Welcome, everyone to what will be the first of (I hope) many awesome bands-that-I-dig interviews!
Upon my trip back “home” (it’ll always be home for me) to Nashville a couple of weeks ago, I discovered this radical lil rock band: Sad Baxter. Rearing the end of my trip, I had just gone to see a movie that night, on a double date, – which ruled by the way – and afterwards, the guy and I decided to head to The Stone Fox for a night cap. The Stone Fox is a great little venue/bar/food spot in West Nashville – I highly suggest visiting! It was there that we stumbled upon this band absolutely killin’ it on stage.
Immediately, our attention was turned to their style of music. The girl vocals and kind of garage rock tone completely sucked me in. I was boppin’ my head, humming along, and most of all feeling good. After all the oohing and ahhing, discussing who they musically resembled (Best Coast, Veruca Salt, Weezer) and checking “Like” off their Facebook Page, I immediately went up to the lead singer, and started chatting with her. Sweet, funny, with such good vibes and so much originality was what I’d describe her with. Not to mention, the other band member, Alex was also super cool! We both instantly clicked and I asked if I could do an interview with them at some point, and this is what came of it!
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Deezy Youngdahl – Vocals, guitar, songwriting
Alex Mojaverian – Drums, vocals
What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
Alex: Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
Deezy: Summit, New Jersey
How did the band come together? How long has it been?
Alex: Deezy and I met in college because we lived on the same floor of an apartment building. This was in 2007 so I guess over 6 years? We have been friends ever since. We grew up listening and liking a lot of the same music so we clicked musically right off the bat.
Deezy: We actually began playing together in Alex’s roommate’s band, and then shortly after that started working on a band that played my songs. Alex was pretty much my first real friend at college. I left a note on the door of his apartment saying we should all hang out, and one night we did. The rest is history.
How has the band grown since you’ve started?
Alex: Deezy hadn’t been in a band before we started playing together and I had been in hardcore punk bands in high school, so we were both doing something different in the beginning. Basically I feel like the band has grown a huge amount. Sad Baxter is a relatively new chapter for us and it’s definitely the closest to what I think both of us wanted to do from when we started playing together.
Deezy: Sad Baxter is basically the kind of band I’ve always wanted to be in, playing the kind of songs I’ve always wanted to write…Alex and I have a clear focus on this band, and when we started playing music together years ago I think everything was a lot fuzzier. We just knew we wanted to keep playing music together back then.
What sets you apart from other bands?
Alex: Not really sure how to answer this one. I think Deezy and I have been playing together long enough that we have a pretty good chemistry on stage. I don’t think we focus too much on trying to set ourselves apart from other bands. We just try and play music that we think is really awesome and do it really well.
Deezy: We’ve known each other a long time and been through a lot together, so maybe our close friendship sets us apart. We never have issues because our transition from friend-time to business-time is pretty much seamless.
What’s the best part about being in your band?
Alex: Playing music that I really like with people that I really like and sometimes more people that I really like come and watch us do what we really like to do and then sometimes they really like it.
Deezy: Everything. I’m always having a great time, whether we’re rocking out hard live or I’m getting a text from Alex at 1 AM with what he wants our next setlist to be. Also we’re really goofy together, maybe that’s the best part.
More often than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re creating?
Alex: The first four Weezer albums, The Pixies, Early Foo Fighters.
Deezy: Tons of Nirvana, Foo Fighters… getting into bands like Visqueen and Wavves. Also found a lot of inspiration from Saves The Day and Jessica Lea Mayfield. Very melodic music that still rocks out.
What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?
Alex: On paper, we haven’t accomplished much. Having said that, we are finally in a place where we are making music we’ve always wanted to make. I think that is an accomplishment in it’s own right. Next thing is to get it out to as many people as possible.
Deezy: We’re also about to start recording our first full-length album, so that’s exciting.
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with the band (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
Deezy: My friend’s dad was at our last show, and when I went over to meet him he immediately launched into all this talk about my passion and energy. It was very sweet, and very funny, and we ended up agreeing to simultaneously lick our televisions at 1 AM later that night. That was my favorite time meeting someone after a show, for sure.
Alex: When we write out set lists for Dagan Crews, our friend who plays bass for us, we sometimes change the song names so they all have Dagan in them. Like “Prove that you are Dagan” instead of “Prove Your Worth”, and “You Blew It, Dagan”, instead of “You Blew It”. Basically, Dagan.
Deezy: Dagan is our favorite band moment.
Is there anything specific that you’d like people to take away from listening to your music?
Deezy: I guess the only thing I can think of is that there is nothing wrong with feeling your feelings and being yourself. Sometimes people tell me I am intense, or I think they worry about the abundance of emotions I go through, but I use everything I feel and think to fuel my songs and my passion. I’ve never been more honest, prouder of the music I’m turning out, and I’ve never been happier. Be true to yourself.
If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
Alex: I’m having a hard time figuring out what exactly the music industry even is. There is no set format anymore so I don’t even know what I would change.
How did your band’s name “Sad Baxter” come about?
Alex: Our friend Tim refuses to call Deezy’s dogs anything but Baxter. One was Baxter and the other one was Sad Baxter.
Deezy: Their names are Barkley and Linus. I think Tim thought “Barkley” was “Baxter”. Linus constantly looks panicked or sad, hence him being the sad one. It works out nicely, because anyone who knows me knows that I’m a crazy dog person.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?
Alex: Deezy writes all the songs. On a rare occasion I will offer up a song idea that Deezy tweaks and puts words to.
Deezy: All my songs are about relationships. Relationships with people, and my relationship with myself. Death is kind of a reoccurring theme, and inner-battles. I doubt my topics will change that much, but who knows. I write about myself a lot more than I ever used to.
What’s the biggest mistake someone’s made while playing?
Alex: The biggest mistake I made while playing was playing in this band.
Deezy: A couple months ago I started a song in the wrong key by accident. I only realized right before the rest of the band was supposed to come in, and I turned and gave Dagan a panicked look. He somehow knew exactly what the look meant and played the entire song in the “new” key with me. It was a miracle. Besides that, the biggest mistake has been not firing Alex.
Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
Alex: Ritualistic fan sacrifice to the music gods for a good show.
Deezy: We realize not everyone will be okay with the fact that we do this, but we hope our fans will be distracted by our charm and good looks and not let the sacrificial aspect of our band get to them.
How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?
Deezy: We have our EP from 2012, “Nothing Is Real” available for free download on www.sadbaxter.bandcamp.com, or you can find it on iTunes or Spotify. We have a SoundCloud that I update with acoustic demos I make of newer songs at www.soundcloud.com/sadbaxter.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Deezy: Just that we hope after reading this, everyone goes and pets a dog.