The Bilinda Butchers
By now, ya'll know when I discover new music I love to share! I first heard this band on a Viva-Radio playlist and literally searched the interwebs for more of their music. I had the pleasure of interviewing Michal for MissRiot.com and turns out they're just as interesting as the sounds they produce! Read up and find out what inspires the creation of nostalgia pop!
Let's start of with your name, "the Bilinda Butchers". Obviously this means you guys are big on My Bloody Valentine...what is your favorite My Bloody Valentine record?
M: Oh yeah of course, we love MBV. Adam and I started listening to them at the same exact time, but totally unknowingly to each other. To be honest I haven't listened to them in a long time. It was a really really important time in both of our lives discovering that band, and thats why we carry the name, but our sound has drifted pretty far from that MBV style. It's a difficult toss up between "Ecstasy and Wine" and "Loveless," obviously. I think my favorite MBV song is "(Please) Lose Yourself In Me." The sound of that song and that record has a kind of dark tone to me. Especially "(Please) Lose Yourself In Me." It has a sort of darkness that I really love. I think that tone in music has been incredibly influential to our sound. "Loveless" is a little different. All the sounds on that record are just phenomenal, even with everything thats happening today with music. I don't think I have, to this day heard anything like it.
The first song I heard from you guys was "Stevie Nicks." It definitely had a melody similar to what you would hear on "Rumours." What was the inspiration behind this little diddy?
M: Yeah exactly, I was listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac at the time and I love the sounds they used. Like the lead on "Gypsy" and the synth arpeggio on "Everywhere." That was a revelation for me when I heard that stuff. And Stevie's voice is a godsend. I wrote "stevie nicks" while one of my friends was going through a breakup. I really wanted to convey the darkness of the entire relationship and the emotions it had on him and all of our friends. Its definitely an inside to one side of the story. A silent voice that finally gets the chance to say how he feels. The reality inside the dream.
You guys definitely have a unique lo-fi sound. Do you you feel you fit into any of the current buzz-genres such as dreampop or chill-wave?
M: That's an interesting question. We've actually been around for a long time. Adam and I grew up together and have always made music so when we started we kind of had an even more lo fi and ambient sound, but still pretty poppy. Our sound has evolved so much, and of course its hard not to get influenced but all the cool stuff thats being released today. So its hard to say. I definitely think dream pop or maybe bedroom pop is the closest genre we fit at the moment, but then again I don't know. I feel like i've labeled the bbs like ten different things in the past but nothing has really stuck, except for bedroom pop or dream pop. Recently some fans have been saying that we sound really nostalgic and I thought that was pretty appropriate. And it has a cool ring to it so I've changed our genre to "nostalgia pop" for the moment haha.
I read in a prior interview that you guys are fans of the Radio Dept, a band which I am pretty avid listener of. I can definitely hear some of their influence in your songs. What is your favorite Radio Dept record? Was there a particular song of theirs that inspired you the most?
M:Yeah, "The Radio Dept." is a huge influence. Probably our biggest I would say. Adam showed me them a while back and I just couldn't stop listening. It was like finding the band I wanted to be haha. But yes, they are a huge influence. I think they have a really really strong aesthetic to their music that represents them well, something what we've always admired. Its hard to pick one record. "Lesser Matters" had a big impact on me in my life. Its really nostalgic. I think that one might be the most important to me as a whole, but all of their songs are important to me in different ways.
I think I can split it up into three parts between their three albums. "Lesser Matters" song writing and lo fi sound was influential for the feeling and tone of my songwriting. "Pet Grief" had so many cool sounds on it. The drum machines, the guitar tones, the synth sounds. From a production and sound design standpoint I think it was one of their strongest releases. And "Clinging to a Scheme" I hated when I first heard it. There were so many little things I hated about it, but after a while I kinda realized it was actually perfect. My favorite song of theirs now is "Domestic Scene." It was a good record for them to kind of wrap things up with the two and open themselves up to new possibilities. I think its kind of the same story with "The Strokes" album "Angles." Sometimes you gotta try something new before you can move on.
What are your favorite songs from the 90s?
M: hmmm thats a difficult question. I always have a hard time answering these haha. Umm my roommate has been playing some bone thugs recently. I love that stuff.
Bone Thugs & Harmony- "First of the Month"
So i'll just leave that link there for everyone haha.
If you could be any frozen food what would it be and why? Are you more of a Hungry Man, Banquet Chicken Nuggets or a Fun Feast Kids Meal?
M: haha I hate frozen food. Except for hot pockets. So I guess a hot pocket, I have no comparison to them but they are so fucking good.
When you're not making blissful sounds of joy, what are you guys doing?
M: Playing video games. Smoking cigarettes. Laying around.
What is the last show you guys went to?
M: Umm recently I saw Blackbird Blackbird who is a friend of mine. He's got a pretty cool live show. But before that hmmm I saw The Radio Dept. when they were in SF and that was surprisingly good. I really didn't think they would be that good live, but it was actually really good. Oh! I watched Kanye via youtube stream at Coachella. That was pretty incredible. Oh yeah and I saw Dave Chappelle down the street from my house. That was really sweet haha.
What do you want people to think of when they hear, "The Bilinda Butchers"?
M: Well hopefully most everyone will get the reference haha. And hopefully that will interest people enough to take a listen. But its all about painting a picture. A vision, a scene in a movie, a scene from the past. Reliving moments of your life. Whether they were good or bad. Fun road trips, laying around with your girlfriend or boyfriend, breaking up. Nostalgia.
With an EP coming out mid-May, these boys are busy but you can still keep up with them here: http://thebilindabutchers.tumblr.com/
You can bet your britches the Bilinda Butchers have made their way into my heart and onto my upcoming Lounge Playlist.
Listen to my favorite tracks by the Bilinda Butchers here:
The Bilinda Butchers- "Stevie Nicks"
The Bilinda Butchers- "Boyfriend"
The song boyfriend will be on the label zoom lens' first compilation out soon
zoom lens website: http://zoomlens.tumblr.com/