Summer Music Series: Concord Band 'Drive-In' Creates Synth-Heavy, 80s Inspired Tracks

Jun 30, 2018

Credit Collin Tessier

This summer, NHPR is introducing you to local bands making music all across New Hampshire. All Things Considered Host Peter Biello kicks off the series with a trio of musicians from Concord.

Drive-In was formed by brothers Cam and Cole Tessier and their childhood friend Lars Ljungholm. Since forming a year ago, the '80s inspired musicians have put out three EPs and several singles, with four shows lined up for the summer. Listen for more of our Summer Music Series Fridays on All Things Considered.

I want to start by asking you how you guys formed. How did this band form?

Lars Ljungholm: Basically, we've been friends for quite a while now and we were all kind of forced to take piano lessons as kids and grew up into it. And it kind of just made a lot of sense when we started jamming together.

Now describe how you might go about jamming because it sounds like it's done with computers.

Lars Ljungholm : I mean when it first started it was mostly guitar and piano. Then we all got Logic Pro, which is a program on our laptops, and started piecing stuff together on there. And based on the music that we listened to, it's all pretty synth-heavy, pretty indie kind of music, and that really came together when we got the new program.

Some of the songs, they've got this synthy feel, but some of them have a real ‘80s synth feel. This is intentional?

Cole Tessier: Yeah definitely. I think the biggest influence for us is the era of the ‘80s, like Phil Collins, Chicago. And even though we try to be modern, we try to have a nostalgic feel to it.

Let’s listen to "Enough" from your EP “Arcade.”

So this is the one for me that really is reminiscent of ‘80s, Phil Collins-esque kind of music.

Cam Tessier: We started that song, it was a lot simpler and more laid back. And then me and Cole were actually listening to some Phil Collins, the Tarzan soundtrack, and we were like “Yo, let's make this song the best it can be.” And then we kind of like redid the drums because drums are like so important in our songs especially. We do drums first. And then we just came up with this beat and then all three of us got together, added some cool synths and kind of just formed into this dope sounding song. So, it's like one of our favorites for sure.

Apart from the very ‘80s songs here, you've also got some that have a distinct 2017, 2018 pop sound. I want to play one of those here.

So “Back in the Day,” what's the story behind this song?

Cole Tessier: I think it's just a relatable thing. People grow apart and it's just like part of growing up. But it was also like a throwback song, like back in the day, kind of ushering in that nostalgic era.

Can I ask you about the nostalgia a little bit because listeners are going to say, “Hey, you guys are 20, 21, and 17. Where is this nostalgia coming from?”

Cole Tessier: So I think we just enjoy like celebrating the era. Yeah, we weren't around to be in it but, for me personally, my dad is an ‘80s kid. And so he's always going on about like how much it was a great time and it was his favorite decade and he just loved the music and the clothes and everything. So that's very inspiring for us. 

So you've been around for a little less than a year. Where do you hope to take this?

Cam Tessier: Hopefully just get bigger and bigger and play more shows. Right now we're just going to continue to work hard. And, you know, some day we just want to be the biggest band in the world. So that's basically the goal.

If you're looking for another track to add to your summer playlist, check out Drive-In's song of the summer, "New Light" by John Mayer:

Listen for more of our Summer Music Series Fridays on All Things Considered.