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BWW Interview: How The Tin Can Brothers Are Giving Animation a New Voice with Garbage Musicals

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The Trio Has Released Four Mini Animated Musicals on YouTube

BWW Interview: How The Tin Can Brothers Are Giving Animation a New Voice with Garbage Musicals

The Tin Can Brothers, a trio of LA-based entertainers, have recently released their newest project, Garbage Musicals. They came together with media brand Wisecrack and gaming channel ArcadeCloud to release a new animated series to highlight the musicals that never made it to Broadway.

They also worked with a number of other Broadway Alum's for the videos, including AJ Holmes (Book of Mormon) who co-wrote and performed in Disney Takes Over The World, Clark Baxtresser who wrote and performed in Sad Keanu Ballad, and James Tolbert who performed in Dad's Gotta Learn Fortnite, as well as Meredith Stepien and Brian Holden who worked on the Flat Earth Conspiracy Love Song.

The Tin Can Brothers spoke with us about what inspired them to create these musicals!

Read the full interview below!


How did you come up with the idea for the Garbage Musicals come?

Brian: Late last year we were approached our friend, Jacob who ran the YouTube channel Wisecrack, at the time we had actually all happened to live in the same apartment building, and for years talked about working together on a project and this came along, and it just seemed like a great marriage of all of our interests. So we sat down and we came up with these first four episodes of just fun pop culture ideas that you would never think could be musicals and began the process of turning them into these musical numbers.

What has it been like putting these musicals out during this unprecedented time?

Joey: I think for most people, especially a lot of creators right now, it's, been nice to have things to put out in the world to kind of break up some of the news cycle elements that are more upsetting. It's also been fun to tap to animation, seeing as, especially in our industry, animation is seemingly a way forward that we'll be able to continue amid pandemic situations, just because people can record things remotely, animators can work on things separately. It doesn't require the production elements that a typical YouTube shoot would entail or putting on a stage musical, so it ended up being serendipitous that this project was launched now, because it's something that can very easily continue amidst the current situation.

How have you enjoyed using this new medium of animation to tell stories?

Corey: It was very exciting for us. As the Tin Can Brothers, we work across different mediums already, we do live stuff, we do film stuff, and I think we get a lot of excitement and joy out of trying to figure out what is unique about the medium and how to best tell a story in different medium. It was really exciting to be able to figure out, "what about animation is special? How is that different than the live action than a live on stage?" And so it was fun to sort of push that. And we watched a lot of old Disney animated numbers to see like, "Oh, there's an aspect of it where it doesn't have to be literal," because in animation, literally there are no bounds. So it was fun to conceptualize that.

How did you decide which pop culture concepts you would turn into musicals?

Brian: Once we came up with our first four concepts, we purposefully wanted to diversify both the animation style and what type of musical number you're seeing and the different subject matters lent themselves better to certain sort of archetypal musical forms. For instance, the sad Keanu meme song is an "I want" song, whereas the Disney oligopoly Disney+ song is more like a villain number. So we began by analyzing what a Keanu Reeves musical would be, where this number would fit, into the larger show and then kind of went from there.

Corey: I think the variety was the big thing settling on all these different concepts. I think where Garbage Musicals differ from a lot of other music/song projects on YouTube, is we were trying to conceptualize these songs in a way where they're plucked out of a larger narrative as if there was a whole musical around them

Brian: And having done a lot of parody musical theater over the years, a lesson we've learned is that it's important to approach these things from a very specific point of view, and then aside from the comedy, it provides an emotional connection to the character, which we liked adding that additional dynamic, even though it's just a parody song in a way.

Joey: What was so nice about this, too, is that we have such a plethora of composers and friends who are musically oriented, that are able to display strengths both in the way they write music and the things they're interested in. So, it's able to tap into, not only different musical styles, but also different people's personal, strengths and knowledge about the subject, which is exciting too.

Are you hoping to put out more in the future? And if so, what would you like to see from future Garbage Musicals?

Corey: We're definitely looking into starting the process of what future episodes might look like. Playing with some ideas, fore example, with the state of the world, with everyone in quarantine, what does that look like? Because obviously there isn't any musical theater about that experience cause we're all living in it right now. So, what about that experience would be fun to musicalize. It's also great because these topics are a really great hook for people who might not otherwise be looking for like musical theater videos on YouTube.

Brian: As three people who were bred on musical theater and love it and understand the subtleties of it, to bring songs to this audience who's not familiar with musical theater and and show them it's not all like The Music Man, it's not all like these classic musicals, the genre has so much variation in it. And especially now in 2020 where we've seen pop musicals and rock and roll musicals, it's, it's super exciting for us to try to get fresh eyes on the genre and make some new fans of musical theater.


Dad's Gotta Learn Fortnite | Fortnite Animated Musical:

The Tin Can Brothers, Corey Lubowich, Joey Richter, and Brian Rosenthal, have more than 100 YouTube videos, four live stage shows, and more than $200,000 worth of Kickstarter projects under their belts. The three are also members of the viral sensation Team StarKid (over 235 million views on YouTube) and have worked closely on their parody musicals (including A Very Potter Musical and Holy Musical Batman!) as well as two national concert tours.


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