Punk rock quartet Screech Bats recently self-released their sophomore EP Wish You Were Her (30th March 2018). As the follow-up to 2016’s self-titled extended play, vocalist Esme Baker explains its inspiration:
It’s about women who have, for entirely different reasons, had a profound impact on my life, but are no longer in it. Including a feminine face in the artwork to mirror the title but somehow censor the eyes, gives the character anonymity, making whoever we are talking about a total enigma.
Reminiscent of the artwork of their debut, but more refined, it serves to highlight the maturity that the quartet’s music has found in the past two years. Recording with James Routh of Sonic Boom Six, often until the early hours in a Blackpool rehearsal room, the band opted to strip back to a rawer form of their sound. The result is a heart-on-sleeve alternative rock with punk rock roots, topped off with distinctly British vocals à la Lower Than Atlantis; the influence of the likes of Against Me! and Jimmy Eat World is clear. Now the band are here to give us more of an insight into who they are, as they take the A-Z interview challenge…
A Song Which Made You Want To Make Music: “Mandy, Fly Me” – 10cc. My mum used to sing this to me as a kid and I loved the story. It was one of the only records we had and after I worked out how to use the record player I would just listen to it over and over again. To me, that song is perfect.
Best Album Ever Written: By the Throat – Eyedea and Abilities. This album changed my life. I feel like I learnt so much from the words, it is all so heartbreaking and relatable, insightful and honest, crushingly miserable but peppered with enough uplifting moments to stop you from falling into a pit of despair. It’s poetry and I can not get tired of it.
Craziest Moment You’ve Experienced In The Band: playing the Roundhouse. WHAT THE FUCK!
Deepest Lyrics One Of Your Songs Features: “I’m so scared of being infinite, I can’t breathe if we have no end, if we’ve all risen up from the earth, death is just us falling back down again”. “Blood in My Hair” is all about grief and loss, and I wanted to write about how frightening the idea of everlasting life is, and it’s okay that we are finite beings, and that we can find comfort in the idea of returning to whatever we were before we became conscious of our present beings, rather than fearing it.
Easiest Song You Wrote: “That Valentine Song” – I sat down to write this and the words just started pouring out. At the time I was living with ‘my hateful valentine’ and was at the point of despair where I was almost laughing at myself for putting up with such a monumental turd of a person, sapping my years away. Needless to say, we split about three months after this song was written and my life improved exponentially. For the love of sweet baby Jesus – if someone constantly insults you and does everything in their power to crush your precious self esteem, stop making excuses for that piece of shit and LEAVE THEM. THEY WILL NOT CHANGE AND THEY ARE NO GOOD FOR YOU.
Favourite Show You’ve Ever Played: EP SHOW!!!! The Monarch, Camden, Wish You Were Her EP release show 04/04/18. We were overwhelmed by the amount of people who came down to support and the talent on the line up was insane. The bands on before us utterly blew our mind and our set went down a treat. The atmosphere was electric and this show will be a memory I will hold on to til the day I die.
Guest You’d Most Like To Feature On Your Record: Would be rad to have Em from Funeral Shakes/Nervus.
Happiest Moment In You’ve Experienced In The Band: our EP release show, hands down one of the best shows ever, ever, ever.
Interesting Fact About One Of Your Members: Esme used to be in the circus.
Jokes You Have In The Band: Far too many. We really think we’re funny but we’re not. At the moment a personal favourite is the DRY sandwich..
Kicking Off Your Set Is Best With Which Song: “Pathologigirl” – it’s the first track from our self-titled EP. It’s a banger and we have played it so many times we know it back to front so it’s always a confidence booster to smash that out at the start of the set.
Longest Distance You’ve Travelled To Play A Show: not a clue. Many hours.
Most Inspiring Musician You’ve Ever Experienced: This question is too difficult. We are inspired by so many musicians and greats, the fact that we inspire each other is pretty rad.
New Band You’d Recommend: Petrol Girls.
Opening For This Band Would Be Ideal: Alkaline Trio, that would be the dream.
Place You’d Most Like To Tour: We are desperate to do a Europe tour! We keep getting told by all the bands we play with that we need to go to Germany – apparently we’ll go down a storm over there so it’s definitely number one on the places to play.
Quote That You’d Like To Pass On To Readers: Music has no gender.
Reason For The Title Of Your Recent Release: Many inspirational women in our lives.
See Us Live At: 28th April @ Sebright Arms, London.
The Old Days Of Music Were Better Than Those Current, do you agree: Rio might agree with this statement, but on the whole we disagree with this statement. There are some seriously incredible bands around at the moment.
Unusual Merchandise: We have no unusual merchandise. We’re open to suggestions here. SB dolls would be nice and creepy.
Variations You’d Like To Do On Any Of Your Songs: We reckon a re-mix of Pathologigirl would be rad.
What Bands Have You Seen Live and Regretted: (OUCH!) For Lexi it was Tegan & Sara, but Kit was at the same gig and loved it.
X-rays or any other treatments needed for band related injuries: Kit broke their foot jumping off the stage once…
You could have written any song in history, which would you pick: “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, highest grossing song of all time. We could roll around in the royalty money like queens.
Zoo animal that best describes the personality of your band: If you google ‘fish that looks like woman’ you find our bassist Rio’s doppelganger.
Header image by Tom Le Bon