Next month Bayonne, the project of one man studio band Roger Sellers, will return with his gorgeous sophomore album on 2/22. Drastic Measures is a lesson in loop and layering artistry with Sellers crafting each song with meticulous precision.
The title track from the album “Drastic Measures” is out now and encapsulates everything that is special and striking about the latest collection of songs. Sellers also digs deeper lyrically on the new album, he tells us “Drastic Measures is about the ups and downs of life during intense touring, as well as the mental and physical strain it can require. There are times that can feel super isolating and lonely, along with some incredibly inspiring and memorable times. Sometimes it can feel like you lose touch with your friends and family, which I found to be very difficult at some points over the last few years. It’s a uniquely bittersweet lifestyle that demands plenty of self-care.” Watch here
He continues “The video really touches on the sporadic, dizzying nature of life on the road. The imagery of the travel footage and the rapid animation was right on point with what I had envisioned. It was also fun to actually sing and be in the video, which is something I really haven’t done much of in the past.”
The video was created by Ruffmercy who is known for his work with Thom Yorke, Preoccupations, Suuns. He says “I really enjoyed the process of using analog techniques to reflect the warmth and layered textures of the song. I scanned hours of old super 8 which i shot on various travels between 1998-2005 and also coloured in several rolls of blank super 8 leader film as it passed through the film gate to build up a library of vibrant colours and patterns which i collaged together with a live performance by Roger. Collaging these together in a chaotic, mashed up dynamic way felt like a good way of conveying the mixed up feelings and emotions that Roger sings about within the song.”
Bayonne has also just announced a North American headline tour this spring. Dates go on pre-sale this Wednesday, January 16th at 10am EST and on sale to the general public Friday, January 18th at 10am local time. A week before the release of Drastic Measures, Bayonne will play a special album-release show in his hometown of Austin, TX @ Mohawk (Indoors). The February 15th underplay is free for fans who pre-order the album at Waterloo Records, End Of An Ear, or via Bayonne’s website. More info at https://www.bayonnemusic.com/.
2019 North American Tour Dates:
4/13 – New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa
4/14 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
4/15 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle – Back Room
4/16 – Richmond, VA – Gallery 5
4/18 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade
4/19 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
4/20 – Washington, DC – Songbyrd
4/21 – Allston, MA – Great Scott
4/22 – Montreal, QC – Le Ministère
4/23 – Toronto, ON – The Monarch Tavern
4/25 – Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups
4/26 – Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern
4/27 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
4/28 – Davenport, IA – The Raccoon Motel
4/30 – Denver, CO – Lost Lake Lounge
5/3 – Seattle, WA – Barboza
5/4 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
5/6 – San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop
5/7 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
5/9 – San Diego, CA – Casbah
5/10 – Tucson, AZ – 191 Toole
Each song on Bayonne’s Drastic Measures is orchestral in texture, unfolding in countless layers and kaleidoscopic tones. With great intensity of detail, the Austin-based artist otherwise known as Roger Sellers deepens that sonic complexity by weaving in elegantly warped samples of the field recordings he’s gathered for over a decade. But in its powerful melodies and pristine arrangements, Drastic Measures ultimately bears a pure pop lucidity even in its most grandiose moments.
“This record is essentially a reflection of my life on and off the road over the last few years. “Drastic measures” refers to the huge risks and sacrifices involved with pursuing art, particularly music and touring, as a career. It sometimes feels isolating, chaotic, and unhealthy, but we still do it. I would often feel like I wasn’t keeping in touch with friends, family, and home life in general. Under this theme, the songs differ in emotional content. Some songs are about certain relationships that had been created and broken. Others are about mental or physical health, etc. There’s also some positive parts of touring as well, which is also represented in some places on the record. I’d say it is a much more thoughtful record than Primitives. It really just comes down to the balance between home life and tour life and the struggles that inevitably interweave in-between the two – The balance and polarity between two very different worlds.”
Driven by the dynamic percussion and luminous piano work signature to Bayonne’s sound, Drastic Measures takes its title from a track that embodies the album’s central theme: the instability inherent in an artist’s life, and the often-futile attempt to attain balance. With its unrelenting urgency and heavy-hearted lyrics (“Common sense should tell me that the ones I’ve sinned against say goodbye”), Drastic Measures looks at the disorienting effects of constant touring. “After a while you kind of start to lose touch with home and your friends and your family,” says Sellers. “You come back and feel like you’ve missed out on a lot, like you’re stepping into a whole different life.”
And as the album offers up many a transcendent melody and anthemic chorus, Drastic Measures also reflects the volatility of moods within that way of life. “There can be so many highs and lows in such a small amount of time,” says Sellers. “I remember my parents flying to one of my shows in Brooklyn and feeling incredibly grateful that I got to share it with them. Just weeks before that I was touring through Germany, feeling so isolated and lost. The ups and downs can be crazy if you don’t actively try to manage them.”
The crystalline production of Drastic Measures marks a departure from Primitives, Bayonne’s entirely self-produced and more loosely structured full-length debut. In shaping the immaculately composed album, Sellers partly drew inspiration from the sublime melodicism of 1960s symphonic pop. “I spent a lot more time thinking about the little subtleties than I ever had before, and putting more thought into the meaning behind the songs and the best way to get that across,” he says. “It felt like a natural progression for me—I wanted to make the music more accessible to people, including myself.”
Mixed by Beatriz Artola (Fleet Foxes, A$AP Rocky, Adele) and mastered by Josh Bonati (Mac DeMarco, !!!, Zola Jesus)—but fully produced and mostly tracked by Sellers himself— Drastic Measures also finds the multi-instrumentalist enlisting several close musician friends to instill the songs with a more kinetic energy. As Drastic Measures muses on such matters as fractured relationships and the erosion of mental health, Bayonne builds a dizzying tension between the album’s bright and dark elements.
Drastic Measures will be released via Mom+Pop Music on February 22nd. Pre-orders (HERE) on the official store come with Bayonne’s signature hot sauce: Bitchin’ Bayonne.
2. Drastic Measures
6. I Know
8. Uncertainly Deranged