Campus Band: The Tycho Treaty

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In 1997, Men in Black was a monster of a hit.  It would soon be near- forgotten in the society’s collective consciousness, but later became the inspiration for The Tycho Treaty.  Bwog took a load off with the band, Sam Rosenthal C’079 on bass and vocals, Mason Felton-Reid NYU ‘09 on guitar, and Miles on percussion, who perform and record songs inspired by aliens, bug extermination tactics, and Edgar. 

Tell me where the band name came from.

It’s from the end of Men in Black, the first one – we pretend the second one never happened.  So at the end of the movie, after they shoot down the spaceship of Edgar, the bug, the big villain, at the end.  He gets out and they cite him for being in violation of Section 4153 of the Tycho Treaty so we just took it from there.  We spent a day going through the movie and looking at everything and looking to see if this is a good band name.  We thought that was the coolest one. 

So the entire concept of the band came out of Men In Black? 

I mean.  I’d been in a previous band with the guitarist, Mason, and our other band dissolved so we were kind of sitting around.  I wish I had a good story about where the name came from but we just like cool, let’s write a concept album about Men In Black.  There’s really little deviation from the plotline, if any.

Can you tell how the idea to record a Men in Black concept album came about? 

We tried to make it as chronological as we could while still making the song order sound good, logical at least. Basically what we do, we take different scenes and try to make a song out of them that lyrically was about what was happening but not very obviously about what was happening. 

Do you have a hard time translating what you want to convey about Men In Black through instrumental songs? 

I feel like we’ve adopted a motif for our musical interpretation of Men in Black.  I think we knew more what kind of music we wanted to make and less what we wanted to write about.  The Men in Black thing was a temporary solution to get the ball rolling.  And then we were like, actually we can make a whole album out of this. 

How would you describe the music? 

It’s sort of a mix of the three things that people in the band are into.  Miles has a good music head and is really interested in ambitious time signatures and seeing what sort of cool shit he can do with that.  I’m a big Mars Volta fan.  I want it to be proggie but not without a sense of humor because Prog Rock is so funny when it takes itself really seriously. 

Yeah, Prog Rock is pretty ridiculous. 

Yes and shit like that.  Rush.  It’s like over the top. I want it to be more than power chords and bass playing the root notes.  And mason’s really melody driven.  I think it’s so funny to put metal riffs in songs when it’s really inappropriate.  It jumps around a lot. 

Could you cite any particularly influences for the band on the whole? 

I’m not really sure.  It kind of sounds like Cursive’s later material.  Lyrically it’s sort of similar to that.  Mason and I listen to them, not when they were emo. This is the post-emo stage.  I think that’s probably an influence that we don’t really acknowledge. 

Do you have a favorite scene from Men in Black? 

I really like the whole movie, actually. 

You can’t choose? 

Oh no, I’ll choose a particular scene.  Pretty much any scene Vincent D’Onofrio is in, any scene Edgar is in, is great.  I especially like the scene that they interview his wife.  I also like the scene at the end when he comes out of the spaceship.  I think he’s pretty fuckin’ funny the whole movie. 

Will smith or Tommy Lee Jones? 

I’ll have to say Tommy Lee Jones on that one.  I don’t know if Will Smith appreciates the tongue and cheekiness of the movie he’s in as much as Tommy Lee Jones does. 

Or as much as you? 

Or as much as we do.  I think that’ the thing that I try to impress on people as much as possible when I’m talking about the band so people don’t think I’m a total weirdo.  It’s only half serious.  We take the music seriously but not the Men in Black thing.  I really think it’s a good movie though.  

The Tycho Treaty is playing tonight at Siberia.  W40th st between 8th and 9th Avenues.  21+

– Justin Goncalves 

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  1. bwog

    or the spec or SOMEONE should cover that iranian-american UCLA student who got tazered by the cops for not producing his ID. it's totally insane.

  2. ummm  

    Sam Rosenthal is C'09. Check his facebook if you don't believe me

  3. Anonymous  

    I kind of getting tired of the campus band thing. I don't like it anymore. I feel like BWOG is doing it more often.

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