The Search for Geek – The Doubleclicks!
Errol first heard of the Doubleclicks from Nerds with Guitars because all Alex can do is talk about how awesome they are (and he also edited this article. Thanks Alex! ^_^). They were unable to do a written interview but Angela was quite happy to do a google hangout, so the format of this Search for Geek will be a bit different. What follows is a heavily edited transcript, but if you wish to have the raw unedited version where Errol interrupts Angela a lot and she gets a parking ticket, by all means, view the 48 minute youtube (recorded on July 11, 2013)!
Names: Angela Webber and Aubrey Webber
Instruments: Voice, guitar, ukulele, cello, cat piano
Location: Portland, Oregon
Year Formed: 2009
Favourite Fandom: Board Games and Star Trek
Angela Webber: On Air!
Errol Elumir: On the air! Hello, and Welcome to Debs & Errol, “The Search for Geek.” We are here with Angela from the Doubleclicks! So I am crazy excited.
Errol: I got a chance to see them live in concert. And that was amazing. They are funny, they are crazy talented, they are adorable and this is Angela from Doubleclicks.
Errol: Hello and welcome!
Angela: Thanks! I’m happy to be here.
Errol: They have a new CD! What’s your CD called?
Angela: Lasers and Feelings.
Errol: Lasers and Feelings, and it was just released two days ago. You can find their stuff on http://thedoubleclicks.com.
You will be able to find their CD on iTunes, Bandcamp, all sorts of places. I have a chat and we’re also fielding questions from Twitter. So hopefully one of us is going to be looking at that. And if you have any questions for Angela, by all means, you can ask us and we will check the Twitter so that we can see those questions. I already have a few questions.
Errol: We’re going through the basic stats. So your name is Angela and your sister’s name is Aubrey.
Angela: Aubrey, yes, can you hear me right now?
Errol: Yeah, I can hear you great. Do you have main instruments?
Angela: Yes. I play the ukulele and the guitar, and Aubrey plays the cello. And this is a double bass. This is a double bass that we don’t play very often, but we also own that.
Errol: Nice! What is your favourite fandom?
Angela: I saw this is one of your stock questions. That is really hard to answer.
Errol: Or a bunch of them, it doesn’t have to be your favourite.
Angela: Ya I think the thing I spend the most time on is probably Star Trek and then also, is gaming a fandom? Board games and RPGs, my geek time is spent on that. But definitely Star Trek is the biggest TV show fandom. Although, I’m really into reading John Scalzi right now. And we read all the “Name of the Wind” books, and the “Game of Thrones” obviously.
Errol: Ah nice! I guess I shouldn’t ask you your favourite board game, because that – when anybody asks me that I have no idea what to say. I don’t know if you –
Angela: Oh, Lords of Waterdeep. That’s not that hard. It’s a great one. And I’ve been doing a lot of card games recently… those are fun.
Errol: Yeah, So Lords of Waterdeep, for anybody doesn’t know, if I remember correctly, that’s the board game D&D one, right?
Angela: Yeah, it’s a D&D-branded game. You get to play the quest giver in the tavern. You have your tavern where you can recruit, um, adventurers.
Errol: How did you choose the name “The Doubleclicks”?
Angela: I don’t know where ideas come from. We were just Angela and Aubrey Webber when we first put out our CD. Beta Testing 1-2-3. Which is now a Doubleclicks CD.
We had a lot of really bad band names. Aubrey says that it was a suggestion from our cousin. When we finally came up with that band name and we launched our project on YouTube, my friend Carrie came over and signed us up as The Doubleclicks on every social media site! *laugh* We still have a MySpace page, and a Reverbnation page, and all of them. There are too many social networks.
Errol: You guys are located in Portland. And you were formed two years ago, is that correct?
Angela: That’s a hard question. The band name and the website, which is the only thing that really counts these days on the internet, was the beginning of 2011. But we’ve been writing songs and doing this for about five years now release information for our album. It was like summer of – what is that – 2008? 2009? We started writing songs.
Errol: I remember I asked you these questions when we were out for dinner. You did open mics first and then dragged your sister? Or was it the other way around?
Angela: Oh, the other way around, yeah. She’s an actual musician. Um, I just write the songs.
Errol: You are quite the competent musician too, though.
