Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Bailiff

Photo by Melissa Lin Ellis

In a recent interview, A Music Blog, Yea? caught up with Chicago-based rock trio Bailiff to discuss studio highlights, coach houses, sitting in chairs, and Beethoven. Want to know more? Dive in!

AMBY: Hey Bailiff, welcome to our site. What’s the band been up to lately?

Bailiff: We’re on tour at the moment. Comin’ at ya from Pittsburg, PA at the moment. We’ve been touring on the first half of our 2014 release Remise, prepping to release the second installment in the fall, and starting to write a new batch of songs.

AMBY: How would you describe each member of Bailiff in one word?

Bailiff: Scruffy, Bespectacled, Untangled.

AMBY: Who inspires your upbeat, blues-infused pop?

Bailiff: Buke and Gase, Tom Petty, St. Vincent, Richard Thompson, The Beatles, Wye Oak, Jimi Hendrix.

AMBY: The band released your EP Remise in April. What was one of the highlights you had while recording it?

Bailiff: Helicopter was the first single from that EP. We thought that we had that song figured out before we went into the studio but when it came time to track it there was some uncertainty about the ending. Throughout the pre-production, our producer, Dan Smart, kept saying, “I don’t know about the ending, I think you need to go somewhere new at that section.” We didn’t hear it that way until it was really time to track it, then it became real clear that we needed to write a new part. We told our engineer to take a break and we sat down with some acoustic guitars and percussion and wrote the final instrumental section right before tracking it. Those last minute changes are my favorite moments in the studio.

AMBY: When it comes to the title, what inspired you to call the album Remise?

Bailiff: We looked up some words that referred to coach houses because the band lives in a Chicago coach house and we wrote the album there. Remise is an outdated word for coach house. We weren’t sold on the word until we came across it’s alternate meaning which is “to strike twice without retreat” in Fencing. Seemed too fitting for our 2nd recording.

AMBY: Which other artists from Chicago should we keep our eyes on?

Bailiff: My most recent discovery was a female rapper at SXSW called Psalm One who was amazing and turned out to be a Chicago based artist.

AMBY: If you could be a fly on the wall at any given time or event, where would you want to be?

Bailiff: I wouldn’t mind hanging out on the wall of Beethoven’s house while he wrote “Moonlight Sonata.” That song is magic to me. It’s unbearably sad and beautiful and gentle and powerful all at the same time.  I’d love to hear how he stumbled into it, what he discarded along the way, and what it was like when he told himself it was finished.

AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Bailiff that nobody knows yet?

Bailiff: Owen and Ren can sleep while sitting in a chair, Josh cannot.


Thank you Bailiff, for giving us your answers!

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Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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