A.V. Club

Under The Influence: Ted Leo on self-documentation and what comes after anger

In Under The Influence, The A.V. Club asks a musician to pair three of their songs with a non-musical influence.

Ted Leo’s one of the hardest-working people in hardcore: His music career spans about three decades, including his work with Citizens Arrest, Chisel, and of course, The Pharmacists. In 2013, he teamed up with Aimee Mann to form the impossibly charming duo The Both—seriously, the stage banter is worth the price of admission for live shows—whose eponymous debut perfectly blends his energy with Mann’s restraint, pairing optimism with world-weariness.

The frontman’s known for his erudite lyrics and impassioned wailing—on the guitar and mic—as well as the DIY ethos that’s common among punk artists. Throughout the formation and reunions of these bands, Leo has kept on touring and writing, though he’s finally allowing himself to enjoy some perks while on the …

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