Angela: Yeah, but Aubrey plays cello. And when she moved to Portland she immediately started playing at open mics. And when you bring a cello to an open mic you are immediately surrounded by people who want to join your band. So she would be on stage for everybody’s act. Eventually I had started writing songs. I picked up a guitar, because my boyfriend was gone for the summer and I needed something to do! She decided to start playing with me and eventually I stole her away from everybody else.
Errol: And people loved you guys!
Angela: Yeah! We started as a normal, singer-songwriter band that played at singer-songwriter open mics and venues. But people really enjoy having fun short songs in between everybody’s really long heartbreak songs. So we got a lot of positive feedback there and then hooked up with the nerd music scene through Paul and Storm in 2011.
Errol: So what is your geek origin story, Angela? How did you start off being a geek?
Angela: My geek origin story? I remember when we were really, really young, when it was first airing, we would watch Deep Space 9. And we had nicknames for all the characters because we were kids and we didn’t remember their names. For Christmas, one year, Aubrey and I got Deep Space 9 collector’s edition marbles.
Angela: Yeah! There was definitely a Quark marble, and maybe we got TNG one too because I’m remembering a Riker marble. It was amazing! I wish we still had them. But then I basically did the geek thing quietly on my own. Just sort of stayed home and read a lot of books and wrote really terrible short stories and drew pictures and created universes and stuff until high school, when I joined marching band and met all these other people who also really liked They Might Be Giants.
Errol: Oh, cool.
Angela: And who played Dungeons and Dragons and got me into that. We also were in a multimedia class together, which was like a filmmaking class. So we would make music videos for They Might be Giant songs. And a lot of pirates and ninjas related material! *laugh*
Errol: Did you dress up as a pirate? Or ninja. Which one was you?
Angela: I don’t remember. I was usually behind the camera, and I was also the only girl so I would play whatever role was required of me.
Errol: Oh wow. So you’re the only girl amongst all those geeks!
Angela: Yeah, for most of middle school and high school.
Errol: It’s crazy here in Toronto now. The majority of the geeks that I see in Toronto are female. I’m sure the men are somewhere but they’re not out at geek events.
Angela: There are definitely different kind of nerds. There are the nerds who like to be social and there are the nerds who are really, really nerdy but you would never know it because they don’t go out and go to Can’t Stop the Serenity and stuff like that.
Creativity & Music
Errol: You mentioned writing. I first met Debs through NaNoWriMo. And in NaNoWriMo it’s like 80% women, and almost all of them are geeks. I think that’s why I know so many female geeks. Since you did writing, did you do NaNoWriMo?
Angela: I have never successfully done NaNoWriMo. I almost committed to it a couple times and I’m definitely on the email list, but I don’t know if I’ve ever even started. *laugh*
Errol: Oh, well then you should start and have fun! You don’t even have to finish. It doesn’t matter. I only use it for socializing myself.
Angela: Yeah. No, it sounds really fun. I’ve heard really good things about it. But although I have a lot of creative energy, I have a finite amount.
Errol: So how did you get started writing music? You and Aubrey?
Angela: We’re from a very musical family and have been making up our own songs our whole lives. We’ve been playing music, been in choirs and orchestras and doing a little bit of writing. Just sort of very silly and short. But it wasn’t until I picked up a guitar sometime in 2008, 2009, and I had simultaneously been in some poetry classes that I decided to write my own songs. I was surrounded by a lot of songwriters like Aubrey, and also my friends at college, and so I was like, I’m going to try it out! And it is really, really fun! It works really well for me since my background is actually Journalism.
Errol: Oh cool!
Angela: And there’s definitely a similarity in the way that I write songs and the way that Journalism works. Every word has to count. It’s a real economy of language. There’s a lot of rules which is very freeing, I find, in creative projects. So it ended up being a perfect creative expression for us.
Errol: How do you and Aubrey write songs together?
Angela: At first it was definitely me writing songs, and it is a collaborative process. Now especially, but it’s one of those things that’s really difficult to describe! *laugh* But we definitely do it together.
Errol: Do you normally focus on lyrics? Or music?
Angela: It’s all sort of together. All of those things happens at once. Maybe one of us will have an idea and the other will write the words, and someone will come up with a good chord progression, and it will all come together.
