After nearly an 80 date tour playing shows in the US, Ohio rockers Beartooth came over to finish their tour with some UK dates. OnTheScene caught up with bassist, Oshie Bichar ahead of their show at Southampton’s Engine Rooms last month.
Onthescene: How have you enjoyed the tour?
Oshie: It’s been great. We started off in the States and did a full US run and then we immediately came over here to Europe. It’s been close to 80 days on the road now so we’re all a bit cracked, but we’ve had a great time and the UK shows especially have been really awesome.
Onthescene: As a band you’ve had a busy year with releasing your second album Aggressive, touring and playing the festival circuit. What’s been the highlight of your year?
Oshie: I think Download Festival is definitely a big one. We played the biggest show we’ve probably ever played, by far, so that was pretty surreal. Just getting to play new songs and having two records of songs to choose from has just been awesome.
Onthescene: As you said before, you’ve just finished the US leg of your tour and now you’re playing shows in the UK. Do you find that the shows are different?
Oshie: Some songs get better responses here in the UK but some songs get better responses there (US), but overall it’s a very different experience and there’s positives to both in different ways. We definitely feel a lot of love for the UK – we always have since we started coming over here. This venue (Engine Rooms) is the first venue we ever played in the UK with Of Mice and Men, so to come back and sell it out is pretty awesome. We’re all excited.
Onthescene: The venues you’re playing now in the UK are much bigger than the venues you were playing when you toured last year, so do you feel the vibes of the shows have changed?
Oshie: You know, not really. Obviously when you’re in a smaller venue it’s more intimate but we try keep it consistent and play the same show, no matter what size the venue is. Usually it involves a lot of crowd participation and everyone getting involved so as long as that happens, we’re happy.
“When you’re in a smaller venue it’s more intimate but we try keep it consistent and play the same show, no matter what size the venue is. Usually it involves a lot of crowd participation and everyone getting involved so as long as that happens, we’re happy.”
Onthescene: After this show, you’ve only got a few shows left and then you’re going home and taking a few months off. Are you looking forward to taking a break from touring?
Oshie: Yeah, we have a couple of months off and after that we’re gonna be hitting it really hard again for the rest of the year. I’m looking forward to a little time off because this has been quite a stretch, but we love touring and this is why we do it.
Onthscene: You brought out your second album Aggressive in June. What has the response been like?
Oshie: We love playing the new songs live and people have been singing along, that’s all you can really ask for. I think people like it (laughs).
Onthescene: What was the recording process like for the album?
Oshie: Caleb (Shomo, vocalist) writes and records everything himself so we just chain him down to the basement and like, don’t let him come out ‘til it’s finished.
“Caleb writes and records everything himself so we just chain him down to the basement and like, don’t let him come out ‘til it’s finished.”
Onthescene: Do you feel like you changed the sound on this album from what it was on Disgusting?
Oshie: Not so much changed it as opposed to evolved it, maybe. I think we just took the best parts of the last record an focused more on that and just focused ourselves on evolving that.
Onthescene: With both of your album titles Disgusting and Aggressive, is there a reason that they’re so to-the-point, angry titles?
Oshie: It’s not so much like concept albums per-se but definitely the records are described by their titles and I think that was the goal. Aggressive is just about getting out your aggression through any avenue you take, but in this case for us, its music.
Onthescene: Are you proud of Aggressive and everything you’ve achieved in 2016?
Oshie: With a healthy dose of humble pie, we are. It’s been good to see the band evolve and to see the rooms grow and people dig the music. We’ve come a long way in a pretty short amount of time so it’s amazing to see.
Onthescene: What’s in store for Beartooth in 2017?
Oshie: I can’t really give away too many secrets. We get to do a US tour with Bring Me The Horizon and Underoath in the spring. We’ve wanted to tour with Underoath for a long time – they’re one of our favourite bands, collectively, so we can’t wait to do that. After that, we’re just gonna stay on the road and we’ll be back, eventually.