July 21, 2008
Like chocolate and gin, I just can’t get enough of Beth in Battle Mode. I listen to their songs almost daily, like a dirty, little secret I hide from my hard rock friends. Maybe it’s the satire they hide behind catchy electronic keys and hooks or the raspy way singer Edward Maher makes you simultaneously want to shake, do something more significant with your life and conduct a scientific experiment.
"Our last album was very much live and very quickly done and quickly conceived and raw and exciting," Maher said. "This one we want to take a bit more time and maybe actually do some overdubs this time. We’re trying to make it a different vibe from the last one so it takes a little more preparation. We don’t want to regret anything, we want to do it right."
BIBM, named after a photo of Maher’s wife Beth in a wicked lacrosse pose printed in the U of T Varsity, are a "goulash" of awesomeness, a stew of wickedness, a mix of dance, electro, indie with a dash of hip hop. Their songs have been played on the Rideau Canal, and no matter what else happens in their career that alone is pretty snazzy.
The new album will be recorded in the fall with producer Mike Kuehn [Born Ruffians] of Sleepytown Sounds who also recorded their last release.
"We’ve come quite a ways in terms of how we play and generate songs," Ennals said. "One of the biggest changes now is more thought goes into it. From my own perspective, I’m not just playing root bass notes I’m actually playing real proper bass lines. I’m not schooled as a bass player, I’m a keyboard player, so I’ve had to pick that up and learn that aspect, so I’ve really come a ways in that regard. As players we know each other better and we’ve learned to separate and make things a little more layered."
Over the past year, BIBM has been focusing on playing more out of town shows including Ottawa, Montreal, Guelph and Hamilton, putting what they call their "Paleolithic period" behind them.
"We didn’t do that at all last year. We played about half of our gigs this year have been out of town. That’s something we’re trying to do a lot more of," Ennals said.
One of the things that is really empowering about BIBM is how much they value the importance of camaraderie amongst their group.
"At the end of the day the biggest thing for us is that we’re all great friends and we’re friends outside of the band as well as within the band. It’s one of those things where if we had to choose, we would choose the friendship over the band. The whole having fun aspect and any sort of residual success or achievements tie into that more than anything else," Ennals said.
But are they in pursuit of fame, gold, jewels and gems?
"I wouldn’t push it out of bed for eating crackers, is that the phrase the kids use?" Gilgan said.
Toronto Music Scene loves BIBM and so will you. Check them out at the Horseshoe on the 22nd or at www.myspace.com/bethinbattlemode .