FULL INTERVIEW with “Bees?” – bringing new music to campus, Conservatory
Clay Dubberly interviews Bronsen Euard, lead singer of “Bees?”
What made you choose the name for “Bees?”
So it was a late night in Armstrong that the first people in bees — “Bees?” had different people before — so we were trying to think of a band name, it was like our first time ever getting together and we thought we should like stick together and we just started saying some random words and pointing at things, like pointing at something and saying “desk,” you know, we weren’t very creative at the time, and then I just said “Bees?” And I think it’s just from a Cards Against Humanity card that I had in my hand and we just started laughing, and I think from there we knew. Then everyone started telling us it’s from arrested development which is a tv show I think, yeah, so that’s where it came from, but I got it from the cards against humanity card.
Tell me about the process of writing music for you.
Most of the time it starts with one member. We’re different than a lot of other bands that are in a genre, if you will — that’s kind of an outdated term. We have like three main writers in the band right now, Natalie, Andy and I, we wrote everything on the album. Sometimes it just spawns from an idea, us just playing as a band, anyways, we take it and we write it ourselves and then we bring it in in the form of sheet music which is also different than other rock bands which is kinda cool because it lets us go a little bit deeper. Then we bring it in, we read through it, then we kinda talk about what we want and what ends up happening is everyone adds their own personality to it. Like, D.K. can change up the feel, or, um, the horns can do something different that I didn’t intend just ‘cause I don’t play horn. Like I don’t play sax or trumpet, so. And of course there’s a bunch of harmonic and rhythmic things that everyone does so it’s kind of a mixture of individual writing and a group chemistry.
So would you say it’s improvisatory?
Yeah, I mean, a lot of it’s structured and, there’s a form to it, but yeah, like we, we experiment versely and we find out what we want and then, you know, we take it and write it down, and there’s a lot of solos, and that’s just because I think everyone — we all think everyone — should have their own voice, so.
So each person has their own solo?
Yeah, yeah. In the drums and bass it might be in more subtle ways.
You just release a new album, is that correct?
Yeah, EP. EP Is extended play. LP is like more tracks, and more time. Technically our EP is over the time amount but we’re in time track so we just call it an EP.
So do you have a name for the album?
Yeah, it’s called Buzzkill.
Did you have an album before?
No, this is our first album.
Why should people listen to it?
Because it has, it covers a diverse kind of range of what this band’s about, and it’s kinda — it’s different than our live performances. I think it’s just got a really solid mixture of a lot of things people are looking for, and that’s why I like where we are going now, because we’re just undefinable by a lot of people’s standards. Like they wanna compare us to “Incubus,” which is, like, kind of you know, a totally different band, and then like, they wanna compare us of course to “Snarky Puppy” which is like a big jazz fusion band. But then you know other people throw a bunch of names at us, so we just like that we’re writing new music that’s got a fresh personality to it. Even though, you know, we still follow a lot of rules, if you will, that other people do, but we like to expand on them. It’s especially cool live, but it’s also cool to take it home and watch how things develop.
I think I saw on Facebook something about “Wham!”
That’s just a joke. I don’t think anybody listens to “Wham!” We try not to take ourselves too seriously, and on Facebook, I don’t know, we have a ton of influences, and everyone listens to different things which is cool.
What are your lyrics about?
Well the ones that I wrote, you know when we wrote these songs, it was my first year in college, so, you know I don’t think it’s directly about college but I try to write about a struggle. I was hitting a roadblock, musically and emotionally. I was going through some tough times, which people tend to do in this time in their lives, so. Like “Later Likely” is the last track on the EP, the name doesn’t really have that much to do with the song. When we pick names for the song we just kinda pick things that sound cool. But yeah, Natalie wrote lyrics to that too, so a lot of it’s about a struggle and overcoming that, and questioning how to overcome it, and what’s like in front of you at the time, and the first track is “Seven Seas,” and that’s just a triumphant song realizing that your future is ahead of you and there’s gonna be more after what you’re going through. We tend to hide the meanings a little bit deeper, and I don’t know, that’s just a personal choice. Some people write differently, but that’s just what we wanna do.
Natalie wrote “No Eyes Meet” which is a song she sings herself, and I’m pretty sure that’s just like, about people coming together, as in like the whole world. There’s a lot going on right now, and I think that’s what she intended for that.
So she was addressing global issues?
Yeah, maybe like American issues, you know, with all the cop things, the things that nobody really has any strong grasp on, with the whole election. There’s just a whole lot of differing opinions, and I think hers, not to be super corny, but hers was just a message of people coming together regardless of the circumstance or whatever. I think that’s what she intended by it.
Where do you upload your music?
We have it on Bandcamp right now for digital download and streaming, and in three weeks it’s gonna be on Spotify and iTunes and Amazon and everywhere that you can find it basically, and Xbox music. There’s a whole list of ones that we have it on, so, we’re trying to cover as much ground as possibly. It’s not like, you know, we think we’re going to get millions of downloads but if you wanna listen to something, just listen to it wherever you want to, which is cool, and I’ve never done that before with any of my projects.
Do you have any bands that you hate?
There are some bands that I really dislike but don’t hate because they have that one redeeming quality. I really don’t like that band, uh, what’s it called, “Five Seconds of Summer,” like, the current, popular band. I like can’t stand them. They really suck, man. It’s just really bad. Like I worked at an amusement park, and they played their one hit song over and over and I just got to absorb all of their really crappy lyrics and I got to memorize them, like that really sucks, memorizing something you really hate. But yeah, I don’t know them, but I hate their music. But maybe an older band that I hate, would be the band, have you ever heard of the band, like, “Ratt?” Or like, anything, like a lot of the 80’s hair metal.
Do you have any upcoming events?
April first we’re playing at Blue Fox which is right down the road because this festival, Valley Fusion Fest, I don’t know if we’re booked for it, we might be, but Dynamo is playing, and it’s the first year of some people, it’s like a family event or whatever, but anyways they’re running a promotional concert and we’re on that with some people out of town. We might play eventually at Valley Fusion in September but we don’t know about that yet so, and then I think we have some summer things lined up. We’re playing in Apple Blossom obviously, a few places, a few houses, trying to get somewhere official booked. I think we’re playing at Frederick in the summer, and we just got this gig playing regularly at Lucky Star lounge at Front Royal, so that’s pretty much all we have for now.
Feature photo courtesy of Bees? Facebook page