Bent Blue - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview Bent Blue. We discussed the writing and recording process for their upcoming EP, ‘Where Do Ripples Go?’, favorite lyrical and musical moments from the EP, exploring their role in the world through the title track, how special it is to have music pressed on vinyl, and more. Check it out below.

First, thanks for the interview.

Thank you. We really appreciate what you're doing.

You recently announced your EP ‘Where Do Ripples Go?’. Can you tell me about writing and recording the EP?

Yeah, we began writing in early 2020 and really focused on wrapping up a record by the end of the year since vinyl plants were being heavily impacted by the pandemic. The record is sonically eclectic and range from straight forward punk to melodic and post-hardcore. Every song is distinct. There's even a cool '90s style emo one in there. We finished the recording process in early summer 2021 and have been waiting ever since for the vinyl to be produced.

Do you have a favorite lyrical or musical moment from the EP?

I really like the bass riff and general energy of the final song "What Is It For?". It's a really fun song, especially live. I also really like the guitars and bass in the first half of "Viewpoint". They're pretty melodic and have a cool groove to them that's fun to listen to. The outro on "Halfway" will also always be special to me. The song is about grief and what you hear vocally in the outro is me fighting back tears and trying not to fuck up the song with a lump in my throat.

You recently released the title track. Can you tell me about writing this song specifically? Can you tell us more about the themes you explored in it or the lyrical meaning behind it?

The title track started off as a riff that our guitar player Diego brought to rehearsal. Initially I had a hard time with it because it felt too melodic in an almost pop-punk way. I just didn't know what to do with it vocally. At the time I was heavily listening to Sonic Youth and Fiddlehead and I think I just sort of gave myself permission to try slightly cleaner vocals. I was also reading a lot of books on political and social theory and was dealing with a lot of anxiety about my role in the world. The lyrics are sort of a reflection of one of the big questions I was asking myself. Like, do my efforts in this world really make any impact? The world can be brutal and do I think I can make any kind of difference? I still don't know the answer, but I've sort of concluded that I can at least try.

Which song from the EP was easiest to write and which one took the longest to complete? 

The song "Dissonance" was the easiest in my eyes. It came together quickly. It's also a sub-minute song so there's that haha. The song "What Is It For?" was the most difficult song to write. We started writing it in early 2020 and didn't have it dialed until at least the end of the year. It went through several structure changes and a series of scrapped lyrics before becoming what it is on the record.

The EP is getting a vinyl pressing. What can you tell me about the packaging? Do you have a favorite variant?

I wanted the art to be simple but symbolic of the idea of ripples. I really like grainy overlays mixed with bold colors. I saw a cool design in an Australian art zine I've since forgotten the name of and it inspired me to make what's on the record cover today. My favorite variant is probably the EU purple in blue version.

How important is it to you to have the EP pressed on vinyl?

Personally, I've always wanted to have physical formats for the music I make. There's something special about having a timeless physical artifact that might outlive me.

Melodic hardcore has been making a big comeback and your band is part of this new wave. What do you think is causing this resurgence in the sound?

I think trends in music come in waves as the current generation looks backward for influences and references to draw from. I also think there's something to say about the ease of access to the entire punk and hardcore family tree through streaming that grants folks a spectrum of styles to be inspired by.

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Thanks again for the interview and for the opportunity to talk about the new record. It will drop on WAR Records late July of 2022. We'll also be announcing a US East Coast tour very soon. We're beyond stoked for that. Lastly, fuck all US branches of government. Especially the Supreme Court and their attack on the bodily autonomy of women. 

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