Today sees the release of Baptists first full length LP, Bushcraft, which is an unrelenting collection of in-your-face thrashers from start to finish. It’s the groups first full length (their only other release being 2010’s self-titled EP), Bushcraft sounds as if they have been playing together for years. Thick, powerful riffs and technical drumming combine with Andrew Drury’s vocals to deliver an intensity that is unlike most groups out there today. They are easily one of Canada’s most promising groups, and will likely take over the world this year with the destructive force that is Bushcraft.
Luckily, I had the opportunity to ask the insanely talented drummer of the group Nick Yacyshyn some questions. We go into their songwriting process, tour plans, his new found love for Steely Dan and the experience of recording with Kurt Ballou, among others.
Check out the single “Think Tank Breed” from the record here: https://soundcloud.com/brooklynvegan/baptists-think-tank-breed
Bushcraft is available today from Southern Lord Records, so go purchase yourself a copy, I guarantee it’ll be worth it. Onto the questions!
1. What’s it like since you’ve joined the roster at Southern Lord? Are any of the bands on the label favourites of yours?
It’s been pretty cool! They’ve put us on stage with some of the raddest bands and have basically spoiled our sorry butts rotten so far. I dig a ton of the bands on the label and feel lucky to be a part of it.
2. It’s been a couple years since the release of your self-titled EP, did you guys begin writing immediately for Bushcraft or did you wait and gather inspiration?
When we recorded the 7″, it was like recording one of our first jams, so we were very new to playing together and just kept writing since then. It was more about making a concise, cohesive record than anything. Two of the songs were completed a couple weeks before we recorded the album, and the rest we’d played at shows over the last couple years.
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3. How does the songwriting process work among you guys?
Danny shows us a riff and we go from there! Pretty basic process I guess.
4. How about with the drums specifically? Do you write drums for a track in one sitting generally?
We get the songs jam-able and then just play them until we’re happy with them. I do most of my writing in my head when I’m at work, or doing other things, then try it all out when I get to play my drums. Playing things live helps a lot and so does listening back to recordings of our jams.
5. Does having a father in the group complicate things much?
It’s made us have to be smarter with the time we have! Touring is a blast and we try to do as much as we can. Besides that, it’s pretty awesome getting to hang around Danny and AJ’s little basketcase Jane. The stuff she says is unreal.
6. I understand the majority of the new record was recorded with Kurt Ballou at Godcity Studio, what was that experience like?
It was great! I was really nervous, but his Sleepaway Camp VHS collection and shit-giving sense of humor put me at ease. The studio was rad and Salem was really cool to visit.
7. I know you used to write some of the guitar work for your old projects, have you contributed at all to the riffs on the new record?
No riffs from me! Danny’s new instructional video Speed Kills does come with the record, though.
8. Is there any significance or story behind the title “Bushcraft”?
I think there’s a ‘get back to human nature, cut the superficial bullshit’ vibe to some of our songs, especially that song. It felt like a strong one to name the album after.
9. Who do you think would win in a drum off? Chris Pennie or Ben Koller?
Ha! Man, who knows. Those guys are both completely insane. I’d like to be there when it happens.
I’m guessing AC/DC’s High Voltage. The cover of that record got me into music when I was 10 and they’ve been my favorite band since. I went for Halloween as Angus Young that year and my fourth grade teacher had to talk to my parents because I would just write about AC/DC in all of my assignments.
11. Do you have a favourite new band you’ve heard in the past year or so?
Does Steely Dan count?
12. Where is the best place to eat in Vancouver?
I’ve been pretty into Pizza Garden these days. You know those fake fire screens you see that make fireplaces look lit in store fronts? They used to have one of those in front of their oven to give the illusion of a sweet pizza oven. Now they actually have one and it rules. Also this awesome Mexican place opened up by my house called Sal y Limon. Hime Sushi is also very delicious.
13. What’s your favourite movie?
I would have to say Jaws.
14. Do you guys have any tour plans ahead? (if so, Ottawa would love a visit)
We are heading down to SXSW in a couple weeks, hopefully we’ll do some more west coast trips after that. We’ll cover as much ground as possible, and hopefully get out to Ottawa.
Buy Bushcraft from Southern Lord Records