Featuring members from stoner metal bands and new wavers, Baby Birds is hitting you with a new type of sound. Walter (guitar, vocals), Lisa (drum machine, percussion) and Wendy (guitar, synths) use this new sound to reflect the dichotomy of the world. This is highlighted in their debut album An Olive Branch Wrapped in Barbed Wire. We sat down with Walter to talk about the band, the album, their music and much more!
OSR: Baby Birds includes members from Funeral Horse and Right Speaker Heavy, how did you get together for the new band?
Walter: We’ve known each other for many years and would talk at gigs (remember those?!) about music and stuff. The band came together over drummers.
OSR: When the band formed, did you have an idea of the sound you wanted to produce or did this evolve as you started working together?
Walter: Not really, at least, not in the beginning. Baby Birds evolved from several false starts of other bands and projects. Right Speaker Heavy is more of a darkwave/new wave sound, heavy reliance on the synth and drum machines while Walter from Funeral Horse was looking to branch out and do something more lo-fi / garage rock. Walter had several demos drafted and tried them out with a few drummers, but ultimately decided to try out the demos with a drum machine and this is how the two bands started crossing into each other. Ideas and demos were shared for technical help and then next thing you know… BANG!
OSR: Is there a theme or backstory to your debut album An Olive Branch Wrapped in Barbed Wire?
Walter: The title is a comment about someone being aggressively friendly, but the lyrics for the album’s songs have nothing to do with anyone in particular. The lyrical themes are allegories for real-life situations, so instead of writing stuff like, “I’m angry and I hate you” I chose to write in a more objective manner.
OSR: What was the creative process for writing the songs on the album? Is this a joint process or does one person tend to take the lead?
Walter: So, the first three songs on the album were created as lo-fi garage before Baby Birds became a thing but were then worked into this new sound, if you will. The other three songs were created by us trying out different ideas and then working them out over several rehearsals. The next batch of tracks to be released are mostly going to be Right Speaker Heavy songs worked into Baby Birds. The band has quite a bit of material to pull into the mix but there’s no hurry.
OSR: The pandemic cut the studio recording of the album short, how difficult was it to change to remote recording?
Walter: This was bizarre, but not stifling. Right Speaker Heavy had recorded their debut album at Barron Studios in Houston while I was using the Atrocity House for my garage rock songs. Once Baby Birds got to a point where we were ready to record our material, we decided on Atrocity because it was super close and we needed to record the instruments loudly, Barron is more of a vocal/hip hop/trap studio.
We were going to do the vocals and mastering at Barron once all the music was down, but then the pandemic started and everything got delayed. I had to do my vocals in my car with a backing track playing through headphones, get those uploaded and wait to see how everything sounded. It took a wee bit longer than usual, but it wasn’t terrible since, thankfully, most of the music was already finished and mixed by the time the pandemic really hit.
OSR: If people could listen to only one song from the album, what would you like that to be?
Walter: We initially released ‘An Interview with Destroyed Buildings’ as our lead-off track because it felt like the standout, plus, it was the first song created solely for Baby Birds and not brought over from the other projects. But now, the song ‘Xatu’ is what we would recommend people check out first.
OSR: The album is being released digitally and as a limited-edition cassette, what prompted you to do this?
Walter: Well, the idea was to have some merch ready to sell at shows and such, but, yeah. :/
OSR: Are you planning any further releases related to the album such as music videos or live streamed performances?
Walter: A close friend is working on a video for ‘Xatu’ as well as ‘Waves of Luminous Bodies’ but that’s it for now. Live-streaming just doesn’t quite feel right, so we think it’s best to wait it out.
OSR: What else do you have planned for the next 12 months?
Walter: Working on new material and slowly starting the process of recording. There’s not much more bands can do except to stay focused on being creative with staying connected. All we can do now is wait and stay safe and hope others do the same.