Bethesda, questions answered by Shanna, Dan, and Eric
Interview by Lauren
Visit their website and Listen to Their Music!
Bunbury Guests: Catch Bethesda on Sunday 7/14 (tomorrow) at the Lawn Stage from 3:30 to 4:15
- Your song "Go" is reminiscent of She and Him. Do you find that particular comparison accurate at all? How would you describe Bethesda's sound?
That song has never gotten that comparison before (at least no one has told us), but we are very flattered. We love when people compare us to great musicians, because it means that they are thinking of us in the same thought bubble as some of the best in the business – and that never gets old! I think it is fair to say that we have a very wide range of influences that come across in our music. What is unique about our band is that everyone in the band writes their parts for each song. That means the musical influences of each band member (and we have 6 total) are present on every single song. As a result, I feel we have a very original sound that can be reminiscent of many different bands at the same time.
If we had to describe our sound, I think we would say that it is high-energy indie rock with a folk lean and an emphasis on stories. We strive to be original and write songs that we love. We never intentionally grasp at a certain sound and avoid any sort of schtick as a band, and I think that helps keep everything fresh. But we highly encourage comparisons from anyone who listens to us and sincerely wish to be on each of their playlists by the end of our show.
2. Bethesda's music includes a mixture of instruments, including keys and the banjo. Was including these sounds in your music always the goal, or did it evolve when you met the various band members?
I think it is a combination. When we started, we had very open minds about what Bethesda was going to be. Mainly, we focus on building a soundscape that does each song justice. Sometimes this means playing the instruments that we are best at, and sometimes it means pushing ourselves to learn a new instrument (or at least a part on a new instrument), because that is what is best for the song. We are a vision band. We compose the bones of a song and then talk about the story. We envision the song as a complete intentional composition and then add whatever is needed in order to get the sound we are looking for.
We are actually quite a bit more stripped down and raw on this record, as most of the instrumentation are instruments that we are relatively competent at playing. On previous records we have had bells, euphoniums, trumpets, weird percussive instruments, shouts and anything else we could come up with. That being said, adding talented musicians like Christopher Black (keys, violin) and Jesse Scaggs (lead guitar, banjo) in the past year and a half certainly helps :)! Maybe on the next album we will start and end each song with amateur saxaphone solos...who knows!?
Bethesda's Video for the Song "Go": check their site to download the song for free!
3. As residents of Ohio, how do you feel about the state finally having its own music festival? Were you able to attend Bunbury last year at all?
Unfortunately, we were unable to attend Bunbury last year, but friends of ours did and we heard all of the great buzz surrounding it. So, it was a no-brainer to accept the invitation to play Bunbury this year. Ohio has a great long list of wonderful festivals that get a lot of local/regional attention and are building a few that get national attention, and we are very proud to be a part of growing Ohio's reputation for putting out and hosting great music! That being said, Bunbury has arrived on the scene with a bang! They are curating one of the top festivals in the nation in only their second year. We have all kinds of Ohio love and as a natural result – all kinds of Bunbury love! We can't wait!
4. What musical acts are you currently listening too?
Well, whatever is on the top 40 ya know....if everyone is singing it, it has to be good...right? Hahaha (joking of course)
In all seriousness, though, we are all over the map on this one as there are six of us, and we all listen to very different music. We have an appreciation for most musical genres and can be found listening to vastly different music on any given band van ride. We love creative, original music that builds up and is honest, rather than degrading and pre-packaged. We are really digging our Bunbury playlists right now, though, and can't wait to catch these guys live!! Shanna and I (Eric) have our 6th year wedding anniversary this Sunday, and are getting to see Belle and Sebastian - a band that frequently found its way onto the mixes we made for each other while dating. So they are getting a little bit of extra attention lately. Sorry for the cop out answer – but it is the God's honest truth. :) One thing we can all agree on? EIGHTIES!