What’s something you could delightfully discover if you were sitting on your porch, casually smoking a joint with two friends, and one of them points out a painted wooden sign across the road that reads:
“Live Show $5 Entry”
The sign is set between a blue wooden ladder in front of a house with boarded up windows and a unkempt front yard. Three relatively decrepit cars are parked in the driveway and there is zero sign of any other human presence except for the warm attack of a drum kit ringing out from somewhere behind the house. You all laugh for a few minutes about how it’s probably just one 40 year old guy and his two drunk friends or how you will all definitely be murdered upon entry simply on the basis that that’s how things go in houses like that.
But, the drums keep going. And you all remain on the porch, listening.
How much is $5 really?
What else am I going to do in the next hour?
Damn, that’s kind of catchy.
Then, a black kid in his early twenties emerges from the side of the house. He sees you all staring at the sound of the music, and like it’s been rehearsed, raises his hand to an open palm with all fingers stretched.
“Is it good?” You call out.
He offers a lighthearted shrug.
You’re all sold.
Next thing you know you’re rounding up change in the house and walking alongside the quasi abandoned home.
“Enter Around Back” Another wooden sign.
The drums continue. They’re just around the corner.
Cautiously, you peek your head around…
What the hell is this?
Lights. More specifically, lighting. Nice lighting. A stage with art backdrops and a painted set. And people. 25? 30? 35?
Crowded around the stage on chairs, benches, stools, and anything else that is deemed adequate enough to sit on. This house has both captivated and humbled you in the same moment.
This house is Adventureland Ballroom.
And I (thankfully) attended it’s 46th show.
A self proclaimed humble scum rock project based in Seattle, Washington fronted by Matthew Fildey; Whose witty banter about drinking too much CBD soda and covering the ears of the dogs in attendance ( 2, surprisingly) before performing ‘A Song About A Girl Named Death’ provided great, lighthearted juxtaposition to the sounds and feeling of their 2018 EP “Scum Rock” Sitting in the audience, I at first thought they had slight remnants of Mac Demarco, but by the end of the set, Bobby Baritone had unequivocally established their sound. And it was a really good one.
It was like they had combined and condensed all my favorite parts of scum/indie rock while adding their own unique layers to it into something that felt honest, and like it would be (and is) great to sing along to. Specifically, the riff on the latter half of ‘Shaving Private Ryan’, the voice inflection on the opening 30 seconds of ‘King of Reno’, and all the pitched noises/finale (apologies for my lack of technical music knowledge) on ‘Abduction and Rejection’ are what got me hooked and started the internet searches in the first place. I would go in depth further about the music but I feel out of respect for the art it’s better to just be listened to. But anyway, I was so hooked in fact, that I decided to reach out via Instagram.
I talked with Matt for a bit, at first only to ask permission to use their music in a playlist (here) but shortly after I asked if he would be open to answering a few questions for the site, to which he kindly agreed. So without further adieu, Matt “Rat” Fildey.
Why the moniker Bobby Baritone?
I had been brainstorming names for a super long time, and my pal Buggy suggested the name Bobby Barracuda. I really liked the name, but I thought it might have sounded too serious. And then Levi, (also in the band) suggested changing the last name to Baritone. I liked that it sounded like a really horrible smooth jazz artist, and so Bobby Baritone was born.
How did the band meet/form?
Almost everyone in the band met in San Diego, then moved to Seattle. Levi, Josh, Connor, and I live together in Seattle and while Samantha doesn’t live with us, we’ve known her since high school. Our drummer for tour was Grant and he was a high school buddy as well. We met out current drummer, Sam, at a show when we first moved up to Seattle.
Artist you are most inspired by?
Personally, I think I’m most inspired by Jonathan Richman and Stephen Malkmus. I love how both of them make music that enjoys itself, but is still really creative and satisfying to listen to. I also like that they don’t take themselves too seriously. It makes it more fun when you see them playing their music and having a good time too!
What is one thing no one told you about going on tour?
Nobody told me that I was gonna get sick, but it happened. I guess nobody could, but I definitely didn’t see it coming. I lost my voice for the last two shows and everyone else had to sing the songs without any rehearsals. They did a great job haha.
Final question, what is something someone not familiar with Bobby Baritone should know?
I guess I would want people to know that Bobby Baritone isn’t some alter ego, and is just a group of best friends who try to make each other laugh while playing music.
And that was it, simple, to the point, but pleasant and enjoyable. So, what’s something you could delightfully discover if you were sitting on your porch, casually smoking a joint with two friends, and one of them points out a painted wooden sign across the road that reads
“Live Show $5 Entry”
You could discover the music of Bobby Baritone. And damn, you might just like it.
And thanks for reading.
P.s) Extra thanks to Matt/Bobby Baritone and best of luck ahead!