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Interview: Durry invite you to join the Losers Club

Taryn and Austin Durry
Taryn and Austin DurryKay Dargen
  Play Now [27:53]

by Diane

September 25, 2023

The word loser could take on a whole new significance in Minnesota — and beyond. Fans across the globe are flocking to the Losers Club, a community formed by brother-sister band Durry. Nerds and outcasts alike are invited to unite with pride.

Every song on the duo’s debut LP, Suburban Legend, sounds like a radio hit. In addition to their internet-famous song “Who’s Laughing Now,” songs like “Coming of Age” and “Little Bit Lonely” are characterized by catchy pop melodies, anthemic alternative-rock production, and down-to-earth lyrics. In fact, the Burnsville-based band’s home-court show at First Avenue on Saturday, Dec. 16, has already sold out.

I talked to siblings Austin and Taryn Durry a day before they joined their band to head to Europe to play at-capacity shows in the Netherlands, England, and Norway. We talked about super-duper fans (Banana Boys?), humdrum suburban life, the color yellow, self-ownership, Gen-Z quality control, and more.

It's been 10 days now, since the album has dropped.

Taryn: It's already been 10 days?

Austin: I know, I just made a post today about it. It's like, oh, my gosh.

Happy 10-day anniversary.

Taryn: Thank you!

What's the response been like? I know, obviously, you can even just see by the online reaction with all the fans. Looking through the comments, everyone's like, "This is the best band in the world!" The fandom is insane. But tell me about the first 10 days of Suburban Legend being out?

Austin: Yeah, it's been incredible, honestly. The fan reaction has been so big and just people seem to really be digging in deep to the album and observing the little details that we put into it and the quality that we worked so hard for with it. And all the literally years of work that we put into it at this point is paying off and people are noticing it. It's just like a beautiful experience to put in the effort and see people appreciate the effort and come right back with all this appreciation of it.

I think with "Who's Laughing Now" going off — the question we always get is like, "How are you going to not be a one-hit wonder?" And then I think with the response of this album, it's like we made a whole album of good songs. People are saying it's a no-skip album. Like, "Yes!" That's exactly like — that's it. 

I get what you mean with "Who's Laughing Now" because it is such a hit song. And every lyric in it has something where you're like, "Ugh, yes!" It's just so relatable, and I think that's one reason why it resonated so big. But I'm listening to literally every song on this record and I'm like — a hit, a hit, a hit. Everything is catchy. Everything has lyrics you can relate to that just kind of make sense.

[Clip of “Coming of Age” plays]

All of these songs have been basically coming out of you in the last, what, two-three years basically?

Austin: Yes, since 2021 is when we put out our first —

Taryn: He's been writing so many songs too that we just had to sort through and pick the best ones. We were hoping to have an album full of bangers only.

Austin: Yeah, so anything sub-banger got cut.

Taryn: Exactly. We went back and fixed things up. So there's a lot more out there.

So we can make a sub-banger Suburban Legend? B-sides?

Austin: Exactly yeah, and there's also some that we really love but they didn't make the album just because we were content with the current version of them. Like, everyone loves "Big Boy" and we love "Big Boy" too, but it was like we were happy with this. We don't need to add anything to this for the album, so we didn't want to just rehash it to rehash it. 

Taryn: Yeah, I feel like "Big Boy" had its own moment. 

Austin: Yeah, totally. And "Bubble of My Gum" too. "Bubble of My Gum" was actually written after the album was written, but came out first. But whatever (laughs). 

You've been in bands for — Coyote Kid, 12 years that was going on. And you had some marginal success with it. Marginal. Take it or leave it … And then you came out with Durry, and now you guys literally have a worldwide following. Do you feel like the pandemic played a role in you writing all these songs? And then of course, Taryn, your sister, putting her Gen Z quality control — I love that. Tell me about this surge in songwriting that has flourished between the two of you.

Austin: Yeah. I spent years with Coyote Kid. It was a very narrative-focused band. And we'd make albums that were like a sci-fi story, front to back, and all that kind of stuff. So I was very invested in lyrics telling a very specific story. And I think that (music) obviously doesn't have a giant market, but I think I grew my songwriting a lot through that, because of that. And then with Durry I was just like, "Okay, no themes, no sci-fi, whatever. We're just gonna talk about real life."  But then we're able to talk really specifically about things because of the writing style that we had developed with Coyote Kid. 

