I Don't Know What to Say: An Interview with Best Behavior

The mid-1960s brought a variety of rock and pop groups from the UK over to the US, from The Beatles to The Rolling Stones to The Dave Clark Five. The British Invasion created a cultural impact that still influences musicians today, including Brooklyn’s Best Behavior.

The garage pop band released their first album, Good Luck Bad Karma, in 2015 and has played alongside acts such as The Darkness and The Struts. When their EP, Things That Happened, was completed in 2016, producer Justin Gerrish saw one of their live performances and offered to have the band re-record the EP at his private studio.

Although re-recording added another year to their release date, the learning experience made up for it. “From my perspective, even though there are fewer songs than on the debut, the scope of Things That Happened is much more ambitious than anything Best Behavior has ever done,” bassist Daniel Jacobson said. “Look, we've all heard the Brooklyn fuzz sound, and while an aspect of that desire to just fuck it and make noise will always be in my heart, I think we all wanted to see how polished and filled out of a record we could make. The thought was: let’s take everything that makes Good Luck Bad Karma great and just bring into sharp, naked focus. Take away all of the trappings of the early 2000s garage rock throwback thing, and just let the songs shine.”

Vocalist Alex Gruenburg didn’t go into writing this record with a theme or message. His writing process involves isolation, playing music for hours alone and coming out with material that he’s proud of.

“Alex is a solitary writer, and once he begins to explore a musical idea he tries to see it from all these different angles,” Jacobson said. “All of the songs on Things That Happened are a part of that same bedroom world. They all have things in common, certain types of progressions, sounds and structures. They are influenced by everything that he's ever listened to. It's less a formula than acknowledging, through a slow and painful process of trial and error what conventions are rewarding and what conventions aren't.”

Their reward was released earlier this month; four songs in the form of harmonious vocals and reverb-heavy guitars. It’s the sound they grew up on, the sound they’ve idolized, the sound they wanted to create. From their British Invasion forefathers to now, Best Behavior keeps the time-honored sound alive.