Massachusetts' Born Without Bones are back with their third studio album, Young At The Bend, showing their maturity as a rock trio with a special cast of New England musicians also playing a part. We're exclusively streaming the entire album below, where you can read AltPress' interview with frontman Scott Ayotte and find their hefty U.S. tour set up for June.
Q&A WITH GUITARIST/VOCALIST SCOTT AYOTTE:
Most people know you as the primary songwriter, can you introduce the other players in the band and on Young At The Bend?
Jonathan Brucato plays second guitar. I met him my freshmen year of high school in a music theory class and we've been friends ever since. Jim Creighton plays bass. I met him when he was living with my friend Burton in like 2009. He also played in a band called Therefore I Am that I had seen a few times when I was in high school. They've both been in Born Without Bones since about 2010-11. With the exception of Say Hello, we've done everything for this band together.
Patrick Murphy plays drums on the majority of the record, he also plays drums in Mountain Man and does a sort of solo project called the Oracle. Pat's actually the only person besides myself that has played on every BWB record. Burton Wright plays drums on “Muscle” and “Romance” and he also plays drums in the band Save Ends. We also got this guy Ethan Weiss from New Bedford, MA to play electric piano on “Romance” and “What I Was Missing”
We made the record with Clinton Lisboa who plays guitar in the band Half Hearted Hero. His bandmates Ian Legge and Meyer Brown play Cello & Double Bass, respectively. They came in for a day and helped arrange a really amazing string part for “Romance.” They may have made it my favorite song on the record.
Did you ever want the band to be “full-time” and grind it out or does it exist at a comfortable level for you at your own pace?
We've always wanted the band to be full-time, but with that said, we've never really been uncomfortable. We haven't really been that band that tours relentlessly in the past because it didn't really make sense to. We've been good at making sure our output was sustainable. Sometimes that meant touring less and practicing more to build more musical chemistry and writing new material. The band is a huge part of all our lives. Luckily, the past few years it's taken up a lot more of our time. Jim and I live about five minutes apart in Milford, Massachusetts and we both really like it here. If anything, the slower pace of a suburban town gives us more space and peace to work.
What is the reasoning for forming your own label to release YATB?
We've had the name Devil You Know Records for a few years now and with Young At The Bend being the second record we've put out by our own means, it felt necessary to start our own label. It's a process the three of us have grown to really appreciate and really enjoy collaborating on. It allows us to have a closer relationship with the people who support the band. I don't know about the rest of the guys, but something about doing the mail order portion is very satisfying to me. To think we send little boxes with our records in them through this communication grid fascinates me.
I think we'd entertain the idea of releasing music for another artist somewhere down the road. Since I've been playing music, I can think of three or four bands I heard on tour or something that immediately made me think “I want to sign them.” It's honestly such a great feeling to see someone perform and have that desire to help them in any way you can. For me to really believe in another performer is invigorating.
What is YATB about and who can relate to this record?
It's about figuring out what you believe your personal truths to be. What is my role as a son, a friend or a lover? Am I working on my worst qualities and celebrating my best ones? These are the questions myself and the people I care most about are thinking about. Especially with my peers, we're all coming to terms with who we are and how we understand and interact with the world around us.
I wanted to write about the things I worry about as I grow older. I wanted to write about being in debt, struggling to really like myself and struggling to stick up for myself. There are certain qualities I currently possess that I hope I don't in the future. I think a lot of people my age can relate to that. The mid-twenties are a good time for a lot of soul-searching.
Where did this vivid cover art painting originate and why did it vibe with you to pair it with YATB?
Jonathan introduced us to his friend Lucia Tenuta's work sometime in early 2016. Jonathan sent myself and Jim a picture of that painting first and it got the wheels turning for me. I saw a lot of things when I first saw it. I saw a healing bruise, a peacock, a raging ocean or even just a wonderful example of consistency in brush strokes. I'll liked that I could extrapolate a lot of meanings from it. I think it's the affect every artist wants to have with their work. I feel like her color palette really compliments the vibe of the record. Just like how I think burnt orange is the vibe for our record Baby. I'm not someone who can hear color, necessarily, but I really feel blacks and blues when I hear YATB.
What's going on in your brain when you wake up and have a hometown record release show to play that night?
My first thought is definitely “How does my throat feel today?” I get really anxious with so many people that I'm really close to and want to give my undivided attention all in the same room. It's terrifying for me. It's something I'm trying to be better at managing. I'm usually running around making sure everyone has everything they need, which honestly isn't always necessary. I just get really hyper for a few hours before and then absolutely crash right after.
What's your favorite band that you would consider “local?”
The Furs from Boston are absolutely one of my favorites. No one sounds like them right now, it's an old sound with just undeniable fire behind it. People Like You are another amazing local band. I can't resist a horn instrument.
06/01 Somerville, MA @ Once Ballroom*
06/02 Philadelphia, PA @ Pharmacy*
06/03 Brooklyn, NY @ Gold Sounds Bar*
06/04 West Haven, CT @ Crunch House*
06/08 Rochester, NY @ Vineyard Community Center #
06/09 Buffalo, NY @ Sugar City %
06/10 Cleveland, OH @ Mahall's %
06/11 Detroit, MI @ Hybrid Moments ^
06/12 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean <
06/13 Grand Rapids, MI @ TBA <
06/15 St. Louis, MO @ Foam <
06/16 Cincinnati, OH @ HTTH House <
06/17 Nashville, TN @ Cafe Coco <
06/18 Tuscumbia, AL @ The Shed <
06/19 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade <
06/22 St. Petersburg, FL @ Lucky You Tattoo <
06/23 Orlando, FL @ West End Trading Co. <
06/24 Naples, FL @ Whiskey Park <
06/25 Jacksonville, FL @ Rain Dogs <
06/26 Charleston, SC @ TBA <
06/27 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter <
06/28 Baltimore, MD @ TBA <
06/29 Lancaster, PA @ Lizard Lounge <
07/01 Amityville, NY @ Amityville Music Hall <
07/02 Upton, MA @ Upton VFW <
* w/The Furs
# w/Prince Daddy and The Hyena
% w/ Prince Daddy and The Hyena & Dead Leaves
^ w/Dead Leaves & Secret Stuff
< w/Secret Stuff