L.A. duo Broken Baby have just unleashed the “Manic Panic” single and video, and there’s an album on the way, so we chatted about all that and more…
L.A. WEEKLY: When did the band form? How did the two of you meet?
The band formed in mid 2017, about 10 years after our chance meeting at a film festival in Phoenix. We knew we wanted to collaborate on something, had talked about it on and off, but were never sure just how. Alex was in another touring band and I was working as an actor. When we actually got around to talking about making music, immediately we landed on our mutual love of post-punk and angular, dissonant guitars. About 2 weeks later we had a full-blown EP of 6 songs. Shortly after, we wrote and recorded our first LP, which took a little longer, say… 2 months? We released our first LP in September of 2018.
Describe the sound… How has it evolved since the 2018 debut?
It’s glam, it’s punk, it’s pop, it’s snotty. I think at first we fought off those pop sensibilities for a while. Now we’re trying to embrace it in a healthy way. We try to keep things pretty wound up and gnarly, too, so there’s a balance. I think that comes from the live shows. That energy and grit. That feels new to us on “Manic Panic.” We wanted to bring that to the recording process.
Tell me about “Manic Panic” — what’s the inspiration behind that? The video too…
I think it’s just that constant state we’re all feeling these days, and in the days before the pandemic and George Floyd and all else. The low grade outrage we’ve all been feeling watching 45 and the rest of his corrupt cronies tear this country apart. I feel like I’ve been riding a razor’s edge between manically working and writing and organizing and protesting to just feeling hopeless and totally panicked. That’s kind of what we were trying to express with a lot of the lyrics, especially “I’ve got a prison and a purpose and a microphone in my hand.” That duality.
The video was actually our friend Andrew Bentler’s idea (he also edited it for us). We were at a loss for what to do when COVID-19 kept us all home, and he was just like “Have your fans help you!” So we put out the word on social media, and the response was actually really cool! We got a ton of video responses. It was so so cool. We love our fans!
Is there a new album on the way?
Absolutely! We’ve got a ton of songs finished, recorded, mixed, and mastered. But we’re also still writing, too. We’re really excited to start playing these new songs live, whenever we can do that again. We’re a live band! It’s such an important part of what we do. We crave that connection and audience participation. I miss crawling all over everyone. But yeah, we’ll continue putting stuff out in the meantime while we all stay safe, and once we can get out there and support another album, we’ll put it out.
What’s next for the band this year and going forward?
Continue releasing music. We’re working on some collaborations right now, which is super fun. The first of those will be out in September with our labelmates Tummyache. We did this really rad song that we’re excited to share. Other than that, we’ll keep writing and recording and release songs when we feel like it, while also raising awareness about racial inequality and systemic racism. We released a song as part of a compilation we put together with our label to raise money for Black Lives Matter and Color of Change. The song is called “Weatherman,” and it’s still available on Bandcamp. All proceeds will continue to go to BLM and Color of Change. Here’s the link.
Broken Baby’s “Manic Panic” single is out now.