We’ve all been entirely fed up with 2020 but spare a thought for Stoke based duo BathTub. Last September the 3 piece became 2 (they are now Olly on bass guitar and Brandon on drums) and bravely decided to give life without lead guitar a go.
BathTub had smashed a few well received gigs in their new format, and then were stuck dumb. While Bathtub did recently release a live EP, the drought has now been proper replaced by flood, with their first new studio tune in 14 months, the appropriately named Introduction due for release this coming Sunday.
Pre release always feels like the calm before the storm, so I asked the duo what it felt like to finally be on the cusp of releasing a new tune. Lead singer Olly told me:
”It feels revitalising to finally be releasing music again. On ‘Get Ducked’ (Sept 2019), we basically just threw every song we’d ever written onto an album and released it, hoping we’d become world stars or something.
That left us in a bit of a pickle about a month after the release, when the hype was starting to drop for the album and we didn’t have anything else left up our sleeves to keep people happy like.
With the loss of Tyler at the same time, we decided to take a bit of a hiatus and develop our new sound as a duet, not rushing into releasing anything too quickly if it wasn’t 100% perfect. Obviously then we were hit by the covid bomb, just like everyone else.
So finally it just feels like a massive relief to be releasing proper music after so long. Hopefully the wait will have been worth it and we can start to gain a bit of notoriety as we fire into 2021 on all fuckin’ cylinders”.
Introduction starts like a amphetamine fuelled demonic version of Bowie’s Man Who Sold The World, before drawing into the power mad drums of Brandon and the confident hard smooth vocals of Olly. Introduction has that riff, hook and power to waterboard you into digging that sound. This duo takes no prisoners and if you are into the likes of Royal Blood, cleopatrick and Death From Above then you will love BathTub.
I recently saw a podcast of the duo where that BathTub energy just shone through; customary yellow plastic duck sitting alongside. The gig was just a little unusual in that it was “Jools format” with 3 artists playing a track each in rotation, so the BathTub sound momentum was lost a touch. Nevertheless it’s clear BathTub are a live force to be reckoned with.
While the song title rather follows the theme of the band’s (re)introduction, there is such a strong image to both the tune and the lyrics. Olly explains:
“We wrote Intoduction deliberately to be the first single of the New Era, in fact we wrote it deliberately. I knew we needed an ‘on’. Something that we could come back with. Something short, sweet and energetic that would show people who we are and what we are about without going overboard to quickly and throwing everything we’ve done in the last 14 months into one track. It had to be digestible.
I’ve always been a bit of a conisseur when it comes to writing 2 and a half minute wonders, so that was the plan with this track from the beginning really”.
Olly explains more:
“It is a perfect ‘Introduction’ to our new era, because it sarcastically touches on everything that we’d been thrown our way in our first year or so leading up to our album and our big break.
Every little smirk or remark that we recieved when we were trying to get ourselves off the ground, by bands, promoters and venues that saw us as just another nuisance joining the scene, was addressed directly in this rather short track.
The song basically just says that in our 2 years or so now of being a band and playing all over the UK, we’ve learned that being a cu*t doesn’t get you anywhere.
And if you’re going to be aggressive or territorial about your music in any way, and look down upon other artists that were once in the same boat as you, then we just don’t have any time for that.
Sadly though, it seems that the music industry will never get that”.
That passion shines through Introduction: BathTub are an incredibly hard energetic band. There may be no guitar but those bass strings on Introduction bounce like weather chart isobars and more than make up. There’s a total gale blowing through this tune.
The guys tell me they are here to shake up rock music and make it real with a new era, a new rock, of DIY artists that are different new and exciting that do it for the music, and support each other.
It’s going to be a real ride to see just where BathTub take this format next. New Era? I’m well up for that.
* Images taken from the band’s social media