Errol: So it’s quite meshed. That’s impressive, actually! I know for the majority for what Debs and I do, I usually write the lyrics, and she writes the melody because she’s better at that.
About Lasers & Feelings
Errol: So your new Album, Lasers and Feelings, is the first time you’ve recorded with a full band! Is that right?
Angela: Yeah! It’s so different! *laugh*
Errol: What was that like?
Angela: It was really, really fun. We went to our parents house, and our dad is a professor at Berkeley College of Music and he puts on an annual concert every year that has all kinds of musical styles meshed together. It has a lot of turn-tableism, and hip hop, and its also got really, really folky and blue-grass stuff. We were one of the featured artists this year and we brought our new songs and some of our old songs and sat down with this band that he had put together. We did some full band arrangements of Doubeclick songs, which was really different. We put on a concert with them so we sort of had an idea of what it would sound like and what those arrangements would be.
Errol: Is this all in Portland? Sorry, you did the concert in Portland, or no?
Angela: No this is actually in Boston. Then we went into the studio. It was awesome. Our producer worked a lot with us on the arrangements of the songs. There’s a lot of different sounds and genres put together. The songwriting process was basically the same for us, but it was the arrangement process that was totally different and they turned out amazing. It’s funny like when it’s just Aubrey and I. We’re recording and writing our own music all by ourselves and releasing via the internet; you don’t realize how easy that is compared to having to teach somebody that didn’t write the song. But everybody who we worked with was so professional and added so much stuff that we never would have thought of. I felt really lucky that we were able to do it.
Errol: That’s cool. I’m sorry, what was the band’s name again?
Angela: We had some session musicians and a lot of Berkeley College of Music graduates. Who else? Our dad, as well as our mom, is on it also. She played the bass on Freebird, which is awesome.
“Nothing to Prove” – Fake Geek Girl Anthem Video
Errol: *laugh* Debs likes the song “Nothing to Prove.” Which is a bit of an anthem for Geek Girls. I can’t wait for that video to come out. That’s really cool.
Angela: I can’t either!
Errol: There is a ton of people that sent you vids for this. What inspired you to write it?
Angela: It’s our Fake Geek Girl Anthem. Which is inspired by basically the whole Fake Geek Girl Thing. Some people have decided that only super pure geeks get to be geeks. Or people who like this specific group of thing they consider to be geek culture are allowed to call themselves geeks. Which is really stupid, because geekdom is awesome.
Errol: For the record I will vouch that Angela’s a huge geek.
Angela: Well that’s the thing, it doesn’t matter if I have cred. That was the inspiration for it. People would come up to us to make sure we’re real geeks, that we’re sufficient to be geek musicians, that we’re not faking it or something. It doesn’t bother me that much, but it bothers me when that happens to people who are young or insecure about it. A lot of people are geeks because they were bullied when they were kids and this is the stuff they retreated to. And now they can actually celebrate it and go out to conventions and show their enthusiasm for this thing. And THAT’S where you’re going to bully them? Really? For liking the things that you like? So it upsets me. I think the video is going to do a good job of explaining how I and a bunch of other geeks feel about it.
Errol: How many people did you get for that? You got a lot of people!
Angela: We got soooo many! I really, honestly, did not expect to have too many videos. We recorded a lot of videos on tour for it. I started putting it together and it’s a really long song for us, it’s four minutes, which is super long for a Doubleclicks song. I thought there was no way that we’d have enough footage and we’d probably have to splice in some performance footage or something. But we ended up having three or four times as many videos as we could fit in the video! *laugh* We got over a hundred of submissions and videos we’ve taken. Which is not a small task because people had to actually videotape themselves to very strict requirements and send those to us. It’s not just “Send us a picture or tweet a hashtag” or something. But they were all so passionate about it, and you can tell watching those videos. I wanted to high five these people, or give them a hug, or just… I started tearing up several times just watching their stories and they’re silent five second videos which just tells you how amazing they are. So… it… *sigh*… I love it!
Questions from Doubleclick Fans!
Angela: We got some questions from Twitter though. These are from Michael Owen.
“What is the next instrument you would like to add to your band?”
The next instrument I would like to add to our band? That’s a good question. We are working on getting a drummer to actually play with us in concert for our CD release and a few other concerts. I don’t know what else we want to add. What else should we add, Errol?