And then, add on top of that, Taryn coming in with a totally new perspective, totally new taste elements and stylistic elements. And it all just worked. And so once it clicked, I just kind of had a constant flow of songs all the time, and we picked our favorite ones. We had like 17 songs ready for this album. And we had to cut it down to like 12. And then we had the album, and then we had to wait for like six months. And so now I have 21 new songs ready. And I'm like, "Okay, when is the next album?"

Taryn: Yeah, you're blasting them out. I feel like too, as we're creating this album, it was just a lot of brainstorming and conversation and bouncing back and forth. And that just seemed to work. And we slowly just kind of created this very intentional thing.

Yeah, Taryn, give an example of what Gen Z quality control is to a millennial.

Taryn: I feel like we throw that term around a lot. And it's very not specific and broad. But I think it really just comes down to me just having different life experiences. And we have a pretty big age gap between us, and so I think it just allows more space for the songs to become more and different when there's two of us with different experiences and different ages. So yeah, I would say that's the Gen Z quality control. 

Austin: There's like a millennial attitude of coolness — everything has to be cool. And then Taryn comes in and is like "That's not cool." 

Taryn: You're trying too hard.

Austin: Yeah, trying hard is what's not cool (laughs). And then we'd be like, "Okay, let's unpack the songs a little more and make them a little more friendly."

Yeah, I like that there's a multi-dimensional mind-scape that you guys bring together —

Austin: That sounds so cool to say that. "Multi-dimensional mind-scape." (Laughs)

[“Suburban Legend” plays in background]

Your album is titled Suburban Legend, and you identify with the term "suburban" as where you grew up. But tell me specifically what it is about Burnsville.

Taryn: I feel like Burnsville is honestly a very good representation of suburbia. 

Austin: It's not like ritzy suburbia. But it's also not lower or anything like that. It just feels very lived in, the whole city. We grew up there, and it was always like, "What do you do for fun?" Walk to the gas station. That's the only thing around. There's a hill. And there's a gas station. And that's what we're gonna do. 

Part of what the suburbs represent is that kind of uniformity. I heard someone describe it as like a cultural desert. And how houses so often look the same, and it's only chain restaurants and all that kind of stuff. And so it's kind of what makes it special is that it's not special. It's kind of the same as every other.

[Clip of “Mall Rat” plays]

I was watching the Instagram post of the fans lining up outside the Electric Fetus. And someone had a tattoo of Losers Club.

Austin: There are a lot of those around. 

Are you serious? 

Taryn: Yeah, we have a lot of people that will ask us to write something or sign their arm, and they're gonna go get it tattooed the next day or something. It's like, no pressure. 

What does it feel like to have people look up to you in that way?

Austin: I honestly try not to think about it (laughs). It’s kinda like, uh, your choice, man. But I love that there’s the whole idea of there’s a place for the losers, the outcasts, whatever. That people can find identity and a safe place in that. I love that. People come to our shows and make friends and share their tattoos with each other. I think that’s beautiful.

Taryn: Also, with the whole Losers Club thing, it's like, we are a part of the Losers Club. Like, it's not our thing. But it's this thing that we're a part of, you know? I like that perspective that it puts on it.

Austin: Totally. People don't really get Durry tattoos. They get Losers Club tattoos. And so it's like we can participate in the community with them. It's not like just lifting us up or whatever.

Yeah, people can tell that you're authentic with what you write. And I think that's such a big part of music being able to resonate with fans is there's this level of authenticity and realness and truthfulness to it.

Austin: Yeah, I feel like one thing that we hear all the time — people are like, "How do you write such relatable lyrics? It feels like you're singing about me." And I'll just say I'm just writing about me. And the truth is that none of us are that different. And so, if you just talk honestly about yourself then thousands of other people are gonna identify with it because no one's that unique.

[Clip of “Who’s Laughing Now” plays]

I'm thinking of the line "I'm still living in the basement." And this is something that I brought up when I was introducing you guys as Artist of the Month on my first two [5-hour] Local Shows. I'm just like, "Well, and the pandemic happened, and he moved into his parents’ basement. And then he started writing songs with his younger sister." Did you intentionally think you would start writing songs together? 

Austin: No, not at all. I started writing new music just because I kind of had time to. I just wanted to see what would happen. And Taryn was around to bounce ideas off of. Like, is this cool? What do you think of this? 

Taryn: Yeah, we were crammed in the same house at the time. And so I was just around, and he'd show me stuff and be like, hey, is this cool? And I'd be like, no, it's not. 

Oh, so you were asking her for advice. 

Austin: Yeah, before she was a part of it. It just kind of slowly evolved into -

Taryn: Hey, let's start a band! 

Austin: Yeah, you can play guitar. 

[Clip of “Little Bit Lonely” plays]

And did you know that you knew how to sing harmonies?

