Polly doesn’t want a cracker. Polly wants to rock.
The cartoon birds that flutter around your head after getting walloped are now being replaced by the psych rock garage band BIRDS. Based in NYC, the project hatched from a solo effort by frontman Duane Lauginiger that quickly formed into the four-piece you hear now.
Comprised of fellow musicians Tim Plunkett (drums), Jess Rees (guitar) and Jessica Reynoze (bass/vocals) the sound they create is no squawk. In August, BIRDS released Everything All At Once via Greenway Records.
The album immediately gives you goose bumps by kicking off with the track “See It All,” which is riddled with intense drum solos and eerie vocals. Don’t worry though—you’re comforted throughout the rest of the album with catchy melodies and lively lyrics that sound hopeful, yet jaded. It ends on the track “Slow Time,” an ode to getting your revenge.
So, let BIRDS take you under their wing. Read the entire interview with BIRDS’ Lauginiger below.
BTRtoday (BTR): How did BIRDS form?
Duane Lauginiger (DL): It started as a solo recording project I was working on at my studio. As the pile of songs grew so did the desire to play them out. I have some amazingly talented friends Alex Cohen and Jeff Widener that became the first lineup. We did a few shows and recorded the Pressing Time EP. Then it just evolved over time to what we do now.
BTR: What do you love to do other than music?
DL: I like to walk through the city and listen to fragments of people’s conversations. Old diners are really good for this. Being in the still of nature is powerful too.
BTR: What kind of inspiration goes into BIRDS—musically and lyrically?
DL: Inspiration kind of seeps in from everything. Musical ideas usually come when I’m walking. Like if you hear a radio coming from a car mixed with street noise mixed with the tempo of your footsteps and so on. Lyrically I usually have a definite “thing” I’m talking about, but then I try to scramble and code the language so it doesn’t make obvious sense. Maybe on the second listen it does.
BTR: What are you most proud of accomplishing as a band?
DL: Finishing and releasing our album with Greenway Records.
BTR: Tell me about that album—what was the creative process like for Everything All At Once?
DL: After playing with the current lineup for a few months we went to our friend Paul Kostabi’s studio Thunderdome to do the basic tracking. Then we took the songs back to my studio and added some guitar overdubs and vocals and mixed, which sounds much simpler than it felt to do.
BTR: Why the name BIRDS?
DL: I always liked the sound of birds first thing in the morning. And there’s some great graffiti near my house with a bunch of silver birds. Drop the silver and there ya go.
BTR: What are you currently grooving to lately?
DL: Aside from all the amazing bands in Brooklyn right now, there’s this double LP compilation called ZamRock filled with ‘60s/’70s psych from Zambia that’s been on heavy rotation. And I usually always have a mix tape going from this record store Domino in New Orleans. They make these amazing mixes of old reggae and Afrobeat stuff. Whenever a friend goes down I have them stock up for me.
BTR: What’s in store for the future of BIRDS?
DL: More records and hopefully more touring.