Aimee Mann and Ted Leo can’t stop bantering, volleying back and forth over a conference phone line as they split coasts before heading on tour together as the Both.
“What I really miss is being able to be in the same room to play something or for us to try a harmony together,” admits Mann from Los Angeles. “But honestly, if we were writing in the same room, Ted would play me an idea and I’d probably go in a different room to work on it. You have to have time on your own to chew over something, whatever your task is, whether you’re trying to finish a verse lyrically, or come up with the bridge.
”It’s hard to do that when the other person is just sitting there sipping their coffee waiting.”
“‘Finish that line yet, finish that line yet, how’s that line?’” chimes in Leo from the East Coast.
“‘How’s it going, how’s it going over there, got any ideas?’” counters Mann, laughing.
That camaraderie evolved from their bands touring together into a full collaboration on this year’s eponymous debut LP. The Both finds perfect balance between Leo’s punk roots and Mann’s introspective ballads without compromising either.
“For me, the best thing about this band has been to rediscover and remember how exciting and fun it is to be a part of a band, not have it be all me or all Ted,” offers Boston’s former ’Til Tuesday frontwoman. “It’s exciting to be part of a unit rather than the engine of the train – responsible for everything.”
“Right,” agrees Leo, “which we both have been to one degree or another for a long time. It’s nice to really feel like you’re part of a band.”– Doug Freeman