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Interview: Royal Baths

posted April 18, 2012, 6:21 pm by Ben Oliver | Filed Under Editorial, Festivals, General Interest, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment

Tags: SXSW, Friends, Better Luck Next Life, Royal Baths, SXSW 2012


Jeremy Cox and Jigmae Baer started Royal Baths without a plan in mind but soon the foundation for their writing found inspiration from Cox’s interest in the alternate and open tunings of delta blues, their shared fascination in the African rhythm of early Chicago blues, and Baer lyrically attempting to reflect with black humor and little judgment, and the thrills and troubles they stumble through.

Recording on whatever cheap four or single-track cassette recorder they could find, they eventually borrowed a Tascam 388 to make their first 7”. The unexpected encouragement of the 7” drove Cox and Baer to perform their first show in a basement in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Six months later they began work on Litanies, their debut full length released on Woodsist.

The band began touring before the album was released, opening for bands the first two of which Baer had previously been a member: first with Thee Oh Sees, next Ty Segall, The Fresh and Only’s, and Wild Flag. The Royal Baths went on their first headlining tour after that, where they found inspiration to write their second full-length record, to be completed this time in a studio on higher quality 2” analog tape. They declared the recording process complete only when their meager bank accounts were drained and they had borrowed too much money. Although the Royal Baths developed amidst the encouragement of friends in San Francisco’s garage scene they felt stifled by comparisons to a movement where their sound didn’t belong to, so they upped and moved to New York to assert their sound. The album Better Luck Next Life was released by Kanine Records on February 7, 2012.

I got to meet Jeremy last month at SXSW, and when I first saw him he was sitting on a swing set. We walked over to a park bench just off the freeway, and we talked about Brooklyn, the band Friends, played urban dictionary quiz, and more. You can listen below:

 

 

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