Bart: The Wavelength Interview

Purveyors of: Angular yet somehow dreamy progressive psych rock nuggets that provoke and confound with a sense of mischievousness not far removed from their jaundiced namesake.
File next to: Deerhoof, Yes, Tame Impala
Playing: #WL15 Night 3, Sunday Feb. 15 at The Garrison

Emerging out of the joint union between members of The Elwins and Ruby Coast, Bart were initially a primarily studio based project between members Christopher Shannon and Nathan Vanderwielen, but has since definitively solidified its line-up. Bart released an EP back in May, Bart by Bart (Idée Fixe Records), which drew on strong progressive influences and modern indie impulses.

Why Bart?

Haha, literally because I left another band a couple of years ago and Jay [Anderson] hit me up to start a new project, to which my only condition was that it be called Bart. Really for no reason other than I liked the sounds of it.

If you guys get a saxophone, will you change your name to Lisa?

I think that would also require a huge musical shift. We’d have to really focus on the saxophone and provide a jazzy soft-rock backing à la

How did all the pieces of the current Bart line-up fall into place? Also are there other musical projects you guys are currently attached to?

Nathan and I started the project at his old studio in the east end. Jay was always our drummer, we had worked with him on the Slowpoke record earlier that year and he’s obviously sweet. At some point, Lane [Halley] came by the studio for a jam and we had a real good time with him, and then Andy [Scott] kind of just emerged as our bass player — it’s almost like he’s just always been here.

Nathan and I produce music out of our basement, but mostly just concentrate our creative output on Bart. Lane is a member of Hooded Fang and also a great songwriter in his own right. Jay and Andy are both in Biblical and Doctor Ew, among many other things.

Bart seems to draw on a lot of ‘70s psych/prog influences, what attracted you to these sounds, and how do these impact your creative process?

The sounds of records from that era and the amount of creativity and musical exploration that was happening at the time is hard not to be inspired by, especially when you have all the same tools on hand.

How does a typical Bart song come about and has the songwriting process evolved since the band has expanded?

There is no typical way that a Bart song happens, because having access to a studio really opens up a lot of doors with songwriting and allows you to initiate a song from so many different angles.

What’s next for Bart?

We’re working hard on a full-length that should be due out on Idée Fixe in the early fall, and just playing as many shows as we can, tryin’ to earn our chops.

— Interview by Adam Bernhardt