Errol: I like your cat piano. You don’t need to add anything else after that.
Angela: Just the cat piano. We could get rid of the cello and just have the cat piano. I think that’s a good idea. I’m just overwhelmed by the fact that Lasers and Feelings had so many new musical instruments on it already. There’s so much saxophone! *laugh* It’s awesome!
And the other question was, “What will the theme of our next concert tour be?”
Our next tour is West Coast and it’s just going to be Velociraptour west, because Velociraptour is the best name for a tour ever.
Errol: What is your favourite song to perform live?
Angela: Ohhhh! Ummm…
Errol: You know what was really fun for us? You let us join with you for singing. That was awesome!
Angela: Yeah! That is awesome. I like performing, but the thing I like about it is participating with the audience. If I’m just standing in front of a silent crowd I get really paranoid. So it’s awesome when there are crowds that are willing to sing along. So I guess for that reason the songs that have sing along parts are my favourite.
We always play “Worst Super Power Ever” early in the set, because we like it when people sing along to it. And “Oh, Mr. Darcy,” “Nothing to Prove” now has a sing along part, “Spock Impersonator.”
Errol: It’s really funny, you were saying that none of, all your Doubleclick songs are short. I noticed that! Only because all of Debs & Errol songs are short too. So I was really happy. Yay! Short songs! You don’t want to extend the joke further than it should be, right?
Angela: Exactly, just give it the time that it needs. We were on a panel with Harry and the Potters, and they said the exact same thing. They have songs that are just five lines long or shorter, which is amazing. Especially if it’s a joke song. Don’t make it longer than it deserves to, because then you’re not telling a joke anymore! *laugh*
Errol: Mmhmm! And the velociraptor song is perfect as is! Rawr! Rawr. *laugh* Sorry, I just had to roar for a bit.
Angela: No, go for it.
Errol: Do you do you have a favourite moment, or a memorable moment with a fan or a listener?
Angela: Yeah. Filming the “Nothing to Prove” videos was the most amazing thing that we’ve done, because geek girls just really wanted to share their stories. They would have things that really surprised me because they were just so deep and meaningful and personal. When we were in Madison, on this last tour, it was one of the very last shows and I had completely lost my voice at that point. There was this group of women, six of them, that had driven three hours to come to that show and to lobby us to go to Iowa! *laugh* And they all did “Nothing to Prove” videos and we’re super-duper enthusiastic and really, really, cool.
Errol: Nice! But you guys are amazing! Alex did tell me that he had to convince you to come up to Toronto and you were all, “Does anybody there even know who we are?” But Alex did a good job of saying how awesome you guys were! And you are! And people were really excited. That’s why we got full behind you on Twitter and Facebook.
Errol: Another question from the chat: “How much time do you spend working on Doubleclicks?”
Angela: Uh… All of the time. I used to have a day job and then I quit the day job at the end of 2011. And now I do this, which is awesome because I am in a band so I am home all day which is great because I don’t like being in an office with people. But it also means I will work all day on music and videos and all the things that are involved with music, like planning. I book all our tours, because I love the logistics and spreadsheets and stuff.
Advice from Angela
Errol: “My daughter, who is about to start her senior year in high school, is interested in pursuing a music major in college. Do you have any words of wisdom?” This is from Dadbert.
Angela: Oh! That’s a good question, Dadbert. I did not study music in college, Aubrey did. You should do it. Do things that you like. Collaborate with other people. I think that’s the biggest advantage to studying anything formally. Especially in a college situation, you can meet other people who are doing similar things. So I would say, as much as you can, find other people and make cool things that you like together.
Errol: Collaborating is super cool. The more people you collaborate with the more people you can learn from. It’s great. I’ve learned so much from collaborating with a bunch of different musicians. It’s awesome. Have you collaborated with a lot of other geek artists?
Angela: Well we’ve played a lot with Marian Call and Molly Lewis. We get to play on each other’s songs. Molly would guest in on keyboard cat on our last tour; she played with us a lot. Really, really fun. We have not tried or at least successfully followed through with a collaborative song writing project, because that’s really difficult. But just performing with other people is really good energy. We’ll probably do more in the future.
Errol: Another question in chat from Whatyoutolkienabout, “My DM just killed my character. What should I roll next?”
