The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
THE-BATTERY-ELECTRIC-INTERVIEW-2015

HARD ROCK INTERVIEWS 2015 - THE BATTERY ELECTRIC

THE BATTERY ELECTRIC TALK TO THE ROCKPIT

WE CHECK IN TO TALK ALL ABOUT THE NEW ALBUM THE SUBLIME 'THE HEART AND THE THRILL'. THESE GUYS SHOULD BE ON EVERYONE'S RADAR WHO JUST LOVES GOOD MUSIC...

MARCH 2015

CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW OF 'THE HEART AND THE THRILL' HERE

Whe we first heard 'The Heart and the Thrill' we had no idea who The Battery Electric were, but sometimes life throws up gems like this, out of the blue. The Battery Electric bristle with energy: their music is at the same time eclectic, unexpected and totally essential...


Many thanks for talking to us today as you are just about to release the great new album ‘The Heart and the Thrill’…After listening to the new album the first question I have to ask is where do we get to see you guys live?


We live in and around Monmouth County New Jersey.  We are based primarily out of Asbury Park, the Rock N Roll town on the Jersey Shore. - Brent


Do you have any big plans for touring in 2015?


We will be doing lots of touring in 2015.  We have some gigs booked in Canada, New England, and down south to North Carolina.  So we will be out there so take a look for us. - Brent


What are the best and worst aspects of touring for an emerging artist?


Depends on if you have money backing you or if you are doing it yourself.  Right now we are on our own so we are funding our own tours with money from our shitty jobs.  The goal is to get to that next step where we can get some guarantees and make a living off of touring.  But nobody said Rock N Roll is easy.  It’s a long way to the top so here we are getting there. - Brent


The new album was out on 10th March – what has the reaction been like so far – all good?


It has all been good so far. Mostly friends and acquaintances telling me they dig it. Some music blogs mentioned that some stuff reminds them of The Dictators and The Hellacopters so those kind of things I can really get down with.-alexander


It’s a pretty eclectic sound you are impossible to pigeon-hole!



We are a smorgasbord of Rock N Roll Baby! - Brent

Let’s have a look at some of the songs. We love the punk-pop rock of ‘Lauren’; the blues-sixties-pop of ‘Hungry’; ‘Key Party’ and ‘Almighty Deceiver’ are all huge songs but so diverse and all have that distinctive ‘Battery Electric’ edge. Is it hard to channel all that energy and stop going off in tangents?


We try to be natural with the song writing process.  We don’t over think and keep it back to the basics.   Plus we know where our influences are coming from.  We aren’t gonna be writing any 80s hair metal throwback shit any time soon.  We dig soul, punk, rock, and garage.  Surprisingly there is lots of freedom and influences to draw from within that paradigm. We are all very creative dudes with attention deficit disorders so there is endless energy to draw from the four of us.  - Brent


Where does the diversity come from? And why do you think your sound takes us to all of these different places via various styles – is it hard to keep it all contained?


"I don't think it's hard to keep that in our band. We all listen to various styles of music and we never really wanted to fit into one genre. What's the fun in that? I really don't want to keep making the same record over and over again.  I think a great band should grow with their sound and not keep it in the pot with old flowers" - Ron
How do you feel the band’s sound has evolved since the first album?


I think it has definitely gotten a lot rawer.  Normally people calm down with age but we have just gotten more gritty.  Whiskey is a hell of a drug I guess.   The first album, “Weaving Spiders”, was more concerned with getting groovy and making people dance.  “The Heart and The Thrill” wants people to lose their minds and go crazy.   The song writing is more focused I would say too.   I mean, you should hear what we have coming next.  It’s really gonna make you move.  - Brent


Our favourites are the Georgia Satellites-like simplicity of ‘Get Me Outa Here’ and single ‘Does He Love You’ they seem to say two very different things about the band. What do they mean to you?


“Get Me Outta Here “is a funny one.  I had a totally different idea of what I wanted that song to sound like when I first wrote those riffs.  I wanted it to be more simplistic and groovy. Almost like a Rolling Stones song.  But what came out is this huge song that just melts your face.  It turned into a cock rock anthem.  The middle section sounds like something Lynyrd Skynyrd would bust out.   I guess that’s the duality of song writing.  You never know what will come out in the end and it’s always best not to force anything.  I didn’t sit too long on it.  If cock rock is what came out then cock rock is what it is.  Just move onto the next one.


