By Nicholas Jason Lopez
When you’ve got a list of supporters that include Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry and Henry Rollins, you must’ve done something right.
Woodstock, N.Y. quartet The Bobby Lees – featuring vocalist/guitarist Sam Quartin, bassist Kendall Wind, drummer Macky Bowman and guitarist Nicholas Casa – continue their surge with the release of their latest ‘Bellevue’ LP, out now via Ipecac Recordings.
The Music Bugle had the chance to chat with Wind about ‘Bellevue,’ which already boasts heavy-handed, urgently-paced hits like “Hollywood Junkyard” and “Ma Likes To Drink,” that you can check out below.
Music Bugle – How did you decide on the name “The Bobby Lees”?
Kendall Wind – The name comes from our song “Bobby Lee,” off of our first record ‘Beauty Pageant.’ We needed a band name for our first show, so Sam came up with The Bobby Lees as a temporary name and we ended up sticking with it.
Music Bugle – What was it like putting together ‘Bellevue’?
Kendall Wind – We made the album over a year, doing three week-long sessions in the studio, so we had a lot of time to process and revise the songs, which is not how we were used to working in the past. Usually, we would record and mix very quickly, but this time, we were able to slow down and really nitpick every track so that everyone was happy with the album by the end. Our producer, Vance Powell, helped us step outside our comfort zone a little more by experimenting with different instruments, production, song structure, etc.. It was really enjoyable to hear songs like “Hollywood Junkyard” and “Strange Days” come together, because it showed that we were growing as a band and that our sound was expanding. Also, ‘Bellevue’ almost ended up being called something else, but at the last minute, we decided to change the cover/artwork and the title and once we made that switch, the whole album felt like it came together as a cohesive body of work.
Music Bugle – What would you say is the biggest challenge in being a four-piece band?
Kendall Wind – Making sure everyone is happy and satisfied with what we are doing together. There’s a lot of emotion between four different personalities and when you’re spending all your time with one another, you have to learn to coexist, which can often make or break a band. We’ve become a family in the sense that we don’t keep anything from each other.
Music Bugle – How would you describe the town of Woodstock, N.Y. to someone who has never been there before?
Kendall Wind – Very small and very quiet – except on weekends, when all the city people come to town, but it’s also a beautiful place. Right now, we’re in the peak of fall when the leaves are changing and everything is so colorful. In my opinion, the woods/scenery make the town what it is.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Kendall Wind – I stay close to home on breaks. Woodstock is such a calming environment that I don’t feel like I ever need to go somewhere else to relax. My favorite place in town is called Thorn Preserve. I can completely zone out there.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Kendall Wind – I’ve started listening to Fontaines D.C. a lot. It’d be fun to play with them some day. Also, I love soundtracks/movie scores, so I am always looking for new music in that category. Some of my favorites right now are “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Cowboy Bebop.” I’m also fully entrenched in Christmas music already. I have a five-hour long playlist on shuffle all the time.
Music Bugle – Which of your new songs are you the most proud of?
Kendall Wind – “Strange Days,” “Dig Your Hips” and “Monkey Mind.”
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep going?
Kendall Wind – “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment,” from Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Music Bugle – What do you consider to be the band’s next step?
Kendall Wind – That’s a mystery, but I hope to play these new songs for as many people as possible.
Music Bugle – What does today’s music industry need more of?
Kendall Wind – Authenticity. The industry has become a factory trying to churn out one hit after the other and tons of great artists end up getting overlooked. Definitely feels like a quantity-over-quality business now, which is not what music should be about.