INTERVIEW: The Problem With Kids Today on their debut album and the formation of the band

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INTERVIEW: The Problem With Kids Today on their debut album and the formation of the band


(photo credit: Sam Carlson)

New Haven screams a similar vibe to the golden days of Allston Rock City, and lucky for Boston, a band that has honed their craft in the New Haven scene, The Problem With Kids Today, will be making their Cantab Lounge debut on 3/22. For those who are no strangers to that space, it screams the perfect setting for the songs off the band’s very recent debut album release, “Born to Rock” (2/9). It brings back those packed, sweaty Great Scott shows to mind that many residents in Boston can recall without hesitation. I jumped on the opportunity to chat with the trio about the formation of the band, the album itself, and bands they think you should check out as well!

NES: The new album drops in two days; how are you feeling going into this final stretch before this new baby comes out? 

Silas Lourenco: It’s exciting, it’s been forever. We recorded it last year and had the songs for even longer than that. So it’s almost like two years of working on this thing. 

Tate Brooks: Yeah, it feels good because the way my brain works, I got to finish one thing to move on to the next, you know? So I feel like this is perfect. How about you? How are you feeling? 

Reena Yu: I’m stoked about it. Pretty excited. 

NES: You’re playing your album release show in New Haven. You’re coming to Cambridge in March, so you’ll be in MA. You’re playing Providence. Maybe for people who haven’t seen you play, this band started in Covid, right? Like the early days? 

RY: Yeah, in the summer of 2020. 

NES: In the summer of 2020? So maybe if people haven’t seen you before, I know it may seem cheesy, but why do you think people should come out and check you out? Maybe, considering we’re about to hit such an oversaturation of many shows, and kids only have so much money. So maybe what makes this something that they can’t miss? 

TB: Yeah, you know, right? We’re fast and loud, which is fun for people. But we got some good tunes. I feel like we have the pop essence to the songs, which I feel like people respond to. It’s always a kind of wild, chaotic night when we play. It harkens back to a bygone era of rock, guitars, and cool pants. I don’t know, what do you guys think? 

RY: We’re also all about fun. Just having fun, having a good time. 

TB: Yeah, we like meeting people. And playing to new crowds is the best, because it’s the first exposure to the band. People in New Haven are sick of us by now, so it’s nice to play to new crowds. 

NES: I know this album was recorded at Q Division Studios. It’s such an iconic studio, and you worked with this producer, Adam Lasus, who’s done Juliana Hatfield, Yo La Tengo, all these names. Was this your first time working with that producer or in that space? How was that experience? 

SL: Yeah. Q Division was always a place; we had heard about it. We knew someone who worked there, a friend of Tate’s dad. But it was never something we actually dreamed we could do. Until we started working with Red, he said, yeah, I can get you in there. It was really, really a good time. 

TB: Yeah, it was awesome. And yeah, we met Red, the producer Adam Lasus, through my dad. He recorded my dad way back in the day and then went on to do all that stuff. And we were like; we got to work with Red, man! So yeah, that was the first time with him. 

RY: Yeah, and his enthusiasm overall around our music really moved us to want to work with him. 

TB: Yeah, he was into it! So, it was like, we’ve got to do it now. 

NES: And this is your second album, right? Was the first album something you did on your own, like producing? Or was it something recorded with someone in New Haven? 

SL: Yeah, we worked with our friend Sam Carlson. He’s got a studio called Sans Serif in New Haven. That was our first time ever in the studio. So, it was fun. 

TB: Yeah. We used to do recordings by ourselves, but that was our first time really getting into the space. 

NES: From looking at it, I know you guys have done so many music videos for this band—some DIY moments. 

TB: Yeah, we’ve always liked funny videos from other bands. We were like, we’re some funny dudes, let’s do it! We worked with our buddy Conor Rog, and he’s the best director and man of the camera. So we worked well together and could bang them out in a few hours, which was really nice. It’s not too long of a process ever. 

NES: And then the importance to you of having that visual element. It’s not easy to make. Videos aren’t an inexpensive thing to make. 

TB: Yeah, totally. 

SL: Yeah, I think our look and our humor are a big part of the band, so I think it’s important to have that sort of package deal. 

RY: Yeah, it works too, that the director has the same sense of humor. Like gets us. 


NES: Then, we skipped forward, but considering the album is about to come out, when did you guys start forming the idea of this band? Were you friends previously in the New Haven scene? Have you played in other bands that played together? When did you start forming this band, in particular, The Problem With Kids Today? 

SL: Tate and I were in a band called Tate and Silas. It was just the two of us. It wasn’t very good. But we met Reena at a show in 2018 or something like that. 

RY: 2019.

TB: Yeah, Reena had been playing in a few bands already. 

SL: And we were doing our thing. But Tate and I didn’t have a drummer. And I played just the kick drum with my foot while playing the bass. And at a certain time, it was sort of like, we need to make like real music, we need to get a drummer. Reena was our first choice, and luckily, it worked out. 

TB: The first and best choice. We saw her play at a show when we were just playing as our band. We were blown away by her skills, so it was definitely the first choice. Reena, and she was into it. So it worked out, and then the next thing you know. 

RY: Yeah, it’s amazing how well we clicked. 

TB: Yeah, from the first jam, it was alright, I think we need to make a band. 

NES: And then, maybe other bands out of New Haven that you think people would like? Or bands that are favorites of yours or friends of yours? 

SL: Yeah, totally. Our favorite bands around here are definitely The Ambulance Chasers. They just had a new album come out a few months ago that was really, really great. 

TB: Qween Kong, they’re good friends of ours. I’m wearing their shirt right now. We go way back, high school buddies. 

RY: Scabs. 

SL: Scabs are awesome. 

TB: Reena’s other band, VVEBS. They’re rocking. 

RY: Yeah, I’m in two other bands, Big Sigh and VVEBS. 

TB: Who else do we like?

RY: Keep Off The Grass. 

TB: Oh yeah, my cousin’s band, Keep Off The Grass. Yeah, there’s definitely a little scene going on here. 

SL: Yeah, lots and lots of good dudes, for sure. 

TB: It’s a lot of fun! 

NES: I like it! Well then, to end it off, I appreciate you taking the time. You have this train of shows announced. The album’s about to come out. I know we probably all have day jobs, and Reena, you’re playing with other bands, keeping busy. But maybe focuses or goals for these next few months as this band, or just making music in general. 

SL: Goals for the next six months: get a good response from the album. Play a bunch of shows in New Haven, in New England. On the East Coast, you know, wherever we can get them. 

TB: Yeah, play more of these cities out of town: Philly, Boston, NYC, New Jersey. Yeah, and then, hopefully, get back in the studio. We’ve got a lot of new songs brewing. It’s just the start, you know! 



Upcoming dates:

03.20 – New York, NY @ Arlene’s Grocery
03.21 – Kearny, NJ @ Jimmy’s Lounge
03.22 – Cambridge MA @ Cantab Lounge
03.23 – Providence, RI @ News Cafe



About Author


Colleen has been writing about music since 2009. Interviewing bands since the glory days of Warped and has continued to do so for now over fourteen years. As well as doing freelance for other publications, the love for everything rock continues today.