Taryn: I have been figuring it out as I go.

Austin: Wasn't your first time ever singing on stage our first show?

Taryn: Yeah (laughs). 

Because harmonies are not easy to sing. 

Taryn: Every time we record a song, we're both trying to figure out the harmonies while we're there. And it's like taking too long but it's fine.

Austin: Usually the engineers like, “It’s this ...” Okay, got it.

Taryn: Yeah, I'm just jumping in the deep end with all of this, really.

What has the feeling been like?

Taryn: It's overwhelming sometimes, obviously. But I feel like I'm just learning things one at a time. And I'm excited to be doing that. I mean, when we first started bouncing ideas off each other, at the beginning, it was like, I don't know anything. This is my opinion, whatever.

Austin: But also, I feel like that's part of why I came to you was because of that. I wanted a consumer’s perspective of — how do you interpret this? How do you feel about this? So that kind of lack of experience was a big benefit.

Taryn: It's my lack of experience that's really benefiting this band right now (laughs).

Even playing guitar too. Is that new to you?

Taryn: I started learning how to play guitar when I was like 12. I never did anything with it. But I had, at least, beginner-level knowledge.

Austin: Luckily, all the songs are in that knowledge range.

Taryn: Exactly. So it worked out for me.

And pre-pandemic, what were you doing before? While he was playing in bands, what were you up to?

Taryn: Yeah, I was working my stupid retail job. As a teenager, I was very into sports. So that's what filled my time. One sport. 

Which one?

Taryn: Swimming, which is like —

Austin: The least sporty, in my opinion (laughs). 

It takes endurance. 

Taryn: Oh, yeah. So I was super into that for a long time. But then otherwise, I graduated high school and was just working my dumb job. And that's all I was doing with my life. So, when the pandemic hit, and we were working on stuff, to me, it was like, I'm not doing anything better. Why not? This is cool. Sure. 

And next thing you know —

Taryn: And now it's my job (laughs).

TikTok played a really big role in "Who's Laughing Now" getting visibility. And it's definitely a tool y'all use a lot, and social media, especially, is like such an important tool. And y'all give such deep insight — it's like journaling, basically, and sharing it with people. Tell me about your approach to that. 

Austin: Some of the early videos on our TikTok are really bad. There's a song from Nacho Libre and I put a beat over it. I'm like, yeah, cool (laughs). 

Taryn: Gotta start somewhere.

Austin: So I was kind of just poking around. And I was just learning how to do some production stuff and learn how to record and stuff like that ... It kind of just started as learning to do that stuff and putting out whenever we could. But we found a very personal approach to it all, where we're just real and talk off the cuff all the time. 

Taryn: We do a lot of vloggy kind of stuff. 

Austin: Yeah, we try to share what we're doing, and we do almost everything very DIY. And I think that there's a lot of value in showing that it can work for bands and artists. If you try your hardest, you can make really crappy stuff really good. You can do a lot with a phone in a garage. So I think showing all that stuff is really important. Part of our whole schtick is —

Taryn: DIY.

Austin: Yeah, just being real, trying our best, and working with what we have.

There’s an accessibility to y'all that fans appreciate. Especially, if you love someone's music, it's really cool to see their personality ...

Austin: Our whole family's like very nerdy and very creative in those ways. And I was always afraid of my dorky side. And I feel like part of this was just embracing that and just being like, you know what? I'm a big goofy dude. And here it is. I like Legos and just being real about it. And I feel like that was the key to the whole thing — not trying to try to be cool. 

Taryn: Not trying to prove anything.

Austin: Just being real, you know?

TikTok, that's the audience too, is people just being who they are. Which is such an important thing to anyone's happiness and mental health. And rather than trying to fit in. Even when I make my own TikToks, I am just a little bit goofier and looser than if I am on Instagram. I feel like I can be weird on TikTok.

Taryn: Yeah, it's a very casual platform.

Austin: I think the reason is because TikTok only shows it to people if it's good. So if it's too much and it's bad, no one's really gonna see it. And then if it works, then great.

Taryn: I feel like there's a lot of quantity over quality, which I think is okay. That has its spot where people are just blasting out content and it could be bad, but it's more genuine and laid back. And I think that's what people want to see sometimes too.


Austin: Our whole thing was like, take the budget of one music video and make like 10 (laughs).

Taryn: Unfortunately, quantity over quality is what we shoot for (laughs).

Well, I would also add that y'all are really great with aesthetics and branding, because I think about how there's a uniformity to it, like the color yellow and these big bold fonts and big bold everything. Is there something specific to the color yellow or the way y'all have branded yourself that you can say about its intentionality? 