“Does He Love You?” is our tribute to garage rock and classic rock n roll.  We love Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and The Sonics.  It’s simple back to basics rhythm and blues.  I love playing that song live because the audience loves it.  They sing along, dance, and get wet.  What more can you ask for? - Brent


Tell us about your favourite tracks and what will make it into the set?


Honestly, I like all the songs on the album.  It’s always tough what song to pick for a set.  We try our best to tailor it to the audiences and bands that we are playing with on certain nights.  But the end result is always better when you just go out there and do what you do best.  Not worry too much what people think.  Just let them swallow what you got going on.


My personal favorite might be “Almighty Deceiver” though.  I just think it’s a cool song.  Talk about being hard to pigeonhole.  I can’t even describe what that song sounds like.  I remember when we were recording that tune, Pete Steinkopf (our producer and guitar player of The Bouncing Souls) said it sounded like prog rock.  The guitar solo is my favorite that I have ever written.  It’s quirky, weird, and super melodic.  – Brent 

How do you approach the creation process today and has it changed much since that first recording?


"On this record not much changed. It came down to Brent, Alex and myself pumping out these tunes over a little while. One aspect that is different is that Alex started becoming a key songwriter in the band coming up with the ideas for "Lauren" and the title track "Heart and The Thrill". He would send them to us as ideas and we ultimately finished them together. That's kind of our process; it's not really a one man band. We all wrote everything together." - Ron


What keeps you going as a musician?


"I was never into sports or much of anything else other than music and partying... At this point in my life music seems to be the only thing that really means anything spiritually to me. If we could make this a steady thing where we could just work on our music I feel I would be able to create better music and keep writing songs - Ron


1. Being able to meet or be respected by your idols and heroes. 


2. The possibility of being able to play shows with your idols and heroes.


3. If you make it, you will be marrying and divorcing super models from age 30+ onward.


4. Proving people wrong and doing what you want to do in life.


5. Believing in and making art. Once you play to people live once with music you believe in, you really cannot go back. Life will feel pretty incomplete if you quit trying to do what you truly want to do.


6. Did I mention doing what you want do to do in life? This is your only chance. 


7. Motorhead


-alexander


Is it harder and harder to pick a set list especially as the new material is so damn good?


"For me personally yes it is. I'm the kind of guy that wants to play for like 2 or 3 hours. Unfortunately we are still at the club level where we usually only get 30-45 minutes a night, which is still plenty of time to wow an audience and honestly if you can't in that time frame... You should quit." - Ron


What piece of music you have created most defines you as a band so far?


That’s really hard to say.  I think that’s really up to the fans to decide.  Ovulator is a pretty badass tune though.  The guitar solo rips phone books to shreds. – Brent


I don't think that has really been created by us yet. It may be a more interesting question for our fans and friends to answer. - alexander


What is your greatest fear for the world?


The rising oceans seem to be a problem.  Asteroids and black holes are always an issue as well I guess - Brent


In a world where technology and fast food has led people down a path to instant gratification at the expense of quality and larger more fulfilling experience do you see a way back for music that seeks to engage the intellect and the dulled senses


I think most technologies hold people back from really letting loose. Once there is nothing to hide behind I think people will be more apt to engage with themselves and the band. Bring things to a more primal level. The path to salvation starts with one beer - alexander

 

If you could turn the clock backwards (or forwards) what time would you feel most comfortable?


Where would I feel most comfortable?  People say they wish they were born in the 60's or 70's yadda yadda. I mean yeah I would have loved to see Sam Cooke, Hendrix or the Ramones but it didn't work out. I think the future is where it's at. It is way more uncertain. Plus I love minor threat and black flag so if I went back to those times I feel like every show I would just get beat up. I really ain't tough at all. -alexander

 

Who is your most enduring influence?


Man this is a really hard question to answer.  I think James Brown was a real badass dude.  He was the total package.  He could dance, sing, perform, and had the best damn work ethic ever.  My favorite stuff by him were his ballads.  He may not be known for them but he has sung some heart breaking stuff.  Check out “I Wanna Be Around” on “Live at the Apollo, Volume II”.  Makes my heart melt every time I hear it. – Brent

Do you listen to contemporary music?


I definitely listen to contemporary music.  There are lots of great bands that are huge and just coming up.  I see so many inspiring bands at every show that Battery plays.  My favorite band has to be Mastadon right now.  They write mind-blowing music and are the epitome of Rock N Roll.  Those guys didn’t start that band until they were in their early thirties.  They have a real love for what they do and it shows.  I have nothing but respect for those dudes. – Brent


Yeah you have to. All of these people on facebook who keep talking about Taylor Swift and shit need to take a walk outside for a moment and go to a record store or library. - alexander

 

What is your most disgracefully rock and roll moment?


