q and also a :: Bested / Birth (Defects)
q: What is the last song you heard?
sean: The New Flesh – “Squeeze”, I can’t tell you enough how much The New Flesh means to us as a band and really sort of what we do. While in a lot of ways we are completely different, there is a certain kind of urgency that I think The New Flesh captured brilliantly, especially on those early recordings.
I’m doing four because because I can – Heather Leigh – “The Return”. I can’t get enough of this LP. There’s so much space in between which adds to how beautiful it is. I legit have listened to this at least once a week in the early morning.
I was introduced to Doji Morita earlier this year and already her recordings have made a huge impact on me. All her themes are pretty dark. She started record I believe after her best friend died. Her music is unreal and going through her catalog has been really special. “Horizon” from her Goodbye LP is a good place to start
Blitz – “New Age”. I was speaking to a good friend of mine and he suggested at some point we cover this, who knows if we will, but you can’t go wrong with this era of Blitz.
bret: Superdrag “I’m Expanding My Mind”. They are a pretty big influence on everyone in Bested.
s: I’m pretty sure we became close friends based on Superdrag. I will go on record and say Superdrag is one of the most overlooked rock bands of the last two decades. They know how to write a song.
rob: Leather’s “No Motivation”. Right where my head is at the moment.
q: What is the first album you remember purchasing?
s: I think the first record I bought was John Coltrane – Blue Train when I was 14 and Free Kitten’s Sentimental Education. Nirvana’s In Utero was the first cassette I bought that wasn’t a Kiss cassette, and Foo Fighters’ s/t was the first cassette I paid for myself, no shame, that LP rules hard.
b: The first album I remember getting was Black Sabbath – Paranoid. My mom was super into Sabbath and all that early heavy stuff. As a kid I was obsessed with the song “Iron Man”.
s: Rob, whoa that’s awesome, I never knew that! Thanks bob! Rob and I have been friends for I think 13 years now? I remember him playing me Filth a long time ago…
r: Got it at Reptilian, too. Great record.
q: Is there an album you wished you knew about when you were younger?
b: More than I can name but I’ll just say Heatmiser – Cop and Speeder
s: Bret, oh damn deep name drop right there…seriously that rules. I will also say thanks for introducing me to Self
r: Cherubs’ Short of Popular.
q: What is the last album that you purchased?
s: The Gotobeds – Blood / Sugar / Secs / Traffic . The best fast food band in America
s: Yeah that LP is so so good, The only band that can come close to this sort of Epic D-Beat is what, like clean girls?
r: I really like how (Paranoid) takes d-beat further than just another dis-clone sound. They add in layers and noise in really cool ways. The way that record closes is unexpected and perfect.
Clean Girls is solid, through and through. Despite You is one of the best releases from last year. Stephen is one of the most professional drummers I’ve ever played with.
q: What is your favorite memory of experiencing music in a live setting?
s: Seeing the Boredoms live. There is a segment of Boredoms nerds that tend to think the post 90s Boredoms stuff is just hippie garbage, but it’s not and that’s just noise nerds trying to be too cool (that said, fuck The Grateful dead and Phish). But seeing the Boredoms live was truly life changing, and I don’t care how dramatic that sounds. Every moment of that show felt like something I had never heard before.
b: Honestly all of the house shows I’ve been to/played in suburbs of Baltimore. Kids out there are way more eager to let go and have fun because it’s something that doesn’t happen very often.
r: Any punk show at The Sidebar. It’s a shit dive venue, and it doesn’t really matter who was playing. But in the early 2000’s, there was a rush of punk bands reforming, and the crowd there was always incredibly energetic and into it. It was a great time to be out going to shows in Baltimore.
q: What piece(s) of culture are you really really excited about right now?
s: Like everyone else, Pokemon Go
r: Slow-smoked BBQ ribs. Seriously, eating the last couple of racks I made were the best parts of my day.
b: Yeah I’ll second that. “BBQ Culture” I just got done eating a fine rack of ribs myself.
s: Let’s do a BBQ on tour guys. Get that BBQ smokin! ….Sounds like a Longmont Potion Castle call.
r: We’ll leave the gear hitch home and hook up a smoker. Best tour ever.
q: What should we know about Bested?
s: They are a good guitar based band with very good pop songs. Also bret is a very nice guy. Seriously though, the LP coming out is real solid, I’m biased, so Bret, let me shut my mouth and let you speak.
b: I wrote and recorded most of these songs in my spare time between touring and recording with Roomrunner. I was dealing with some pretty intense anxiety and depression issues and needed some sort of remedy and the only thing I’m good at is playing music… so I just starting writing my ass off and had dozens of songs that were full of dark shit I needed to get out of my system. I decided I wanted to make these songs as poppy as I could because of the darker lyrical content. Kind of like thinking about something that makes you uncomfortable but laughing at it or making fun of it so it’s easier to swallow. At the end of the day I wanted to write a heavy pop album that would get stuck in your head.
r: Bested is as if Dave Grohl never stooped to writing dad rock.
q: Birth (Defects) is touring with Bested. How has the band evolved over time?
s: I think we’ve found was to push ourselves without forcing it. Adding Jeff and Chris to the band has been huge in terms of how we sound and I can’t tell you enough how much bigger we sound. I think also we’ve really sort of become more open to doing weird stuff, I mean, I still view a lot of what we do as coming not only of a place of punk or guitar based stuff really, but more experimental / power electronics stuff. We also have become more intune on improvising live. I think at first we were scared of that, but it’s really getting interesting.
I do like that we are still a rock band at heart. That is a very uncool thing to be in a lot of circles, but like for example, that band, Uniform (the band from Brooklyn), may seem at first a total noisey industrial type band to many, but to me they really are a rock band. Ben Greenberg writes great riffs, and that band is super exciting,
Though I think at some point I’d like to sound like Crass or Discharge meets Drive like Jehu.
r: I just want to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I always want to sound like I’m on the edge of my playing ability. That space where it is a little sloppy but still intense.
U.K. punk and math rock? Slather some sauce on that fucker.
q: Anything we should know about Accidental Guest?
s: Buy any release we have or ever will do. We are batting 1000 here. We are better than Burger Records at least.
Ed. Note: (zing!)
The Bested 7″ is coming July 18th from Accidental Guest…
Order available shortly at http://accidentalguest.bigcartel.com/.
The new Birth (Defects) 7″is releasing July 15th from Reptilian Records…
Preorder now at http://www.reptilianrecords.com/.
Birth (Defects) and Bested are just about to head out on a Northeast tour!
July 14 – Brooklyn, NY @ Aviv w/ York Factory Complaint, National Tattler
July 15 – Allston, MA @ Track Shack w/ Black Beach, Drug Dogs, Easter Bloodhounds
July 16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Lava Space
July 17 – Washington, DC @ DC9 w/ The Gotobeds
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Birth (Defects) are on Bandcamp
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Birth (Defects) are on Reptilian
Birth (Defects) are on Accidental Guest
And make sure you check out Birth (Defects) previous q and also a.