“Say Your Prayers” by Bass Drum Of Death

Bass Drum of Death’s new album Say I Won’t is the end result of a journey that took singer and bandleader John Barrett from a small town in Mississippi and sent him across the world and back home again. Say I Won’t, the band’s fifth record, comes at a time of massive change for Barrett, having relocated from New York to his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi during the pandemic. The record is also a homecoming of a different sort, with the band rejoining Fat Possum Records, the label that released their first record GB City in 2011.

“Moving back to Oxford was a much-needed reset,” says Barrett. “When I started, I just wanted to play in a punk band and drink beers and travel around. I didn’t really think much past that. And I got really burned out. When I moved back home, I started writing songs again, just for fun. I realized I wanted this record to have more of a hometown feel. The switch back to Fat Possum was easy. It’s much better working with people I know and love and love everything they do.”

Say I Won’t is the first Bass Drum of Death album written, demoed, and recorded with the touring band instead of Barrett doing everything on his own. He found a freedom in working with collaborators that wasn’t available to him before, opening different aspects of the songwriting. It was a process of live recording, layering on different parts and overdubs, and then stripping it all back to the bones of the song, keeping the raw wild heart of the music intact.

“My first two records were made entirely by me alone with my gear, my laptop, and a Snowball USB mic,” says Barrett. “They were just made quickly, cheaply, as an excuse to tour. I wanted to take my time with this record. Make something good that I was proud of in itself.”

The band recorded the new record with Patrick Carney of the Black Keys at Audio Eagle Studios in Nashville and the result is a groove-oriented, 1970’s-indebted collection of rock songs, with tempos set for cruising and scuzzy guitars galore. There’s an energy and vitality to the music that feels in line with the best of the Bass Drum songs, but with an added boost that comes from new bandmates and a new perspective.

“Say Your Prayers” is a collaboration with Mike Kerr of Royal Blood. A midtempo bruiser that finds Barrett snarling, “The wolf is in your bed/But the Devil’s knocking at your door.” It’s all attitude, with mountains of sludge-slathered riffs, tangled harmonies courtesy of brother Jim Barrett, and a stomping beat fit for a movie car chase scene.

“That song is about seeing somebody at a party and knowing it’s bad news,” says Barrett, “a kind of Medusa-like situation. It’s about temptation and succumbing to it, and the consequences of that. I guess in a way it’s a breakup song.

I had to relearn that making music is fucking fun,” says Barrett, “and you should have fun doing it. If it’s miserable, what’s the point?” He laughs. “But man, when a song hits, it’s the best feeling in the world. That’s what this record is about. Getting back to that good place and staying there.”

Bass Drum Of Death 2022 Tour Dates

September 22, 2022 – Dublin – Opium *
September 23, 2022 – Cork – Cyprus Avenue *
September 24, 2022 – Galway – Roisin Dubh *
September 25, 2022 – Belfast – Limelight 2 *
September 27, 2022 – Birmingham – 02 Institute *
September 28, 2022 – Bristol – 02 Academy *
September 30, 2022 – London – Roundhouse *
October 1, 2022 – Newcastle – Newcastle University *
October 2, 2022 – Aberdeen – Lemon Tree *
October 3, 2022 – Glasgow – QMU *
October 5, 2022 – Hull – Welly *
October 6, 2022 – Leeds – Stylus *
October 7, 2022 – Nottingham – Rock City *
October 8, 2022 – Manchester – 02 Ritz *
October 10, 2022 – Brighton – Chalk *
October 11, 2022 – Norwich – Epic *
October 12, 2022 – Southampton – 1865 *
October 14, 2022 – Ris Orangis – Le Plan ^
October 15, 2022 – Pessac – Astrodome vivres De L’art (Mac3) ^
October 16, 2022 – Angouleme – La Nef ^
October 19, 2022 – Tourcoing – Le Grand Mix ^
October 21, 2022 – Le Havre – Ouest Park Festival ^
October 22, 2022 – St Nazaire – Le VIP ^
October 24, 2022 – Paris – La Maroquinerie ^
October 26, 2022 – Lyon – Ninkasi Kao ^
October 27, 2022 – Annecy – Le Brise Glacé ^
October 28, 2022 – Strasbourg – La Laiterie ^
October 29, 2022 – Vendome – Les Rockomotives ^
November 25, 2022 – Seattle, WA – Showbox *
November 26, 2022 – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall *
November 28, 2022 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall *
November 29, 2022 – Sacramento, CA – Harlow’s *
November 30, 2022 – Los Angeles, CA – Lodge Room ^
December 1, 2022 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues *
December 2, 2022 – Santa Ana, CA – Observatory *
December 3, 2022 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues *
December 4, 2022 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex *
December 5, 2022 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater *
December 7, 2022 – Kansas City, MO – Madrid Theatre *
December 8, 2022 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle ^
December 9, 2022 – Minneapolis, MN – First Ave *

*dates with the Lemonheads
^ headline show

Pre-order Say I Won’t by Bass Drum Of Death HERE