"We were set to play a show at Arlene's Grocery in the lower east side, NYC, and I had been day drinking pretty heavily. By the time we got to the club   I was pretty smashed and I was still on drums and singing for half the show. It was pretty sloppy with me on drums but when I got up to just sing and John manna, our drummer at the time, took over it went overboard. The microphone had fell out of my hand as I crashed to the floor and the sound guy ran up and put his hands around my neck. I immediately started shouting obscenities and being stupid. I was dragged out the side door, literally off the stage. Band was pissed at me, John the drummer tried to hit me with his cymbal bag, I almost killed him. Everyone was mad at me, but it happens. I've learned my lesson I'm a much nicer boy now. - Ron


Have you any unfulfilled musical ambitions?


I want to make my living off being a touring band.  I wanna tour the world, play huge festivals, and always be out on the road.  There is nothing that sounds better to me than living that lifestyle.  It’s great to meet new people and connect with an audience.  We have toured and done some big stuff in projects other than Battery.  I wanna get Battery to that level.  We have time so we will be working on getting there. – Brent


If you could compose with anyone living or dead who would it be?


We have a connection to Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal through our buddy Jim at Asbury Park Denim. I think it would be amazing to get him to produce something for us in the future.



What does the future hold for Rock bands? Have they stopped evolving? Will they ever stride the globe again?



Contrary to popular belief right now, I don't think rock ever died. All of our favorite rock bands are underground really, all still touring.  Main stream rock kinda always sucked, with the exception of a good amount of stuff from the 60s and 70s.. Also rock n roll is defiantly not dead because Chuck Berry and Little Richard are still alive! - Ron


Rock music has never stopped evolving and it is still going strong all over the globe.   Maybe it’s not getting the attention that Carley Ray Jepson is reaching but fuck that noise.  Rock music will never die and music like that will be forgotten throughout the tides of time. – Brent



Can music still have the power to change the world in 2015?


Damn straight it can. – Brent 

 

What are your plans for 2015 and beyond? 


Touring, writing, and having a good time. - Brent

 

Thinking back to your early memories of music, what was it that first made you decide you needed to be in a Rock and Roll band?


I was an outcast in middle school.  I found solace when I found punk rock.  I made friends with the other misfits at my school.  I started going to local shows, formed my own band, and booked my own shows.  All the bands that would play local VFWs were my inspiration to play music.  They had the energy, the fun, the connection, and the feeling that this moment is a once in a lifetime occurrence.  I feel lucky to have grown up when I did and where I did.  New Jersey in the late nineties and early 00’s had a great hardcore, punk, and Ska scene.  Lots of legendary shit came out of it.  Who knows when we will see another time like that again?  - Brent


From what you’ve learned so far what is the most valuable advice you’ve been given so far as a musician? 


My old bass teacher, Tony Cimorosi, told me “Learn how to hang”.  Those four words have never left me.  It can apply to lots of different situations.  You need to learn how to talk to people.  You need to make sure you’re on top of your game so you can play at your best at all times.  You can’t get nervous when you’re playing to a big crowd.  You gotta be prepared for your van to break down, that you might play to no one, and not everybody is gonna like what you do.  Don’t take anything too seriously and keep on going when it might seem hopeless.  You need to have a strong nerve.  Gotta be tough if you wanna be in this industry. - Brent


If you could have been a ‘Fly on the wall’ for the creation of any great album from any period, just to see how the magic happened and it all came together, what would it have been for you any why?


It would have been cool to see what the Beatles Abbey Road sessions were like.  Seeing a band that were on top of the world, and were making pretty amazing works of art.  That’s a truly rare thing to see in pop music these days.  Most bands that huge can’t be that prolific.  Anyways, to see the drugs they were taking, the fights they were getting into, the women they were fornicating, and just the process of how they wrote.  It would have been pretty good.  “She’s So Heavy” is one of the best songs ever written.  The building blocks of heavy metal were being mixed during those sessions.  They and the world didn’t even realize it yet. - Brent


What is the meaning of life?


Get over yourself and don’t get it twisted.  Lets all have a good time. - Brent

 

 

If you only listen to one new band this year let it be THE BATTERY ELECTRIC! - Mark Rockpit

 

 

The Battery Electric spoke to Mark Rockpit - March 2015

 

 

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