October 2014 – “Band of the Month” – BABY BABY
Our “Band of the Month” feature began in January 2012, featuring Savannah-based trio CUSSES in a short interview that gave readers a glimpse of what to expect from one of Georgia’s hardest working bands. We then landed an interview with Of Monsters and Men right before they broke and would then go on to include acts like Ponderosa, Cheap Girls, Swear and Shake, Jonny Fritz, Torres, The Districts, and more over the next two years.
So as we move forward into 2014, our entire staff would like to extend thanks to the artists who have taken the time to speak with us and the readers who have been so dedicated to supporting the site.
The first time I saw Baby Baby (as far as I can remember), was easily one of the wildest shows I’ve ever been to. The Atlanta-based band had booked a show with a few Macon acts at The Golden Bough, a bookstore that was on the forefront of developing the more recent music scene in Middle Georgia. The bookstore had a small room in the back that would host everything from poetry readings to hardcore bands to meditations and for many years, it was the place to be on Tuesday nights. Touring acts from all around the world would team up with local bands and artists for free shows, donations would go to the bands on the road, and without failure it was always a good time.
This particular show took place more than four years ago. The room was packed, the band members were nearly playing on top of one another, and within a few songs shirts were coming off, Fontez (guitar, vocals) was riding piggy-back around what little space was left while he, and anyone who could reach it, played his guitar. It was joyfully loud and uniquely entertaining and would set the bar for their future shows in the area and helped develop the relationship The Blue Indian has had with the band since. More about it in the interview..
We last featured the band in April of 2013 as part of our Acoustic Alley series, where they performed three songs for their then unreleased album Big Boy Baller Club. The album was released in April of this year.
2014 has been a year of changes for Baby Baby and the future is looking bright!
Baby Baby is: Hsiang-Ming Wen,Colin Boddy, Fontez Brooks, Grant Wallace, and Ryan Burruss (below)
Fall 2014 Tour Dates
- 10/3: Latitude 35 w/ Crumbsnatchers, Knoxville, TN
- 10/11: Jinx, Savannah, GA
- 10/12: Fly Free Festival, Lafayette, GA
- 10/15: Bouelvard 217 w/ Run The Jewels, College Station, TX
- 10/16: Red 7 w/ Run The Jewels, Austin, TX
- 10/18: The Yeti w/ Run The Jewels, Tulsa, OK
- 10/21: Minglewood Hall w/ Run The Jewels, Memphis ,TN
- 10/23: Zydeco w/ Run The Jewels, Birmingham, AL
- 10/24: Music Farm w/ Run The Jewels, Columbia, SC
- 10/25: Music Farm w/ Run The Jewels, Charleston, SC
- 11/9: Mayan Theater w/ Bad Religion, Los Angeles, CA
- 11/21: Social Club, Savannah, GA
- 12/21: Webster Hall w/ Kevin Devine + Front Bottoms, NY, NY
Going way back to the earliest days of Baby Baby….The band got its start in Carrolton, Georgia, correct? How did the original lineup come to know one another?
Grant Wallace (all answers): Me, Colin and Tez all met freshman year in college. I met Tez on Myspace and then we met Colin at a party where he was wearing a tuxedo shirt. A few years later we moved to ATL and added on the other guys. They were turning tricks on the corner of Peachtree and 17th St. We told them, “You can do better than this” and this is where we got the inspiration to write “Keep On Dancing”.
Carrolton, despite its quaintness, really isn’t the best place for a band to thrive.. At least I imagine so.. Is that what prompted you all to relocate to Atlanta?
For that exact reason. At the peak of our time in Carrollton, there might have been a total of 3 or 4 bands in the whole city. Strangely enough, the local bar Alley Cat is a pretty popular spot now for touring bands to hit.
I was reading up on the band and realized that Baby Baby turned five in September…How did you all celebrate the milestone?
Actually I think we’re almost six years old if memory serves correctly…. we will celebrate like any other six year old. Cake, presents, streamers, a clown, and lots of whiskey.
2014 has been an exceptionally special year for you all – from signing on with Candy Shop Management & Andrew Ellis at APA, to the partnership with Red Bull and the various things that’s brought about… I’d imagine that anyone who has followed the band for the past few years could agree that “Kidz” is really starting to ring true….
