Savannah GA band Bugmeat talks Life album Bug, next show
Last Christmas saw the release of “The Critter Life”, a sweet four-song sounding EP from the indie chamber // dreampop band Bugmeat.
Bugmeat began as a duo consisting of Katie McAuliffe (vocals/guitar) and Ryan Jones (vocals/guitar), both from solo projects. Jones and McAuliffe (recording as Katie Dayes) both had singles that recently hit 1,000 plays on Spotify. The duo quickly turned into a full band when they were heard by Jones’ roommate Juan Stevenson (bass).
“They were training at Ryan’s house and at my house in our little studio,” Stevenson said. “I heard them play one day and said, ‘Hey, can I join? “.”
With the addition of Steffan Rost on drums, Bugmeat was ready to step into the bedroom studio.
“We started a bunch of projects, Juan and I and even Steffan, but none of them ever gained traction,” Jones said. “This is the first thing that we’ve been really consistent with and really appreciated. »
Each of the band members comes from different musical backgrounds, and the process of “feeling each other” is audible on the EP.
“I classically trained on the piano,” says McAuliffe. I went to college for piano. It was very interesting to play in a band for the first time. It’s interesting to try to figure out how to work with other people that isn’t in a classic way that’s so formal. It was a bit difficult for me at first because I used to have sheet music in front of me.”
While Jones is a self-taught singer-songwriter, Stevenson produced electronic music and DJed at college parties. Along with his love of math rock, Stevenson describes his influence on the band as “geometric”.
“I went to SCAD for sound design and studio production,” Stevenson said. “I’ve mostly made music myself or Ryan’s personal project. I helped record and write with her for previous music.
Their drummer Rost, hailing from Savannah’s hardcore/metalcore scene, is the generic element of Bugmeat’s shoegaze sound. Besides playing in several metal bands, Rost also has a solo project called Garland (named after the Cocteau Twins album).
“I definitely incorporate punk and hardcore aspects into my drumming,” Rost said of his contribution to Bugmeat. “At the end of the day, if I get more involved in songwriting, I play a bit of most instruments, although the guitar is my main instrument. Katie and I share a common love for the showgaze of years 90s and dreampop music. It was through the hardcore bands I liked, you looked at their liner note and that’s how I heard about a lot of postpunk and showgaze when I was younger The hardcore scene was for me a gateway to more alternative and lighter musical genres.
“Just his influence is a completely different ideology,” Jones added.
“It changes the vibe of our whole band, which is super cool, because it’s a collaborative project,” McAuliffe continued.
Due to the collaborative nature of “Bug’s Life”, each song features a different approach to songwriting and recording.
“Each song had its own production of how it had harmonies,” Jones explained. “’iloveu’ was, from the start, we were both singing it. “Bug’s Life” was just a simple one-take live recording. It was an improvisation song. ‘IA’ (which is about a terrible car accident that put McAuliffe in the hospital) was something that Juan created and then we put lyrics to it. We haven’t defined a specific process.”
“It really taught us to play together,” Stevenson added. “We have to taste each other’s different styles. As a band, we each have a style that reinforces the sound of Bugmeat as a whole.
Bugmeat’s El Rocko Friday show with Heyrocco, HARD and Klept is only their second live performance, but they can’t wait to find out how much their hard work has shaped them as a live band.
“We’re still focused on our live show and once we played the El Rocko show we decided to get back into writing because we worked on how we play together,” said Jones. “We think we sound good, but it’s also a small room. The sound from there to being on stage is different. So we try to book as many rooms as possible to better understand our live show.
When Bugmeat gets back to writing new material, I hope McAuliffe doesn’t have to have another car accident for the band to find lyrical inspiration. A few love songs would suffice.
“Maybe heartbreak, but not a broken neck,” McAuliffe said with a laugh.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO
What: Heyrocco & HARD w/ Klept & Bugmeat
When: Friday at 7 p.m.
Where: El Rocko Lounge, 117 Whitaker St.