The Band Explains: Bethlehem Casuals - 'Change'
Creating a whirlwind of a sound, and creating their own unique twist on folk rock, Bethlehem Casuals prove that seven heads is better than one with new single ‘Change’. The band took a moment to talk to us about the track and their creative process.
Your track 'Change' is out now, what is the inspiration behind the song?
Soon we’re going to be releasing an album that tells a story about a lowly Street Dog triumphing evil and returning music to the mighty city of Manchester. Change comes at the end of that album and is a chance to touch base; it reminds you that we can write stories for others but we can’t write our own. Ultimately, we’re encouraging you to relax back into what and who you are in the hope that your situation will switch from a triplet to disco feel about 2/3rds of the way through and keep on groovin’ right till the end. This optimism might not stop climate change but it saved the 70s from what otherwise could’ve been a very dull decade, so always worth a go.
Musically, all seven of us have been secretly listening to non-stop Steely Dan for a year and accidently ended up writing the biggest hit from 1972 to come out this year. We’re hoping Dad’s everywhere will unite behind the cause and Dad Rock will be back with a vengeance. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll settle for people just enjoying our new track.
Where was the track recorded? Are there any behind the scenes stories you are happy to share with us?
We recorded the track along with the rest of our upcoming album at Giant Wafer Studios in the middle of nowhere, Wales. We lived in the studio thrashing things out day and night and seeing what happened, then realised on the last night we’d forgotten to write half of Change. Many late hours, drinks and tin whistle solos later Change very very nearly became the Disco-Folk revival we’ve all been waiting for. Luckily at the last minute our good pal Donald Fagen rang and asked if we could help him make his music more relevant – how could we not oblige.
You draw in quite a number of genres when it comes to your music, how would you describe it to someone, also who are your key influences as a band?
Our music is a weird hybrid of all our musical upbringings. Each member and their instrument brings their own little bit of genre to our musical mortar. There’s Joe’s rock guitar, Pip’s jazz saxophone, Naz’s Balkan/Latin American percussion, Awen’s Welsh folk cello, all bound together by Will G and Buzz’s solid groove foundations and topped with Will H’s story telling vocals. To account for all this we change the name of our genre every week, currently we’re on cosmic-folk-psych.
In our band room we have a big roulette wheel with different genres and subgenres carefully placed around the board. When someone hits a tasty riff, we spin the wheel of groove and see where we end up – if we don’t like that we’ll spin it again until it all falls into place (we have a patent pending on this state of the art groove-tech).
What do you hope your listeners take from the song?
When listeners listen to the song, it’d be really nice if they enjoyed it, maybe even shared it with a friend. Failing that, Joe our guitarist has spent years perfecting his arrabbiata and has finally hit the sweet spot. To honour this moment, his secret recipe is layered into the mix, see if you can find it!
Now the track is out there, what next? What are your plans for the next few months?
We’ve got a few more singles to share with you and a whole album is just around the corner. ‘The Tragedy of Street Dog’ tells the tale of a house pet-gone-rogue who finds himself with the task of saving Manchester from musical Armageddon. We’re also planning on releasing a story book for those who want a deeper insight into Street Dog’s life, laughs and loves. We’re also going to be doing gigs all over the country so keep your eyes peeled, we’ll be just round the corner.