St Albans based Bison Face are a four piece rock band that sound “like four guys with instruments making a racket”. Ernie (Bison Face guitarist/lead vocalist and songwriter) talks us through all things Bison Face related.
What are the origins of the band, how long have you been playing together?
Bison Face gestated out of a necessity for me to have an outlet again and became a real thing in mid 2019. I’d written a bunch of songs and wasn’t in a band of my own, just playing some session guitar and working. Me and Alex have been playing in projects together for 10 or so years on and off, so he jumped on board when he moved back up from Brighton last year. Jonny came on soon after, we had a few lineup switches. Our first show was about a year ago now so I’d say we’ve been a band for about 14 months. Arthur joined just before lockdown.
How did you feel performing your first gig? And how was it?!
We were equal parts excited and bricking it. First show is daunting because no one has any idea what your music is like, and you have no idea how it will be received. But we played with our good friends in TV COMA on the bill in our hometown and got a lovely crowd. Couldn’t have gone better.
What should people expect when they check the band/you out? How would you describe yourself?
It sounds like four guys with instruments making a racket. We wear a lot of influences on our sleeves, so it’s hard to pin down a specific style. I’d say it’s 90s esque grunge/alternative with smatterings of desert rock, shoegaze and Star Wars.
The new music scene is bursting at the seams with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out from the others trying to build a name?
I think you just have to work hard and be original. Don’t try and be the next (insert band name here) because you never will be, you’ve gotta be you… And focus on the music. So many artists in the world now spend hours and hours making “content”, looking the part and then end up releasing just vapid, soulless music. It should always be about the music.
What are you working on at the minute that people can check out?
We’re going to record a few “live from lockdown” sessions of our single Ladybird and a couple of upcoming tracks in the next couple of weeks. Other than that the next release will be the first single off the EP, which date-wise we’re not sure on yet! I’m mainly writing at the moment, while I have the time.
What band out there at the minute do you feel that you would be best suited to open for?
I think we’d fit in on a load of bills, anything guitar based. Foo Fighters would be lovely, Dave if you’re reading? I’d love to open for Dinosaur Pile-Up, they’re great dudes and an absolutely killer band.
Who do you feel is the next band to break out?
Fangclub and Big Spring both deserve world domination.
What are your first musical memories? And what was the light bulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?
At about age 10 I wanted the school of rock soundtrack CD and my dad was like “If you like that sort of stuff I’ll get you some other records instead”. Nevermind, Led Zep III and Raw Power …The first time I listened to Nirvana I was completely hooked. My Mum would play The Undertones, Blur, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello and my uncle would blast Bon Jovi and the Stones in the car. Can’t go wrong with any of that.
What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?
I THINK it was Cage the Elephant at Alexandra Palace. It feels like they were all years ago now I can’t properly remember, but that’s the last ticket stub that was in my wallet.
The album that you have in your album collection/spotify playlist that would surprise most people?
Christ, ummm. Take That? Take That have some absolute bangers. I like such a weird mixture of music there aren’t many surprises in the record collection.
What are your plans for 2020?
Pre-lockdown we had a load of shows and a hefty recording schedule lined up, so at the moment our plans have all been shelved. We’ve got an EP in the works for release sometime later in the year, and I’ve finished writing what could potentially be a full record during the isolation.
How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?
Not as active as we should be during the lockdown, but there’s a lot less going on for everybody, once we can play it’ll awaken from slumber but for now follow us for studio videos, pictures of cats and a slew of useless information.
Connect with Bison Face here.