3) You guys are Brooklyn-based now, but hail from Georgia -- do these different places have individual influences on your music, and if so, what are they?
They definitely do. In the South, everyone has a lot more time and space. As soon as you step outside, you can be surrounded by a drone of cicadas and the shadows of looming trees. It’s a special feeling, and it may be the reason we try to always maintain a strong sense of atmosphere in our music.
New York is influential for opposite reasons. There is constant commotion, and you have to keep moving just to make ends meet. Everyone works too hard, moves too fast, and all the niceties are left behind. Trade the trees and cicadas for trash and rats. It’s an environment, but a darker, harsher one.
4) How does a Bambara song get born -- lyrics first? Music first? A riff or a line?
It usually starts with a simple idea, like a riff or a line, maybe even a chord progression. Then we’ll work on parts and structure and see how big we can make the idea with instrumentation and noise before it needs to be cut back down. Lyrics always come last. Once the record has a cohesive feel, and there’s a solid connection between all of the songs, Reid can start putting words to the music. On Stray, Reid spent a month straight in seclusion writing lyrics up until the day we drove down to Athens to lay down the vocals.
5) The characters of your songs feel specifically united in a weird way. What qualities make for the protagonist of a Bambara song?
They are drifters, outcasts, criminals, and lovers. All looking for some sort of true connection in the world to make it worth while. They are united by a sense of isolation and longing and, for the most part, they are doomed from the start.
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Bambara's new album, Stray, comes out Valentine's Day, 2020, and is available for pre-order.
Catch the band live at one of the following dates next year:
19 - Union Stage - Washington, DC
20 - Boot & Saddle - Philadelphia, PA
21 – Space Ballroom – Hamden, CT
22 - Great Scott - Boston, MA
24 - Bar Le Ritz - Montreal, QC
25 - The Garrison - Toronto, ON
26 - Beachland Tavern - Cleveland, OH
27 - PJ's Lager House - Detroit, MI
28 - Sleeping Village - Chicago, IL
29 - 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN
03 - The Sunset - Seattle, WA
04 - Fox Cabaret - Vancouver, BC
05 - Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR
06 - Cafe Du Nord - San Francisco, CA
07 - The Echo - Los Angeles, CA
09 - The Rebel Lounge - Phoenix, AZ
10 - Lowbrow Palace - El Paso, TX
11 - Barracuda - Austin, TX
12 - Ruins - Dallas, TX
13 - Hi Tone (Small Room) - Memphis, TN
14 - The High Watt - Nashville, TN
15 - The Earl - Atlanta, GA
17 - Cat's Cradle Back Room - Carrboro, NC
21 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - NYC, NY
05 - Sneaky Pete's - Edinburgh, UK
06 - Stereo - Glasgow, UK
07 - The Cluny - Newcastle, UK
08 - Brudenell Social Club - Leeds, UK
09 - The Sound House - Dublin, IE
11 - YES (The Pink Room) - Manchester, UK
12 - The Exchange - Bristol, UK
13 - Clwb Ifor Bach - Cardiff, UK
15 - The Bullingdon - Oxford, UK
16 - Bodega Social Club, Nottingham, UK
18 - Portland Arms - Cambridge, UK
19 - Hare and Hounds - Birmingham, UK
20 - Dome Tufnell Park - London, UK
21 - De Zwerver - Lefﬁnge, BE
23 - London Calling Festival - Amsterdam, NL
25 - Bumann & Sohn - Cologne, DE
26 - Molotow Musikclub - Hamburg, DE
27 - Urban Spree - Berlin, DE
28 - Sunny Red - Munich, DE
29 - Kulturclub Schon Schön - Mainz, DE
30 - Trix Bar - Antwerp, BE
01 - Rotondes - Luxembourg, LU
02 - L'Aéronef - Lille, FR
03 - L'Espace B - Paris, FR