Nashville rock band Bully released their debut album, Feels Like, in June, and if you're wondering how the album has been received, sure, you can look at the reviews on NPR, Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, but you can also look at this guy's foot:
Yep, that's a tattoo of Bully's album title right on someone's hairy ankle.
And if you need further proof -- go to a Bully show. The foursome -- singer/guitarist Alicia Bognanno (who writes all the music), guitarist Clayton Parker, bassist Reece Lazarus and drummer Stewart Copeland -- are currently touring the U.S. and are about to head over to Europe and Australia.
"It's really awesome to see people singing all the words at shows," Lazarus said, standing outside's Brooklyn's Full Circle bar. Just a day before, Bully played at Music Hall of Williamsburg a few blocks away to a moshing crowd of New Yorkers.
The words that fans echo back all come from the mind of Bognanno, who writes raw, honest lyrics like, "I remember that naked photo, and I remember things getting better" or "I've been praying for my period all week" and then screaming them out loud onstage. For a taste, listen to "Too Tough" -- the video for which premiered Wednesday (Sept. 30) on NPR -- or "Trying," below:
Bully is 12 days into their tour, but even though that sounds pretty early on in their trek, they've been playing festivals like Northside and Made In America (where they were provided with champagne and Jay Z-approved alcohol) this summer. Playing shows every night takes a toll, especially when you're yelling, so they've been trying to take care of themselves.
"If we have an off day, I keep it mellow," Bognanno said, also admitting that she tries not to eat too late (which is hard when you're drinking). "I try to drink as much tea as possible. [My voice has] been holding up so far."
While Copeland has been diligent about reading to keep him calm, Lazurus is trying to work out more.
"I went a little bit crazy this tour to be perfectly honest," Lazurus said. "I got really out of shape so I've been really militant about getting myself up in the morning and working out before we go and get in a van. And eating way better and taking supplements and drinking tea instead of coffee. I feel so much better."
But it's hard to practice a lot of self care when you're constantly on the road. Tour manager Louisa does most of the driving in their Econoline van, but Alicia and Stewart will take the wheel when needed -- listening to their Best Show boxed set all the while.
And, good news to us, on long drives, Bognanno is penning new jams. She'll play her ideas for the guys while they're soundchecking at show, and see where it goes from there.
"I have a little travel guitar and a little recording thing set up so when we have long drives," she said. "I've been kind of messing around with it, trying to work on some new stuff, hopefully we can get it into set by the end of tour."
As for Europe and Australia, they don't really know what to expect. After all, they've never been anywhere but the U.S. and U.K. Alicia is excited for Paris, but so far, nothing is really stacking up to their gig in Cincinnati.
"People were just losing their sh--," she said about the Cincy show. "I love playing in tiny packed rooms. There's just some sort of energy about it that's bound to happen."
Lucky for them, they've got many more packed shows ahead -- 47 and counting.
To catch Bully on tour, check out their dates on their website.