UT alumnus Connor McCampbell (‘17) started TC Superstar as a solo project in 2017. Since then, he has added dancers and musicians to assemble an eight-person troupe that are gaining traction in Austin, Texas.
Ahead of the release of their album R&D on May 16, The Daily Texan spoke to McCampbell, as well as Julio Correa (‘17), and radio-television-film senior Aaron Chávez.
Daily Texan: What genre of music are you?
Connor McCampbell: Pop music. Dance pop more specifically.
DT: What role does dancing play in your performances?
CM: (Dancing) is an underrepresented art form. It’s often performed on inaccessible stages for $40 a ticket. Everybody should feel comfortable dancing more. People come to our shows and express themselves in different ways.
Aaron Chávez: And the dancers are not “backup dancers.” Dancing and the music are one thing. Right. And that’s what I like most about the live shows, that there is that dance element to them.
DT: Do you prefer performing live or studio recording?
Julio Correa: When you record, it’s this snapshot of a moment. But then we play these songs 50 plus times, they inevitably start to grow and change in certain ways that lead to great moments. One of my favorite shows I’ve ever played was a totally improvised show in an attic in Athens, Georgia. Everyone was losing all self-consciousness, just dancing.
DT: How does your worldview impact your music?
CM: There needs to be a change in a lot of different aspects of American culture — to be more sustainable, more ethical, more equitable. The music is intended to be cathartic. A lot of people see us for the first time and afterwards they’re like, “Hey, I came to this and I was having a bad night and I feel better.” We’re not super political, but I secretly hope that we pass some of our ideological sentiments to the audience.
DT: What are those ideological sentiments?
CM: Every album was a concept album about something different. Masc is about notions of masculinity and what that is. Heat Death is about the environment, death and consumerism. R&D, which is about to come out, is about love, romance and relationships.
DT: Tell me more about this next album.
CM: The new album is about Ricky and Dana and the different ways they are or are not in love. Every song is a different perspective on a way that they could have lived their lives and fallen in or out of love.
DT: Who specifically is the target audience?
CM: If you’re going through any kind of romantic strife, (the album) might really get you. I think you’ll hear my perspective shifts in life on love and relationships. I won’t give away what that is — you got to hear all the songs first. At least once. And then, if you don’t like them, never listen to them again.
DT: What’s in the future of TC Superstar?
CM: Try and play Madison Square Garden soon.
AC: We’d love to play in space. That’d be sick.