Psychedelic indie pop rock band Beast Patrol has just released a new EP titled “Unarm Yourself” this spring and it’s the first that all members of the band (Robert Granata on electric guitar, Anthony Marchesi on bass / backup vocals, Jacob Read-Harber on drums, and frontwoman Vaness Bley on vocals and guitar) have composed together. Already they have material for the next record in the works, so keep an eye out! Vocalist and guitarist Vanessa Bley talked with fdrmx about upcoming shows, their style of performing, and their preferred post-performance drink of choice.
FDRMX: You have a show coming up, at Webster Studio on Friday, July 11th (doors open at 6:30pm, show starts at 7:00pm)! Are we going to get to hear songs from your EPs as well as your latest album “Unarm Yourself?”
VB: We sure do! Come hang out. We headline at 10pm after some great bands. We will of course play the new EP “Unarm Yourself” as well as some brand new material we are writing for the next record.
FDRMX: It all started in 2011 while performing at a revolutionary anti-fracking (Pedal Power NYC) concert powered by bicycles or “natural ass.” Do you guys consider the environment a beast we should patrol? What are some other important things in life you consider worth patrolling?
VB: Yes of course it is! Transitioning to renewable energy is next. Also the beast of self, which is really what the Unarm Yourself EP explores.
FDRMX: What kind of hitches do you run into when you pedal-power your own shows?
VB: It’s actually volunteers from the audience pedaling the bikes. We are on stage rockin out! The key is to keep pedaling! Our friend Ariel Agai masterminded the whole festival. It was one of the best experiences ever and a great way to expose people to non-digital sweat. Check Ariel out.
FDRMX: Would you consider yourselves pro-analog and anti-digital (in regards to performing or recording)?
VB: We are fans of what sounds best but victims of what we can actually get. In other words, if you throw us in a studio like the old Sound City, we won’t walk away.
FDRMX: You also have Twin Danger, the jazz alter ego of Beast Patrol. What are you able to do with Twin Danger that you couldn’t do with Beast Patrol?
VB: Both bands deliver universal ideas and emotions, just through different vibes. With Twin Danger I can escape into this rockabilly noir film and feel like a sparkly goddess. In Beast Patrol I’m on a motorcycle (solar powered of course) blazing thru the desert at sunset!
FDRMX: What’s the hardest thing about being a band in NYC versus someplace like, say, Hawaii?
VB: Ha! Um since you bring up Hawaii, I guess the fact that we have these damn winters. I have a lot of memories of the band dragging gear thru blizzards. What a vibe! Seriously though, the obvious answer is the cost of living here. It’s no joke.
FDRMX: You guys are pretty outgoing and social even after a long, tiring show. Do you have a favorite NYC hangout? And, I’m curious, whiskey or vodka?
VB: Are you spying on us? It’s true we get pumped from performing. Post show is usually tequila shots. Then more tequila shots. We tend to hang at the venue or disappear till sunrise. Wherever life take us…or Robert
FDRMX: I also happen to be the only girl in a rock band. Vanessa, any comments on the estrogen to testosterone balance when it comes to playing in a band?
VB: Haha. Well, I’ve always enjoyed bro-company so, I’m into it. We created this beast together so our chemicals find their way too.
FDRMX: You just released “Unarm Yourself,” the first album you’ve composed together as a band. What was the process like? Was it enjoyable enough to do it again in the near future?
VB: Yeah for sure. We’re on a roll now! The process was interesting as we wanted to grow organically but, I really only knew writing solo before. Happy we survived that hurdle. This is way more fun.
FDRMX: “Distant Grandeur,” the first music video off “Unarm Yourself” is pretty psychedelic. How involved were you in the making of it?
VB: 100%! Robert had the idea for the video. I wrote it down and we met with long time collaborator Phil Knott, who directed. He brought in Trevor Sage-El for filming and Artist Max Gleason edited it. The goal was psychedelic from the start.
Don’t forget to come check out Beast Patrol in person this Friday, July 11th, at Webster Studio! You can order their latest EP “Unarm Yourself,” their 2012 album “Fierce and Grateful” online here, and check out their new psychedelic video here.