Frontier Psychiatrist

Posts Tagged ‘Better Luck Next Life

From Left: Cox and Baer

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jeremy Cox, guitarist for Royal Baths in a mop closet at The Empty Bottle over a few cans of Hamm’s. Their newest Better Luck Next Life is a jet-black piece of psychedelic rock, pulsing with unstable energy and reeking of bad intentions. Many thanks to Jeremy for meeting with me, and please take a moment to see Royal Baths when they come to your town, as they no doubt will. 

Frontier Psychiatrist: You guys just relocated to Brooklyn after building much of your career in San Francisco. Why move to Brooklyn, because everyone is there?

Jeremy Cox: (Laughs) We went through the City on tour a couple of times, and we noticed the audience was more receptive to what we were doing. And, obviously, there’s just a lot more people there. I was in San Francisco for about 4 years, Jigmae (vocals, guitar) was there for almost 8, so we certainly had our share of the Bay. [San Francisco] is one of, if not my favorite cities in the U.S., but obviously New York is a lot bigger, and it has a lot of history. We certainly have a budding romance with The City.

FP: Are you inspired by your time in New York?

JC: Well, we haven’t had much time, but it’s definitely inspiring and fast paced. Despite what everybody told me when I was moving out, there are a lot of very caring people in New York City; it’s quite the opposite of the notion that residents very cold and distant. I happen to think that with so much in New York, you’re bound to find a positive and supportive person everywhere and anywhere. The humanity is thick there. That said, I don’t know how much it directly affects our songwriting, but as people, it is putting us in a new headspace, which is definitely important to our songwriting process.

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Royal Baths_Better Luck Next Life_Kanine Records

In an effort to fortify my resume and to combat the boredom resulting from hours of watching British sitcoms on Netflix Instant, I recently joined a program at my school pairing international students with American guides. I was paired with a Chinese student, and like a good American, I have spent my time with her extolling the virtues of Mexican food and Chai lattes at restaurants and coffee shops around town. Naturally, at one point our conversation turned to music. She told me that she particularly likes American country music, her favorite artist being Taylor Swift. She then asked me why Americans like rock and roll so much, surprised that people who live such laid back lives would want to listen to such loud and boisterous music.

I had this question in the back of my mind as I listened through Royal Bath’s powerful new Better Luck Next Life, out now on Kanine Records. Royal Baths are the latest from the burgeoning Brooklyn via San Francisco psychedelic garage rock scene. It’s an album drenched in violent lust and strung out on speed. The scene is always a seedy one, evoking images of back alley drug deals and ravaged motel rooms. The subject matter is undeniably dark, as singer Jigmae Baer details vampiric sex scenes and murder fantasies with an icy detachment that makes the album feel that much steamier. On occasion, Cox’s withdrawn persona crumbles and the man sounds positively demonic. Think Al Pacino in Devil’s Advocate without Keanu Reeves ruining everything.

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