Bison Face – Interview
Interview with Ernie Hill (Vocals Guitar) of Bison Face and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
Ernie: I’m the main songwriter, frontman and guitarist of Bison Face and we’re a four-piece alternative rock band hailing from St Albans, England.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
Ernie: We’ve all been active in the local music scene for a number of years and been in a bunch of bands before, but the songs that eventually became Bison Face gestated out of a necessity for me to have a musical outlet again. I’d written about 10 songs and had them locked away, not having a band of my own, just playing some session guitar and working. I’d been in a band with Alex (guitar) a few years back so he was enlisted when he moved back up from Brighton last year. After a few personnel changes and a few shows, we’ve landed where we are now.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Ernie: Musical: Sonic Youth, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Radiohead, Elvis Costello, Weezer, The Cribs, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Foo Fighters, Triggerfinger, Queens of the Stone Age, Rozwell Kid, Arctic Monkeys, Gold Key, Roy Orbison, Blur, Durutti Column, Pearl Jam, I could go on and on, there’s an artist playlist on our Spotify called “Bison Veins” which is most of them if anyone’s interested…
Non-musical: David Lynch, Jean Michel Basquiat, Kevin Smith, Jeff Goldblum, David Attenborough, Anselm Kiefer, Stephen King, plus any of my creative friends.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
Ernie: I want to write music that helps someone the way it helped me. And if I’m able to do that for the rest of my life and have some sort of career out of it, that’s the dream right?
Selfish pipedream, opening for Foo Fighters would floor me forever.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Ernie: Up to the present I’ve written all the music and lyrics, and most of my those revolve around personal experiences; Good times, shit times, mental health, tequila mistakes. There’s the odd dystopian, environmental and ahem *thinly veiled politically charged themes, but for the most part I write about what I and a lot of other people are dealing with day to day.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
Ernie: It’s all social media nowadays isn’t it? Instagram and a bit of word of mouth. I guess just trying to kill it live is still the best promotion you can get, people will come back if you’re not shite and you put in 100% every night.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
Ernie: It’s the lay of the land now, and it has pros and cons. I still buy the physical release of bands I love or discover where they’re available, but the ease of things like Spotify just means people don’t need to go out and buy things. There’s something better about having a physical album and being able to really see the artwork and sleeve notes while you listen.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Ernie: I mean that probably changes as often as “favourite song”.
Pearl Jam – Black. That song is just arranged to perfection, there isn’t a single wasted second of instrumentation and Vedder is astounding.
“I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life
I know you’ll be a star in somebody else’s sky”
It’s heart wrenching poetry, that song broke me live.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
Ernie: Slurping hot drinks, chewing gum with your mouth open, liking Imagine Dragons.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
Ernie: I think any time somebody goes out of their way to tell you how much a song or a lyric means to them or has helped them through something, that always means a lot. That’s what music should be about. Band wise, just getting the reaction we have for the single recently has been an amazing feeling.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
Ernie: I’ve been writing what will potentially be an album, I finished up writing the pending EP and a load of stragglers, but there’s a collection of songs that feel like they belong together now, so it could end up as a record! And I’ve been having a lot of fun designing the artwork for all the upcoming releases.
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
Ernie: Well the next shows will be the “welcome back from the apocalypse lockdown” kind of shows, plus they’ll be the release shows for our EP if things go to plan. People won’t have been to a gig in a long time, we’ll be desperate to play live and we’ll have a hell of a lot of new material to rip through. I think all the shows once things are back to normal will be absolute chaos. The world will always need music and there will be a lot of pent up energy. I can’t wait.