Monday, January 14, 2013

Q & A with Bethesda

A Conversation with Bethesda
by Brit Charek

Back in May, Bethesda was featured by guest blogger Ash Adams as one of the first in our ongoing series of local band profiles, This Band Could Be Your Life. (Check out that post here!) Now they are about to release a new album, which seemed like a perfectly reasonable excuse to sit down with singer Shanna Delaney and guitarist Eric Ling and talk about what's in store for fans with the release of their new album, The Reunion

All photos taken from the band's Instagram Feed. You too can follow their adventure's by following them @bethesdamoments

What are some of your goals as musicians for the New Year?

Eric: The big goal is always the same:  do music for a living.  Not for a ton of money, but enough to get by and to do what we love.  We have put together a really great team for this album (radio with Team Clermont, management/promotion with Unleashed Music, and booking with Prater Day Booking) in hopes of making this dream a reality.  What does this look like?  Hopefully playing some really great festivals, weekend and full week tours in support of the album, music videos (two are in the works), radio play, national/local press, and much much more!  Outside of all of this, we always make it a point to meet and build relationships with our fans and other artists and to invest in our own local music community.  It is all kicked off on March 2nd, 2013 with the Album Release Party at Musica in Akron.  It is going to be a great year! 

Artwork for the Upcoming Show at Musica March 2nd

What should fans expect from the new album? 

Eric: This new album is our most mature album to date, but I guess that goes without saying.  We really feel like we have come into our own as songwriters and music composers.  We really focused on making this album have the energy of our live shows, and for the emotion of the songs to be palpable.  Without getting too nerdy on the sound side of things, fans will notice a pretty big change in our recording.  It definitely has more grit and life than anything we have done before.  With a new guitarist (Jesse Scaggs) and violinist (Christopher Black), the record has taken on new dynamics that perhaps were quite as present before. With that being said, we are still Bethesda, and our brand of indie-folk with lyrics that have depth and meaning to them, and thoughtfully composed musical soundscapes with soaring/melodic vocals is certainly all over this album.  We really just can’t wait to share this with everyone – we are so excited about these songs and this album! 

Tell us about the process of making the new album. How was it different than albums you've made in the past?

Eric: Many things were different about this album.  First of all, the album was fully funded through fans via Kickstarter.  It was a really humbling experience seeing the generosity of our friends and fans in supporting our dream.  With that newfound confidence and resolve, we went out to Denver, CO to follow our favorite sound engineer, Tim Gerak of Mammoth Cave Records.  On prior recordings, because they were local, we would break up the recording over a series of months.   But this time, we practically locked ourselves in a studio for 14+ hour days for 7 straight days.  As a result, this records has a lot of continuity and life to it that may have been a bit absent when the experience was a secondary and spread out process.  Our two new members also brought completely new elements to the recording table with a more melodic lead guitar and strings, strings and more strings.  We tried to take full advantage of that.  Finally, we asked Tim Gerak to be our producer.  It was our 3rd record and no one knew us better than Tim. Involving him in the creative process for the project really helped us capture the sound we were looking for.  And we just brought a confidence and vision to the studio with these songs that was a bit lacking on prior recordings. We are really really happy with the results.

Shanna: “The Reunion” was the first song we wrote for this album. After that, I believe it was “Fit to Leave,” then “Go,” and so on. We started to notice that we unintentionally had written songs that followed the same theme of reuniting/uniting in some way with loved ones. For example, “Fit to Leave” was written for my brother, Stevie, who had passed away in a motorcycle accident several years ago. I had always wanted to write a song for him, but every time I tried, it never really came out how I wanted it to. Finally, on this album, we were able to come up with a song for and about him that captures my feelings on his passing. This album is made up of stories that we hope people will connect with that will bring them hope, peace, and joy. If more struggles come out of listening, that’s okay too. We just want people, including ourselves, to hear the album and let it impact them in some way.

Tell us about some of your favorite memories as Bethesda.

Shanna: This is such a hard question. There are so many moments this  year!
One of my favorite memories was from this year at SXSW. A few of us decided to go play in the streets and just have some fun. A guy from NPR Austin (WKUT) spotted us and invited us into an alley (I know…sounds creepy) to play a few songs for a live video feature. Justin made drums out of boxes he found in the dumpster conveniently located next to us, and the rest of us (me, Eric, and Chris) situated ourselves in front of the camera and performed. I had to sort of yell/sing over the traffic, but it was worth it. Then a random guy came running down the alley and offered to hold the microphone for the videographer while he filmed. Then a lady came running down the alley all at the same time to shoot some photos for a fashion column. It all happened so fast and was surreal, but it was super fun. I want to do it again!

Eric: My favorite memory has to be performing at Bonnaroo Music Festival this past summer.  We got to meet so many terrific artists (including sitting by the Beach Boys at dinner).  It was surreal!  When we were loading on to the stage from our golf cart, The Shins were finishing up their set.  I was pinching myself at that point.  When we hit the stage, we had the show of our lives.  I’ve never felt quite the same buzz after a show as I did that night.  I got to do all of that with 4 of my best friends and my wife!  You kidding?  

Shanna: During our show, the crowd was dancing and going crazy. A few people were sitting on other people’s shoulders or were in the crowd holding signs that said, “Go Shanna.” I didn’t know these people at all. They just knew my name. This made me a little giddy. 

Bethesda performing at Cellar Door Cleveland
Where can we see and hear more?

Our website,, is our home base.  If you want to RSVP to our Album Release Party on March 2nd at Musica in Akron, you can follow this link:

No comments:

Post a Comment