By Hailey Nuthals, Arts Editor
Whoever said everything out of Nashville is country was wrong and probably not very fun. Bassh (pronounced just like “bash”), a new duo out based musically out of the town (and living in North Carolina), have just put out their first single “Body” and are already finding themselves on the track towards success. Made up of just guitarist Jimmy Brown and bassist CJ Hardee, the lads split the task of vocals and manage between the two of the to create a sound as full and rich as a full band.
Not too long ago, WSN got the chance to sit down with them before their show at Moscot in the Lower East Side. The show itself was a very small, intimate set-up in what is usually an optometrist and glasses retailer. Their energy was palpable, even drawing stares from the passerby through the windows of the shop. (At one point, a group of girls even posed for a photo in front of the window, and CJ and their touring drummer photo-bombed from inside.)
Between the chords (yes, chords!) Hardee employs on his bass and the driving riffs from Brown’s guitar, the sound was almost attacking the audience. The obvious camaraderie between the boys made quick work of much of the crowd’s reservations, and from song to song, heads were bobbing and feet tapping.
In a brief interview before the set, the boys opened up about their music, their music preferences, and .
WSN: When you’re listening to songs in your downtime, do you prefer music that’s written – as you perceive it – more honestly, from personal accounts, or from made-up stories?
Jimmy Brown: I think I appreciate both sides of it. It’s always nice to hear someone singing a song about being heartbroken and you can always tell it’s very real. But then when you hear a song and you’re not sure what it’s about, and you know there’s probably a little bit of a tale going on with it, but maybe it portrays something that the person thought about or had been thinking about. I think it’s just a different kind of style of songwriting. If it’s good, it’s good, you know? That’s my tidbit. But CJ never thinks the same thing as me, so we’ll see what he thinks.
CJ Hardee: I agree with him this time! I never want to know what the song’s about, because I would rather interpret it my own way. I feel like once you learn about the song, it loses whatever you imagined. So I try not to figure it out to much, and to just feel it. I hope people do that with my music, too.
Brown: No, nobody does that. [laughs]
WSN: If you had to take a step back and look at the songs you’ve recorded so far, do you think there’s any musical idioms or instruments or habits that you go back to again and again in your music?
Brown: I think with Bassh, the thing that we’ve been talking about mostly in terms of sound or a thing that we go back to talk about consistently for the music would be the combination of our voices. We think that that, in different projects we’ve been in before, there would always be a conversation about what sound to go to or things would come up or surface, like an organ sound or guitar sound or whatever, and you would start to gravitate towards that. But we haven’t really felt like that musically, in terms of instruments. But our voices is something that keeps coming back to the forefront. Here, that feels very special for Bassh in particular. I think that’s something that we’re going to keep focusing on and that we have been focusing on.
WSN: Besides dominant genres, what do you guys think is the biggest difference between Nashville and New York?
Brown: Um, I don’t know. I haven’t really spent a lot of time in New York. I’ve been up around the city playing shows, naturally. But living in Nashville, I’ve got to see different sides of it that I didn’t know existed before I moved there. Because obviously people would think it’s a very country kind of place, but it’s not – I mean, there is that, but there’s a lot more to it. So I imagine it would be a lot of the same way if I spent more time in here. I’d probably find a lot of cool areas that I didn’t know existed. Maybe I should spend more time here.
Hardee: I think there’s probably a lot more diversity here, personally. Within every kind of way. But that makes sense.