met in college, and I knew both of them separately. We did sessions together, and I was friends with them. When we all graduated and left college for the pandemic, we were at home with our families, and I was doing Zoom sessions with them once a week. We did a Zoom session together, and it was like the best session we had ever had. We were like, “Ok, let's just keep writing.” We wrote a bunch of songs that we love, and we were like, “The world is ending anyways, so we might as well put them out.” None of us were trying to be artists at the time, but together, it just made more sense. It kept going well, and we kept loving it.

What was it like when you guys could meet in person and do actual studio sessions?

Gabi: I remember like the first time that I met Tammy, and they had just moved in together in L.A. at the same apartment not really knowing each other. They moved together and I, in the middle of COVID, drove down in an RV from San Francisco to meet Tammy for the first time and spend like a week or two with them in L.A. I remember getting out of the car realizing that Tammy is very short. She is like a cute little 5’2” but wears huge platform boots. The session aspect was really fun. After writing so much on Zoom and not in person, you kind of have to make up for the fact that you are missing a lot of body queues, and it is just slower on Zoom. We were just thrilled with how easy it was in person.

You guys took off a bit from Zoom sessions. What does that say about your potential and where you guys can go as a group?

Tammy: I feel like it is kind of insane. I feel like with quarantine and zoom, there was like no other way to write, and we were forced to do that. I still can’t imagine it happening any other way. I also feel like with Zoom, it made us become way more creative about the visual aspects and how we would do all of this when we aren’t at the same place. That is where the internet vibe of the band started.

How did you guys come up with the name, NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS?

Perrin: It was a TikTok trend. It was the whole thing of, “You have to start treating yourself as the main character.” There was another trend right after that where it was like, “You have to stop talking about yourself as the main character. We thought that was more us. We were writing for other people, and when we started writing for ourselves we were like, “Now it makes more sense,” and we have really grown into it. We felt like a supporting role trying to make our own show. 

Now fast forwarding to now, you guys just released your EP, bad things come in 3s. What was the goal and direction you wanted to take with it? How does it feel to have it out?

Gabi: It feels pretty great. It is crazy when you are writing for a singular thing for so long. There is so much that goes into it that is different from singles for us. You do your single, it takes a minute, then it gets put in the distribution, and then it’s like, “Bye bye single, do well in the world.” With the EP, it is like a full situation, and there are so many people involved. It is so rewarding for it to be out knowing all of the backend work put in from our team. We went through a lot of ideas for it, sonically. First, it was going to be a lot more light. The initial idea was to go vulnerable. It didn’t stick or feel like us. They weren’t bangers. We just figured that the music we were listening to at the time was pregame music and hard-hitting beats, and stuff that makes you feel like you are under control, and that is why we went in that direction because now you can play it at parties.

Where would you say the influence of your sound comes from? You can’t put the EP into one genre. 

Perrin: You're right, it is hard to pinpoint it. I feel like we kind of struggle with that too. We will do like writing first and then we will produce it and somehow make the words into sonic form.

Tammy: I feel like every song has its own vibe, but it will still fit into the same sonic palette. 

Perrin: I would say we definitely listen to a lot of Charli XCX. We listen to a lot of BLACKPINK too. Gabi also has this psycho playlist that is like crackhead energy. Everything is just distorted and scary. It is all of those combined. We write a pop song and put those type of sounds around it.

What do you want fans to grasp from your music?

Perrin: I think the reception that we have gotten so far has been great, because everyone in our Discord was telling us that they just listened to our songs to get ready for the day and feel good. I feel like it is really nice for it to have a lot of spaces. It doesn’t just have to be something you listen to at night when you are going out with your friends. I feel like it is a good mix of things where you can listen to it in the shower in the morning or while doing makeup. 

Are there any tour plans in the near future?

Gabi: We are planning our first proper live show in L.A. in the beginning of August which is super exciting. None of us have performed our music. It is very much a Zoom band. When you are a small artist, pandemic aside, you are sort of starting from doing clubs. Because we didn’t start with that and we had the two years building a following without the live aspect of it, it is kind of strange because we are jumping in and building a live set and figuring out how to do that. We are excited for it, and currently, the live set has 14 songs on it so every song is like two minutes long. It’ll be fun. It’s kind of lit, and I am so excited for how it will sound.

In 3-5 years, where will you guys be?

Tammy: Hopefully touring.

Perrin: As much as we have never performed before, I think prepping for it now has been sick. This is what artists do. They really go play shows and do the whole thing. We would love to do that, and hopefully have an album.

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