The Fortunate 13: Brad Bynum, vocalist/pianist for Elephant Rifle, former ‘RN&R’ editor

Brad Bynum isn’t any stranger to readers of the RN&R. He’s been contributing to the publication since 2002. He was the paper’s arts and tradition editor from 2008-2016, and the editor from 2016-2020. On high of some stellar journalism, Bynum has contributed closely to Reno’s music scene together with his band Elephant Rifle, which mixes parts of post-punk, noise rock, hardcore and steel into one insane mixture. The band’s newest album, Damaged Water, simply dropped and is the band’s first launch in 5 years. For extra, go to

What was the primary live performance you attended?

Pearl Jam, Mudhoney and Urge Overkill on the Lawlor Occasions Middle on Dec. 2, 1993.

What was the primary album you owned?

Megadeth’s Countdown to Extinction, Metallica’s Black Album, and Weapons N’ Roses’ Use Your Phantasm I and II. That was form of the starter pack for 11-year-old rockers in 1992, after which the subsequent part was Pearl Jam’s Ten and Nirvana’s Nevermind.

What bands are you listening to proper now?

Our tour is centered round enjoying this superb competition in Minneapolis referred to as the Caterwaul Music Competition. It’s all noise rock, or no less than noise-rock-adjacent bands. Among the greater bands on the invoice embody Cherubs, Chat Pile and Flipper, however I’ve been having fun with trying out all of the bands on the invoice. I like Rid of Me and Moon Pussy. The brand new Djunah file is nice. I dig Nerver from Kansas Metropolis, and I’m pumped they (have been slated to play) our record-release present. DJ Sooner Than You has been enjoying Caterwaul bands on his KWNK present, Left of the Dial, and has completed a pleasant job curating alternative cuts. I’ve additionally been exploring the King Crimson discography. I really like diving right into a band with a deep, bizarre, eclectic oeuvre, and King Crimson delivers that. The Remedy, the Grateful Lifeless, Osees and Roxy Music have been different staples recently, and, in fact, the brand new Spitting Picture album guidelines and is crucial listening for anybody who cares about Reno music.

What artist, style or musical development does everybody love, however you don’t get?

I get unhappy in regards to the industrial decline of rock music. I really like hip hop, and I perceive the enchantment of EDM and different modern genres, however I feel rock music can do sure issues higher than another style. (The reverse can also be true: There are different issues which can be simpler completed in different genres.) Good rock music can present unimaginable moments of musical catharsis, and try this inside the context of highly effective songwriting. Another genres can present musical catharsis, and another genres can ship nice songs, however to do each at the very same time? That’s a magical mixture. I want extra listeners, particularly youthful listeners, would acknowledge that. I feel a part of the issue is that the musical-industrial complicated spent too a few years selling shitty rock bands, however I feel there’s nonetheless a wholesome underground, and that makes me joyful.

What musical act, present or defunct, would you most wish to see carry out reside?

The Grateful Lifeless, someday early on, perhaps 1972. Some present with incredible medication and quite a lot of bare hippies.

What’s your favourite musical responsible pleasure?

As I age, it will get tougher and tougher for me to separate artwork from artists. For instance, I can’t take heed to Kanye West’s stuff anymore, or Michael Jackson’s, however each of these guys have written plain songs. It’s powerful once you hear one in every of their nice songs, and you may’t assist however really feel superb issues, however you already know they’re horrible individuals. It’s somewhat heartbreaking. I really like the Smiths however have been irritated by each public assertion Morrissey has made for the final 25 years or so. It’s the identical as after I’m watching outdated films, and the Miramax or Weinstein Firm emblem pops up. I can’t assist however cringe—like, what did these poor ladies need to do to be on this film?

What’s your favourite music venue?

I noticed the Osees at Purple Rocks in Colorado a few years in the past, and it lived as much as the hype. Regionally, I’m actually proud to have been a secondary or tertiary a part of what the Holland Challenge has completed, and I’m so glad our record-release/tour-kickoff present was there on Might 20.

What’s the one track lyric you possibly can’t get out of your head?

There’s multiple, extra like 1000’s. There are many recurring snippets from nice lyricists, like Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and David Berman, that pop up in my mind on an hourly, generally minute-ly, foundation.

What band or artist modified your life? How?

I’m in my 40s now, so my life has modified many occasions, and many various bands and artists have been a part of that. A key early one for me was Nirvana. I feel In Utero might be nonetheless the inspiration of my musical aesthetic. When individuals ask me what Elephant Rifle appears like, and so they’ve by no means heard of “noise rock” or “post-punk,” I normally simply say “sorta like Nirvana.”

You have got one query to ask one musician. What’s the query, and who’re you asking?

Stevie Nicks within the Nineteen Seventies, and I’m asking her to dinner.

What track would you want performed at your funeral?

A couple of track would appear so as. I feel a three-day competition can be acceptable.

Figurative gun to your head, what’s your favourite album of all time?

I don’t negotiate with terrorists. It’s like a 40-way tie, however two that come instantly to thoughts are Sticky Fingers by the Stones, and Pink Flag by Wire.

What track ought to everybody take heed to proper now?

Effectively, I’m right here to advertise Damaged Water, the brand new Elephant Rifle album, so I’ll say that.

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