St Albans based four piece rock band Bison Face released their debut single ‘Ladybird’ on 13/03/20 Formed as the brainchild of front man and main songwriter Ernie Hill (Vocals, Guitars) in mid 2019, Bison Face played a slew of shows in the latter end of the year, culminating in a support slot with Dublin’s grunge heroes Fangclub.
The line-up is completed by Alex Bowden (Guitar), Jonny Bennett (Drums) and Arthur Sawyer (Bass) who have all been part of the Hertfordshire and London music scene for a number of years, and enable the band's tight and diverse sound. Drawing comparisons to the melodic hooks of Foo Fighters and Weezer, the raw energy of Dinosaur Pile-Up, the desert sleaze of Queens of the Stone Age and the space age arrangements of Muse, Bison Face are currently recording their debut EP at Forgotten Media Studios in Hertfordshire.
Who are the members of Bison Face?
The band is made up of me - Ernie Hill (Vocals, Guitars), Alex Bowden (Guitars), Jonny Bennett (Drums) and Arthur Sawyer (Bass).
How and when did Bison Face form?
We formed initially in early 2019, I (Ernie) had been demoing some new material whilst on tour playing session guitar. Alex and I started jamming the tracks out in about February of last year, and we played our first show in June.
Where was the first place Bison face performed?
That first gig was at The Horn in St Albans, an incredible grassroots venue that provides a place for all the local bands to cut their teeth and support some big artist when they roll through town. It’s the crucible for the whole scene and we owe Luke and the team over there a lot. We supported our pals in TV COMA and had a blast.
What inspired you to start music?
Nirvana were a huge turning point for me. I had Nevermind, Zeppelin 3 and Raw Power given to me at about 10 years old, and those records really resonated with me. Seeing some old footage of the Nirvana Reading ’92 headline set really sealed it. I was infatuated with that show, that energy. I’d never seen anything like it.
What’s the story behind the new song?
The latest single ‘Ladybird’ is actually our first, it came out in March before all the lockdown business and we recorded it with Ben over at Forgotten Media Studios. It was released as a standalone just to get some material out, before the impending EP is finished, as I didn’t really feel it fit with those other 5 tracks.
Will you be touring to support the new track?
We’ll be playing shows as soon as it’s safe to do so, there’s a couple that are temporarily pencilled in but we’ll have to see how feasible the dates are. It’s more important that the country stays safe than rushes it and endangers more people. Once the EP is released we’ll play a couple of big release parties, hopefully London and Brighton.
What is your song writing process?
It pretty much starts with me, full of caffeine and hunched over a guitar at some ungodly hour. I don’t rarely sit down and push creativity, it’ll happen unexpectedly. A riff or a melody turns into the bones of a track and I flesh it out. Then the guys get a rough demo and we swap feedback and jam it into a full idea. A lot of our tracks morph a bit played live and then we know where the most comfortable version lies.
What is your first thought as you get up on stage?
It’s just excitement really, you always have that underlying gut nervous feeling but that drives a good show. Usually I think we all just want to put on the best show we can, there isn’t anything that’s more fun.
What is the first venue you played?
I’m not sure if my very first show was at the aforementioned Horn St Albans or this tiny jazz club that used to be in Camden called Arnold’s. We opened for William D Drake there and ended on a cover of ‘Territorial Pissings’. Bit much for a red wine and candles evening. I remember it being sloppy as hell and loud as shit; I must have been 14/15.
What is your most memorable moment from any live performances?
This band, I think the third time we played ‘Heathers’ live, everyone sang the chorus back to me. It’s not even released yet, but that proper hit me like “Shit, this is crazy”. The energy playing that song really elevates the shows, people seem to dig it. I think it was our first headline show too. Special night all round.
Describe the atmosphere when you’re performing
I’d say it’s mostly just that frenetic high energy, people amping up and feeling that particular moment. There are some brooding moments, some melancholic moments but it’s a rock show first and foremost, so we try and bring that level of electricity.
What band would you like to perform with the most?
I would love to open for Dinosaur Pile-Up, they represent the modern guitar music scene in the best light to me. I remember seeing them open for Cage The Elephant 10 odd years ago and just being like “Christ, this is fucking it, this is real”. They are killer guys and recently they’ve finally started getting the recognition they deserve. A show with them would be RAD. All the riffs.
Will you be touring in the UK anytime soon?
We’re hoping for an Autumn/Winter UK run when the EP is released but we’ll have to wait and see what happens with the virus and the lockdown. It might be 2021 by the time things settle down, I don’t think anyone is really sure right now. But yeah, a tour is 100% on the cards ASAP.