We were the first magazine to interview the LA based Varsity FanClub and we caught up with them again this summer to talk about what they’ve been up to since our last chat, their new music, and the fresh face to the ‘Club’ — T.C. Carter. Sadly, Thomas Fiss left the group in June 2009. Check out our conversation with Jayk Purdy, Drew Ryan Scott, and T.C. — we think you’ll kinda love it.
[L-R: Bobby Edner, T.C. Carter, Jayk Purdy, Drew Ryan Scott & David Lei Brandt]
Hey guys! How have you been?
Jayk: Hey! Uh, it’s been fun … a little bit of a roller coaster ride as of late, just because Tom left and T.C. replaced him. So, it’s been a nice little rollercoaster ride for the past couple of weeks.
Yeah, it’s been a minute since we’ve gotten to catch up!
Jayk: It’s been a long time.
Well what’s been going on this last year for you?
Jayk: Go for it Drew!
Drew: No, I thought I’d let you take this one.
Jayk: No, no it’s you.
Drew: Well, we recorded a brand new album … we’ve done some shows. You can visit Cinsay.com, and search Varsity FanClub you can check out some of the latest stuff on us. It’s a new website, and they have patents on internet technology that no other website has; like you can click on videos of us, and then buy what we’re wearing. So, it’s kind of cool … we launched our merchandise, finally. We’re working our tour coming up here in a couple months, actually less than a couple months. Just recording the new album, because the first album … we just scrapped the entire first album. So, we’re doing an entire new album.
Oh yeah? I was going to ask you, with the departure of Thomas [Fiss] if you would be going back in to re-record.
Jayk: No, it’s not so much about Thomas it’s just we were re-recording a lot of the new songs. Just because a lot of the songs had been leaked, we left Capitol and we couldn’t take those songs with us. It has nothing to do with Tom, we’re actually going to leave a few of those songs the he sings in up on our MySpace page. So, it has nothing to do with Tom and the recording process.
Well, the whole thing with Thomas leaving was that as sudden for you guys as it was for all of the fans?
Jayk: No, Tom kind of always tried his … it wasn’t his true calling, you know being in this type of band. He’s always loved to play guitar, he’s very chill, from San Diego; so he kind of has that laid back personality. This kind of experience is a little … a little … crazy I guess. He wasn’t expecting it to be so, so nutty.
So, you guys kind of saw it as inevitable … that it was going to happen?
Drew: Yeah, we saw it coming for a minute there.
Jayk: Lately it had kind of been more apparent and stuff, and we were trying to kind of brace ourselves for what was about to happen; and it did. It’s all good; we’re all on really good terms. Everyone’s got to do what they’ve got to do so…
Drew: Yeah, and he moved out and gave me his refrigerator.
Jayk: So, that’s always a positive … a refrigerator. He left him his fridge. [Laughs] But, no honestly he had to make a choice you know, and I’m glad he was honest about it so we could all move forth.
So, T.C. you’re new to the club, what was it like for you coming into this group that had already been established for over a year with a pretty dedicated fan-base?
T.C.: I’m actually … it’s great right now. It was a little weird at first because I was thinking that I had to live up to what they [the fans] knew as Varsity FanClub. I had to step into an already established band, but I think after my
first performance the other night the fans are a little more adjusted to Thomas not being there and seeing a new face. It’s good right now; I have a couple more dances to learn and get down but I think then I’ll be set. [Laughs]
Jayk: It also really helped that we’ve been hanging out for a few months now. So, it wasn’t like that awkward ‘we’re getting a new member, we have to go audition this person’ – it wasn’t anything like that. It was honestly like T.C. was our little angel that came out of nowhere, he did great.
Yeah, how did you guys actually meet?
Jayk: A friend of ours, mutual friend his name is Ben, we were actually playing basketball at the house one day and we needed an extra guy so he brought T.C.. Then we all clicked really well, started playing basketball every couple days a week and T.C. was there, we then found out that he danced and that he sang. It was kind of just … I don’t know, honestly all of us kind of had a feeling that he was … something was going to happen, I don’t know. Wither he joined the band or we just all kind of had a feeling that he was going to do something with us.
All the pieces just kind of fell into place.
Jayk: Yeah. [Laughs]
Now T.C. how long have you been singing and dancing?
T.C.: I’ve been singing and dancing for about eight or nine years now. I started when I was in fourth grade, and I’m almost in eleventh now. So yeah, I’ve been doing that a long time and I use to be a real theatre geek, I was in a lot of theatre productions and stuff like that. I started off dancing, I use to be in dance competitions and then I got into singing and acting. I moved out here for everything, but more of acting, and then I got into dance lessons out here more. Because I didn’t have a … I use to go to dance every day of the week basically in Georgia, where I’m from. So yeah, I’ve been doing this sort of thing for awhile now and it’s great to finally turn it into a business sort of thing, to do what I love to do as a career.
Ever thing you would end up in a “boy band”?
