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Interview & Photos: Betcha

Interview & Photos by Christina Morgan

 (B- ben, C- charlie, T- taylor, W-chase)

You played a show at Avenue A last night with Huck, how was it? Have you had a chance to explore around the city, BKLYN, etc.? 

C- Last night was actually our first headlining show outside of Nashville, as Betcha. It was really cool, Huck was super awesome, we have a lot of friends in Nashville who had played with them before so we had known about him for a little bit. It was a really good time, it was the first time that we’ve traveled somewhere and people were singing along to every word and every song, it was a kind of surreal moment for us to experience that for the first time.  T- I think we just love coming to New York, it’s super inspirational for us, as a band we came up here really early on in our career when we got signed we played a bunch of shows and then NY was kind of like the final test if we would get signed, so we played at the Atlantic offices. We just felt ‘If we can make it here, we could make it anywhere.’  And just coming from Nashville, I think it’s NY, and LA are more of just industry powerhouses so it feels awesome, I think here, we kind of feel like it’s ‘the big deal’ everything is bigger. We love our team here, we love the city so we’ll come anytime. 

You guys have toured with Matt Maeson earlier this year, what was that like?

C- We toured with Matt earlier this year and got to play the Music Hall of Williamsburg here. That tour was just super big for us, and finding out a lot about who we were as Betcha. He has a really dedicated and super loyal, almost cult-like fan base so for us to try to tap into that was definitely a challenge. But we felt like we just learned stuff especially with him during the first two weeks, of how to engage with his audience, and he does more stripped songs, he’s a little more acoustic so we just found ways to build our dynamic of our own set a lot, which he does really well which is super important. 

B- This is Ben here – hijacking Chases’ thought to expand upon the Matt Maeson tour, and his crew are super super awesome and receptive to us, we became really good friends with them. We wish the best for him and his entire career. He was super super gracious in letting us come out with him. We heart him. He trolls us very heavily, and we troll him back. I feel like he is like the ‘king troll’, but I feel like we’re right under him, you know?  C-So he tweeted out “Hopping on a plane, send me some new music recs.” So a lot of people just sent him ‘Betcha’ , listen to Betcha, because they had saw us on tour. He would write @Betchaband sucks. So yeah, he’s out to get us..haha he’s a good dude and has good vibes. I think even outside of like the shows and everything, he’s someone who does social media super well, and doesn’t crumble under being true to a mold that people expect; posting cool photos with cool captions, he brings a lot of personality, for someone who has pretty dark songs. 

Are there any tour tips you could give to smaller bands, or those who are just starting out?

C- Don’t bring a trailer to the East Coast, or into NYC because it will make your life hell. We just packed out van to the ceiling specifically for this show, just because it’s a nightmare. Bring your laptops with you. 

B- I’d say Airbnb when you can, they’re super dope and you can honestly get in for cheaper a lot of the times. 

C- But, when you can’t, a lot of hotels have that free coffee and tea down in the lobby, first thing in the morning, which is pretty clutch. 

T- Or, if you have ex-girlfriends in the city that you can stay with, that’s also very clutch. Save money, exactly.

 B- Don’t eat too much fast food – this is Ben- don’t eat too much fast food. The whole foods hot bar comes in clutch.

W- We’re there regularly.

B- Also- if you are gonna eat fast food, sometimes Taco Bell will sponsor you; Feed the Beat, if you’re into it. Think about that.  

You’re from Nashville, there’s a crazy amount of talent that comes from there, (Coin, Briston Maroney, etc.) What do you think is so special about the music scene there?

C- With Nashville, maybe because we’re from there, but it feels like the past 5 years have even gotten all genres of music are really thriving. The music community isn’t just the rock guys hanging out, and just the bedroom pop guys hanging out, and the rap scene, it’s almost like everyone is collectively together, and bringing each other up. With music now, specific genre barriers have been broken down pretty hard, it’s also too – Nashville is somewhat of a very central part of the country, so it’s very easy to go play Birmingham and meet bands from there, and Atlanta, or Ohio, and all these different cities. It’s somewhere that everyone’s kinda passing through so, I think through that and a lot of house shows happen there, that’s a big scene. We went to Belmont, which is a musical college there so being around other musicians is huge. I think it’s just gonna keep thriving and thriving.  T- I’d say there’s kind of an interesting sense of competition between just trying to make it as an artist out in Nashville, because I think in NY, people are here doing everything. You have a way bigger range of graphic designers, people who are into fashion, and that kind of thing but I think Nashville’s this place that some people move to just to do art, but probably 90% of people move there just to do music. It kind of has a different competitive edge where that entire focus is on the quality of music and what people like. 

B- It’s “music city” 

T- Yeah, it’s music city. That’s definitely something that drives us, just like the quality of talent that is coming out of Nashville, especially right now, and just trying to stay on top of things. Right now – and it’s the same thing with NY, but if you’re succeeding in Nashville, you’re definitely on the cutting edge of whatever’s going on. It keeps us on our toes. 

