As I write this, I realize it's been a while since I've posted a RUNNERS WHO ROCK interview. Today, I'm psyched to get back on track, no pun intended, with Teddy Watson, lead singer and songwriter for Stargroves. Teddy is the founding member of this NYC based band, which is made up of five core members but often includes an extended cast of characters for various recordings and live performances. Though they are categorized as an indie-pop group, they have their own sound with smooth and sometimes eery, electro-funk undertones (think Stars & Postal Service). I really dig it. I think you will, too. As I always do when I connect with a band, I inquired as to whether anyone in the group happened to be a runner of any kind. Here's what Teddy's manager told me:
As it so happens, Teddy was an avid track and cross country runner in high school, specializing in the 400m. He and a few friends on the track team even spent a summer in Iten, a village in the Kenyan highlands, doing high altitude training. Teddy was recruited to run at NYU, but suffered stress fractures and had to stop running his first year. He now runs recreationally.
Once again, the world of music and running collide. I love that. Of course, I wanted to know more about Teddy's time in Kenya, so I dug a little deeper. Here's what he told me:
I went to Kenya the summer after my freshman year of high school with a friend of mine who went on to run at Duke. It was my first time running at altitude, so that was pretty tough, but it was an incredible experience and I'm glad we did it. We could've gone to Colorado or something closer to home for that kind of training but we wanted to get out there and see something new.
Um, yeah. I'd say that was getting "out there". I'm jealous. But, back to the music. The Stargroves just released their first full length, self-titled album in July of this year. In my humble opinion, it's worth sitting and listening to the entire 62 minutes from start to finish. In the meantime, get to know Teddy Watson, a runner who rocks.
RWR: TEDDY WATSON
Where you're from: Northern VA
Where you reside now: NYC
Occupation: Musician and Student
RUNNING & MUSIC
What do you love most about running?
The way it makes me feel afterwards, running just makes the rest of the day great.
What do you love most about music?
I love performing live, getting to see other cities and share our music with folks.
Band: (current, all time or both) Stars
Album: (current, all time or both) Takk by Sigur Rós
Race venue: Franklin Field (Penn)
Music venue: Jammin Java (Vienna, VA)
Race distance: 400m
Show you've seen live: Arcade Fire at Glastonbury
Ice cream flavor: Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked
THIS OR THAT?
Sweet or salty? Sweet (and sour)
Live or recorded? Recorded usually
Coffee or tea? Tea (preferably Ketepa)
Summer or winter? Winter
MORE MUSIC INFO:Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could? I would say Arcade Fire because they’re amazing live, but I’ve seen them four times, so probably Stars.
Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? LCD Soundsystem
Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? Torquil Campbell
Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? I find myself listening to Blink-182 or Ratatat a lot during runs, something energizing.
Teddy w/ Charlie, Brad, Brian & Max
Top 5 Songs for running?
Mutt - Blink 182
Twin Cinema - The New Pornographers
Rebellion (Lies) - Arcade Fire
I’d Like 2 CU - Envelopes
My Only Offer - Mates of State
Last 5 Songs you listened to today?
According to my iTunes: (all from The Innocence Mission's 'We Walked In Song')
Lake Shore Drive
Into Brooklyn, Early in the Morning
Love That Boy
BrotherHood of Men