Do you associate a certain color, smell, or even taste/flavor with certain songs?
Tee Jay: Blues, purples, pinks… sort of that shoegaze aesthetic.
Joseph Perrier: Pastels & blue green
What is your favorite key/mode to write in?
Joseph Perrier: I think lots of stuff is in A, predominantly, and I have no idea if that is actually true or really know how to figure that out. Some chords hit differently and we build songs around that.
If you could design the perfect concert line-up, what would it be? You can choose to include yourself or not.
Tee Jay: Yikes, it would have to be a 10-day festival for me. I’ll say Depeche Mode, Deftones, Andrew WK, Cave In, Gulch, High Vis, Cock Sparer, Municipal Waste, The Suicide Machines, The Cure, Billie Eilish, Siouxsie, Face to Face and dropbear.
Joseph Perrier: Jeff Buckley, Big Star, The Replacements, With the Lemonheads or Superdrag opening. And dropbear opening for Title Fight, Ride, Pale Saints, & Hum. A Flying-Nun Records showcase in Boston as opposed to New Zealand.
What is your favorite gig you’ve played so far?
Tee Jay: dropbear has not played a gig yet, but in prior bands, any basement show I’ve played has been a blast!
Rachel Bacon: Agreed! I like to be ground level with people, if possible. I grew up in the New England hardcore scene so audience connection is super important and it's fun to just emesh with folks while you play. Basement shows are great for that!
Joseph Perrier: I'd like to play the Colombus Theater in Providence. I love that spot.
What is your songwriting style?
Rachel Bacon: Lyrically, I think about tension and release. I learned that technique from St. Vincent! She has such an amazing storytelling quality, and I try to approach my songs in a similar lyrical fashion. I like first person accounts, and themes like self realization.
Joseph Perrier: Musically, I try to write what I would like to hear a band play. It gets tricky though because I have a wide range of influences. There is definitely a tension and resolution aspect to the music but also it’s OK to have a song be not resolute, which can lend to other emotions like desire since sometimes we want things to be tied up neat in a little bow and life often doesn't allow for this. Art often reflects that feeling and reminds us sometimes that's OK, too.
Do you have any odd stories about how a song came about?
Rachel Bacon: For the vocal line "out through a window," in Bystander, when we were practicing the song and my vocals and lyrics weren’t fully fleshed out my practice is to just, like, approach it jazz style and say a nonsense phrase to play with my delivery. "Out through a window" was that placeholder I sing-sang for that purpose randomly, but I actually really liked it and others thought it was a haunting line so I crafted the story around that afterwards to tell this tale about moving on.
Joseph Perrier: The pandemic kept stalling songs, and life often gets in the way of living. So the writing process has been odd; we should have 30 songs by now but it's also allowed us to work through ideas that may not have been representative. I lost 14 years of writing songs due to my career and I still feel like all that lost time will be able to come out musically with more time together as a band.
How/when did you get your start playing music?
Tee Jay: I got into alt rock and punk when I was about 10 years old. I grew up in a desert with nothing to do, so as soon as I got my first taste of any counter culture music, I just never stopped consuming it – that’s the very very short answer.
Rachel Bacon: I grew up singing in Catholic chorale and sang a lot of classical music. I was always interested in punk and began to play in a band in my early 20s – a big departure from singing Mendelssohn and I haven't looked back since, haha.
Joseph Perrier: I played my first show at the Artspace in Gloucester when I was 13. I filled in as a guitarist for a band that really liked Fear Factory. I played terribly but booked the show and still have friends I see from that and subsequent music ventures.
Why do you think a specific genre of music speaks to someone over others? Tee Jay: It depends on the situation. I’m very into the underground punk and hardcore scene. Everything is DIY and inclusive, so it’s a great scene to socialize in, but also you don’t have to be a virtuoso to be in a hardcore band. I’ll also never tired of seeing a six band bill for $10.
Rachel Bacon: Yes!! Music shouldn't be pretentious. It's community. I think that's why I gravitated towards punk, hardcore, alt.
Joseph Perrier: Evolution of sound brings you from one place to another all the while picking up little bits of other things you like along the way – personally and musically. Shoegaze was an evolution from what came before and it’s still evolving and incorporating even more things from the ‘90s and our own personal lives that had an effect on it.
What role does music play in your life? Tee Jay: It’s everything to me. I’m constantly reading about and searching for new stuff. In any situation I’m in, whether it be traffic or work, I always need to find that perfect soundtrack. I also average going to at least one show a week.
Joseph Perrier: I'd rather be listening to or playing music, but life needs me to work conventionally to pay rent.
What is your favorite book/show/movie lately?