Austin: Yeah, right in the beginning, we were like, you know what works? Let's just get a big backdrop. We did a Kickstarter at the start. And we spent $100 on stuff to start our Kickstarter to make more money so we can get more stuff. And one of the things was like — we should just invest in a big backdrop, we should just pick a color, and have it be really uniform. And literally part of the reason was so that we can keep reusing the same backdrop. That's how it started. And we ended up picking the color yellow because we didn't see it a lot of places with bands. And it kind of represented that not-taking-yourself-too-seriously attitude. It's kind of a hard color to make cool. And that's kind of good. You can't be too serious when you're in a yellow jumpsuit. 

There's a brightness to it too. There's a lot of self-deprecation in the songs, but the humor comes out and there's a brightness to it. Even though it is self-deprecating, there's also a positivity that is underlying, which I can definitely feel in that color yellow.

Austin: Yeah, lyrically, we try to meet people in the low parts of life and topics and things like that, and then just give it a little up-spin right at the end. Yeah, it's a little like, "Ah, it's alright though." 

Taryn: I think with the color yellow too, initially when we picked it, there was not much thought that went into it other than marketing, keeping it consistent, whatever. But I feel like the yellow just has become such an important part of our brand and goals and everything. And it just fits our vibe so much.

Austin: We're stuck forever.

Taryn: Now we're committed. We are committed to this yellow.

[“Trauma Queen” plays in background]

What do you hope people will gain from listening to your music, or what do you hope all these fans are taking away from your music?

Austin: I feel like it's important that we communicate a sense of realistic hope. Like, it's not just all sunshine and rainbows, but we can acknowledge the darkness and hard times and all those kinds of things. But then also they can walk away feeling better than they went in. Then also, I hope that our shows give a sense of community with people, between people. And if we can achieve those two things, that's great. 

Taryn: I would call that a success. I think what's been really cool is the community aspect. And even when we come to a city and we play a show, I think it's so cool that we can stay afterwards and talk to every single person that wants to talk to us. And that people can connect at the venue and to us. And, again, back to the Losers Club thing, it's like we're all just in this one little community and we're all the same and that's okay. And that's good. 

Austin: Yeah, we like to try to meet every single person after every show. 

Taryn: I think that's so valuable.

Austin: It's like the most fun part of the whole thing. 

Taryn: Yeah, it's the best part. 

Austin: And that's why we get sick on every single tour (laughs).

It's fun for the fans, too. 

Austin: For sure. With the yellow thing too, fans have started like wearing yellow to our shows.

Taryn: At our first — it was at our barbershop show we did a long time ago.

Austin: That was the first show after "Who's Laughing Now" went off. So our fans exploded right before that happened. And we played like a 50-cap barbershop.

Taryn: So when we played that show, there was this group of guys that were wearing yellow head-to-toe up in the front. And they were keeping us going. And we do call them the banana boys. And that's what they will be forever —

Austin: The banana boys are close, near and dear, to our hearts. 

Taryn: And sometimes we see him at other places. And I recognize them. It's like, ah, are our fellow banana boys.

Austin: Banana boys are like the elite task force of the Losers Club. All are welcome to be a part of the banana boys if you wanna wear yellow to a show.

For a local tie — what is your favorite Minnesota spot?

Man with guitar and man with electric banjo on stage
Austin Durry plays with his band Marah in the Mainsail at The Garage in Burnsville
Courtesy of Artist

Austin: I owe my whole career path and shows and all of it to The Garage in Burnsville. It was because I met this guy that was booking there. And I was like, “I have a band,” when I didn't really, and then we got our first show. And then that got us our second show. So we played at The Garage all the time. And I think that's just such an important space for kids. There's so few spaces for kids to make music. And I just think that's super important. And you kind of have to figure out you love this before you're an adult, honestly. And if you can get a couple of shows under your belt before you graduate high school — perfect. That's great. It's super hard to start after. And the fact that The Garage was so accessible, we literally biked there a couple times with a guitar on my back to The Garage to play a show. I just think I was really fortunate, specifically to Burnsville. That helped make this whole thing happen.

I'm so happy for y'all, and thank you again for coming in and taking the time to chat with The Current shows ... A lot of fans who love your music here on The Current.

Austin: The Current has been so supportive of us before anything blew up or anything. All of our first radio play and all that kind of stuff was because of you guys. When every other radio station wouldn't touch us, you guys were all in.

Taryn: Scooped us right up.

Yeah! Love to hear it.

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This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.