Sunday, March 3, 2013


After leaving Passion Pit multi-instrumentalist Ayad Al Adhamy started a record label, Black Bell Records and formed the garage rock band Team Spirit. The band play 70's inspired garage rock and fuel it with cheeky lyrics and thanks to their raucous live shows, they have been turning heads and making new fans at nearly every gig. Ayad, who is a hell of a front man and show man, spoke to us about the bands influences, leaving Passion Pit and how Team Spirit is poised to become your new favorite band. Take a look at our interview below:

Being from other bands and eventually forming Team Spirit, were you worried about how people who respond to your music?

 Not at all! Team Spirit is the polar opposite of our previous bands, so much so that it puts it in a totally different genre. And most of the people that even make the link usually find themselves pleasantly surprised!

The bands live shows pack a serious punch and are a total blast, how exhausted are you when you get off the stage or does the momentum carry you?

 Oh man! Fronting a show is such a physical experience; after our first ever performance I was on the floor writhing in agony trying to grasp air! My body since become more acquainted to the feeling, but I usually need a lay down and a rest to recuperate from flailing around on stage!

How much fun are you having in this band right now?

On a scale of 1- 10? Like 13! We all love playing shows and rocking out so much, that its hard not to always have a blast. We certainly know how to get into mischief on the road too - it kinda lands in our lap...

What is the songwriting process like? It seems that you guys just have a ton of fun making music, after all you did write a song called, “Fuck the Beach.”

 I usually time travel to the past and hang out with some rad rock n roll dudes. I report back, usually stealing a Frankie Lymon Demo or two and re-work them into Team Spirit songs.

Although the songs are fun, in all honesty it is an arduous process! I write / record / produce (I have a studio in BK) so there can be a tendency to fall into the dark abyss of "does this shit sound good? what am i doing!"

But we've made it this far.

The band has a mix of just about everything, from soul to garage rock and even R&B, who are some of your influences?

 I think you nailed it on the head! Most timeless rock n roll merges these elements

I'm an Iraqi-born, England / Bahrain raised dude living in America for the past 8 years, so everything I work on ends up being an amalgamation of my past, be it musical influence to mashed up experiences.

Here is a list of musicians that particularly pertain to Team Spirit: Thin Lizzy, Frankie Lymon, Frankie Valli, Everclear, T Rex, Exploding Hearts, BeeGees, Count Five, Metallica (pre Black Album DUH), Nirvana/Foo Figter (DAVE GROHL, what a guy!), Taylor Swift, Gun n

Being a band from New York City, and the amount of bands coming from this city, how do Team Spirit stick out?

 Being an actual Rock n Roll band! AND GUITAR SOLOS. We can shred, and aren't ashamed to do so, in harmony and in the faces of those who watch! We are pretty pretty damn loud too (I've yet o find a sound guy that doesn't ask us to turn down). Most people aren't accustomed to loud ass rock n roll. Veteran venues with real crew (like Bowery
Ballroom) welcome it with open arms!

What has been the best experience about being in Team Spirit this far?

Eating at Five Leaves.

Given that the name of the band is such a popular term, have people ever confused it with another popular term – “Teen Spirit?”

 Here is a twitter conversation between us and Bbrooks99

“@Bbrooks99: anybody ever post and say that this smells like team
spirit?? #original”

@goteamspirit nah, mostly smells like BO & Balls

So we'll be cheeky in response. Otherwise, I politely correct them if
it is a genuine mistake!

Being a band that has members that come from various parts of the world, you all bring different things to the table, what does each member of Team Spirit bring?

A little bit of spice! I received English citizenship when I was around 12, and Toby our bassist is English; whilst Comso and Mike are both Italian Americans. Cosmo feels comforted that we are a half English half American rock n roll band - so in the argument "Who has the best bands of all time, USA or the UK?" we represent both! (Thin Lizzy were a pretty trans-atlantic band too!)

And for the record, the UK have better bands (Beatles / Stones) whilst America has the better solo dudes (like Bruce Springsteen/Prince).

I know I know! You're thinking "But Tom Jones is Welsh and hes the best artist there is!"