Interview: Michael Reed of Bauer

By on Tuesday, 7th January 2014 at 11:00 am
 

What better way to start the new year than with some new music? Or, in this case, some new-to-me music, specifically from Manchester indie band Bauer (not to be confused with Dutch duo Bauer or ‘Harlem Shake’ hitmaker Baauer). Bauer’s New Wave, synth pop sound takes its influence from ’80s bands like New Order, Depeche Mode, and Talk Talk, according to guitarist Michael Reed. I had the chance to exchange e-mail with Reed just before the Christmas holiday to find out more about the band and their new compilation album, ‘Lose All Memory’.

First, a little background information. Previously known as Barfly, Bauer changed their moniker after the threat of a lawsuit from a chain of music venues using the same name. Bauer have been together as a band officially since 2006, comprised of members Greg Matthews (singer/songwriter/synth), Neil Treppas (producer/bass), Lee Bradbury (drums), and Reed (guitar). It wasn’t until late last year that I discovered them via Twitter, and while I can’t remember exactly how the connection came about, I was quite pleasantly surprised when I finally took the time to listen to their tunes. Bauer’s back catalogue includes an EP, ‘Feels Like Heaven’, and several single releases, as well as their first full-length studio album, ‘Sleeping Giant’, which was released in November 2012.

‘Lose All Memory’ was released at the end of 2013 as a collection of what Reed described as “some really good tracks that are either full on studio recordings or good quality demos that didn’t quite fit in the first album proper”. He added that “some of these tracks are probably better than the first album songs in many ways, but it was more about how that first album flowed”.

Reed admitted that the process of recording and releasing music has at times been frustrating for Bauer. “We’ve had a few frustrating periods where things haven’t been happening or where normal life just takes over and you can’t give it all to music until things change. Luckily for us with the band there’s always been a great chemistry and we’ve reached a level of friendship that goes just beyond being mates that play music together.”

The band have toyed around with both major and independent record labels in the past but have recently leaned toward releasing and promoting their own music. “The last single and the two albums have been self-releases. This gives us quite a lot of freedom musically. Obviously, there isn’t a massive budget because we’re not working with a label, but we try to make up for that by working hard, making great songs and getting press in a different way. The music bloggers have been great to us since the first album. We didn’t really plan on doing any press on this new compilation record but we got asked quite a few times for interviews and some of the bloggers just reviewed the album after buying it! These are people that have a real passion for music. They’re not in it for the money.” (Ha! Is there any money in this job?)

As a true independent band, Bauer have found themselves using Facebook and Twitter to circulate and publicise their music in lieu of the traditional record label support. “The social networking thing really is a great way of finding new fans and interacting with new people. If you work hard at it, you can get real results, as we’ve seen on the first album. You can get a similar result if you’ve built up good relationships with people than if you were to just go and spunk away a few grand on a plugging company. You’ll also find that with a band like us you get a much different experience than if you’re following a major label artist. We will reply to your Tweet or email, we’ll talk to you after a show, and I think people do really appreciate that.”

Some of the songs included on ‘Lose All Memory’ have been fan favourites without ever making it onto previous releases. Reed explains that the band put the compilation together with a dual purpose in mind. “We thought it’d be a waste to never stick these songs out. It’s also great because it gives the fan base something else to listen to whilst we’re working on the next studio record.”

That next studio record is in its seminal phase at this point, but Bauer have a tentative plan for 2014. “It’s likely we’ll be pretty quiet in the first half of the year; we’re going away to dream up the new album. We’re looking at a summer single release if all goes to plan, with another single later in the year followed by an album.” In the meantime, check out ‘Signs’ from ‘Lose All Memory’, which is available as a free download below.

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15 Responses

11:01 am
7th January 2014

New post: Interview: Michael Reed of Bauer @bauermusic_: http://t.co/a5dh8MRX3L

1:19 pm
7th January 2014

RT @bauermusic_: Last bit of press for the Lose All Memory album (out now – http://t.co/A9RygJb8FK )
http://t.co/BekVWiMPQQ – See you on th…

1:19 pm
7th January 2014

RT @bauermusic_: Last bit of press for the Lose All Memory album (out now – http://t.co/A9RygJb8FK )
http://t.co/BekVWiMPQQ – See you on th…

1:19 pm
7th January 2014

RT @tgtf: New post: Interview: Michael Reed of Bauer @bauermusic_: http://t.co/a5dh8MRX3L

1:20 pm
7th January 2014

RT @bauermusic_: Last bit of press for the Lose All Memory album (out now – http://t.co/A9RygJb8FK )
http://t.co/BekVWiMPQQ – See you on th…

1:23 pm
7th January 2014

RT @bauermusic_: Last bit of press for the Lose All Memory album (out now – http://t.co/A9RygJb8FK )
http://t.co/BekVWiMPQQ – See you on th…

1:24 pm
7th January 2014

RT @tgtf: New post: Interview: Michael Reed of Bauer @bauermusic_: http://t.co/a5dh8MRX3L

1:26 pm
7th January 2014

RT @bauermusic_: Last bit of press for the Lose All Memory album (out now – http://t.co/A9RygJb8FK )
http://t.co/BekVWiMPQQ – See you on th…

1:30 pm
7th January 2014

RT @tgtf: New post: Interview: Michael Reed of Bauer @bauermusic_: http://t.co/a5dh8MRX3L

1:54 pm
7th January 2014

RT @tgtf: New post: Interview: Michael Reed of Bauer @bauermusic_: http://t.co/a5dh8MRX3L

12:34 am
8th January 2014

RT @bauermusic_: Last bit of press for the Lose All Memory album (out now – http://t.co/A9RygJb8FK )
http://t.co/BekVWiMPQQ – See you on th…

12:35 am
8th January 2014

RT @bauermusic_: Last bit of press for the Lose All Memory album (out now – http://t.co/A9RygJb8FK )
http://t.co/BekVWiMPQQ – See you on th…

12:45 am
8th January 2014

RT @bauermusic_: Last bit of press for the Lose All Memory album (out now – http://t.co/A9RygJb8FK )
http://t.co/BekVWiMPQQ – See you on th…

1:51 am
8th January 2014

RT @tgtf: New post: Interview: Michael Reed of Bauer @bauermusic_: http://t.co/a5dh8MRX3L

3:01 pm
8th January 2014

RT @tgtf: New post: Interview: Michael Reed of Bauer @bauermusic_: http://t.co/a5dh8MRX3L

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