BACKHOUSE : Asbury Park Rockers on Surviving 2020 as a Band

BACKHOUSE is an energetic new rock band from the New Jersey area, who we recently worked with on a cool video project for Electro-Voice (so if you haven’t checked those out yet, head to our YouTube channel). We recently caught up with Taylor from the band to catch up and learn more about how they started, how they’re staying sane during a pandemic, and their plans for the future.

I would love to give our readers a little bit of background on the band for those who might not be familiar. Can you let us know where the band came from, and what kind of stuff you guys play?

The general sound is kind of like a Lo-Fi rock or Psychedelic type rock, you know? Sometimes we have heavy songs and sometimes we have ballad, soft-type songs and jams. We started in Bradley Beach, a town in New Jersey that’s just south of Asbury Park. There’s a pretty healthy music scene in Asbury Park.

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So Kyle, the bass player, and I were living together at the time and jamming in the nights and stuff like that, and an opportunity came up where one of our friends was like, ‘You know, you guys should play a show.’ The songs you got…are pretty good and you should perform them live. You know, we didn’t have any intention at that time to really try to propel the songs were playing.

So, we looked for a drummer for the night and tried to throw it together and we were able to do so. We threw together a little set for a Halloween show locally and we didn’t have a band name or anything like that. So, you know where Kyle and I were living is a carriage house or also known as a back house.

Oh, OK, cool.

So, we just were like alright, so we’ll be BACKHOUSE. You know, where everyone you know comes to either hang out or visit us. So yeah, we kinda just labeled ourselves from where we lived and where the music came from and we did our first show and when the curtain pulled, we kind of looked back at each other like, ‘OK, I guess we’re a band now’ [laughs]

Maybe this is a thing? [laughs]

Yeah it was a pretty interesting experience, you know. I mean, I had always tried to play in bands and record music, but it’s a very hard thing to do and to keep going with the groups or other individuals, or even just yourself. So, this just kind of happened…organically and we’ve just kind of been rolling with it and that’s how we connected with you guys.

I mean, we put out kind of a big call to arms for bands across the country to test out the Electro-Voice gear. And you guys are one of the entries. I don’t even remember what was so appealing about your entry form. But I remember thinking, ‘Alright, I gotta put these guys on top of the list ’cause they’ve got something to offer and I really liked your personalities. I thought that came through the application and like you said, we teamed up and we did those videos [on the PA system]. Speaking of which, the PA system would probably be a great thing to be taking out for live gigs right now if they existed. What are you guys doing in the pandemic to further the band? I know you’ve got a new single coming out…

Yeah, it’s actually it’s out on all platforms today. And tonight I will actually be doing a live stream from the recording studio that we recorded the single at and that will be streaming on Jam in the Van and Orange Amplifiers Facebook and YouTube channels.

Very cool. And what’s the name of the track?

Key of Orange.

Excellent, so ‘Key of Orange.’ We are going to share that on our social platforms, too. So if you’re [reading] this in the future, do a quick search. You’ll find the video — which I’ve seen stills from, by the way, which look pretty cool. You wanna describe the video a little bit to those who haven’t had a chance to see it yet?

Yeah, so the video comes in October, and it’s kind of like a modern art installment, you know, with a lot of really unique concepts that unfold, and each member has their own unique small story within the music video. And then there’s some really exciting stuff that happens at the end that we can’t disclose yet, but…

I will say there is orange paint involved…

Yeah, there is a little bit [laughs]

And what looks like a lot of shenanigans…

Yeah, definitely.

So, shenanigans and orange paint. Got it. Let me ask you something from a band perspective, because there’s a lot of artists who are in the indie/DIY scene. When you go to do music video, can you maybe breakdown how that process works for bands who are looking to do their first video? Like, where does the concept come from? How do you hook up with, say, a video producer or director, videographer? Maybe walk us through that process a little bit…

Well…we’ve never really been in this position before. Everything kind of grew to this and we happen to have friends that do production, so we’re kind affiliated with people in a production company, which is Howl Peak Productions. We’ve been doing all of our media with them. And we work together on storyboards, but mainly a lot of the creative art and film direction is led by them and their storyboarding. Of course, they work with bands and you can throw in a lot of your own vision into it they find a way to make it work so that it’s conceptual and you kind of get some of what your vision is [in there].

