Need To Know: Bass Drum of Death


By Courtney Nichols

You are the first band I have ever chatted with that mentioned the importance of house parties. How has the house party scene affected your music?
Playing in a bar is stuffy and you don't get a chance to hang out with people like you would normally. You have to go home and you have to pay for drinks. But house parties, even if you are playing, the line is really blurred between who is there to party and who is there to play. Everybody just hangs out. I've been able to hang out with people and meet a ton of people at house parties. You aren't at a bar, you are at a house party with party people. It's a much better atmosphere to meet people and getting to know new places. As far as the music goes, I like to write songs that are fun to dance and bounce around to. I feel like we translate better in the house party setting.

The name of your band, Bass Drum of Death, is hilarious. Do you guys try to keep a sense of humor about your approach to music?
Oh yes! Actually now we are super serious. We should probably wrap it up. Just kidding. The name is super-jokey. It started because one of my really close buddies started this solo recording project around the same time and he called it Magnificent Ukulele. I was trying to think of what to do. Fuck that. I wanted to do the complete opposite. I started calling the project John Barrett's Bass Drum of Death. On one of the first songs it was just me singing vocals, playing guitar and playing the kick drum. That's how it worked for a while. That's where the name comes from. It's kind of a big joke. Once I started playing with Colin, I wanted to change the name because I wanted to define that it wasn't a one-man band anymore. There were two ways I could have gone. I could have gone with only my name, which would have been boring, so I went with Bass Drum of Death. There's always a sense of humor with what we do. Without a sense of humor you aren't going to last very long.

Who would you like to collaborate with?
I don't know. That's a tough one. Honestly, I would like to be a fly on the wall while Nirvana was in the studio writing songs for the In Utero sessions. That would be crazy. I wouldn't even want to collaborate because it's a 'I'm not worthy' situation. I would just watch. As far as collaborating, I think it would be the shit to play with Keith Richards -- Keith Richards in the sixties when he would lock himself in the bathroom and shoot up and play guitar for six hours. That would be fun to be in there with another guitar and jam. We wouldn't even have to write songs. I would just want to play guitar with him.

Well, to wrap up, what's your favorite beer?
Probably Budweiser in a can.

Classic man.
I like PBR. Any beer that costs more than seven dollars for a six-pack is not really me. I am not a believer in nice beer. Beer is beer. Budweiser is straight up, no bullshit. It's just beer.

For more info and upcoming tour dates visit Bass Drum of Death's official website.

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Tags: Interviews, Music