Once again, the newest addition to our writer team, Rhiannon, has tipped us off on a great band that had escaped our notice. The wonderfully named Ba Babes hail from New Jersey. We’ve discussed the lo-fi thing a lot lately and Ba Babes fits the mold. Or do they? The early recordings by Dinosaur Jr and Sebadoh are never referred to as lo-fi, despite the basic recording technique that was used. Like those bands, Ba Babes explodes from the speakers like a dinosaur ready to tear you to pieces. It’s not subtle and you see it coming, but the shear ferocity of it overwhelms you. But in a good way….
Rhiannon talked to Mikey and asked him about that time that the band broke up and all sorts of questions that I’d never have thought to ask. And there’s random WWE references sprinkled in. I think… Cheers!
Rhiannon: You guys seem like you’re pretty close friends. How did you guys meet and how soon after that did you become Ba Babes?
Mikey: James was the badass older kid in high school who was too cool for me to hang with. Then a mutual friend asked me play drums in their band and after that band broke up, we kept playing in early forms of Ba Babes until we decided to start playing shows again and then it’s all downhill from there.
Rhiannon: Ba Babes disbanded after your Hate The Beach EP and you took a two year break before you returned with Back from the Shred in August 2012, what was the reason for the break and are you glad to be back together?
Mikey: In the two year span after Hate The Beach we released a cassette single, played a bunch of shows, recorded a full length, scrapped it, added a bass player, recorded a full length, scrapped it, added a lead guitar player, recorded a full length, then I quit the band because it wasn’t fun anymore. Then after about two months we started playing as a two piece again and we’re psyched to be back. Total Undertaker resurrection style after Kane thought he buried him alive at Survivor Series.
Rhiannon: You have your own record label, Panther People! What are your hopes and dreams for this label and how has it been so far?
Mikey: It’s been real sweet so far. I started it with my friend Lord Jord, because we thought that no one would want to put out our bands’ stuff. It’s basically just a platform that we can put out Ba Babes tapes and some of our friends’ music that we’re really psyched on. We don’t make a profit or anything. We probably lose more than we make, but we don’t really care. I supposed the ultimate goal is to start doing 7″s, which seems possible in the future.
Rhiannon: Ba Babes have a Lo-fi-er sound than a lot of Lo-fi bands. Like the music is coming straight from a basement to your ears, was there a conscious decision to make it this way or is that just how it turns out?
Mikey: We definitely wanted our releases to sound raw and not be polished up, but at the same time, we weren’t working with much and it’s kind of the only way we knew how to record. We do as much of it live and in one take as possible.
Rhiannon: Your music has a lot of skating references, how would you say skating has influenced your music?
Mikey: I was never that good at skating, but if it wasn’t for watching skate videos growing up, I probably wouldn’t have gotten into punk at such a young age. James skated a lot more than me and I think skateboarding and playing in bands is pretty similar. It’s a big community of people doing what they like and however they like. It’s a great time.
Rhiannon: It’s a new year! What are your plans for 2013 as far as Ba Babes goes, or are you just seeing how things play out?
Mikey: We were banking on the world ending so that we didn’t have to do anything else, but since we’re all still here, we’re working on doing a 7″ right now. We’ll probably just put it out ourselves, unless someone offers a helping hand. That’s kind of the biggest plan right now. Maybe we’ll go to SXSW this year if the universe is aligned.
Rhiannon: In all of your live videos, you guys seem like you’re genuinely having a great time. What makes playing live so fun for you? Or is it all just an act?
Mikey: It’s some Grade-A genuine fun we’re having. Playing shows and writing music is as fun as it gets for us and we’re psyched that people ask us to play shows and we’ll keep doing it until the fun tank is on E and then we’ll stop and do something else.
Rhiannon: It appears you all have a lot of New Jersey pride, why do you love it so?
Mikey: It’s tough to explain unless you’re from here, then you just already know. New Jersey just about has everything that you need and it’s not too big. I really don’t see myself being able to live anywhere else. Long live New Jersey.