Artist Spotlight - Batfarm
(Photo Credit - Anabel-Dflux)
We got to chat with Batfarm, who just released a new EP 'In the Belfry' in September that's totally worth your time. But before you check it out, dive into our interview with the group here!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
Alexx: Well, first and foremost, I’ve always been a writer. I’ve also been singing for as long as I can remember. It just seemed natural to fuse my two passions together and write songs. Guitar I decided to incorporate at 11 or so because I aspired to be like my father, who is also a musician, and I also wanted to bring my lyrics to life. From then on, I played shows and practiced as much as I possibly could, entered every talent competition that came through town, and eventually, I made my way out to LA to pursue a professional career in entertainment. I’ve been doing this for a very, very long time. It is truly in my blood and bones, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
For Dennis, his uncles on both sides were drummers, and his father was a guitarist, so it was in his family. He’s been playing drums since the age of 5, jamming with family members from a young age, and then he started playing in bands in high school. After high school, he picked up guitar to contribute more to the songwriting process, and it steamrolled from there. Through the years, he’s had a lot of great opportunities and seen a lot of the world with some big acts like Gilby Clarke from Guns ‘N’ Roses and Marc Ford from The Black Crows, but he’s always written his own music.
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
Alexx: Each time is different; there really is no “set” way that we do it. Sometimes it starts with lyrics, sometimes music, sometimes melody. When Dennis and I write for Batfarm, we usually do our own thing independently and then reconvene when we have something to show one another. We obviously have the ability to write in the same room together too of course since we’re collaborators, but we both kind of like our privacy when it comes to writing our delineated parts.
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
Alexx: For me, I’ve been mostly inspired by blues, rock and grunge. I love Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Johnny Lang, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, but I’m also a huge fan of Nine Inch Nails, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, and the Toadies. More than anything though, what inspires me most as an artist are good songs. The genre doesn’t matter. A good melody is a good melody.
Dennis has been influenced by a lot of the same things as me, but he also loves some of the more psychedelic bands like Pink Floyd.
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
Alexx: I’m definitely a Gibson girl, so I always have my Les Paul in tow. I also love my glitter gold Airline from Eastwood Guitars as well. It’s sharp as hell and has great tone. As far as amps go, I’m currently playing through an Orange Rocker 32. I’m a minimalist as far as pedals. I have my Boss Overdrive, Malekko chorus, and Ibanez Weeping Demon Wah. I also just bought a Blackstar HT-Dual Valve Distortion pedal, so I’m excited to try that one out live.
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
Alexx: My live persona is like Sebastian Bach meets Johnny Carson (haha). In person, Dennis and I are a bit soft spoken and chill, but onstage, we’re animals; screaming, gyrating, beating the hell out of our instruments. We’re also fans of dad jokes, so you’ll hear a lot of those in between songs. We play as a two-piece, but you’d never know it because of how big it sounds. We run tracks (on which we played everything ourselves organically), and play to those.
What we enjoy most about a venue (a good one that is) is the sound and the way we’re treated by the staff and the audience. Be good to us and we’ll be good to you!
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
Alexx: We want people to know that our music is conceptualized entirely by us, and that it is truly the product of blood, sweat and tears, and intense passion. Dennis and I have been involved in various projects throughout our careers, but Batfarm has been our baby of sorts (and dare I say, some of our best work).
7. Can you tell us about the writing, recording, and promotion process for In the Belfry?
As far as the writing process, some songs have been almost 10 years in the making (Now That You’re Gone and End Transmission, for example). Some of the other ones were written by Dennis and I over the last few years, when we were both going through some pretty rough times in our lives. This EP chronicles the struggles, hardships, transitions, and personal growth that we’ve experienced as individuals and as a band.
We recorded a lot of the soundscape-y stuff at Dennis’s house, and we recorded a good portion of the vocals, guitars, bass and drums at Charlie Waymire’s studio in Panorama City, CA. It took a really long time to put this record together because it’s so involved and multilayered.
Promoting the EP has been pretty fun and interesting, and we’ve actually learned quite a bit about marketing and videography in the process. Because we’re perfectionists, and we’re on a tight budget, we do absolutely everything ourselves in terms of our own PR and content creation. We bought a Panasonic GH5 camera, our own lighting kit, and a variety of other stuff to film our own music videos and promos. Dennis also learned how to use After Effects and I brushed up on my editing skills (I actually went to school for video editing, but haven’t done much with it the past few years) so that we could consistently put out our own professional style promo videos and content.
can say wholeheartedly that we’ve had a blast marketing this EP. What used to work in the past as far as advertising goes just isn’t flying anymore, and we’ve realized that. You’ve got to do something innovative and different for people to care about what you do, so we’ve created all kinds of characters and skits for our videos that we put out, and we nearly piss ourselves laughing each time we film. We’re not cool, and we know it, so that’s pretty freeing, and it’s become our calling card of sorts. People expect us to do funny, stupid stuff in our videos now and entertain them beyond just pushing / performing our songs.