If it’s a certain shot or certain colors that you want to involve, or something, you know? So, we’ve done two music videos with them and they turned out great. And I’ve actually seen other music videos that they’ve done that they’re working on now that are not finished, and those ones might be the best ones yet. So, I think future of the music video thing for us is…on an incline as well as the natural growth of the band.

Are you guys releasing the single as a tease to new record or is it just gonna be standalone type thing?

I would say that we’re still figuring it out — what we’re gonna be comfortable with rolling out our songs and our media. But it’ll likely be more singles ’cause we’re still a fresh band and we’re still just growing so before we do a full length, I think we want to grow a little bit more.

So, probably to be expected [are] some more singles, but then probably after that maybe sometime in the spring or summer — early next summer 2021 –we will probably have an EP. So, maybe we’ll drop another single and then another single on the day that an EP comes out…A lot of music videos are definitely gonna be on the horizon.

Are you guys finding it’s difficult to get together and do that stuff now or is it pretty easy for you guys where you’re at? 

Yeah, I would say that I think that everyone’s kind of finding a way to still function, you know?

We started to get together a little bit before we did the campaign with you guys, because we got Jam in the Van, approved to be on their live stream — which was just their Instagram. So, we started to see each other and figure out how we could do music from 6 feet apart, you know? Essentially, we live in the same house, so we’re just together now and we’ve actually played live shows this summer, outside along the water here in Jersey. They allowed 25% capacity for restaurants and we were actually booked for an indoor livestream. So, we have actually played. We have the best of both worlds; we had the live stream thing going and we had a live audience and we even had a contest that we were part of that we actually won.

You guys are in the New York, New Jersey area — is live [music] starting to come back? I’m not familiar with the opening procedures there. It’s probably different all over.

Everything was outside all summer. So, if you were able to get booked you were playing outside; nothing was inside. Either the day or a few days before we did that live stream is when the local governments said that we could have 25% seating capacity filled inside, unmasked.

So that’s pretty recent, then, within the past week or two?

Yeah, and it’s a pretty nice feeling, I gotta say, and relieving to get to that point where some people can be inside sitting at a table with their mask off…taking in music with other people that also have their mask off.

Yeah, we found interesting ways to keep busy…online and we did a couple of different streams, and we’re starting to see shows come back…we didn’t see as much of that as we thought that we would.

Yeah, I think people are taking an abundance of caution with those sorts of things, which is probably for the better. I know every band wants to get back to playing live, but event organizers and even the underground organizers, I think, are probably playing it close to the vest in exercising caution for shows that they probably normally would have done under different circumstances.

Yeah, I have to agree with that.

So, assuming the world gets back on track at some point in the near future, what do you guys hope to accomplish? Or what do you guys see yourselves doing over the course of the next year or two? If the world does open up and venues get back on track. Is there touring in the future, is there more recording in the future?

Well, now we’re rehearsing and recording every week and we will be until the holidays. And

trying to just shape and finish stuff that we have started and track out some new songs and just see how we feel about how they sound and about releasing them. As far as touring and booking? Absolutely, I think that we’re in a really healthy ecosystem in Asbury and…I think we wanna swim out of the pond that we’re in and…into some other waters. Austin, LA…Different music cities.

Well, I for one hope that things get back on track soon, so you guys are able to do that.

We’ll see you all in the bright future, and if you’re interested in anything you’re hearing, we’re @backhousetheband on Instagram and BACKHOUSE [all caps] on Spotify and iTunes, and we’ll have a lot of cool videos on YouTube in the near future.

 

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