Need To Know: Bass Drum of Death


By Courtney Nichols

What kind of band would you expect to open for JD Samson's MEN? A lesbian punk trio? A barely-legal, theatrically trained gay duo? Think again. On Saturday night at the Echoplex in Los Angeles, Bass Drum of Death took the stage. With straggly hair covering their faces and a style that oozes beer, mosh pits and garages, Bass Drum of Death ravished the audience with their dirty, DIY rock.

Out chatted with Bass Drum of Death's lead singer, John Barrett, after his exhausting South By South West experience to find out about ruling the house party scene, the band's sense of humor, and the virtues of cheap beer.

Out: And so we finally speak! It took me a while to get my voice back after SXSW.
John Barrett: I'm still not back all the way. I think we did either eight or nine shows over four days.

It was pretty taxing.

Which of your performances was your favorite?
Probably either the Fat Possum show or we played this house party on Saturday night. That was a different kind of fun -- the kind of fun where we only played five songs and I fell a bunch of times and everyone was going nuts. The Fat Possum show was fun because we played well and a lot of people were there, but the house party was fun because we fucked up a lot and it was fun.

Had you been to SXSW before?
This was actually my third time.

Where are based out of?
We are based out of Oxford, Mississippi.

What's your day job?
I have three part-time jobs right now: I do production for a venue downtown, I move furniture, and I work a catering job.

Is there a large music scene in Oxford?
There kind of is. It's either Americana, alt-country or jam bands. It's gotten a lot better in the past couple of years as far as my friends starting different projects and starting to go places with it. We built our own small scene with them. But as far as the town at large, the music scene really sucks.

Tags: Interviews, Music