Tell me a little about the songwriting process in The End Times Spasm Band. Does someone come up with a riff or melody and you all get together to hammer it out in rehearsal? Who handles lyrics? Where do your lyric ideas come from?
Bart Helms: The inspiration for my lyrics tend to come from what I read, which can be anything from poetry or a book on the history of mathematics.
Lyndsy Rae: It’s totally the same for me. Whether it’s a book you’re reading or an artwork your seeing – if it’s a vulnerable day, it turns itself into a song. Writing “Baudelaire,” I was lacking adjectives. They don’t surface naturally in another language. I was looking at an art book by Bacon, with a lot of exposed bones and rib cages, and I tried to visualize that.
Bart Helms: To write End Timesy material, we both benefit from setting ridiculous songwriting challenges. I think this year one of the rules is no more love songs because those made up two-thirds of our Nosferatu score.
Lyndsy Rae: We both subscribe to being a scholar. We need deadlines. We were in college too long.
He also includes a nice spiel on why the Squirrel Nut Zippers are important to him, which we’ll heartily sign.
Kimmy Sophia Brown has reviewed a number of acts from Belfast Maine’s Free Range Music Festival. Including us:
Lyndsy was quite the fireball and quipped, “We insist that you have a good time”. She reminded me of a young Shirley Maclaine – dimples and fire, with a joyful mime-meets-flapper dancing style. Her body responded to each note of music like an enchanted marionette, as she played the washboard and belted out songs with Ethel Merman’s power and Edith Piaf’s charm. As a matter of fact they played a version of “La Vie En Rose”, and other old tunes such as, “Everybody Loves My Baby”. There was also a sampling of their unforgettable originals like the electrifying, caffeine-saturated tune, “Black Coffee”.
I didn’t want to look away for a second for any reason because Lyndsy was a constant source of delight. I loved the sense of inner liberation that she conveyed, which allowed her to involve herself in the music with such wholeheartedness. Two toddler girls were dancing a few feet from the stage and she smiled and encouraged them to dance too. Of course, they became silly with shyness as soon as they saw her peeking at them from behind the microphone. It was very dear.
The Music Moms’ Ken had a few nice things to say about us.
While Squirrel Nut Zippers were the cool older brother that listened to The Who and Zeppelin, The End Times Spasm Band are the punky little sister that prefers the Ramones and The Clash. Led by singer Lyndsy Rae, The End Times Spasm Band craft a unique blend of 1920s blues and New Orleans Jazz. Her personality and free spirit gushes out of the songs, making it nearly impossible to stand still while listening. It’s a throwback that fits in perfectly with the new wave of folk and bluegrass coming out today.
Fort Wayne, our hometown, has long been the home of a vibrant and varied music scene. Out of nowhere, D. A. Fisher, an outsider from Brooklyn, was handed boxes full of homegrown discs by a coworker. We’re thankful to have a passing mention alongside the many truly great songwriters and performers named. Read his take on our scene’s history on The Reader’s site here.