I first heard of BiRDPERSON through the recommendation of a friend. She had known the guitarist, Trey Wilson, from high school and thought they were pretty good, good enough to tell friends as well as share the band’s stuff on Facebook for everyone else. Typically, I’m a skeptical person when it comes to hometown bands. People tend to give a bit of leeway to these groups because they’re so close to home or because “they’re just finding their start” after existing for nearly three to four years and only putting out one record or so.
Now after I’ve built them up so high, BiRDPERSON really does bring a refreshing, punk energy to an otherwise lifeless and uninspired emo scene in hometowns across the state of Georgia. I spoke with guitarist and frontman, Aaron Cooler, to learn more about the group as well as their recently recorded EP, “The Michael Jordan of Baseball.”
BiRDPERSON is named after the character from the Adult Swim cartoon, “Rick and Morty,” and are based out of Statesboro, GA. Their HQ is the BiRDHAUS where they host house-shows. In fact, they’re planning a Hausfest for April 29 before they go on their May tour. “It’ll be the first time we’ve attempted something like this with so many people and bands.”
I was excited to learn what went into the creation of their latest EP, so I started by asking how they came up with the eccentric name they chose. “When we do our song titles, we sort of just write random descriptions we think are funny and that also are in line with the lyrical themes of the song. And when you say someone is the Michael Jordan of something it means they’re really good at whatever it is. ‘Michael Jordan of Baseball’ connects with the song because Michael Jordan sucked at baseball so it’s sort of about when you are feeling like you are not the best person you can be and you are just fucking up a lot.”
The songs they chose for “The Michael Jordan of Baseball” were four of the best out of ten or so songs they felt were finished enough to record. “Those four songs we thought were our best and were what fit together best. We still have six to record now that all have a unique sound to them. We’re expecting the next recordings to come out soon.”
“We do very collaborative songwriting. One of us will come up with a concept and then that’ll become their song to teach to each other. Whenever we’re working on a new song we all add our own taste and style to it. I tend to take care of most of the lyrics but the music is collaboratively composed.”
The dog on the cover the EP is actually Cooler’s Pitbull, Duchess and within the title track’s music video and single release cover art there is a Australian Shepard named Bear who is Cooler’s girlfriend’s dog. “They’re kind of our mascot. We’re big animallovers and so we thought it would be something cool and random to use for the art of the album. Our drummer did all the art with water-color and pens. He also has done some merch for us. It’s really nice since you don’t have to outsource your artists.” They plan to continue this aesthetic as their signature design in the future.
Being from a place with a fairly inactive music scene, BiRDPERSON developed a DIY attitude toward their work. “When we decided we wanted to start a band in Statesboro, we decided we would make stuff happen. Nobody was going to give it to us so we started doing house shows and things. A lot of people like our style so we kind of just made our own venue to play at and make the people who wanted to hear what we had to offer come to us.”
With the opening of the BiRDHAUS, Statesboro’s music scene has developed a great deal. Cooler attributes the growth to there being less drama in Statesboro. “Other scenes are having issues with jerks and there’s enough of that in a town like ours so we wanted to make a place where people aren’t going to be dicks to one another by not being exclusionary to artists.”
To close out the interview, I asked Cooler what he wanted people to take away from their music. He said “We want to make music for people so that it can be as catchy enough for a passing listener to enjoy on a surface level while also being technically complex enough for ‘trained ears.’ On a different level, we take it further with songs that deal with our personal lives, anxiety, social situations, what have you. It connects to people who are feeling alone or not their best. It makes people feel like they’re not alone and that other people have been there.”
Check out the title track to their latest EP:
Photo courtesy of BiRDPERSON’s Facebook page.