BAYOU are a band born and raised on the Southern fried recipe of Doom,Sludge,Fuzz and Groove.
With the recent release of a split EP – BAYOU VS YANOMAMO , we chat to Brendon, who not only handles guitar duties for his band, but is also responsible (via http://www.fuzzfactorytouring.com/ ) for bringing over quality bands from all around the world to Australia.
How was the decision made to release a split…and how did the relationship with the eastern states based Yanomamo start?
I first crossed paths with Yanomamo vocalist Anthony Von Grimm a few years back. He was (and still is) running Von Grimm Records which sells a bunch of merch for rad stoner, sludge, and doom bands from all around the world that I was into. Being a couple of like-minded gentlemen with a passion for the fuzz and doom we hit it off and he organised our first East Coast shows back in 2013. Bayou played alongside Yanomamo with East Coast shows in 2013 and 2014 and we returned the favour for Yanomamo with a West Coast show at Armageddoom 2.
Over time Bayou and Yanomamo have grown on each other like fungus. Yanomamo were keen to come back for another fix of West Coast madness after a huge show here in 2014 and decided to return for Armageddoom 3 this year. It was East meets West again and we wanted to get the same vibe down on an audio recording. A civil war of Australian sludge bands.
How and why did you first pick up the guitar?
I had been playing drums for years and was playing in metal bands during that time. Typically the way songs were written in those bands was I would have input on rhythms to songs and riffs with guitarists who contributed with melodies. After my last band (Binding the Flesh) I felt it was time for a new challenge to write and play music that I had been wanting hear loud and live for a long time. Heavy music with a focus on doom, stoner, sludge, fuzz and psych. Anything goes tunes with no restrictions. To do that I had to pick up a guitar and learn it. So back in 2008 I purchased a second hand 2004 Gibson SG Special and a Line 6 HD147 with a busted up Ashton cab and started to learn the instrument and how to write songs and riffs.
First album you purchased ?
Showing my age and my radical musical tastes here
First album – Split Enz – Enz of an Era
First cassette – Duran Duran – Seven and the Ragged Tiger
First CD – Living Colour – Times Up
What kind of attributes do you look for when choosing an electric guitar
The most important quality for me in a guitar is tone. Fat, thick, warm tone with sustain for days. It helps with making bad ass riffs sound meaner and when coupled with the right guitar pickups and amplifier it turns the audience to dust and melts minds. Over time I have found the Les Paul to be the ideal guitar for this and am currently using a Gibson Custom and an old Greco.
Can you describe your approach to songwriting — how do you decide which riffs good and which are bad?
Song writing usually begins with a riff and the riff is typically inspired by a scene or dialogue from old movies that I am into. Something triggers in my head from watching old exploitation and grindhouse films to try and capture the same vibe from the movie into a riff. From there the riff takes the listener on a journey through a bunch of ups and downs, highs and lows through the song.
The good riffs are the memorable ones that stay stirring around in your head for a long time after you have heard them.
After I have rough ideas locked in for the song I record it into a demo, bring it to the boys in Bayou and together we embellish on it and grow the song into the final product.
Can you tell us a bit about the recording process for the split EP…and guitar tone-wise, what was your setup like
We recorded the split EP at Electric City Studios in Fremantle with Sam Allen who knows how to pull a huge killer sound from bands and get it all down on audio recordings.
I used my Gibson Les Paul Custom fitted out with Lace Wino “Lifer” pickups and my Greco Les Paul Custom with Lace Bill Kelliher “Dissonant Agressor “ pickups through an Orange TH100 head and Orange PPC412 cabs.
The 2 guitars were paired together on the recording as they both have different voicing qualities and tone.
The recording process started with my Orange Rockerverb head but we found it to be a little dry and lacking fuzz saturation even after experimenting with various gain pedals and effects. I plugged my Les Paul direct into the TH100 head and found it to have a fat and gnarly fuzzed out tone that I was looking for when plugged straight in with no effects besides a EHX Small Stone phaser for the whole recording.
How do you recreate this live?
My live set up is roughly the same template as the studio but with a few additions. Tone wise the Les Paul + Orange combination lays down a huge sound. However I like to add extra dirt, grime, boost and sustain to sections on songs to make the riffs nastier and my recent AA custom pedal absolutely nails the latter.
As I like to trip out with guitar sounds and add a little psych rock into the mix I use Earthquaker Devices Pitch Bay pedal for above and below octaves and other wacked out pitch variations, and an EHX small stone phaser. To recreate old school keys tones I use a split guitar signal from an EHX B9 pedal into an Orange Bass Terror and Orange OBC212.
You recently released the BAYOU vs YANOMAMO split EP at ARMAGEDDOOM 3(Rosemount Hotel)…what’s next?
We already have a bunch of songs for a new recording ready to go but we want to keep pushing ourselves as artists and write more new material in different formats and styles than we have in the past. Our bass player Rob Popiel has new material and ideas to bring to the table and we may try different techniques of writing like more as a band together in the one room to bounce ideas off. We have done this for a couple new songs and it has worked well. We also want to take the music in new more adventurous directions. Heavier doomier songs which give you the feeling the world is literally about to end but then on the flip side also write tunes which are more chilled blues filled soul numbers.
After more new songs are in the bank we will terrorise the East Coast again and show them all again how the West Coast brings the doom and sludge. From there it will be hit the studio again to for new recordings and of course an assortment of local shows and music videos during this time period.
Very exciting times on the Bayou
Give us your best “wtf” live show experience…
Craziest on stage experience would be when Bayou vocalist Dean broke his rib after falling onto a drum riser second song into a set. Like the professional that he is he finished the set.
Another fun experience was being abused and called racist by an ignorant punter directly in front of stage during a set because of our passion for the Southern states of USA way of life and music.
You can check out BAYOU on :
Brendon recently hit us up for a custom build, based on the shinei FY-2 and “Im after a sound similar to my speakers having been blown to bits”
the result was this one-off dubbed the “Sludge Factory”