Posts Tagged ‘Bully’

BULLY – ” Trying “

Posted: October 22, 2015 in MUSIC
Tags: , ,


Debut album ‘Feels Like’ out June 23rd 2015, frontperson and bandleader  Alicia Bognanno doesn’t just sing and play guitar for this Nashville band. She also writes all the songs and records and engineers them; she taped their triumphant debut Feels Like at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio, where she was once an intern. So it’s fitting that Bognanno’s voice is what defines this band. It’s a huge, ragged, vulnerable roar, the type of thing that conveys complicated things about being young and fucked-up and helps elevate her band’s revved-up fuzz-rock above just about all their ’90s-indie-rocking peers.

Bully is a young Nashville four-piece blasting out of the gates with high-powered grunge punk reminiscent of the beginnings of indie rock. The band is fronted by Alicia Bognanno, an audio engineer who has been cutting her teeth on the soundboards of indie clubs and studios in recent years. After opening for the likes of Best Coast, JEFF the Brotherhood, and Superchunk, Bully is ready to grab their own audience.
The dynamic melodies and high-speed percussion section help Bully cut through the noise quickly and repeatedly. Tracks like “Milkman” and “Brainfreeze” lay it all on the line with scrappy energy until the last crunchy bass note fades out.


From the debut album ‘Feels Like’ 

During her internship at Electrical Audio studio, Bully lead singer Alicia Bognanno seriously impressed the oft-acerbic producer Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, PJ Harvey). “She was a fucking joy,” he told NME. Her analog recording homework paid off when it came to assembling the Nashville quartet’s full-length StarTime/Columbia debut,Feels Like, a knuckle sandwich of pop-punk hooks and grunge heft. Through broken arms, poisonous memories and other lyrical baggage, Bognanno balances vocal clarity and a throat-ripping rasp. Equally potent is the tight, occasionally sludgy, frequently anthemic work of guitarist Clayton Parker and drummer Stewart Copeland — both vets of Saddle Creek garage rockers Pujol — alongside bassist Reece Lazarus. Currently on the road with fellow Music City heavies Jeff the Brotherhood, Bully shift to supporting Best Coast later this year.

They Say: “I think I did ‘I Remember’ in three takes,” says Bognanno. “I just nailed it out. A lot of that stuff is just emotional, and it’s not hard for me to replicate what I originally did live. It feels really good for me to scream about things like that. It’s like a stress reliever. There’s certain nights where I just really have an off day and we’ll play a show. It happened the other night and it was like ‘Oh my gosh, it’s so good to get up here and scream it out.'”

“I would love to meet Paul Westerberg from the Replacements. I’ve Googled interviews with him, and I really like the way he writes his lyrics. Someone should make a book of them. Just the little things that he says. ‘Skyway’ or ‘Achin’ to Be,’ they’re so sweet. If I could write a word as good as he’s written a whole song, I would be pleased. The music is awesome too, of course.”

Hear for Yourself: Bully’s new single “Trying” flips between honey-coated verses and an acid-streaked chorus.


Catch Bully with Kid Wave at the scholar Bar at the Leicester 02 Academy,
Having interned at Steve Albini’s studio, Bully frontwoman Alicia Bognanno is a musical force to be reckoned with – writing, singing, playing and recording all of Bully’s material. And yes, Albini is a fan of the Nashville-based band too. He told us he’s “rooting” for them in 2015. We can’t argue with that.
Nashville rockers Bully, who were in Austin for SXSW, are currently on a tour with JEFF the Brotherhood which wraps up mid-April. , but Bully are set to tour the UK  stopping here next month for their first UK tour, playing

After their UK tour, Bully will be back in NYC for the Northside Festival, playing the big 50 Kent show on June 13 with Best Coast, Built to Spill and Alvvays.


Bully does get along well with others, despite the band’s name. They’ve garnered a wave of new fans after their first solid year and a half of performing as a four-piece, particularly around their home scene, Nashville, which can be a tough place to stand out. Their five-song debut EP was released by StarTime International, with a video for the single “Brainfreeze” premiering last month.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Alicia Bognanno has found that the best way to break out seems to be doing it all yourself (or, at least, doing as much as possible—yourself).“I thought that if I could technically do everything myself,” said Bognanno, “then I wouldn’t really have any excuse not to and not have to depend on everyone else to make it happen for me.”

That notion was the driving factor for Alicia Bognanno to study audio engineering (eventually interning at several studios, including Electrical Audio with the renowned Steve Albini and, later, running sound for the Nashville venue The Stone Fox).

“I could be a Milkman / or I could get up and be what I want to be…” (There’s a telling lyric from the A side to the band’s 7” single released in mid 2014, demonstration Bognanno’s determination).

Though she was raised in Minnesota, she wound up in Nashville because her schooling, (in Murfreesboro, TN) was just a stones-throw away from that unbelievably verdant scene. It was in Nashville that she met musician Stewart Copeland, who was drumming in Pujol at the time.

