Monday, 27 July 2009

Bungalow Hate: Interview with Bare Wires

This is that band I posted a video of the other day. Hailing from Oakland, California, Bare Wires are the essence of 70's punk smothered all over the neck of a sweaty bar rat. Their modern take on a tried and tested old formula is some of the best stripped-back guitar music I've heard in ages. Their lead singer, Matthew, was nice enough to speak to me the other day, after I pestered him on Myspace. Enjoy...

When did you guys get together and how did it happen?

Matthew: "I started Bare Wires in Memphis in 2005 with Alicia Trout (Lost Sounds, The Clears) and the group went on hiatus until i reformed a group under the same name upon my arrival to San Francisco in 2008. I met Paul at a thrift store and heather in a sex shop. I just said hey you wanna be in my band?"

Your sound is more reminiscent of older punk bands. Are the main musical influences for Bare Wires firmly routed in the past?

"Yes. I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee listening to soul 45s and then got into early punk / powerpop / 70s and early 80s stuff."

How would you personally describe your music?

"smooth punk"

How did you end up being signed on Tic Tac Totally?

"They released an LP for my first band Snake Flower 2 and when Bare Wires started getting more attention he snapped us up for our debut LP."

How long have you been working on your L.P. Artificial Clouds and when is it out?

"It just came out the other day. We took about a month working on it in Oakland, California and then sent it off to be Mastered in Memphis by Jay Reatard."

What does the title mean?

"Artificial Clouds is about that feeling you get when you wake up to realize that things werent the way they seemed to be or what you had expected, and being further motivated by this discovery rather than discouraged."

How have you enjoyed recording compared to playing live?

"Playing live is great because its more about how you execute the songs rather than what notes you play. When I'm working on recordings its like being a kid again and building a fort out of blankets and cardboard, except with old amplifiers and vintage microphones."

What are you favourite kind of live shows to play?

"House Parties are lots of fun, and the best is to play crappy dive bars with a old malfunctioning sound equipment!"

How developed is the scene, nowadays, in Oakland?

"Its like Brooklyn in 1997. Crime is through the roof, Cheap rent, lots of cool bands popping up, house parties next door to abandoned buildings, that sort of thing..."

What are you guys listening to at the moment?

"Basically everything coming out on Goner Records, and dollar records that have been discarded on the street. I try not to listen to too much music, would much rather just be recording something."

Your upcoming tour is pretty huge. Have any of you guys been on tour before?

"This is our first tour - we are really excited and hope that the Dodge Ram Van that we got does not break down."

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