Oakland’s Bonnie & The BANG BANG have captured what it means to recreate and redefine a quintessential 90’s and UK pop sound. It having been over two years since the group’s last release, they are back with their forthcoming LP, Distance.
Bonnie & The BANG BANG were cool enough to share “Darlene” with us, a single off of Distance, which you can listen to exclusively through The Bay Bridged below. Also, Patrick James Stiles, frontman of Bonnie & The BANG BANG, took some time to sit down and talk to me about the release, their previous stint touring, and what’s in the future for the band.
The Bay Bridged: It’s been a while since the release of The Dark Dream. Tell me a bit about the process of putting together and recording Distance?
Patrick James Stiles: It’s been over two years since our last release, and it’s crazy to think that we took about 24 months of that working on and putting this album together. Around the time we released our last album, we took the leap to try and be a full-time touring band. We slept in our vans, drove around, played shows, and did the whole thing. After a while, we realized we were still pretty naive and had a good amount to learn and grow. The album is totally about distance. It’s about how, after taking that leap, we grew apart a bunch and the boundaries we went through to grow back together. It took so long to put together because we had to experience that as a band — the process of growing apart and growing back together in order to remember why we do this. We did just that and came out with, what we think, are these diamonds of songs. But a lot happened in between and with all of that in mind.
TBB: And since then it’s been pretty quiet, huh?
PJS: Yeah, we’re not like those bands who can put out a ton of releases. We like to take our time. Well, it takes us time to get things how we want them.
TBB: How was the process of being in the studio, in that case? I know for some people it’s really grueling and tough, and other people love it.
PJS: You know, I think the studio is a really cool place. I was raised Catholic, and I see it as a holy place where you spend time with your closest and best friends. It’s kind of a ritual, similar to that of a real religion. You go in there and do communion, have fellowship together, and come out with something to show for it.
TBB: How about the process of actually writing and arranging the album?
PJS: I usually write stuff and don’t really know what it’s about right away. It all sort of comes together. I wrote a lot of these feelings that never tied in for me. I know a couple of things, though. I don’t think I can write another song about unrequited love again. I think “Darlene” and “Every New Love” did that for me.
TBB: Anything else about the album you want to mention?
PJS: I hope everyone picks up on all the Almost Famous references we make throughout that album. I realize the longer I’m in a band, the more I can take from that movie.
TBB: That’s such a good movie.
PJS: Oh man, it’s amazing. It’s so quotable.