Angela: Why did your DM kill your character, is my question. Were you being a jerk? Or because your DM makes it difficult? Well, I don’t know what you’re playing. I’ll assume you’re playing Dungeons & Dragons. I think you should roll a Bard. I think you should give a bard a chance.
Errol: Bard! Bard’s Tale!
Angela: People keep saying that it’s time. It’s the Bard’s time. So give a Bard a chance. And then when that character inevitably dies, do some min/maxing. And get a character that won’t die. That’s my suggestion.
Errol: Roll a character that doesn’t die.
Angela: I met my boyfriend playing D&D. He had the most min/maxed crazy character of all time. He could be invisible and levitate at the same time, but he also hit really hard. I don’t even know how that’s even possible. He would just go scout for us. We would all sit in a church and he would go float around and he’s like, “Yup! There’s a lot of bad guys.”
Errol: So he was an invisible, levitating guy. So he could probably bypass a lot of traps too.
Angela: He was levitating and he was strong enough to carry our halfling. It was awesome.
Errol: Ok! That’s cool. Dadbert had a follow up question to taking music in college: “But does it pay the bills?”
Angela: I mean it depends on how many bills you have. And, what kind music you do, I have no idea.
Errol: All of the independent musicians I know – it might not be you because you might be more famous – they also work on the side as well. And then we work really hard at night, whether it’s making music or gigging.
Errol: Do you have any advice for aspiring geek or nerd musicians?
Angela: Oh! Do… what… you… like! *laugh*
Angela: I can’t at all analyze what we have done that has created this amazing life for us, because I have no idea, and I’m just so grateful because I know it could go away at any time. I think just being genuine and enjoying yourselves always makes it better, so don’t do anything that you’re doing because you think you should, because then you won’t be proud of it.
Errol: You do look like you have fun when you’re performing. Do you have a lot of fun when you perform?
Angela: We very much do have fun.
Errol: I can imagine being stuck in a car with your sister for long periods of time can be a bit trying. I have a sister.
Angela: Performance is really fun. Being in a car for a long time with anybody or by yourself is definitely the hard part of the tour. But the fact that we’re able to do it is just awesome, so I try not to complain about it too much.
Oh! And also tour a lot, would be my other advice. Play shows live. We really, really enjoy playing shows live.[We have a discussion on parking tickets, and Canada, and then poutine.]
Angela: You have poutine at your Johnny Rockets!
Errol: We have poutine. And Debs will be quite upset to know that you don’t like Pho. Because that’s our band meal, actually.
Angela: Oh. Well. I’m happy for you.
Errol: *laugh* Do you and Aubrey have a favourite restaurant you want to go to?
Angela: Our happy exciting band food is when we’re on tour in Canada and we go to get poutine. On tour we ate nearly every other day at Chipotle. A lot of the times we’re in between two cities, in the complete middle of nowhere, but everybody has a Chipotle and they’re usually about the same and they’re tasty and they’re not McDonalds. The trick we learned from Molly Lewis is that they have an app. You can save your order and send it to them and also request that they draw a robot on your bag or something.
Upcoming Projects and Videos
Errol: Any other upcoming projects? I mean I know you just had a CD out. I know you’re going to release that cool video soon. The 23rd did you say?
Angela: The plan is to release it July 23rd, unless something happens. We have the West Coast tour. We’re hoping to keep doing lots of music videos so there is a project related to that coming up. And we’ll also be at GenCon and San Diego Comic-Con.
Errol: How do you usually do your videos?
Angela: We did a Song a Week back in 2011 where we wrote a song and immediately recorded it on video by sitting in our living room with a USB mic. And we’ve done some videos that are sort of the Pomplamoose style, where we’ll record all the parts separately and edit them together. We’ve not done a ton of those and the reason is because I don’t own Final Cut. I was cycling through my friends’ computers and signing up for a new Final Cut Pro trial. I could make music videos until the trial expired. The Lasers and Feelings video was a really fun weekend project that we worked with a local director on.
The people who sponsored our album got me Final Cut Pro, so I can finally make music videos now which I’m very excited about! We have a couple coming out for other songs on our album, “Can’t You See The World Is Ending” and “Rock Star Life.” But I’m hoping to do a lot more and collaborating with people and maybe doing some animations and other things!
