Nashville band Bully have had a blinding 2015 thus far, scoring themselves high praise from the NME, Ryan Adams and spellbound audiences the world over following the release of their debut LP Feels Like. As Bully gear up to hit Australian shores later this year for a very special run of festival and headline shows, we asked main tour support and all round nice guys Rolling Blackouts to jump on the phone with Alicia Bognanno for a chat..
RB: You guys are based in Nashville – it’s obviously got a huge country scene, does it have a strong rock scene?
AB: Yeah it does, the music scene is really diverse. There’s every type of genre. To be honest I’ve only kinda known the rock scene since I’ve been here – there’s a big country scene but I’m not really familiar with it, not really the shows I go to! But I know the rock scene is really good.
RB: Melbourne’s a bit like that, really strong and varied music scene. But particularly guitar music – we’ve got really strong rock and punk bands and haunts. Two venues in particular: the Tote, which is sort of this palace of scuzzy punk, then there’s the Old Bar which I suppose is a bit more diverse – both of those are only a few hundred metres apart, they’re both must visits.
AB: That sounds so good. Definitely looking forward to checking them out. Hey do you guys know Fraser A Gorman?
RB: Yeah we do! I actually saw him in my house a little while ago and have played with him a few times across the years[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULYTqO2YDuU[/youtube]
AB: We played a couple of shows with him in the UK. He opened for us. He’s so good!
RB: I heard that you dig his label-mate Courtney Barnett too?
AB: Yeah! I’m a huge Courtney Barnett fan, she’s awesome.
RB: Yeah, she and they are really great. I reckon you’ll like a fair bit of the stuff we have here. There’s another local band on the Meredith bill that I reckon you’ll really like – The Peep Tempel. They’re a great band, great lyrics too. The lyrics are sort of similar to yours in that they’re innocuous but they allude to a lot more. Your lyrics “I remember all about your mom / I remember what you do on Christmas” – those specifics. The Peep Tempel do a similar thing – throwing out these cutting details.
AB: Cool! I’m gonna check them out.
RB: It sounds like it was a pretty quick step up for you guys. Independent band, releasing your own cassette, and then all of a sudden, playing big shows around the country and overseas. Was it daunting to step up so quickly, or did it feel like natural progression?
AB: I guess it’s felt pretty natural – I mean we’ve been on the road straight since October, so it feels like it’s been gradual. But it’s been so great.
RB: I heard you guys are into games on tour – I was reading that you guys are big into Settlers of Catan? What is that?
AB: Well it’s hard to explain – it’s pretty involved. We’ll bring it when we come to Australia – we’ll show you how it works. But it’s a huge board game so it’s not the easiest to play in the van…[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7LLBBGOfKY[/youtube]
RB: Is it one of those ones like Monopoly where you set it up, play for a few hours, leave it overnight and ask no-one to touch it?
AB: Haha yes it’s one of those. Also ‘Threes’ – dice game – is awesome. We played that when we toured with Jeff the Brotherhood. That’s a great game to play on the road because all you need is a dice. We’ll show you how we play when we come over.
RB: That sounds great! Dice is pretty popular here too – actually a few years ago at Meredith seemed to be a big dice year. A guy I was camping with was playing, he ran out of money but wanted to keep playing so he gambled his shoes, and lost both of them. He couldn’t get the shoes back until he gambled himself out of the hole he’d gotten himself into. I ran into him that night down at the stage – I hadn’t seen him for a few hours and I asked about his shoes, he just looked down at his feet and I could see one foot bare, the other with a stubby holder on it.*
AB: That’s hilarious. At a festival – that’s like the worst place you could lose your shoes! It sounds like it’ll be a wild time!
RB: Thanks for taking the time to chat. We’re so excited for the shows!
AB: Likewise! See you guys soon!
Bully Australian tour dates supported by Rolling Blackouts:
Wednesday 9 Dec.
OXFORD ART FACTORY (18+)
Thursday 10 Dec.
Friday 11 Dec.
MEREDITH MUSIC FESTIVAL**
Saturday 12 Dec.
WOOLLY MAMMOTH (18+)
Sunday 13 Dec.
**Rolling Blackouts not appearing