Are there any bands/artist that you’ve been listening to lately that you think people should check out? 

C- They’re pretty well-known but my favorite band right now, and who we’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from is Hippo Campus. Their last record is super fire, BJ Burton is a producer who’s worked with them, Japanese House which is super cool. He did the Bon Iver record so a lot of stuff that he’s doing is kind of what I’m being drawn to right now.  W- There’s this chick Faye Webster, her stuff is like super laid back and vibey and almost country. She has a lot of a lot of pedals too in her stuff,  but just super chill. She’s on a hip-hop label in Atlanta, so if you’re listening to all of her songs, it’ll be super chill, and then all of a sudden some dude’s rapping and you’re like “what? What happened to the playlist?” and then she sings the chorus. 

B- I’ve been super into King Princess. We saw her at Bonaroo, and she was super super talented, and her band’s really good. Anyway, she makes great music.  

T- I’m more into an album right now but Steve from Stranger Things, DJO, is a vibe. His album is just like a dope – it’s like very – I know he did it all himself with some other guy which is like so impressive, but yeah, he’s killing it! I could see him in like a couple years, being the next Tame Impala, if he really sends it hard. 

If you could describe your sound in three to five words or less what would they be?

C- I’m just gonna think out loud, his might not be three words, but I would say: alternative, bedroom funk? A little bit, you know what I’m saying? Funk’s not the right word- alternative, bedroom groove, I think that’s where we’re heading. We’ve been sitting on a lot of music, that we’re working on. 

B- Ok but here’s the thing about our music, the music that is gonna come out, and where we’re sort of heading is – we aren’t really tied to a genre right now. Honestly, we’re making heavy rock music, we’re also making pop songs, psychedelic songs, etc.

C- It all is woven together.

B- And it’s all cohesive, but I feel like a lot of the artists we draw from, really are starting to head that way too. I mean, a band we really love is The 1975, and they make crazy records. Just like going from stripped acoustic songs, to them coming out with ‘People’ that is Marilyn Manson-esque, you know. So It’s really hard to define our sound in three words but, I’d say: all over the place, which is 4 words.

C- Our three words are: hard to describe.

Is there any specific city or venue you would love to play at/in?

T- I think Red Rocks s definitely on our list, I wanna get to Europe. It’s like a money pit if you start touring cross-country if you’re too small, but I really wanna play Germany.

C- And I think festivals too.

T- Yeah, festivals in Europe, cause people rage harder there. There’s just something about like European festivals especially in the UK, with their history of rock. People just rage. So that’s what we’re looking for.  

You’re sound is similar to the band Vacation Manor, are there any musical inspirations that made you want to start making music?

C- just to even talk about all of our favorite acts, too like that whole conversation – a lot of them – we all grew up loving four piece rock bands which is the idea that this band was founded on. We were huge Coldplay and U2 fans, and The Beatles were huge for us. I think there’s a lot of history in it, four piece rock bands. Every generation has their great you know 1975 I feel like has been for the last 10 years or so kind of at the top. So yeah, I think that’s something we kind of always keep in mind. That’s the conversation we hope to be a part of someday, is when you talk about four-piece rock bands. 

How do you come up with the ideas for your music videos?

C- So, for our latest music video for Falling, we worked with this guy Sam Boyette, who I super cool. He kind of brought this idea and then kind of like 75% there and we’d get together and it’s like he just wanted this yellow backdrop, that’s almost kind of like ‘psych-ward-esque’ and then we just put the pieces together. But I know now, for future music videos, at least I’m trying to get a little more involved in helping to write and bring it all together because I think we just want to be very intentional about our ‘brand’ moving forward, and making music videos is such a huge part of that right now, so that’s not something I’ve been super engaged in, in the past. But with all this new music coming out, there’s stuff that we’ve been working on for a long time, I think we wanted it feel like one unit, with all the psychedelic, and pop/rock stuff.

B- ( speaking on Twin XŁ & Half Alive type music videos) We definitely drew from them (Half Alive) in the ‘Falling’ music video for sure. I don’t know if you’ll ever catch us synchronized dancing on stage, who knows? But yeah, that aesthetic is definitely super cool, and their videos are incredible! I think we’re leaning a little more on the rock side.

T- I think what we’re trying to get towards is a little bit more of fusing music videos like really purposefully to showcase exactly what we want our brand to be. We’re kinda realizing that a lot of our brand is just people getting to know the four of us. So we’re kind of like trying to figure out how we can do a cool story-piece that serves the song, where all of us are still showing some personality, but also aren’t being too douche-y about it. Somewhere in between of like wherever that creativity falls. 

What’s next ? 

C- New music is gonna be coming a lot sooner, maybe this year- but if not- very very early 2020. The EP was kind of a collective of everything from like 2016 to pretty much just 2017. So we got stuff we’ve been working on for the last 2 years, and it’s I think a really big step forward for us, yeah we’re excited for people to hear it!

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We went to see Betcha in Athens. We enjoyed the show so much that we drove to Atlanta to hear them play the following night. Love their music!

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