Thursday, December 10, 2015

Unarm Yourself with Brooklyn’s Beast Patrol

Vanessa Bley first came to New York City at the age of 17 when attending FIT. Getting started as a musician with appearances at CBGBs, she was able to avoid the starving artist experience by making her solo jazz career her sustenance.  Not content to sit still, Bley also gets her fill these days at the front of the Alt-Rock Band Beast Patrol, which literally spun into existence from the seat of its pants.

Performing as a solo at an anti-fracking concert where the amps where powered by bicycles, she met guitarist Robert Granata and formed the band six months later.

As such, the collaboration with Pedal Power NYC has kept Beast Patrol connected by continuing to take their turn at the wheel, while giving fans a stake that goes beyond simply lending their name to a cause.
“Revolutions aren’t started from people being like, hey sign this petition. So originally the idea was let’s throw a party/interactive event where people can have a more philosophical resonance and come to realize you don’t need fossil fuels. It’s a subtle thing, but when people connect the dots, and see they can sign up for renewable energy – it’s super powerful," says the lead singer.
But not letting daily travails get the best of you provides this Brooklyn based band’s inspiration to keep moving forward. “It came out of the idea that everything in life that matters is a beast that we have to patrol.  So all these songs are a different way of looking at that, and we are encouraging people to run towards fear, which is the result when you let go. Letting your guard down, so you can get better results – you know enjoy yourself while we’re here,” she reasons.
Distant Grandeur, their latest on Unarm Yourself, speaks directly to dropping the emotional dukes. “It’s self-intimidating fear, and the revelation that it’s all inside your head. So knowing that can be freeing and is a true example of patrolling the beast inside,” says Bley.

An ironing out with the “Beast” that took time after she left her comfort zone as solo artist. “At first, I didn’t feel comfortable with the sounds. But two year later, the EP has definitely been a collaboration. Either a song comes out of like just fucking around in rehearsal or our guitarist spits out songs. He’ll then have some backing kind of music, and ‘I’ll be like, oh fuck yeah or no,’ and we try to cut it up and mix it,” she says.
At the same time, Bley will take a pass on the easy way she drops the F-Bombs. “It’s ok, I’m just this super cool girl who happens to use the F-word a lot,” she jokes as if Brooklyn has taken her in as one of their own.

Definitely down with the coffee, her payload doors do get a workout around some the coffee snobs found around the borough. “You talk about a stick up people’s asses. ‘Yeah, it’s this rare brown roast, a world blend.’ It can be so obnoxious in some places, and like everybody has a beard down to their fucking shins,” she doesn’t hold back.
On the other hand, Brooklyn’s other brew has let her leave Manhattan behind. “I was hesitant to move. But when I did everything came together. There’s nothing but artists, places to practice and good ideas,” she reveals.
And that ain’t all that Brooklyn brings.  “I think that we have this weird magic chemistry where we walk into a bar, and the drinks are free. Then whenever we play, everyone always wants us to stay around and party,” she beams.

However, the escapades she enjoys the most have nothing to do with raising the spirits at sundown.  “What I like is writing music with Robert and the band,” says Bley.

Thus, music makes everything falls into place. “It’s true expression of how you feel. It’s not like, I want to write a song so someone can praise it. It’s got to come from a place that’s honest or what the hell is the point,” she concludes.

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