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[Q&A] Bozmo talks about the new album, The White Album, and hope for better things

 

BOZMO is an Allston supergroup of Jeremy Mendicino of Pretty & Nice, J-Raff Carrasco of Earthquake Party, and Bo Moore of Wonderful Spells. So it goes completely without saying that this band RULES. An all-star cast of Allston garage rockers come together for a garage pop symphonic tour through Bo Moore’s mind. I talked to Bo over the phone on his way back from Cape Cod, where he was practicing and packaging albums for his anti-Raffi anti-Wiggles children’s folk band The Thinkers, who are about to go on a July tour of free shows at children’s hospitals, museums, schools and bookstores. Now that’s a story that could melt anyone’s heart, no matter who you are.

Bozmo’s record release party is tonight at O’Brien’s! Check out the event info here.


So this is the first Bozmo release, correct?
Yeah.

How long have you been Bozmo?
October was the first time we started playing as a band, though Jeremy and I had already been recording the album since September.

Have you been playing out much since you started playing together?
Yeah, a lot actually! We’ve played around Allston a bunch and gone on a few short tours with Pretty & Nice.

Since these songs are all written by you, how did Jeremy influence the recordings?
Well, I had been recording my own demos for a couple of years, but Jeremy and I have been friends for a while, and I was even in pretty and nice for a little while, so J was one of the first people I would send my demos to when I was recording, and when I decided Bozmo was going to be a project, Jeremy said “let’s record it then!” To tell the truth, I honestly didn’t think I was going to record any of it. Jeremy would have to physically bring the tape recorder to the practice room and practically force me to record it.

What about the tones and textures of the record?
When we were making the album, we spent a long time listening to side three of The White Album, specifically “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me And My Monkey.” That’s kind of where we got the sound for “Milksnakes.” Really really hard, bright sounds and drastically stereo tracks. It’s kind of loose and trashy but kind of classic at the same time; It’s pop music, and it’s plastic, but it still has that hard edge. Jeremy likes to get the trashy sounds and record them really well and place them in the right spots. He knows all about frequencies and know how to make every instrument live harmoniously but at the same time keeping that raw sound.

 

What’s the inspiration or theme for this record?
It really started out like a ‘Bozmo’s Greaest Hits’ with no common theme, but they do have a theme and I realized that after I recorded them. They’re all a character, who’s maybe me, but maybe just a regular guy that’s feeling all sorts of things like hope and despair and sometimes feeling kind of silly. A lot of it’s about hope but not really in a serious way. A lot of theses songs came from a time when I was in a rut and I knew things were gonna get better once I got my act together.

There are a lot of religious themes I think I can see.
I went to Catholic school and I thought “Hosannah in the Highest” is just a funny phrase but it has a lot to with the hope that’s also a large part of the music. But I don’t want you to think that Bozmo is a really serious band. I’d much rather be seen as a fun band that people just enjoy than a band that has to be serious all the time.

Did the song “Milksnakes” come from watching all the Allston crust punks?
Actually I was living in New York when I wrote that one, so that one’s about the New York crust punks, but the same can be said for Allston. That one was originally called “Bozmo in NYC.”

Everyone’s doing cassette tapes, and everyone has their own reason for doing so. Explain why you released your record on tapes.
It’s a fun and cheap way to have a physical product. Ideally I would have vinyl, but that’s really expensive and I don’t have the money right now to press it myself. [Tapes] look great, they sound good, and it’s fun. I just think it’s a fun way to get the album out there.

Tell me about your favorite song on the album.
“Golden Feeling.” I think it’s the best song I’ve ever written. It’s really distilled. I didn’t try to put anything intellectual in it and the lyrics are really honest. It’s just a pretty straightforward song and I think it’s just catchy. Jeremy played the lead on this piece of shit 12 string guitar and it sounds great.

What about this band do you think is different than your previous bands?
Bozmo is kind of my third serious band, though I’ve been in like six bands really. Some of them are friends’ bands. The first band that I had was in was really sugary pop music. We just listened to The Monkees all the time and I don’t think anyone really wanted to hear it. Then there was Wonderful spells -- we were around for a while and that was sort of more of a collaborative band, but the style was a little more of a dark retro pop thing. Bozmo to me is just a lot more instant and fresh. I wrote all the music this time around and it was mostly just secret and/or leftover songs, some even from Wonderful Spells. I think in my old bands I tried for some sort of style, and in Bozmo I just wrote the songs I wrote, and maybe they have a style, but I didn’t try to do anything specific on this one.

Bozmo throws their album release party tonight with The Big Big Bucks and The Clippers at O’Brien’s tonight! Be there to hear great bands and pick up the new Bozmo cassette for wicked cheap.

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