Quickly becoming the slowest band you know, bed. has carved itself a unique place tangential to the garage rock revival spreading over Portland and beyond.
Honing in on the crunch and plod of the 90s, duo Sierra and Alex Haager, with the solid backing of drummer Andrew Meininger, bring a carefully honed knowledge of both nostalgic musicality as well as the joys of straightforward songwriting. Incorporating twin vocals and a healthy dose of fuzz and reverb, the trio was on the list of top ten Portland bands to watch at Treefort this year by the Oregonian. Taking a breather from running their own Breakup Records, Sierra and Alex had a second to answer a few questions before heading over Boise.
SH&AH: Alex and I write the songs together at home. We’re married and run a business together, so we’re pretty used to how each other works. As with many bands, the sketches then take shape in our rehearsal space, where Andrew (drums) helps us steer them in the direction of whatever mood, texture, and tempo the song ends up taking.
N&C: What’s in store for 2015 (and beyond)? Tour? New albums?
SH&AH: We’re in the beginning stages of writing a full-length, but have a few more lone singles to release in the meantime. The full-length will consist of all new songs, so that’s most of our bandwidth for the foreseeable future. We’re fast in a recording space, but very slow with a notebook.
N&C: How do you see yourself fitting into the Portland scene? What’s the best part of making music in Portland? Any bands that people should be looking out for?
SH&AH: We love living in Portland. We love the rain and the trees and the bridges and the big brick building we live in. I think our band fits into the music scene better than we do as people. Everyone here is so friendly and engaging, which has taken some getting used to after living in bigger cities.
N&C: How does your work with Breakup Records affect your band? Do they meld seamlessly, or do you consciously separate the two?
SH&AH: For the last year and a half, Alex and I have worked on music stuff every single day. Since most of the label work involves squinting at computers, playing music with bed. seems very separate to me. There’s probably a lot more crossover than I’m conscious of.
N&C: What is the most fitting and/or hilarious comparison you’ve received from someone listening to your music?
SH&AH: Sharing music with our older relatives has always been interesting. Most of our family have no reference point for the kind of music we’re making, which has a strong foothold in crappy sounding records from the early 90’s. Since they don’t have any nostalgic ties to lo-fi recordings, I think they sort of just assume that we’re doing music wrong, which is understandable and also entirely possible.
Be sure to check out bed. at Treefort on Friday, March 27th at 10pm at the El Korah Shrine (1118 W Idaho St, Boise, ID).
by Graham W. Bell