photo by Annette Navarro
photo by Annette Navarro
This March, Cincinnati-based indie-pop duo Bad Veins, comprised of Benjamin Davis (vocals, guitar), Jake Bonta (drums), and live member, “Irene,” a 1973 Pioneer reel-to-reel recorder that handles filling out the duo’s lush studio soundscapes onstage, released their latest album, The Mess Remade.  Known for wearing military-inspired garb, for their use of megaphones for vocals, decaying warzone-esque imaging in sound and in vision, and in the duo’s fan-named appreciation community, Bad Veins Army, the band’s onstage perfomance is cathartic, visceral, and vulnerable, stretching songs into sweaty testifying-at-church-on-Sunday rave-ups with the crowd egging them on.  A Bad Veins show not only is a chance to bring the music to life, it’s a chance for a community, the Bad Veins Army, of equals to convene.
Drummer Jake Bonta took a moment to answer some questions just for you, beloved readers, about the new album, what’s next for the band, and how they feel about sushi:
Eo8:  You recently released your latest album, The Mess Remade; what were the ups and downs of making it, and how does it differ from your previous releases?

BV:  It was super fun to make. I really like what it ended up becoming and I think we matured a lot musically during the process. Wait until you hear our new record though…it’s straight fire.

E08:  How’s Irene doing these days? Is she a diva? Does she frequently need TLC?

BV:  No, she’s super easy going.

Eo8:  You use a lot of military imagery in your band and in your performances, can you tell us the inspiration/reason for that?

BV:  Ben’s father gave him his military jacket from when he served when Ben was younger.  Then he started wearing it when he played.  A lot of my family members that I look up to have served in the military as well, so it’s a very natural aesthetic and vibe that works for both of us.

Eo8:  What was your favorite moment at this year’s SXSW?

BV:  Getting to play in front of new people and having them receive it in a way we’ve never seen before. We’ve made a lot of changes, we think they’re improvements, lately and it’s nice to see it being appreciated by people that have never heard of us.

Eo8:  Do you in fact love the Muppets and are you addicted to sushi? (It’s a yes to both for me and I bet we’d be best friends.)

BV:  Muppets are tight, and sushi is probably my favorite food.

Eo8:  Can you give us any insight on where your tour will take you, and specifically, will there be a Nashville stop on the tour (please say yes)?

BV:  Can’t give it away as of yet, you’ll have to stay tuned. We may be traveling into space.Eo8:  If each of you could go back and tell your younger selves something, what would it be?

BV:  Don’t hold back.  Do what you want even more intensely.  I feel as though most young people, myself included, tend to be nervous to do/ act a certain way.  Don’t be afraid.  Fail.  Try again.  Over and over.  Do what you want with your life, and don’t let people tell you no.

Eo8:  Any parting words of wisdom? And go!

BV:  Please come see our live show.  We try really hard at making it something that we’re really proud of, and something that you won’t forget.

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