[Image courtesy of BEDTIMEMAGIC]
Looking for some two-dog trash rock? Look no further! BEDTIMEMAGIC’s music is the perfect fit for you. Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, the band is made up of Morgan Berns and Nicholas Pentabona on drums and bass, respectively. Yes, you read that correctly: BEDTIMEMAGIC is simply a rhythm section! And a good one at that.
The band was formed in 2014 as a side project that turned full-time, and BEDTIMEMAGIC is currently attempting to play as many shows as possible while working on new material. Both members of the duo are passionate about food, wordplay, and dogs.
BEDTIMEMAGIC’s latest project is a split record with Bloodhounds titled, “Turn the Bass Down, You Fucks,” and is due out in the spring. Currently, their track “CPAP” is available for download on Bandcamp with a digital pre-order.
“CPAP” is a jumble of energy that’s almost unable to be contained. I appreciated its chaotic mix of bass, vocals, and drums in a way that almost gave me a panic attack ( I swear this is a compliment!) from all that was going on. It is obvious that the band puts everything into their music, and it shows through their music’s zest.
BEDTIMEMAGIC has some serious personality, so I couldn’t resist asking them a few questions…
Alexa: What are your feelings about the modern-day music industry? What would you change and what do you like?
Nicholas: It bothers me that everyone is supposed to work for free. That sort of applies to all artists. If you ask to get paid or even compensated people just move on to the next free option.
Morgan: Well, we got paid in exposure. [both laugh]
N: I like that I don’t have to mail demos anymore. That was expensive and time consuming.
M: Right. I mean, you have immediate access to, basically, any band in the world, which is awesome. Earlier I was listening to a band from Norway which, in the past, I would have no reason to find. Before, I would have read a review in Maximum Rock N Roll or like HeartAttaCK or maybe bump into it in an underground record store. I mean, it’s awesome. There’s so much stuff available. That does mean you have more stuff to wade through.
N: I’d posit that the playing field got a little less even. There’s all this background noise for people like Ariana Grande. For the little guy to cut through… Yes, we share the platform with Spotify, but they’re not amplifying us. Smaller bands don’t get that nod.
N: In the 90’s, college radio was huge. If a DJ liked you, he or she would put you on their show. You had a chance. Now? Not as much of a platform. I hate to say it…it makes me feel awful on the inside…but MySpace was a boon for the underbelly of this industry. It was so much easier to book tours and promote.
A: Tell me more about your rhythm section crusade! Why does the rhythm section rock?
M: Which one of us has rhythm?
N: Neither of us.
[Morgan does the “comedy hit” on the drums]
N:Well, both of us were in the bands that were vocals, drums, guitar. No bass. [A: Gasp!] I think the change for me to now pick up something more gutteral was to hit that…well, some people say brown note, but it’s a thing for me with volume, punch, heft.
M: I mean, I play drums. That’s what I do. I don’t really know how to do anything else.
N: You were going to play drums no matter what. I strongly believe the drummer is the band. I think the way a person plays the drums, their ideas, is essential to how a band sounds. You could probably change the other people in a band and hint at the same sound…
M: Us being a two piece band, I think if you changed either one of us it would drastically change the sound. Maybe that’s the answer. These were the instruments we knew how to play.
N: I bought this bass for $2,000 and I’m too cheap not to use it.
M: I guess if you have a band like this we’re really only a rhythm section.
N: I think it’s the best we can do to keep the arrangement simple. It’s easier with a smaller group. You don’t lose anyone in the constant shuffle of information.
A: What message do you have for current and future fans?
N: “Enjoy the records we’re putting out. Come to the shows?” That’s not a particularly good message.
M: I don’t know if we do that much proselytizing.
N: We’re not really a political band.
M: We have a lot of things that we want to talk about. I think, maybe part of wehat we talk about is that you can’t take things…yourself…too seriously.
N: Life is much more complicated. Not everything is black and white.
M: I’m impressed when people can see the humor in how we’re presenting a stronger concept. So maybe that’s the message: Go fuck yourselves.