Errol: With “Rock Star Life” are you going to have a lot of video footage on the road. Did you take a lot of footage?
Angela: Yes, it’s mostly tour footage. The challenge for us is that I am the person who takes videos and I also hate it when people take pictures of me. But I’m also the singer in the band. So I guess it would be better if there was at least a little bit of footage of me, instead of just three minutes of Aubrey dancing. Which I think people would enjoy anyway. So it has taken several tours to collect enough footage for it.
Errol: You’re doing all the editing of the video. Have you been editing for a long time? Because editing is a very mind-numbing, maddening process.
Angela: I started doing it in High school through the Multimedia course. But I love it so much. Not everything that I do is so inspiring as making videos. This week I literally stayed up until six in the morning working on the Fake Geek Girl video. I just have to keep fixing it. And I’m not tired, I just want to finish. So I love doing it except when Final Cut Pro decides that today it just wants to crash.
Errol: *laugh* I think we have another question from the chat. This from a LoveDclicks.
Angela: From my mom?
Errol: “Do you see the clicks staying together for a long time? Or do you have ideas for evolving?”
Angela: Ah. I bet that is my mom. That’s a weird question. We have no plans to not be the Doubleclicks ever. I have a lot more free time and a lot more need for internet approval so I spend a lot of time on the internet and make things on my own. And Aubrey does a lot musical stuff on her own as well, but we like doing Doubeclick things. We are continuing it forever.
OH! The other thing that we have coming up. We have a podcast called “Going Last” where we talk about tabletop gaming and RPG’s. We interview geeky people. And it’s really fun so you should check it out. It’s at http://goinglast.net.
I keep forgetting to plug that. And the other thing I should plug that we have coming up is that sometime between September and February we are going to be on TableTop. Which is an internet thing with captain Wil Wheaton.
Errol: We have uh, Whatyoutolkeinabout, “Thanks for hanging with us and answering our questions. We here at the Dizzy Dice Gaming group love your music.”
Angela: Oh yay!
Errol: Well thank you so much, Angela, I should let you go. Once again, we have been with Angela Webber of the Doubleclicks. Where’s your sister by the way? I should have asked where Aubrey was!
Angela: I’m going to write a song called, “Where’s your sister… and Other Frequently Asked Questions.” Aubrey has her whole life. I think she’s on her way here.
Errol: Oh, is she? Oh! She’s part of the…
Angela: “Going Last” podcast.
Errol: And so you can find Angela and Aubrey as The Doubleclicks. They also have a podcast called Going Last and they talk about all sorts of RPG gaming kind of stuff. And you can buy their CD off of their website, and Angela is going to show it again. Huzzah CD!
Angela: Yes! Oh! Man, this is exciting. I feel like I’m on a Late Night show. Look it’s Laser and Feelings!
Errol: The CD is awesome! It has all sorts of fun geek references. These guys are crazy talented and funny, so you should check them out. And thank you again, Angela, say hi to your boyfriend for me, and Justin and Aubrey as well!
Angela: Ah, whatever.
Errol: Or don’t say hi to them at all! *LAUGH*
Angela: Check out Debs & Errol! Look at their album. It’s cool.
Errol: Yes. Take care, thanks again, Angela.
Angela: Thank you, Errol. It was wonderful to meet with you, on the internets.
Errol: Bye bye!
The Doubleclicks are a pair of sisters—Angela and Aubrey Webber—from Portland, Oregon who write songs that are snarky, geeky, and sweet. Since starting their band in 2011 with a weekly new-song YouTube project and the animated music video for their Dungeons & Dragons love song, The Doubleclicks have toured their clever brand of folk music around the country, usually in comic shops, game stores or in their fans’ living rooms. The duo has also performed at w00tstock shows with Paul & Storm and Wil Wheaton, and entertained audiences at pop culture, gaming and sci-fi conventions.
You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr. You can also check out her website at http://TheDoubleClicks.com. Their new album, Lasers and Feelings, is available on their Bandcamp page.
You said you were going to make Debs do all the transcribing!
I did. But she didn’t have access to a computer, so I did it. 😀
Hehe, good memory, Quinn! I so had access to a computer! But I was traveling and things have been crazy hectic, so I wouldn’t have been able to get to it until August or something. But Errol did a great job!