Speaking of Birth-Days …

Words/interview by Adam Lovinus

With all this birthday talk about the WMSE anniversary starting later on today, I figure now’s a good time to show you a band I’ve been digging called Birth-Days. It reminds me of a tougher-sounding Animal Collective, with a lot of raunchy distortion, bitcrushing and lyrical wry wit. DIY all the way, but undeniably cerebral. When I discovered 1.) There’s only one guy in the band 2.) He’s a college freshman needless to say I was kind of surprised.

Meet Wauwatosa native Peter Runge, a.k.a Birth-Days, a student at Oberlin College in Ohio who in his free time makes righteous lo-fi psych rock.

‘American Graffiti,’ Birth-Days

Fan-belt: You play all the instruments and sing all the vocals on your new record Do It Yourself (Candy) which you so kindly made available for free download *here*

Peter: I’m only working by myself right now because I haven’t met anyone at school to collaborate with. In Milwaukee I play music with my friend Andrew Jambura as Boyscouts.

F-b: I really like the sound you’re getting – it’s psychedelic but it has some bite – what kind of instrumentation did you use?

P: I wrote about half of the songs on guitar, a few on piano, and a few more are based off samples and electronics. I recorded it at home over winter break by myself, which became sort of tricky because I didn’t have many people to bounce ideas with. I borrowed my friend Ben’s bass guitar, my friend Andrew’s drums and synthesizer and my friend Sugar’s Casio keyboard. It was really a pretty cheap setup, and i did the whole thing in Audacity (a mistake). I processed a lot of the sounds using assorted effects boxes and plug-ins.

F-b When can we see you play in Milwaukee?

P: This summer I’m definitely planning on getting songs together to play around with friends. “CANDY” really wasn’t geared for any sort of performance, so unfortunately I haven’t been able to really play any shows for it. I am good friends with Two Kids Get New Books and Geocash, so I’m hoping that we’ll get around and have some fun come summer.


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One Response to “Speaking of Birth-Days …”

  1. James of Geocash Says:

    Candy is a great album, glad you found Peter.

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