Mar 21, 2012 08:22 AM WV Sound
Keeping a beat in the Mountain State
The Journey of TeamMate
When most couples split, remaining friends is difficult, but then again, Scott Simons and Dani Buncher aren’t most people. After a decade of dating, their relationship came to an end. But after heartache and with time—and a keyboard—the pair would not only remain friends, but go on to form the indie-pop duo, TeamMate.
Scott grew up in Bridgeport, West Virginia, surrounded by a musical family. He picked up many instruments throughout his childhood, but it was piano that won his heart. “When my parents bought me my first keyboard in 8th grade, the first thing I did was write a song. My dad told me then, ‘You know, you can major in songwriting in college?’ From age 13, I knew that was what I was going to do.”
Scott’s father continued to guide him through the world of music, introducing his son to The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel. His father helped Scott book his first gigs—at the age of 15. When Scott was just 20 years old, his father passed away. “He was my idol and my mentor. The pain of losing my dad drives me to be the best version of myself that I can be. And I won’t let his memory down by giving up creating music, no matter what level of success I ultimately achieve,” Scott says.
When it was time for college, Scott took his father’s advice and studied music composition at West Virginia University. There, in the college town of Morgantown, he met Dani.
Dani was raised in Pittsburgh and started playing the drums when she was 8 years old. She went on to study social work at WVU, and her drumming talents led her to play snare drum in the WVU marching band.
Scott had just graduated when Dani enrolled as a freshman, but he was still living in Morgantown with his then-band, The Argument. Both being raised in Jewish households, mutual friends kept introducing the two at parties. Before long, they were dating. While the pair’s relationship may have ended since then, Scott says he and Dani have a connection that goes beyond being a couple.
Over the years, as Scott’s solo music career took off, he realized that Los Angeles was where he needed to be. There, he wrote and recorded work for The X Factor as well as noted musician Drake Bell. As Scott continued to book shows in L.A., he decided to ask Dani to play a few with him. Making music together felt so natural that in the summer of 2011, the two formed their own band, TeamMate.
With sounds comparable to artists like Death Cab for Cutie, Tegan and Sara, and Elvis Costello, TeamMate’s music is upbeat and catchy, like their latest single “Sequel.” These days, the duo has been playing shows since early 2012 and is in the process of recording an album. Check out some of the band's tour dates below.
See TeamMate live:
April 19, Kobo, Columbus, Ohio
April 20, Brillobox, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
April 26, Bowery Electric, New York, NY
April 27, The Station, Philadelphia, PA
April 28, 123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown, West Virginia