Wherein we start a sentence, and the Boston band finishes it.
The Bynars are dangerously deceptive. The Boston-based quartet just released their debut, self-titled LP, and on it they play delightfully catchy songs that have hooks for days, in-your-face jangly guitars and warm and soaring synths. They sound like a hug feels. Which is why you barely notice that they’re also ABSOLUTELY PUMMELING YOU with some of the tightest, positivity-drenched, smile-inducing pop since the Rentals. They’re in town this week, so PW caught up with Wayne’s World -obsessed Bynars guitarist/vocalist Matt Jatkola to play a little round of Fill in the Blanks.
We have a song called “How Does It Feel To Be In Love.” The answer is simple ... it feels as if there is a bowl of spaghetti in your stomach. If feels kinda weird, squishy ... kinda good ... kinda bad ... I’d say that’s pretty accurate. Unfortunately, I just thought of that now and not while we were writing the song, so our version contains no mention of pasta whatsoever. But perhaps we’ll write the spaghetti-centric version soon.
For our money, no one in music is doing it better right now than ... Best Coast! It’s hard for me to describe how much their stuff resonates with me. We’re all big fans. I guess it’s what everyone always says about Best Coast: simple songs about heartbreak, great vibe, great voice. I love that there’s no fluff, just these great songs. Nothing wrong with that at all. The longing, the Lesley Gore-ish attitude toward boys—I love everything about that stuff. I can’t wait for them to record some new songs.
People often tell us we remind them of ... the Rentals, Fountains of Wayne, the Beatles. I always thought “The Shitty Beatles” (from Wayne’s World ) was a fantastic band name, and should be every band’s name post-1962. But seriously, those are some of our favorite bands. It’s flattering when people compare us to anyone, let alone some of our favorites! With our new album, The Bynars , there’s much more of an electronic flavor to it than our previous EPs, and we’re excited to get into that world. I would love for someone in the near future to say we remind them of a mix between Nine Inch Nails and The Partridge Family .
Our dream gig would be ... I’m going to say that Ben [Mettey] (synthesizers) and Mike’s [Champ] (drums) dream gig would be to play with Devo. They are a big influence on many things we do. We all love Devo, but those guys are the biggest fans. I would say for Kiel [Szivos] (bass) and myself, our dream gig would be to play with Converge. Can you imagine us playing with Converge?! I can’t think of a more awkward thing. It would be awesome and I’m sure they’d hate us. So if any promoters wanna put together a Devo/Converge/Bynars bill, we are down.
One thing we cannot stand is when ... people say “so good” too much! I don’t know what it’s like in Philly, but we hear that everything is “so good” all the time in Boston. We’re guilty of overusing the phrase ourselves at times, but I think it’s time someone took a stand. “This band? So Good.” “This organic, gluten-free, low cal, nondairy frozen dessert is soooo good !” We’re making a conscious effort to memorize the thesaurus entries for “so” and “good” and we urge everyone to do the same. We’ll begin the trend by saying: “It is indeterminately satisfactory !”
Seriously, what the fuck is the deal with ... that scene in Wayne’s World where Garth smashes the robotic hand with a hammer after saying “We fear change.” I think it’s one of the funniest parts, and like so much of the rest of the movie, it feels like it’s referencing something, like an old movie or TV show ... but I have no idea what it is! I’m familiar with most of the other references and spoofs in the movie, but this one stumps me. Someone once told me they thought it was borrowed from a Twilight Zone episode, but I don’t know if that’s true. Can anyone help?! Please?!
As a band, we have a few goals we’d like to meet. None of them as big a priority as .... becoming a great live band. Since we started, we’ve always been all about writing quality songs, and we will continue to do so, but translating them into a live setting is not always easy. Being at a show is a far cry from strumming a guitar in your bedroom or recording in a studio. We’re always working on new and better ways to perform the songs in a live setting, and thinking of ways to engage the crowd with our music. We’ve found that throwing candy (or anything) at the audience and swearing a lot is a good way to get ’em going, but you can’t always rely on physical or verbal assaults.
The Bynars perform Sat., June 25, 7pm. $8. With Ports of Call + New Speedway. M Room, 15 W. Girard Ave. 215.739.5577. mroomphilly.com
PW's Music Issue 2014