VIDEO: Bang Camaro, "Push Push (Lady Lightning)"
If you’ve ever known someone in a band, dated someone in a band, been friends with someone in a band, or even dated someone whose cousin knows someone in a band, then you’re aware of a cruel truism: it’s hard to keep three people, much less four or five, on the same page for long enough to write, record, and tour behind an album. Sometimes it’s hard just to get that many people in the same room together often enough to learn a set of songs. So if you’re not taken aback by what Bang Camaro have achieved over the past year, then you know nothing of the ego maladies, artistic squabbles, and other difficulties your average band must overcome during what’s commonly known as the formative stage. What started as one of those amusing ideas a couple of friends come up with after too many drinks has for guitarists Alex Necochea and Bryn Bennett become a full-time gig. And it doesn’t involve just two or three other musicians. More like 20.
“It was probably a year ago,” Necochea recalls over dinner and drinks at the B-Side Lounge. “We had recorded six songs, and we were sitting right over there, and we had no idea what we were going to do.”
“I think originally we were joking about growing moustaches, recording everything in my van, and calling the band Bang Camaro,” Bennett interjects with a grin. “But it grew into something bigger, and we can’t grow facial hair anyway. I mean, we’d basically written an indie-rock album together.” Bennett motions in Necochea’s direction: “He used to play with the Good North and Bleu. And I played with the Model Sons. But we all had a lot more fun playing the ‘Bark at the Moon’ guitar solo after we finished our own songs because we’re basically closet metalheads.”
Up to this point, there wasn’t anything unusual about what the duo had in mind. But once they got into the studio, that changed. “We’d decided to call ourselves Bang Camaro and we were going to write a song,” Bennett recalls. “Then, it was like, ‘What are we going to sing? Oh, well, we’ll just sing Bang Camaro.’ So we booked a little time in a studio, brought six of our friends in, and we had the best time. We just knew that we had to do something with it after that.”
The part Bennett leaves out has turned out to be the defining characteristic of Bang Camaro. It’s the part about the three-part harmonies and the choir-like vocals.
“We drink a lot,” Necochea explains somewhat apologetically. “In the ’80s, they had those huge operatic vocals. You listen to a Def Leppard record and there are 20 or 30 voices layered on top of one another. But they couldn’t re-create that sound live. Even now they can’t without racks of sequencers. And we’re not big-budget people. But we wanted that sound. So we thought we’d just get all of our buddies in the room. It was really just out of necessity that when we decided to try to pull it off live, we were going to have to have all those people up on stage with us. We knew it would definitely be a spectacle.”