Interview: TWRP’s Doctor Sung Talks “Starlight Brigade,” New LP, Touring, and More

Doctor Sung of TWRP
Photo by Elizabeth Owens

The galaxy’s favorite synth-funk-rock band, TupperWare Remix Party (a.k.a. TWRP), have had quite a busy summer! After completing the “Together at Last 2019 Tour” at the end of July, lead vocalist-via-talkbox/keyboardist Doctor Sung took some time to chat with Concert Crap about TWRP’s recent whirlwind of activities.

Concert Crap: First of all, congratulations on your most recent music video, “Starlight Brigade (feat. Dan Avidan),” hitting three million views on YouTube in just under two months! How did the meeting-of-the-minds between you and animation studio Knights of the Light Table come to pass, to bring this sci-fi/fantasy adventure to life?

Doctor Sung: That connection with Knights of the Light Table came from the singer on the song, Dan Avidan. He had known of KotLT for some time from doing other work for his other bands, Ninja Sex Party and Starbomb. Really the vision for the concept of the video came from Dan’s lyrics and this universe he had created from them.

CC: Dan “Danny Sexbang” Avidan has been a frequent collaborator and guest vocalist on several of TWRP’s EPs and, most recently, the aforementioned “Starlight Brigade” from last year’s LP, Together Through Time. Have you considered constructing/commissioning a “Danny Sexbot” to fill in for him on the road whenever the man himself is unavailable?

Sung: We’ve actually gone through several iterations of Danny Sexbots, but annoyingly, agents from a little-known class of law enforcement known as Bladerunners just keep assassinating them before we can get anything meaningful accomplished.

CC: Your current album cycle M.O. is to tour in support of your new ode to synth, sun, and sea, Return to Wherever (released on July 11th). Did the band’s recent relocation from Toronto to Los Angeles play a role in inspiring the album’s subject matter?

Sung: Yes, it certainly did. Many of these songs were inspired by or written during a writing retreat we took in Joshua Tree after our move. The sunny vibes on the album definitely reflect that trip. Another big influence came from listening to a lot of City Pop, which is a similarly sunny style of obscure synthy funk from Japan in the early 1980s.

CC: Between tours for yourselves and your role as live support for Ninja Sex Party, how do you spend your time back at your new home base in LA?

Sung: We stay quite busy and have a pretty crazy workflow with TWRP stuff between tours, which is how we’ve managed to release an album or EP every year for the last 5 years or so. Aside from that we all have our own side hustles that we pursue part time – things like streaming video games on Twitch, teaching music lessons, producing music, etc. But in terms of straight up leisure activities, personally I love spending time with my hound dog Rufus, working out, playing video games, board games and other nerdy stuff.

CC: At the time of this Q+A’s publication, you will likely have just wrapped up your highly-anticipated co-headlining tour with The Protomen. Which song of the mega-octet’s live set was your favorite on the “Together at Last Tour?”

Sung: The Protomen had a ton of awesome songs that we found ourselves humming and getting stuck in our heads for days. The one original that always stuck out to me was their song “Light Up The Night”, what a jam. However, they also played a cover of “Mighty Wings” from the Top Gun soundtrack that would have made Kenny Loggins proud, and we absolutely have a soft spot for 80s action film Americana like that.

CC: How do each of you typically warm-up before a show?

Sung: Aside from the obvious stuff like individual warm-up exercises on our instruments, we’ve all got our own rituals. For me personally, I need to get the blood flowing and stretch it out. Jumping jacks, pushups, that kind of thing. Every set for me is its own weird kind of calisthenic workout, so making sure my muscles are primed to do high kicks, back bends and cartwheels is key to avoid messing myself up on tour.

CC: Just heard you, Doctor Sung, were the first to come down with the “dreaded tour cold.” As you’re all from vastly different backgrounds across time and space, how do you all deal with getting sick on the road?

Sung: Believe it or not, in the future where we come from, there is still no dang cure for the common cold. We try do the same as anyone; rest, water, hot tea, sleep. The cruel reality of life on tour, however, is that most of these things are not within reach most days. You are always at the mercy of the tour schedule, which almost always requires the sacrifice of personal comforts and time to do anything except the next task at hand for the next show of the tour.

CC: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these burning questions on behalf of us Earthlings at Concert Crap! What final words and/or plugs would you like to leave us with?

Sung: TWRP is on tour again in September throughout the western half of North America, and tickets are on sale now at twrpband.com! Also, some words to live by that we try to live by: don’t take yourself too seriously, don’t be afraid of what you don’t understand, and treat others how you would like to be treated! <3

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Post, interview, and photo by Elizabeth Owens

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About Elizabeth Owens 5 Articles
Graphic designer, illustrator, & Concert Crap photographer based in the DC area. Fanatic of live music, comedy, & sci-fi. Usually writes with more wit.

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