INTERVIEW: Best Ex

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Bad Love”?

When I wrote this, I was drawing deep from the past. I was in this point in life that was “fine” but totally stagnant. Nothing was interesting. Nothing was happening. I had to channel some of that drama of my early 20s, and shockingly, it was not hard. Apparently, if you’re a dramatic person, you’re just a dramatic person. I love this song. I love the video we shot. I love how it was snowing. I think it’s exactly my vision.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Not particularly. It was about a person in general. I mean, yes, when I walked into that hotel I sing about, I was like “cool, I guess I’m one of those New Yorkers who drinks at hotel bars now.” It’s a trend I sort of kept up, at least 3 other times. It’s so funny because the song is definitely something that occurred, but it’s a poor representation of who I am. I don’t think I’d have related to it at aside from that one specific thing. I’m more likely found at a dive bar drinking a water-adjacent $5 beer.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

The video actually came out a week or two ago. I think it excellently shows that sort of glowy appeal of love and that coldness of it not working out. I’m really happy with it.

How was the recording and writing process?

By now, I’ve got all that stuff down to a routine. I’ll write the song, record a voice memo, and send it out to my producer for his or her thoughts. With this one, we laid down the music, listened to a rough mix and just looked at each other like “Woah.” I don’t think any of us expected this song to happen the way it did, but sometimes the best things in life aren’t planned.

How has the likes of Jenny Lewis and Carly Rae Jepson influenced your music?

Well, Jenny is an amazing lyricist. I think her music has helped me hone my honesty and open the iron vault in regards to what I’m willing to share. Carly Rae (who I just saw in concert and nearly had a heart attack) has this pop sound that can be broken down into a 4 or 5 piece band and not lose anything. I think that’s amazing and seeing that live has really helped me think about using instruments in ways I haven’t really thought about.

What made you want to go for a much different direction with this new moniker?

I love pop punk. Don’t get me wrong, but I felt really boxed in. I wanted to make music that represented the entire range of the stuff I loved. Of course, being a DIY artist on a budget, I couldn’t afford to record songs in a studio with drums. We recorded in a kitchen. It began with “How can we make electronic drums sound intentional” to something way, way deeper.

Did you have second thoughts of changing sounds or was that always the way to go from the beginning? Well, I have an anxiety problem so I have a second thought about literally everything — including what I should eat for breakfast. But yes. From the start I wanted to change the sound. I just wasn’t sure of the best way to go about it. I wish I had gone all-in rather than slowly testing the waters like I did with Ice Cream Anti-Social. Of course, I like that album, but I can hear myself holding back and trying to hold onto something out of fear. My new EP feels unapologetic.

How did you go on blending the dark tone with the rather much uplifting sensibilities?

I’d argue my music is generally the opposite: uplifting music with dark sensibilities. I am who I am on the inside. I write songs about stuff that hurts me, but I still want to be able to dance to it and feel good from it. It all came naturally.

What role does NYC play in your music?

Well, it is a place I feel trapped in. It is a home I have decided to make for myself. By now, every corner of this city is haunted with something. That gives me plenty of material to write about.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

It’s all finished. I’m just waiting to get the artwork sorted, another video sorted, and then it’s go-time!

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Right now, I don’t want to reveal too much. I also can’t think of a title. That usually comes at the time I sit down and edit the artwork. So if you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to help me.

Any plans to hit the road?

Not as of yet. We’re working on it. We just played our first show back two weeks ago and I’m trying to take it one day at a time.

What else is happening next in BEST EX’s world?

New music! I can’t freaking wait.

Purchase/Stream here: https://bestex.lnk.to/badlove

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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