Wonderbitch: Hard Working Groove Machine
By Micah Jackson
Perhaps you have not heard of Wonderbitch, a strong up and comer on the regional scene. Wonderbitch is a steady stream of attention grabbing pop that feels a little like early 80s pop meets 70s disco. If you have heard of them it might have been at a festival, or through media as it seems like they are constantly topping polls in Austin. The steady rhythm and stark subject matter is humbling to the high spirited sound they make. They are spacey, funky and most definitely groovy. Your body is going to start moving while you are focused on the story, Alex Chod, lead vocalist and keyboardist is unfolding. It can be a lot of fun to ask musicians questions about their motivation, their music, and more. Here is what proceeded in our interchange. Hope you enjoy it!
What can you tell us about the beginnings of Wonderbitch and a bit about the band and anything you feel is significant as individual musicians?
Alex and Butch started the band in Bloomington, Indiana and came to Austin in search of a greater audience. We as a band are constantly pushing ourselves to evolve our sound and our aesthetic, creating our own brand of sophisticated fun through our live performances.
What motivated your work in the early days? Has your motivation evolved or changed with experience, if so how?
The original motivation was to impress musicians and listeners alike with subtle technique and more intricate, progressive songwriting, but that led to us forgetting about what matters first and foremost: groove. Our new motivation has evolved into trying to share an experience with the audience through dance and undeniable grooves. Essentially we hope to be responsible for getting strangers laid while still maintaining artistic integrity. There is no denying the reality of this industry and what it takes to turn something that you are passionate about into a full time career. After years of experience performing and writing, we have learned what the audience wants, and it starts with a more accessible sound.
Who are some of your favorite artists musical or otherwise and why?
We will keep this short and focus on bands that have influenced us
Alex: Steely Dan, Genesis, Tears For Fears
-Sophistication, masterful musicianship condensed into elegant gifts for the listener, cool moods.
Corey: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iron Maiden, At The Drive In
-Because I'm overcompensating for being short.
Bruce: Queen, mewithoutYou, The Mars Volta
-each one of these bands represents a dramatic shift in how I listened to music, with each one marking a milestone in my personal journey as an artist.
Butch: Beatles, Radiohead, Grandaddy
-those 3 bands have pushed the envelope with such grace, wisdom, and creativity. I love bands that are trying to change the status quo.
Who are some of your favorite (regional, local, or underground) artists? What is it about these artists that attracts your attention?
Gloves INTL, Purple, Calliope Musicals, Mamahawk, Neosho, CAPYAC, Henry + The Invisibles, Second Lovers, The Suffers. What sets the bands apart from other acts, is not only are they the best at what they do, but they all engage the audience in a way that we aspire to.
What do you consider to be a few (or a couple) of your greatest triumphs as a band?
Our biggest triumph as a band is being told over and over again that we are one of the hardest working bands here in Austin. We spend a considerable amount of time working on material, rehearsing, promoting, and trying to learn more about this industry. In a town like Austin, where everyone works so hard to stand out, we are pleasantly surprised to be acknowledged for our work ethic.
What are some of the most memorable shows you have performed at? What stood out to you about those events?
Free Week this year was an incredible experience for us, we played as much as we could and every show was memorable, including the outdoor stage at The Belmont in 30 degree weather. There was also a tribute show to David Bowie that stands out as the highlight of the whole year. We were humbled to be able to pay tribute to an artist that has had such an incredible influence on us as musicians and we definitely felt a huge response from the crowd during the entire performance.
Where are some of your favorite places to perform?
Here in Austin our favorite shows are always at Swan Dive. The hospitality we receive there is like nowhere else, and the venue always has such a frenetic energy that helps fuel our performances. Also, playing regionally here in Texas, the smaller rural towns always give us so much love and warmth when we travel.
What are your recommendations to newer bands?
Take your work seriously. Put the time in. Everyone always gives the same advice, and it’s true. If you apply yourself, you will see results. When promoting, never underestimate the value of the face to face and building personal relationships with your fans. The more you interact, the more people will respond to your content. Be professional but always try and bring the party.
Is there anything else you would like to communicate to our readers?
"Pride is a fool's fortress." -Killface
Hopefully this article will introduce you to Wonderbitch and motivate you to explore their music in more depth. Check out their content laden website.