Saturday, December 21, 2019

A Ripple Conversation With Julia Bentley From Night Goat


What have been your musical epiphany moments?

I was a huge music fan growing up and was heavily influenced, naturally, to what my parents listened to on records: The Beatles, The Doors, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Steppenwolf, Black Sabbath...I was about 13 when Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and all of the grunge scene music popped through. It all had such a dangerous, anti-mainstream, anti-establishment angst to it that was intoxicating and enticing. It was a musical epiphany for most of my generation, we were all part of a revolution in music that I have not witnessed since...it fueled my spirit to attempt to start one.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

It starts with an idea (usually something we have seen/witnessed or heard about) then the idea becomes a riff. Then the riff becomes alive with everyone else feeding off of each other. Lyrics are always last. By the time the song is figured out, I can hear what I will sing within the path of all the instruments. We all just kind of feed off of each other and it falls into place.

Who has influenced you the most?

Personally, for me it has been my brothers and uncles as my biggest influence...I was always the sister hanging around all the band dudes in the scene growing up, for my brothers. Our uncles were all in rock or blues bands in Detroit, and I had the opportunity to be around creative people early on, and my parents always encouraged it.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Within ourselves....I think most of our music writing happens organically, when it's ready to pour out. It's like a purge... or an exorcism.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

Good 'ol Canton, OH... Canton's claim to fame is the Pro Football HOF...to me, it seems like music like ours (and alot of other local bands) that don't fit into a generic "hipster box" will never be recognized as good music in our town... just because it doesn't fit in that music "box" that is "safe." Support for the edgy/non-conforming local musicians is sparse...but that keeps the underground scene thriving and creating. For us, I feel like it just makes us want to do it louder and louder...

Where'd the band name come from?

We all like The Melvins...it's the name of a Melvins song.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

Monster (2003) with Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

I think it would be our song THE GREYS.  It has some interesting ideas in it about the paranormal. witchcraft and alien life. Our intent was to give the listener a sonic glimpse into the madness of a broken mind. Is this truly happening to our to the character in the song or is this a psychological breakdown? Are there darker forces at work possibly? Maybe the aliens are demonic primordial horrors of an ancient tribe masking as travelers from the stars… high weirdness.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

I vomited off the side of the stage at Lucky 13 in Brooklyn NY during a brutally hot set and kept on rolling with the song!  Chris had an amp fall over on stage and collapsed an entire drum set in one fell swoop!

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

For me there is like a part of me that is suppressed until I'm in the moment. I believe it stems from the plight of the modern woman in today's world...it's insanity. If you are aggressive or assertive, you are a "bitch" or crazy...and you know what? It IS maddening....and it feels so good to just not give a damn. It's like...I am doing what I know a lot of other women are feeling. And that is a good thing to just cast off the expectations and freak everyone out a bit...leave em confused and make 'em think outside of their expectations.

What makes a great song?

Anything that can connect on some level with other people whether that be for entertainment or emotional purposes.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

Head Lice...for me, I think this song has a lot of raw, in your face lyrics that seem to smash with the total heavy build up that just kind of leaves me shook. Especially during a live performance.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

There are soooo many good bands around... but National bands like Whores, Multicult, Cherubs, The Jesus Lizard, Unsane, Swans, Neurosis, False Gods... and then Northeast Ohio bands like Goosed, Supercorrupter, Persistant Aggressor, Ghost:Hello, Lake Lake, Divorce Horse, Stillborn Prodigy, Liquid W's, Hexum.... soooo many.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Vinyl...It's ridiculous how much more a record can hold onto a moment so much more clear than anything else. It's like energy etched in time...a living, breathing time capsule.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Whiskey...because Jameson is the nectar of the gods.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

We are from Canton Ohio... but roll 20 minutes north up to Akron to Square Records for killer vinyl!

What's next for the band?

Some touring! Working on  getting our music to as many people as possible.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

Just check out our bandcamp page, if we come to your town please come say hi to us! Keep supporting independent music!

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