The band needed a name. Matthew Sease pulled the biggest book from his mom’s shelf, opened to a random page and pointed to a word.
“The.” That wasn’t going to work.
Then they found themselves thumbing through the book of Leviticus, The Bible’s book of rituals and how to avoid impurities, and there it was. “The Beeves.” Perfect.
On May 17th, The Beeves will be hitting the Fox Theatre in Boulder to release their first album Adam and Beeve (get it?), but they are not Christian, Leviticus aside. They are eccentric and quirky – their sound mixes punk, 60s mod, and country – and it comes out like an exorcism on stage. They dress up like extras from Blazing Saddles, as evidenced by their raucous set for BandWagon’s Battle Of The Bands final round last month.
The new album was produced by Tyler Imbrogno at DayMoon studios and includes lyrics of self-deprecation, a polka-infused song about Disneyland, and comments about some lady’s dog. (So punk!) When they perform live, they threaten to lick your elbows and jump off stage to start conga lines in the mosh pit. So – how can you take them seriously? Well, you don’t. And they don’t want you to, except when it comes to their music.
Drummer Will Ehrhart knows deep cuts from a lesser-known Paul McCartney album, and guitarist and lead vocalist Ian Ehrhart enjoys artists like Joni Mitchell, and all it creeps into their music.
Adam And Beeve’s opening track “525” features melodic bass lines reminiscent of The Who’s John Entwistle and vocal textures that have a hint of John Lennon stoned on LSD. In their song
“Disneyland,” they remind you of bands like Primus and Cake, and then they turn your expectations around with a very folky, Beatles-esque song like “Softest Velvet.”
There’s also some punk in there, the kind played by Blink 182, with more of a twangy edge. The country element came from a joke – because of course it did. They decided to pay tribute to (ie: make fun of) their friend Nick Cook of the Yawpers, who’s often seen wearing flamboyant western shirts. All it took was one show, and that became The Beeves’ official uniform. But Cook was more than a fashion icon to them. He heavily influenced their sound and stepped up as producer when it was time to record an album.
But before the album, the shirts and even before they settled on a name with the help of The Holy Bible, they met during Language Arts class. Sease used to sit in front of Ian. They hated each other. Or at least they thought they did, until they discovered they each had a guitar. They immediately bonded, hiding Black Sabbath albums they traded back and forth from their teachers.
“There wasn’t anyone else to talk to and connect with over this kind of stuff or this kind of music,” Sease said. “Finding someone like Ian was life changing.”
They just needed a drummer, so Ian asked his brother, Will, who eventually joined the two of them busking on Pearl Street in Boulder. Since then, The Beeves have booked shows all over the Denver and Boulder area and just completed a West Coast tour, with an upcoming show in Iceland.
So, how did three young dudes go from busking in Boulder to an international show in a few short years? “Friends,” Ian said.
Yes, they got by with a little help from their friends. They played their first tour with their friends from the band Meeting House, who they met at their second show. Iceland? Well, Will went to high school with an Icelandic exchange student who is connected to the music scene.
“I don’t like the word ‘networking,” Matthew said. “It’s more like befriending people on the road and getting to know them.” And this is how the Beeves, three kids from Erie, Colorado operate. Music is this fun thing that was the basis of their relationship. And all they want to do is share in the fun. All you have to do is not take them too seriously.