Teddy Geiger has already released a major label record, appeared on a major network television drama, and toured the United States playing sold out shows- all before the age of 18. For the singer/songwriter, his life is just the way he wants it to be, and with a rock-star lifestyle that would send most 17-year-olds into an uncontrollable frenzy, Geiger seems to take everything in stride.When asked if things in his young career have been overwhelming at all, the ultra-relaxed Geiger just shrugs it off. “Not really, it’s always hard to be away from friends and family, but everyone is so supportive. Both the fans and the people I’m with, so that helps out a lot.”
Geiger, who leans heavily on his parents, family and management, when making decisions based on his livelihood, made one of the most important and valuable decisions of his musical career when he signed with Columbia Records. “They [Columbia Records] are just really great people,” explains Geiger. “They really know their stuff, and their track record has greats like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel.”
Geiger’s knowledge of legendary artists like Dylan and Cash shows the young man did his homework before signing his name on Columbia’s contract. It also shows how poised and confident this kid is that maybe some day, he foresees that Dylan, Cash, Springsteen, Joel and Geiger will be lumped together in musical history. But let’s take this one album at a time. Now with his debut full-length out, Geiger has no doubts signing with Columbia was the right thing to do. “Everything has been just lovely,” he says. “The album came out exactly how I wanted it to.”
Underage Thinking combines the singer, songwriter mode of music mixed with a pop-rock flair. The talented youngster also displays his musical versatility by playing guitar, bass, piano and some of his own percussion on the album. The reviews have been solid and the critics have been kind to Geiger, who also has dabbled in another spotlight profession. Not only has Geiger been successful with his music, this past winter he wowed the young ladies with his acting on the short-lived CBS drama Love Monkey. Geiger played the character of Wayne, a young musical talent looking to make it big. Being able to genuinely identify with his character, Geiger pulled the role off tremendously well, partly because the character of Wayne closely resembled his own life. “It was great because the Wayne character was exactly like me,” explains Geiger. “He was a young artist on the rise. Being a guest star was a great way to get my name and my songs out there as well.”
The show focused on an A&R rep in his 30s, accurately displayed a lot of the inner workings about record labels and the music industry. “It was really funny because a lot of the things I was doing as Wayne in the story, mirrored things I had to do in real life,” says Geiger. “[Things] like video shoots [and] press training.”
While the show was unable to cut it on CBS and was dropped after only three episodes were shown, Vh1 eventually picked up the three episodes that CBS aired, as well as five produced episodes that never saw the light of day on major network television. “I enjoyed every day on the show,” says Geiger. “Tom Cavanagh [who played lead character Tom Ferrell] is an amazing person. Everyone was so welcoming and funny. I really hit it off with the whole cast and crew. It’s always hard to say why shows fail. I’m not really sure [why it failed]? Maybe just timing. But it was great to see Vh1 pick it back up.”
So while Love Monkey failed as a show, the exposure that Geiger gained was invaluable. Geiger’s appearances on the show that featured his music were just before his album was ready to hit the streets, and you can’t ask for much more promotion than what he got. Geiger also acquired a bit of a teenybopper tag as well from the show, which often comes with the territory for a young musician. With being on television as well as being a musician comes some fame as well as the critics. Geiger, who seems more as the shy, keep to yourself kind of guy, had to walk the fine line of his youthfulness overshadowing his music. He was lumped into the TRL generation of music whether by choice or by marketing from his label. But to Geiger, he just lets it roll off his back and lets people know it doesn’t really matter. “I just try to play music and make it the best I can,” he explains.
So for now, Geiger isn’t focusing on the fame or celebrity status he has achieved. He is just doing his best to create music and hit the road to tour, something that he truly loves. “It’s [touring] definitely fun,” he says. “I have a great road manager and band, so they keep me entertained.” Geiger also understands that no matter what, he can’t entirely avoid the spotlight, so he does admit there are some things that come with the status that he enjoys as well as dislikes. “I love being able to do charity events and use the music in a positive way to help people,” he explains. “I sometimes dislike the critics.”
For Geiger, the bar has been set high for anything that follows. From some vantage points, it would seem that the youngster is right now caught in that juncture where his youth is his best friend as well as his worst enemy. From that same vantage point though, the young man truly shows that age doesn’t reflect maturity and at the end of the day, for him, it’s all about the music and that’s all fine and good with this 17-year-old.