Following a string of riotous UK dates with The Lemonheads, today Bass Drum Of Death share “Find It“, a new track taken from their forthcoming album, ‘Say I Won’t’ which is set to be released on January 27th via Fat Possum Records.
“Find It“ is a perfect embodiment of the band’s new era, an urgent blast of freewheelin’ punk, all riffs and hooks over drummer Ian Kirkpatrick’s steady thundering beat. The song finds bandleader John Barrett in a reflective mood, as he sings: “I know all the world around me’s crumbling/I’m left holding the bag and stumbling/Who knows, I might be the problem.” It’s a new, more sober perspective, with the added potency that comes from taking responsibility for one’s own life and problems.
“‘Find It’ is kind of a cynical look at where I was in my life living in New York at the time” he comments. “Way too much partying, to where I realized it was my problem, not necessarily where I lived. I also wanted to do something different with the structure of the song, I’ve always loved the idea of starting with a chorus but have never done it until “Find It” .
“Find It” on YouTube:
The band shared single “Say Your Prayers“ last month, a collaboration with Mike Kerr of Royal Blood, a midtempo bruiser that finds Barrett snarling, “The wolf is in your bed/But the Devil’s knocking at your door.” It’s all attitude, with mountains of sludge-slathered riffs, tangled harmonies courtesy of brother Jim Barrett, and a stomping beat fit for a movie car chase scene. They also recently shared a live version of the track, filmed at London’s Moth Club whilst the band were in town supporting The Lemonheads at The Roundhouse. – watch it here. The band will return to London at the end of this month, playing an in-store show at Rough Trade East on October 31st at 7pm.
‘Say I Won’t’, the band’s fifth record, comes at a time of massive change for Barrett, having relocated from New York to his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi during the pandemic. The record is also a homecoming of a different sort, with the band rejoining the ranks of Fat Possum, also in Oxford, the label that released their first record ‘GB City’ in 2011.
“Moving back to Oxford was a much-needed reset,” says Barrett. “When I started, I just wanted to play in a punk band and drink beers and travel around. I didn’t really think much past that. And I got really burned out. When I moved back home, I started writing songs again, just for fun. I realized I wanted this record to have more of a hometown feel. The switch back to Fat Possum was easy. It’s much better working with people I know and love and love everything they do.”
‘Say I Won’t ‘is the first Bass Drum of Death album written, demoed, and recorded with the touring band instead of Barrett doing everything on his own. He found a freedom in working with collaborators that wasn’t available to him before, opening different aspects of the songwriting. It was a process of live recording, layering on different parts and overdubs, and then stripping it all back to the bones of the song, keeping the raw wild heart of the music intact.
The band recorded the new record with Patrick Carney of the Black Keys at Audio Eagle Studios in Nashville and the result is a groove-oriented, 1970’s-indebted collection of rock songs, with tempos set for cruising and scuzzy guitars galore. There’s an energy and vitality to the music that feels in line with the best of the Bass Drum songs, but with an added boost that comes from new bandmates and a new perspective.
‘Say I Won’t’ finds a reinvigorated Barrett firing at all cylinders, backed by his best band yet. It’s Bass Drum of Death at their loosest and scuzziest and most tuneful, a true rock record in all the right ways. It’s a throwback by way of moving forward, sporting a maturity and swagger that comes from a decade of playing music on the road and surviving to tell about it. More than anything, ‘Say I Won’t’ is a blast to listen to, music built for driving with your stereo cranked.
“I had to relearn that making music is fucking fun,” says Barrett, “and you should have fun doing it. If it’s miserable, what’s the point?” He laughs. “But man, when a song hits, it’s the best feeling in the world. That’s what this record is about. Getting back to that good place and staying there.”
‘Say I Won’t’ track list:
1. Find It – official video
2. Head Change
3. No Soul
4. Say Your Prayers – official video
5. Keys To The City
8. White Vine
9. No Doubt
10. Everybody’s Gonna Be There
11. Say I Won’t
12. Too Cold To Hold
October 19, 2022 – Tourcoing – Le Grand Mix ^
October 21, 2022 – Le Havre – Ouest Park Festival ^
October 22, 2022 – St Nazaire – Le VIP ^
October 24, 2022 – Paris – La Maroquinerie ^
October 26, 2022 – Lyon – Ninkasi Kao ^
October 27, 2022 – Annecy – Le Brise Glacé ^
October 28, 2022 – Strasbourg – La Laiterie ^
October 29, 2022 – Vendome – Les Rockomotives ^
October 31, 2022 – London – Rough Trade East
November 25, 2022 – Seattle, WA – Showbox *
November 26, 2022 – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall *
November 28, 2022 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall *
November 29, 2022 – Sacramento, CA – Harlow’s *
November 30, 2022 – Los Angeles, CA – Lodge Room ^
December 1, 2022 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues *
December 2, 2022 – Santa Ana, CA – Observatory *
December 3, 2022 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues *
December 4, 2022 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex *
December 5, 2022 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater *
December 7, 2022 – Kansas City, MO – Madrid Theatre *
December 8, 2022 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle ^
December 9, 2022 – Minneapolis, MN – First Ave *
* supporting The Lemonheads
^ headline show