Tee Jay: My favorite new show is “Hacks” on HBO. As far as movies, I’m a sucker for all of the MCU stuff.
Rachel Bacon: “Hacks” is so good!
Joseph Perrier: Too much good stuff out there but “Yellowjackets” has most of what I need. Craig Wedren and Anna Waronker doing the soundtrack certainly doesn't hurt.
Do you have any rituals that you do before/during recording? Tee Jay: I just get nervous and clam up unfortunately, so I guess my ritual is a few beers to relax myself. That isn’t always an option, so a lot of pacing around and stretching to try and expel that nervous energy.
Rachel Bacon: I have to warm up alone in my car. While driving. I warm up a lot to Eisley, First Aid Kit, Karen O, Regina Spektor… I need to sing my favorite singles from them and their mojo just kind of flows and carries through me for recording.
Joseph Perrier: When I was in hardcore and powerviolvence bands probably Jager Bombs but now some good conversation and watching who’s coming up in the openers.
What makes lyrics good?
Rachel Bacon: Oh, well… that’s a good question! My personal definition of "good" is that there's a nice story to it, and whether it rhymes or not it doesn't matter, as long as it paints this like picture in time and matches the emotions of the supporting music that's what I think makes the lyrics "good."
Joseph Perrier: I think some lyrical songs can stand alone as poetry other times if it just invokes a feeling that is the essence of the song, even if they're vague, it's complimentary. Rachel does a great job with it all.
How do you know when a song is finished? Is it ever? Tee Jay: I don’t ever think a song is finished. I love when bands add new things to old songs live. I once saw Britney Spears live and she had this gnarly goth rock rendition of “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” That song is a classic but it was super neat to hear a different take on it .
Joseph Perrier: Rooms are never finished and we live in them. Sometimes songs are the same and I look forward to what we may add to older songs as we play them out and write new ones. A record is a snapshot in time, but the songs can be fluid and evolve with live performances.
How do you cope with the crazy schedules of touring and recording? Tee Jay: I’m a pretty anxious person so I don’t cope well with the logistics to be honest. Once my car is parked at the venue or practice space I’m in a great mood though! I also have a pretty physically demanding day job, so waking up at 5am to do a hard labor job when you got home from playing a gig at 2am can be very exhausting though, haha.
Joseph Perrier: Caravan touring is the only touring I’ve ever done. I would be open to touring in whatever way we can make it happen. Being a professional chef is pretty ruinous to having your own life experiences because you're busy making experiences for other people. You could say the same about music but it's certainly more mutually beneficial than cooking in certain environments.
What sacrifices have you made to follow your dreams?
Tee Jay: Lots and lots and lots of money. I’ve also missed weddings, funerals, anniversaries, and family gatherings due to touring.
Rachel Bacon: I have several hobbies and a lot of them involve being part of a team (like the band) or leading others (like my yoga teaching). So balancing all of them at once and a full time job and being a dog mom and wife… life is busy. But you have to schedule it and some things need to get the chop to make room for a high priority. It can be mentally taxing trying to do everything perfect and make time for all of the things you have to do and like to do.
Joseph Perrier: Time is your most important asset. If you spend it doing things you care about, that will shine through. So hopefully good things are coming our way.
What do you love/hate most about your life as a musician?
Tee Jay: I love the travel, venues, wild situations, and friends I’ve made being a musician. I hate missing out on time with my wife and pup. I also hate how expensive being in a band can be.
Rachel Bacon: I also love the shenanigans and unique relationships you build up as a musician. I'm an extroverted introvert, lol. I hate how expensive it is to DIY music too, but at the same time everyone involved with your musical process works their ass off to help you – and they need to make a living too – so paying folks what they're worth is important.
Joseph Perrier: It's expensive and we're still the middle children of the digital vs analog world. I’d love it if there weren't all these little things you need and I could just plug n’ play. This will make Matt [Tillman, guitarist] tell me I need to get an Axe-FX. But I love analog and tube sound. It's all the strings, cables, intonation, etc., I wish I could get rid of regarding the routine of playing. It's a double edged sword as it weeds certain people out that maybe should keep going and annoys me with maintenance, but makes the band and the sound unique. I really love when everyone in the band is contributing and we're like the A-Team – the plan just comes together.
What do you do outside music that contributes to your music?
Tee Jay: Anything from weather or being stuck in traffic can inspire a song for me.
Rachel Bacon: I'm a hobby creative writer. Lots of fiction.
Joseph Perrier: Cinema and work life challenges.
What message do you want your fans to take away from your music? Tee Jay: I just want people to have a good time.
