When we first saw the name, the bilinda butchers, we thought the My Bloody Valentine guitarist had duplicated her DNA and formed a band’s worth of Bilindas – we were, of course, wrong. Instead we have a duo from San Francisco who’ve tapped into a rather special vein of dream-pop. Childhood friends Michal and Adam released their blissful debut EP, regret, guilt, love, dreams, last year, and are now all set to follow it with the rather special Goodbye EP. We caught up with the twosome to talk MBV, romance and moving on.
Bowlegs: So you take your name from the My Bloody Valentine singer/guitarist?? Whose idea was that? Have you tweeted her about it?
Michal: It was my idea, Adam was living across the country during high school, and we were on the phone one day and discovered that we’d both been listening to My Bloody Valentine. It was a strange coincidence. We really liked MBV’s music and their whole aesthetic and decided to use Bilinda’s name as an homage. This happened when were around sixteen or seventeen.
Adam: We don’t have a Twitter account. Does Bilinda Butcher have a Twitter?
Bowlegs: How did the two of you hook up and start writing music together? Was it always electronic based? What gear did you start off with? Do you have a wish list of new synths, drum machines etc?
Michal: We grew up together, and we always bonded over music. Adam taught me how to play guitar and we started writing songs together. It was all guitar-based until we heard The Radio Dept. After that, we bought some synths and started messing around with our friend’s drum machine.
We have a huge wish list, especially since we started playing shows. I want a drum pad sampler, some vocal effect pedals, and a midi guitar.
Adam: I’m more into guitars than synths. I spend way too much time on Craigslist looking at old Fender guitars and weird Japanese copies. We’ve started building our pedal collection, too, which is exciting. We love gear.
Bowlegs: Do you write these songs together? How are they conceived?
Michal: We write separately, and because of that, each song that we make has a different sound (based on who wrote it). More recently, working on our first LP, we’ve started writing together more and more. As far as writing goes, it’s a different process every time; there’s no real formula we follow.
Bowlegs: Your influences include Air and The Radio Dept, what is about those groups that inspire? Are there electronic bands further back in time you listen to?
Michal: The shy and almost feminine nature of their sounds is something we identify with. Also, we really like instrumentals (something both Air and The Radio Dept. are good at). We really like Stereolab, and even further back, Yellow Magic Orchestra.
Bowlegs: You released the excellent regret, love, guilt, dreams ep last year – the title suggests you guys are writing some heartfelt pop? Are you old romantics at heart?
Michal: We’re definitely romantics.
Adam: All of the songs on regret, love, guilt, dreams are about relationships, and the lyrics are deeply personal, so the title of the record stems from that.
Bowlegs: What has been happening since the release of the debut EP?
Michal: We’ve been working on transitioning into a live band, as well as writing our first full-length.
Adam: We also just signed to DiscAu and they’ll be releasing our first two Eps on vinyl and CD in the Americas.
Bowlegs: The new EP is entitled Goodbyes – is this a break up record or something?
Michal: It’s not a break up record, but rather a “moving on” record.
Adam: Moving away from things in our past and embracing new things. It’s optimistic, I think, but like saying goodbye it’s bittersweet.
Bowlegs: I hear bands like Chromatics in the track hai bby, it’s a great track with a real wistful vibe, what does the title mean and what’s it about?
Michal: Thank you! It’s about being proactive when it comes to meeting people. So, for example, at a party, when you see someone who seems interesting, you overcome your shyness and you go and talk to them.
Adam: I always thought the lyrics were aggressively sexual until Michal explained what they meant.
Bowlegs: Once the EP is released in August what is the plan – touring? recording?
Michal: We’re going to continue writing our LP and we’ll hopefully continue to play shows. We’d love to tour, but we don’t have the money to do it yet.
Bowlegs: Tell us a few records that the two of you have been digging in 2012?
Michal: All I listen to is Bob42JH’s compilations.
Adam: Beach House’s new album, lots of Slumberland stuff (especially Evans the Death). I’m embarrassed to say that we’re both pretty bad at keeping up with new music.