By: Zak Kolesar
When you label yourself as a BBQ rock band, a lot of questions can be raised by the consumer. Like, is this music only to be enjoyed in the blistering days of the sweltering summer, or, is it slathered with bright guitar riffs and angsty Yellowcard-esque lyrics.
In the case of Columbus locals Courtney From Work, the meaning of BBQ rock music is more important in defining the spirit of the group rather than its sound, which varies from song to song on its latest project The Mom and Dad - EP. With grunge, punk and lo-fi rock-and-roll influences bleeding through the record, Courtney From Work is out to prove that it has an incredible range to bring to the table.
And it plans on showcasing those talents this June, with shows at The Shrunken Head on June 8, Rehab Tavern on June 16 and Big Room Bar on June 22. Other summer shows by Courtney From Work include A&R Bar on July 28 and Mag Bar in Louisville, Kentucky on August 24.
In The Record Store got to catch up with Courtney From Work over email before it begins its mini summer tour around Columbus.
ITRS: How does Courtney From Work define BBQ rock?
Andrew Davis, drums: BBQ rock is when you spend all day drinking and eating ribs at a barbecue and you’re just covered head to toe in tangy BBQ sauce and you accidentally spill a warm Budweiser all over your music. It leaves you feeling violated but also satisfied.
ITRS: A majority of the songs on your latest work, The Mom And Dad EP, seem to have very personal attachments to them. How did you handle the writing process for this EP, and did it differ from past work?
Jacob Fournier, guitar/vocals: Songs can come up in a few different ways for us. Andrew and I wrote “Mom and Dad” in five seconds for fun when we lived together. “Lone Shinobi” and “Lend a Hand” are both songs I came up with just messing around on GarageBand in my basement. A little while later, Conner shot us the opening bass riff for our song “Catch the Sun,” and we just built the song around that during practice one day. As far as lyrics go, I tend to write from personal experience more often than not. I don’t have a very big imagination, so it’s just a lot easier to write about something that’s true to me, and maybe other people can pick apart some lyrics here and there and apply them to their own lives too.
ITRS: On the previously mentioned EP, the tracks have a perceivable depth to them. How did the band get so many parts to work together so fluidly?
JF: I didn’t really realize until after we even put this EP out that none of the four songs really follow the traditional verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure that most rock songs are built around, which I thought was pretty cool. I’d like to write more songs like that in the future, but they don’t always come out that way. The songs on this EP in particular were kind of written that way on accident too. I wasn’t really thinking about how I wanted the structures to be, I kinda just made the demos how I heard them in my head, brought them to the other dudes and here we are now.
ITRS: What can Columbus locals expect to see and hear from your live set of shows this summer?
Conner Hannah, bass: We’re gonna be playing a lot of new unreleased stuff as well as the older stuff we already enjoy playing. Our shows almost never go as planned, and there’s a good chance a piece of our equipment will be broken by the end of our last song.
ITRS: As far as new music goes, what can fans expect in 2018?
JF: We’re working on getting a music video together for an unreleased song. Hopefully we can get another two or three songs out before the end of the year, but we’ll see. Other than that, we’re just playing shows and having a good time doing it!
Courtney From Work’s next show will be at The Shrunken Head this Friday. Wake Magnolia, Rat Motel and Print The Legend will be joining the BBQ rock band. There is a $5 cover charge and the show starts at 9 p.m.