Interview with Bison Face
SPR (VIMH): Hi guys, congrats on your new single ‘Ladybird’.
Ernie: (Vocals/Guitar): Hi! And thank you!
SPR (VIMH): What is the significance of naming an album after Ladybird name?
BF: Ladybird was just a fictitious name for a feeling, it kinda fell out of nowhere and into my notebook. It’s also ambiguous enough where people connect to it in different ways, and I dig that.
SPR (VIMH): What do the lyrics talk about? Which are your major lyrics’ influences?
BF: Ladybird is mainly about an internal struggle. Having those voices and ticks that cause you to act out, or self-doubt and how internalising a lot of things can break you down. Mental health plays a big underlying role in a lot of the lyrics I end up penning. At the moment I’ve been reading a lot of Dystopian novels and excerpts, so there’s a vibe from that in some of the new tracks. Bukowski is a recurring influence on me.
SPR (VIMH): Which are those elements that separate your new album from your previous albums?
BF: It’s actually our debut single, so it’s the first taste really! The new material being written is all pretty varied, Ladybird edges toward the desert sound more and some of the tracks are more garage/grunge.
SPR (VIMH): How would you characterize “Ladybird” and what are your expectations from the new album?
BF: Ladybird was a standalone single, a sort of “here we are” to get the name out and the ball rolling, so the next release will be the EP sometime in the summer, and that’s got more of an arc and a story behind it. Hopefully it’s received as well as LB has been, and then we can begin transposing all the new ideas I’ve been working on in the lockdown and translating them into a cohesive body of work, probably a full LP.
SPR (VIMH): How did the cooperation with your label occur? How’s working with Forgotten Media and how much has he/she helped you on the whole?
BF: We’re unsigned so it’s pretty much a fully DIY operation at the present! I’m working with Ben from Forgotten Media on the EP and he’s an unfathomable asset. Sometimes I’ve got something in my head and he’s able to decipher the hand gestures and nonsense descriptions to the point where he understands what I’m going for. It’s a relaxed environment to create, but he doesn’t take any shit and has no problem telling me something is garbage.
SPR (VIMH): How’s the fans’ reactions been to the new songs on your live shows so far?
BF: We’ve played Ladybird and the whole upcoming EP live in the past and they’ve all gone down great, we’ve had some lovely comments from people after shows.
SPR (VIMH): Do you prefer to be on the road or on the studio writing and recording?
BF: I think I always long for whichever one I’m not doing currently, playing live and rehearsing births new ideas, which I immediately want to sit and work on; Being holed up in my studio space makes me want nothing other than to play the fresh ideas on stage with the guys.
SPR (VIMH): How did you come up with the name ‘Bison Face’ initially?
BF: I used to draw and write obsessively before I found music, and I had a few recurring characters. Bison Face was one of those and it had stuck in my head, somehow, subconsciously. When the project was gestating, I put it on the table quite late and it was the only one we agreed on and all loved.
SPR (VIMH): How would you describe your music style to someone that hasn’t heard of you before?
BF: Desert Grunge in a David Lynch space film. I don’t think it sticks in one particular genre so that’s the best we can do. Tatooine Grunge.
SPR (VIMH): Which do you consider to be the best male & female vocalist in metal history?
BF: Jesus, that’s a tough one. Not really metal, but Chris Cornell just had that voice for me. Equal parts leviathan power and melancholic feeling. Losing him hit music hard.
Female - Kim Deal. Every time. Her vocal lines MAKE Pixies.
SPR (VIMH): Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
BF: There are so many. For grandeur and scale, at the moment I’d say Muse - Absolution. That was the first record I’d really listened to that combined the blistering rock with all the other elements and textures. It never stops meandering through genre and I love that in an album. And some of the riffs on that album will melt your face like the Ark of the Covenant. Stockholm Syndrome? Christ.
SPR (VIMH): Were you obliged to give just one album to extra-terrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
BF: Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True. It’s a personal favourite, but it’s the prefect bridge between 50’s rock n roll and recent indie and garage punk. Plus he’s an everyman - you don’t want aliens thinking something like Steel Panther represents humanity do you? They’d just tag the planet “irredeemable” and disintegrate it.
SPR (VIMH): If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?
BF: I’d like to go back and see one of the prehistoric periods. The Cretaceous period, with the big gun Dinosaurs…
We’d last about 3 seconds but I’d love to see the planet all overgrown and unspoiled with these huge lizards stomping about. Any point in the planet’s history with no humans and I’d be pretty happy I reckon. We’ve wrecked it haven’t we so the future will be even more hideous.
St Alban's based four piece rock band Bison Face released their debut single ‘Ladybird’ on 13/03/20 Formed as the brainchild of frontman and main songwriter Ernie Hill (Vocals, Guitars) in mid 2019, Bison Face played a slew of shows in the latter end of the year, culminating in a support slot with Dublin’s grunge heroes Fangclub.
The line-up is completed by Alex Bowden (Guitar), Jonny Bennett (Drums) and Arthur Sawyer (Bass) who have all been part of the Hertfordshire and London music scene for a number of years, and enable the band's tight and diverse sound. Drawing comparisons to the melodic hooks of Foo Fighters, the raw energy of Dinosaur Pile-Up, the desert sleaze of Queens Of The Stone Age and the space age arrangements of Muse, Bison Face are currently recording their debut EP at Forgotten Media Studios in Hertfordshire.