Bread & Butter have always turned back the clock. Last year's self-titled debut LP on Killroom Records was Seattle's summer soundtrack, and the boys brought the "feel good" party vibes to Concerts at the Mural the year before. Today, they give us a taste of new music with the single "Banana O'Clock" and its fantastical video, directed by Cody Hurd.
The band's too-cool-for-school, smokin'-in-the-boys-room, laid-back guitar rock has always taken listeners back to the '70s/early-'80s power-pop scene of bands like Cheap Trick and The Knack. With the video, the fun-lovin' nostalgia continues. Styled after retro children's shows like H.R. Pufnstuf and The Banana Splits (natch), the guys perform against a psychedelic backdrop with a, um, fruitful conclusion. Bread & Butter drummer Mason Lowe talked to us about the band's trippy transformation.
KEXP: How would you describe the song?
Mason: Musically, we always try to keep things simple. With this song, we've gone one step further. We've gone from "simple" to "aggressively stupid." Lyrically, it's in deep bonehead territory. The chorus is, "Banana o'clock, banana o'clock, b-b-b-b-b banana o'clock." The words are so dumb, they make "Louie Louie" sound like some Leonard Cohen "Bird on a Wire" biz in comparison. It's catchy though!
What time is Banana O'Clock?
It has no set hour. Banana O'Clock starts when it's time to go bananas and it ends when... I guess it ends when you're out of bananas?
The world is pretty dang bananas these days. We are living in bananical times. Everyone's earned the right to take a 3-minute break from worrying about the unraveling of Western culture and indulge in some dumb fun rock and roll.
Not to put too fine a point on it, Banana O'Clock is not 4:20. Unless that's what gets you through your banana day!
What's up with the video?
Just four good friends, frolicking in a 'shroomed-out cartoon world where it rains bananas. Also, we sent Lars [Swenson, guitarist] to space. Like most astronauts, he returned to earth with a profound sense of connection with nature and humankind.
Our friend Cody Hurd directed the video. He already did two rad videos for us and we love him. When we first talked to Cody about a video for "Banana O'Clock," the concept we wanted was a barbecue in space. Cody said, "OK, but if that means spaceships that are just cardboard boxes wrapped in tinfoil, then I'm out." So we went back to drawing board!
We decided if we couldn't have a barbecue in space, then an inappropriately trippy '70s kids show theme song vibe was what we wanted.
Lars reached out to hella-talented designer Devi Pellerin. After a surprisingly productive 15-beer dinner, Cody, Devi, and Lars hashed out the shape of the video. Devi designed the sets and did the animation. Cody and an amazing crew made it all work. We shot the video at the Killroom Studio, the same room where we recorded the song!
What's in the future for Bread & Butter?
We're taking a couple months off because our singer and bass player Shane and his wife Maria (who sings and plays bass for our label-mates Acapulco Lips) are going to have a baby in the next couple weeks. Not just any baby, the best-singing, best bass-playing Seattle rock and roll baby! We want to give Shane some time to be with family and learn how to dad without his burnout buddies dragging him off to play sweaty clubs.
Future plans are moving forward! We are already working on album #2 for Killroom Records: writing, demo-ing, even making proper studio recordings. We plan to be back in the swing of things this autumn.
Join Bread & Butter tonight, Friday, June 29th, at The Sunset for their "last show of the summer" with Guayaba and Trick Candles. They'll be screening the video and will have new merchandise available, including this tasty single. Mason also mentions, "If anyone wants to buy some lightly used banana costumes, hit us up! We got the nice price!"