We originally wrote a song on our first EP, Drinking Drama Dance, called “Take Me To the River” and I think the line was “this year will be our year.” Turns out 2009 was not our year. Than we did “Kidz” which was in the same vein, turns out that year was not our year either. then we released a song this year called “A Short Little Summer Love Song” and it turns out this is our year! so heres a lesson to all bands. Just write a short song about a season. It’ll make all your dreams come true. #truestory
One of the big changes that happened came with the announcement that longtime (and co-founding?) bass player Kyle Dobbs was leaving the band on the spur of the signings with Candy Shop & APA.. It’s a strange time for anyone to leave a band, so I imagine you all were a bit shaken up by the news? What was the transition to Hsiang-Ming Wen, the band’s new bass player, like for you all?
Ah.. knew we couldn’t escape this for too much longer. It’s hard to say what happened other than people change. It takes a special kind of person to join a struggling band for five years. Most Atlanta bands break up after one year. Another true story. It just so happened we got hit with some goddamn good luck but it was too late and Kyle had already made up his mind. No hard feelings obviously. Hsiang is really dope though. We got even more lucky finding him. It’s crazy how it all happened. His band, Pillage and Plunder, just broke up after 10 years together. I went to their last show a couple months ago.
From the shows I’ve seen, you all enjoy and take great pride in having a good time (hanging from rafters, destroying stages, get naked) and making sure that your audience has a good time (costume-themed shows, dance parties, crowd participation).. Does a particular show stand out as the wildest to any of you?
Hmmmm… I think we all wore diapers one time. Someone might have been naked…. Our last show in Denver was a blast though. Tez just ran out in the crowd and hung out with them while we finished “Fire”, hahaha!
I think seeing the band four years ago at the Golden Bough, a bookstore in Macon that holds 25-30 people max, has to be the wildest show I’ve been to. At one point, Fontez was riding on someone’s shoulders, nearly everyone was shirtless, and the floor became a slip-n-slide of cheap beer…
Haha, I wish I remembered that better! Funny enough, this dude on our Facebook just left us a photo from that night and it was way more tame than that. Now he lives in L.A. and is coming to see us with Bad Religion. Full circle maybe?
Over the past few months, you all have been able to play some pretty amazing festivals; Riot Fest, Made in America etc.. What were those festivals like for the band?
Brand spanking new! Never done festivals before so we learned a lot. It just so happens the best one was the last one, which make senses. Now I’m hooked… I’m already getting withdrawals. I need my fix…
The band was recently picked up by Red Bull Sound Select and they’ve been assisting you all with a promotional campaign, product etc.. What has the partnership with them been like?
The best thing that’s ever happened to the band. They just give us show after show after show after show. It’s unreal. Oh and free Redbull, you can’t beat that!
You recently announced that the band will be joining Run the Jewels (El-P and Killer Mike) on the road in the Midwest and Southeast during October.. Congrats! Red Bull is presenting the tour and you’ll be playing some huge rooms (1000+ capacity).. Does anyone plan on having a rap battle with Killer Mike?
We actually want Killer Mike to come join us on the end of “Fire”. I would pay money to see someone try to rap battle Killer Mike though.
Wasn’t Fontez actually featured in a Killer Mike video a few years ago? Any connection to this tour?
No connection, just one of the full circle moments. Kinda funny, right? Tez gets smacked in the head by a hatchet in a Killer Mike video and now we get to go on tour with them. Go figure..
Looking back on the five years you all have been playing music together, what have been some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced?
Playing shows to no one or making no money. Paying bills. Getting a shit ton of hate from Atlanta. Only releasing one album until this year. Having to do all the booking by myself. Losing a member. Hell, frankly I’m amazed we made it this far.
What’s been the best advice any of you have received over the few months – in regards to the band?
“Play the hits.”
Who else should we listen out for from Atlanta? or bands that you’ve met on the road?
Any advice for the haters out there?
Keep on hating. It only gets the word out more.
Baby Baby is most definitely….
Cool as a cucumber
Baby Baby is most definitely not…