“I was slowly becoming more confident in bringing up my own songs to other people,” Bognanno said of that time, just as she was finishing college and internships. She’d been in bands prior to Bully, but nothing serious. She was always writing her own stuff, however, and that’s the stuff that Copeland heard, his enthusiastic encouragements (as well as offering to provide the rhythms for her as a fledgling two-piece) leading to what we now know as Bully.

“When we first started playing I was a nervous wreck,” Bognanno recalls, chuckling at herself. “Well, not a nervous wreck, buuut… I mean, living in Nashville, everyone has been playing out here since they were 12. But, for me, I was nervous. Our fourth show was opening for Best Coast and I think my hands were shaking while I was playing. Yeah.”

Bognanno says that Nashville is an ideal place to be if you want to be in a touring band, like a launchpad filled with resources and similarly-minded music-types (in varying fields) with scads of experience. “And certain jobs are cooler about hiring musicians and are okay about them leaving frequently. I mean, it’s kinda unheard of for a job to be that cool, but, those jobs are here and you can find work doing freelance engineering. More opportunities than most cities, definitely.”

Bognanno is joined by Copeland on drums, Clayton Parker on guitar and Reece Lazarus on bass. In May, they’ll head to England for The Great Escape festival. When Bognanno shouts that she’s “excited,” it’s pronounced in all caps, assuredly. “It’s cool to get over there, but we’re all just really good friends at this point, too. To be in an amazing place with my best friends, that’s the fun part.”

Bully takes the glistening grooves of early new wave and late 70’s pop/rock and grimes them up with the distortion of an indie-punk aesthetic, pretty melodies hazily howled through her higher register, weaving their way like a sun-stung fiberglass surfboard over the vigorous rhythms and cresting guitars.

Theirs is a blend of a springier pop from an ever more confidently-voiced singer/songwriter, layered with sparks of feedback-frayed punk. It’s telling that Bognanno says she’s been listening to a lot of Paul Westerberg and The Silkworms—masters of balancing detached-yet-taut pop songs with a perfect amount of gnarlinesss.

Her biggest takeaway from Electrical Audio: the beauties and benefits of analog recording. “To watch bands come in and out in five days and just have a record done and mixed and ready to be mastered.”


Like licking a battery, Bully‘s “I Remember” feels good even as it hurts. The song from the Nashville four-piece recorded in Steve Albini’s studio but produced and mixed by singer Alicia Bognanno is the first taste from their new album and it’s fast and nasty-sounding, with a punkish edge that tastes a little sweet even as its serrated edges scar your skin. In short, I fucking love it. “I wanted ‘I Remember’ to be personal, intense and raw, It’s mixed slightly blown out with a heavy use of ambient mics in hopes that the listener will feel the same energy I had while singing it.” We feel it!

Bully does get along well with others, despite the band’s name. They’ve garnered a wave of new fans after their first solid year & a half of performing as a four-piece, particularly around their home scene, Nashville, which can be a tough place to stand out. Their five-song debut EP was released by StarTime International, with a video for the single “Brainfreeze” premiering last month.
Bully is Bognanno’s baby, but the Nashville four-piece are all old friends: she and drummer boyfriend Stewart Copeland were in a college band called King Arthur, which they quit when Bognanno started writing her own material. Copeland was also in Saddle Creek garage rockers Pujol, as was guitarist Clayton Parker. Bassist Reece Lazarus works with Bognanno at cult Nashville bar The Stone Fox. On the road they play Settlers Of Catan and plan routes around independent comic book stores. “I don’t really go out much,” says Bognanno, who seems like an unwaveringly practical person.

BULLY – ” Milkman “

Posted: March 15, 2015 in MUSIC
Tags: , ,


When you go to a live show by Nashville band Bully, here’s what you’re going to see: An awesome chick dressed in jeans and a T-shirt who is mad at a guy who has wronged her. She’s giving both him and his bad excuses the middle finger through loud drums, punk-influenced rock’n’roll guitar riffs, and bittersweet indie pop vocals (that definitely sound a bit Stefani-esque). This girl has her best dudes (who also happen to be her band) behind her (literally)…and that girl is Alicia Bognanno. Nashville’s Bully are self-releasing a self-titled EP , and ahead of that they’ve put out its lead track, “Milkman.” Considering their hometown of Nashville and their love of distorted guitars, there’s a little garage rock in there, but “Milkman” has big pop hooks that wouldn’t have been out of place on ’90s rock radio.

It makes sense to me then, that the Bognanno-fronted Bully be named what they are.

Bully is not the fist-thrower who picks a fight for no reason. Bully is a girl who believes in people standing up for themselves, whether it be in the way you dress, voting to protect women’s rights, or by yelling at some jerk from an indie venue stage somewhere in the USA.

When interviewing the badass Bognanno, I feel like she doesn’t even realize how badass she actually is, how much she can be a role model for young women in the music industry, and, really for anyone who just wants to be themselves—wearing denim and old tees, because, well, they’re just fucking comfortable.