NadaMucho.com Interview – Baltic Cousins
Q&A with Bradley Lockhart
By Matt Ashworth
Baltic Cousins hail from Bellingham, Washington, a town I’ve been familiar with from time to time. Comprised of members of Black Eyes and Neckties and The Russians, two bands that have passed into punk rock heaven, BC strike a slightly mellower tone, but not by much.
Bolstered with noisy violin riffs and battering drums, Bradley Lockhart leads the crew in a twangy take on punk (I’m not hyphenating anything to describe these guys) or a noisy take on Americana, however you want to put it. I asked Brad five questions in preparation for their show at the High Dive tonight.
NadaMucho.com: Brad, despite relative youth, you’ve been playing music and touring around for a while now in various bands. Does Baltic Cousins feel like a continuation of past experiences, or is each band a different feel?
Bradley Lockhart: Each band has definitely been different for me, though Baltic Cousins undeniably stemmed from Wooden Wings. Once Black Eyes and Neckties broke up I knew I needed a band that I could pour all my juices into, and Baltic Cousins sort of picked up where Wooden Wings left off. Although this time instead of a side project, I was able to make it my main squeeze. It was time to take the idea of simplified, heavy folk songs and expand upon them with more instruments, which the violin and piano have done really well I think.
NM: I’ve heard your band described as “stoner rock alt country”. . . what’s the most irritating way Baltic Cousins have been described?
BL: I guess its irritating when people at shows compare us to bands that I have barely heard and have no influence on me at all…like when a dude said we remind him of “Thursday”. I mean I guess everyone has their own interpretation, but Thursday? Really?
NM: Lyrics or music first?
BL: Music for sure. I am a riff boy, always have been. Lyrics are usually the last stop on the train. Most of the time I have taught everyone else the song and we are about to play it live by the time I get the lyrics in order.
NM: Your band seems to play equal amounts of shows in Seattle and Bellingham. Who loves you more?
BL: I guess I can’t speak for our “fans” (aka friends) but I would have
to say Bellingham, though we honestly have had great shows in Seattle…the best I have ever played in a band. We aren’t the reason our shows are good though, that can pretty much be directly accredited to rad Seattle buds like What What Now, Monogamy Party, Blood Orange Paradise and others. We play their packed shows in Seattle and they play our wild house shows in Bellingham, so its a pretty good trade.
NM: If you could send one message to america’s youth, what would it be?
BL: Go to college first, then start a band. Your band will probably be way better when you are 23 then when you are 17 anyway.