Rachel Bacon: I hope they get all the fun tingly nostalgia feels from our tunes with our alt-rock ‘90s influences, but I also hope they feel energized by us and the direction we're taking by putting our own spin on our music.
Joseph Perrier: We write songs for you to enjoy and hope you'll enjoy them with us.
If you were a musical instrument, what would it be?
Tee Jay: Probably a sad trombone because of how clumsy I am.
Rachel Bacon: A cello. Curves for days and sultry. LOL jk I'm probably a flute, total chatterbox and really energetic.
Joseph Perrier: A Sears guitar.
Is there an artist you’ve wanted to see in concert, but never have had the chance?
Tee Jay: Too many: Iron Maiden, Miley Cyrus, Gorillaz, Dua Lipa, Sunami, Sabaton, Speed, High Vis, the Specials, and Stiff Little Fingers to name a few.
Rachel Bacon: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. That would be religious. I would probably hysterically cry the whole time like those old teenage Beatles fans that used to pass out when they played.
Joseph Perrier: I'd oive to see El Ten Eleven and some bands like Speed, High Vis, & Chubby & the Gang. Most of the bands I want to see are mostly dead or hate each other. I’ve really fucked up missing the Replacements, Jay Reatard, and Swervedriver. Luckily, I may still be able to see Swervedriver.
What is an object from a movie or tv show you wish existed in real life?
Tee Jay: The transporting beam thingy from “Star Trek”. I love to travel but don’t have the time or money !
Rachel Bacon: I want a device that lets me talk to animals, damnit.
Joseph Perrier: The time machine from “Dark”.
The music industry evolves so quickly. What do you think is the best way for people to find new music?
Tee Jay: Right now, social media, blogs, networking and trying to put on a killer live show so people come back and bring a friend.
Joseph Perrier: What Tee Jay said, and having venues that allow shows to happen everyday and let bands try to find themselves.
Where do you find meaning in your life?
Tee Jay: Music, friends, lovers, dogs and theme parks
Joseph Perrier: Food, friends, comedy, music, cinema, & design.
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color are you?
Tee Jay: Eeyore grey
Rachel Bacon: Bi Wife Energy magenta pink lol
Joseph Perrier: Pattern Blue
If life was a video game, what kinds of cheat codes would you want to exist?
Tee Jay: Just some extra lives so I could go back a change a few mistakes and go into some side quests with less apprehension.
Rachel Bacon: I want that simoleons rosebud or kaching code hack that just pumps endless money into your bank.
Joseph Perrier: All the “Mortal Kombat” ones. I honestly have no idea about this one.
If you could change anything about the industry what would it be?
Tee Jay: More DIY concert venues. Too many small rooms are being consumed by corporate giants!
Rachel Bacon: Yes, more indie practice spaces / affordable practice spaces. More locally owned music venues.
Joseph Perrier: Venues where you can see big bands play and the local scene try their hand at not only existing but reaching that next level.
If you could go open for any artist, who would it be?
Tee Jay: Depeche Mode
Joseph Perrier: This is too hard; Hum.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music?
TeeJay: It’s really nerdy, but I am obsessed with theme parks (mainly Disney parks). I definitely have a number of parks I’d love to visit on my bucket list !
Joseph Perrier: Cooking (profession), gardening & preservation design.
What first got you into music?
Tee Jay: I had an uncle on the younger side that was into punk, metal, industrial and alt rock. He just let me borrow any tape or CD I wanted out of his collection. Everything from Front 242 to NOFX to Tori Amos! Also growing up in a city that really didn’t have anything going on besides drugs, seeing smaller local punk shows just always felt like a great escape.
Joseph Perrier: ‘80s metal and everyone in my family being into it growing up.
What is it about music that makes you feel passionate?
Tee Jay: It’s therapy for me. It’s a happy place.
Rachel Bacon: I love performing. I don't like the lead up to it at all (I get so anxious and feel sick, which I guess even Peter Steele had that same problem so can't be too much of a bad thing right??). I think you need a healthy dose of narcissism to believe in yourself and believe in your music and trust that as a result people will enjoy it if it also speaks to them. That makes me passionate – vibing with a crowd, vibing with my bandmates and feeling the energy. Ah, nothing like that feeling.
Joseph Perrier: Vibing. Hitting the right chords that the band feels and it turns into a song that other people enjoy and reinforces what we want to do creatively.
What’s the best piece of advice another musician has given you?
Tee Jay: Don’t rely on being in a band to make you happy. Always have a backup plan!
Rachel Bacon: Have fun with it. People can tell when you don't want to be there or do it – they can hear it, they can feel it. So don't fake it.
Joseph Perrier: Just keep doing it. It's easy to fall off the rails for so many reasons but keep going and you may find interesting results.
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