Interviews

Blue Healer Chats About Their Texas Roots, Playing An Upright Bass Onstage & More

Austin trio Blue Healer — David Beck, Bass/Guitar/Vocals; Bryan Mammel, Keys/Vocals; Dees Stribling, Drums — spend much of their time on the road, bringing their unique indie sound to the masses.

We caught up with the band during a rare break right after the new year. Read on to see what they had to say about being from Texas, using an upright bass on stage, and more.

I really like the description of your band that’s on your Facebook page — “pop music with teeth” — What does that mean to you? How would you describe your style of music to someone that’s never heard it before?
Dees: Well, I first heard the term in an interview with John Congleton talking about a new St. Vincent record and when we were putting Blue Healer together the phrase it seemed to most closely resemble our outlook on the band. When people ask, I generally use the all-encompassing ‘indie-rock’ with a strong focus on clean and clear songwriting.

Does being from Texas help inform your style? Do you try and bring a little bit of Texas with you when you hit the road?
Dees: Being Texan is definitely something that always stays with you, sometimes whether you like it or not. It suits us most of the time. The ‘Texas Option’ is in fact when you do whatever you want, regardless of local traffic laws, regarding u-turns and lame changes etc.

You don’t see a lot of the upright bass these days, how did that particular instrument become part of your ensemble?
David: I’ve played upright from the start, my father is a bass player. He always had one lying around the house. I enjoy the challenge of making it work in a high intensity show, its like riding a bull sometimes. You don’t know how it will react, which way its going to turn.

You played as part of a pretty stellar lineup on New Year’s Eve with The Suffers — how was that experience?
Dees: The Suffers, Los Skarnales and Def Perception were all fantastic. We felt honored to be a part of their community in Houston with the bands and the fans.

Including New Year’s Eve, you played nearly 100 shows last year — are you looking to set out on a similar schedule for 2016?
Bryan: It’s pretty insane that we we’re able to put together that many shows in our first year. And this next year should be even more amazing. We’ve already got wind of some good shows and festivals, and we can’t wait. Being on the road is where it’s at.

There is a serious lack of Blue Healer music available, when can we expect to hear some new songs?
Dees: We have one song on Spotify now, “30,000 Ft.”, and another single coming soon. We also have a couple live videos on YouTube. We’re expecting to release our first full-length record in 2016. We think it’s awesome, can’t wait for everybody to hear it.

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Josh
Chief Of All The Things at Emo At Heart
Josh is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Emo At Heart.