T.C.: I didn’t actually. [Laughs] I grew up listening to like ‘N Sync and stuff, I remember them. It’s crazy, at first when I found out I was going to be in Varsity and stuff it didn’t seem real at first. It seemed like a dream, and now it’s awesome; I’m loving every minute of it.
You said the show you did the other night was your first show? What was your favorite song to perform?
T.C.: Um, I think…
Jayk: ”Looking for Love”.
T.C.: Yeah. [Laughs] That was my favorite.
What about you guys? Drew, Jayk … after the shows you’ve been doing and with that live fan interaction what song is just the best to perform?
Jayk: Well, we re-vamped the “Love In the Club” song, so we have a few surprises in it where we … the whole day we all go buy a disposable camera. One of those cheap little three dollar disposable cameras, and we take pictures the whole day leading up to the show. Then there’s a part in the second verse where it says ‘Let me take your picture’, and the music stops … we pick up these disposable cameras with one picture left. We take a picture of ourselves on stage and throw it out to fans and whoever catches it gets to see what we did throughout that whole day when they go to develop them. So, it’s a cool like little surprise.
That is quite possibly the coolest thing someone has ever told me about during a show.
Drew: Really? That’s awesome.
Jayk: I mean we want to include fans on everything and we want them to see what we go through leading up, what we do, our little routines …little rituals. Now they can see it, whoever caT.C.hes the camera – the lucky camera.
So that’s one of your rituals, how about anything else? Is there maybe like a Varsity chant before you hit the stage?
Drew: We go ‘Varsity…Varsity…whoo’. [Laughs] No we wouldn’t do that, but we have this thing where we all do peace signs and we make like a big star with each other’s fingers. Then we all say a quote, using other people’s voice and say ‘1..2..3..VFC’ – and that’s that.
Now the last time we spoke with you guys you were just Varsity, since then you’ve added the FanClub. I’m sure you’ve answered the question a lot – but for those who don’t know, like myself, can you tell us why the name change?
Jayk: Well there was a band in Tennessee called ‘The Varsities’, so Capitol just decided to change it just because we didn’t want the confusion with that band and us. Plus, when you Google it the word ‘varsity’, like varsity cheerleading comes up; like so many things, you had to type in ‘varsity boy band’. So, we added the FanClub to make it easier for people to search us.
Yeah, I remember your MySpace url was ‘varsityfanclub’, right?
Jayk: Yeah, yeah our publicist saw it and was like ‘Well why not just that?’. We hated it at first to be honest, we hated it, but now it’s kind of cool now.
Drew: We did our first interview with it, and we go ‘Hi we’re Varsity [whispers] FanClub’. We like whispered it, it was funny. [Laughs]
Jayk: We hated it. But we’re cool with it, we love it now. It doesn’t make sense at all but whatever. [Laughs]
I know you are all multi-talented, so in addition to performing you also write music, especially you Drew. Have you been writing any songs you’ll be releasing, the fans don’t know about yet that you can tell u?
Jayk: Tons, go for it Drew.
T.C.: Yeah, go ahead.
Drew: Yes, there’s a lot of songs actually. There’s a bunch of cool new songs and we’re keeping obviously like the Pop sound, but we’re trying to make it a little more fun, little clubby so you can dance a lot more.
Jayk: The record pretty much could be done in a week to be honest.
So, did you guys write or co-write any?
Drew: Yeah, yeah … honestly all of them.
Jayk: We’re going to be trying to get in the studio again with RedOne, who obviously did Lady Gaga and he did our “Zero”.
Will you guys be doing any new shows soon, maybe on the east coast?
Drew: Yes, and we will definitely be on the east coast. We’re setting up everything right now; we’re also doing the called ‘Band House’ where you can watch us 24-7 on camera – cinsay.com/varsityfanclub. That’s what we were focusing on, then we had the member change, trying to get the tour set … kind of changed everything on timing but it’s all good.
Jayk: We also have a new photo shoot to get done, re-decorating the whole MySpace so make sure you check that it’s going to be pretty sweet.
Drew: We have to teach T.C. everything we already know plus all the new stuff.
Jayk: Our stage show is gonna be nuts.
T.C.: There’s finally a song that I get to teach you guys. [Laughs]
Jayk: He’s teaching us an intro dance that we’re doing. It’s gonna be pretty crazy.
Any idea what the next single is going to be?
Drew: Actually no, it was going to be “Zero” but that’s not it anymore because we’re doing all new stuff so we haven’t decided yet.
Jayk: Yeah, Capitol own the rights to “Zero” and we put it on the radio and it was actually like top 10 on satellite radio but then they had to take it down. It’s all good though, all good we have to thin positive.
So, the whole album is new then?
Jayk: Everything is new.
Well, that’s still exciting all new music.
Jayk: We like to call it … it’s gonna be our second first album.
Drew: Yeah we’ll call it Varsity FanClub 1.2.
Well, it was great talking with you guys again and hopefully we’ll see you soon.
Drew: Great talking to you too.
Jayk: Okay cool.
Inside the August/September 2009