San Francisco psychedelic band Battlehooch is headlining The Independent this Friday, June 1st. We spoke to bassist Grant Goodrich about life on the road, video projects, and just what the hell that band name is about.
Tell us a little about the Casual Religious EP that you will be passing out at the door.
This EP comes from a show we played early August of last year at a record studio in Highland Park, Los Angeles. It was a sweet set-up; they tracked everything live and gave us a recording afterward. Big ups to Mud and the Hobby Shop for their efforts. Once we got back to town, the production was produced by AJ from Battlehooch and our FOH engineer, Gabriel. We took it over to Hyde Street Studios for a mixing session, and then did some mastering with Jason Kick of Maus Haus. The EP has one brand new track, titled “Joke,” and three other well-known Battlehooch songs.
Where does that name Battlehooch come from? Is it a forgotten battle from Civil War times? Tell us a little about the history of the band. How long have you been together? How many of your drummers have exploded?
The six members of Battlehooch joined forces to construct the world’s largest water slide. When those dreams crumbled, the men of Battlehooch decided to start a weird rock band. The rest is history.
The name was uttered by the drummer after he ate three cartons of pop tarts on one dreary January night back in 2007. We’ve been together almost five years now. Three drummers have imploded, two have evaporated, and none of them have gone on to open their own taco trucks, thankfully.
We wanted to spread our gospel to the masses, we wanted to experience the country through the vehicle of psychedelic rock n roll, film desolation videos, make impressions, learn a whole ton about our country, and make essential connections that would help us support a successful career.
Low lights come when you play to just a bartender and maybe the other bands in a place that’s completely unfamiliar to you. This didn’t happen all that many times though. Sometimes, you might cycle through darker feelings or a disconnected feeling from reality.
But we had each other throughout the experience, and those tough nights hardened us, and ultimately humbled us. Plus, they made the successes all the more memorable. Our tour helped us cultivate a national fan base while establishing our brand as bi-coastal entity. Hopes for the future are to secure more substantial booking connections and tour the world.
On said tour you began a video series of “Desolation shows highlighting different beautiful and barren areas of the world” What was the thought behind that project and do feel it helped you grow as a band and as artists?
The initial thought was to play in the most exotic places in the world to nobody, yet we’d broadcast live over the Internet, to everybody. We settled on something more realistic though; one-off live performance videos shot live in iconic, and desolate terrain across America.
Our gracious Kickstarter donors helped us purchase a fleet of video cameras that we used throughout the project, so a huge thanks to them once again. The Desolation video series helped our brand dynamism grow beyond its previous borders; we can headline The Independent, frenzy the streets with busking, and film videos in abandoned car factories, clear springs aquifers, red rock canyons, cornfields, under major freeway overpasses and at abandoned amusement parks.
Similarly, the series also helped us learn the discipline of following through on an idea. The process of initial idea all the way through to completion, while being able to look back and see what worked, what didn’t work, and how we can make the next product more effective and entertaining. [View the series in full here]
Have you played The Independent before? Tell us a little about the bands that will be opening up.
Nope, we haven’t played this venue before but I have seen some great shows there. Man Man comes to mind, as well as Tame Impala.
We are really, really pumped on the bill that we’ve put together. There are a total of four bands for the night, but one of the bands is our house band for the night, playing in between sets. They are called the Panhandlers. Sun Hop Fat kicks off the show with the serious Ethiopian funky goodness. Ghost in the City plays their brand of bowtie-orchestral rock as main support.
Anything else you want to plug that is coming up for the band?
Maybe some busking at the Google campus soon. We’re working on a new studio album and as its release draws closer, we will be debuting new videos and singles online.
Lastly, if you could live on or in any of the great San Francisco landmarks, which one would you choose?
Alcatraz. Welcome to The Rock.
Battlehooch play The Independent this Friday, July 1st. Doors are at 9pm and tickets are $13.