Bare Walls Tease Us With "Memphis" Lyric Video In Exclusive Q&A
If you haven’t been plugged into the Akron DIY scene and all the great music coming out of it recently, you’re definitely missing out. With Porch Rokr coming up fast to highlight tons of local bands and artists, it’s the perfect season for new music. We were lucky enough to link up with Bare Walls and talk over the new single “Memphis” dropping this Friday, August 9th! Even luckier… Bare Walls shared with us the lyric video which we are excited to share with all of you! Check out the Q&A below followed by the video!
Thanks for taking time to give is the scoop on the new music! Before we even get to the music, tell us and our readers about the musicians.
Bare Walls is
Zach Schubert – Guitar/Vocals
CJ Thompson – Guitar/Vocals
Brian Sloan – Bass/Vocals
Cody Mikesell – Drums
CJ is one of my oldest friends that I am still in regular contact with. He has been in this project with me since its birth back in high school! Brian has been our bassist for years and we love him. We’re also super grateful for his talent and ability to tackle most of our graphic design/photo needs! Cody Mikesell joined Bare Walls around the start of 2019 when we resurfaced after a 2-year unofficial hiatus. We have been beyond thrilled with his talent behind the kit and his commitment and belief in this project!
We've spoke to a few people about what makes the Northeast Ohio music scene so special, but in so many words, what's your take on the DIY environment in the area?
The music scene in Northeast Ohio, specifically the Akron DIY scene, is something I often take for granted. When I really think about it, I realize just how incredibly blessed I am to have been born and raised in this area (when considering music). Playing the “what if” game can be a never-ending rabbit hole. All I can say is, it would have been significantly more difficult, had I lived almost anywhere else, to get my music off the ground to any degree and find fellow musicians who believe in Bare Walls just as much as I do.
Beyond just an amazing group of musicians in this area, there is also an incredible group of people who support music and art in the many forms it takes on. I can really only somewhat speak for the Akron DIY scene, as that is where I have spent most of my time. I am always shocked when I see how many people show up for shows and support the arts. As an artist, living in this area is a huge blessing. I need to actively remind myself to not take this scene for granted and continue to stoke the embers that keep this scene alive.
For people that haven't got to scope you out... Who are some of your influences and what would fans of those artists think about Bare Walls?
Well, this has become a bit of a thorn in my side but I can’t describe our influences without it, Manchester Orchestra. The reason for the thorn is that I never want our band to be something that can be described simply as ‘just like another band’. Ideally, I’d like Bare Walls to stand on its own two legs, but at the same time I realize you can’t ever really escape your influences.
CJ and I were positively obsessed with their record Mean Everything to Nothing when we were both about 16/17 if I remember correctly. That record came into my life at the perfect time. Without going into too much detail, I was raised as a “strong” Christian and was very involved in the Church growing up. Around that crucial cognitive developmental time of being a 16/17 year old, I found this record and it seemed to be so vulnerable and honest in regards to essentially just asking the question, “God, what the fuck?” It felt so freeing to hear someone so intensely express their doubts and problems with the general church and organized Christianity. I could ramble on that subject for hours, but I’ll leave it at that to continue to some of our more modern influences.
Our music is influenced by a lot of different artists these days. Musical influences come and go, but I’ll try to pick out a handful of staple ones that have lasted the test of time, at least for me. O’brother, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, Frightened Rabbit, Alaska/King of Heck, Slowdive, The Spirit of the Beehive, Pianos Become the Teeth, and Weatherbox. I realize that list is kind of all over the place musically, but I would like to think our friends/fans can hear those influences creating a new sound that is Bare Walls.
Ok, now for the good stuff. What can you tell us about the new single "Memphis"?
Memphis is a song that I knew I needed to get out in order to really move on from this period in my life. It is titled Memphis because that is where I spent a week-long stay in a dual-diagnosis rehab facility in 2017. For those that don’t know, a dual-diagnosis rehab facility is different from a standard rehab facility in that it is meant to treat mental disorders/illnesses along side treating drug/alcohol problems. I had never been to Memphis, and it always seemed like a cool city, this unfortunately left a stain on my image of that place. It wasn’t terrible, I’m glad I decided to go and then went on to do some intensive outpatient therapy, it was definitely necessary at the time. However, I think the stay there acted as more of a wakeup call/culture shock than anything else.
Luckily, I wasn’t there because of a heroin or other opiate related problems, but most people were. This was the first time I had ever seen that struggle up close and personal; it only increased my empathy for those that go through this. In light of that, it made me feel like my problems at the time weren’t nearly as necessary or serious. Watching people go through the methadone treatment in attempt to ease withdrawal was horrifying. My stay there was supposed to be 30 days but I decided to leave after the first week. That was for a lot of reasons, but a big one was feeling out of place and unsure of what I was doing, why I was there, and if any of this was actually necessary. In hindsight, I definitely know it was necessary and I honestly kind of wish I had stayed the full month. At the very least, that week in Memphis was a huge catalyst that brought about a new path in my life towards positive changes and growth that I have attempted to stay on ever since.
How did "Memphis" come together? And was the final result what you expected going into it? Or otherwise, what was the goal or expectation(s) for the track?
Memphis came together in a surprisingly very pleasant and easy way. I had come up with the main riff and the rest of my guitar part a few hours before a scheduled practice. I brought it to the guys and I think on my 2nd playthrough everyone already had their own parts written and they were outstanding. I was blown away by how easily we all clicked with the song and each other. I was incredibly stoked that everyone else’s part was not something I had envisioned, but ended up very quickly being better than anything I could have written myself!
We decided to record and produce it ourselves, then I mixed and mastered it. That’s usually a recipe for disaster, being that close to your own music in the production/editing phase, but I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out. It has a pretty unique/original sound to it, from a production standpoint, and is definitely different than anything else I’ve produced. We will likely move forward with a different producer to mix and then someone else to master for a full record, just to ensure we get a really solid final product. It had been a while since we’ve put anything out and wanted to give our listeners a taste of what’s to come in the future. Plus, the DIY way is way cheaper.
We're excited to see you at PorchRokr in Akron later this month where we will also be set up. What else is on the horizon?
We’re super excited for PorchRokr! The lineup this year is amazing. We’ve never played and couldn’t be more grateful to have a spot on it this year. We play at 66 Kuder Ave at 5pm and this is also doubling as our tour kickoff show! We’re just doing a small 5-day regional run:
8/17 – PorchRokr – Akron, OH
8/18 – BugJar – Rochester, NY
8/19 – Howlers – Pittsburgh, PA
8/20 – Rumba Café – Columbus, OH
8/21 – Holland Haus – Toledo, OH
After we get back from tour, we’re going to buckle down on finishing up writing a new record. As of right now, we don’t have an exact release plan. We’re hoping to at least have the record completely done by the end of the year and maybe even have it released before 2019 is done!
Very awesome. Before you go, where do you want to send our readers who want more Bare Walls?
We’re on all the streaming platforms, but I’ll attach our Spotify link as that is the most common and include some social links as well!
Thanks guys! Be sure to catch "Memphis" dropping 8/9, along with our certain review, and plug in to the lyric video below!