By Katy Wilkie
March 24, 2016
If you live in Charlotte, then chances are that you’re familiar with the popular band Matrimony, made of Jimmy Brown, wife Ashlee Hardee and CJ Hardee. While Matrimony is still together and on a little hiatus, it’s difficult for true musicians to stop creating. So what happens when Jimmy and CJ create a new sound? You get the new band Bassh, of course. Bassh, which features Brown and Hardee, moved away from the familiar tunes of Matrimony and opened up the floor for the musicians to create a sound without limits or pre-conceived expectations. CLTure was able to catch up with Brown and Hardee ahead of their show in Charlotte at Visulite.
CLTure: Where did the decision to form Bassh come from?
CJ Hardee: We formed Bassh out of songs we were writing/had written while Matrimony was active. When we decided to take a break from Matrimony and individually pursue new projects, we hit the ground running with Bassh. It has grown a lot since those first songs, but we’ve maintained the idea that we wanted to write and play with no rules or agenda.
CLTure: Do you find there is more musical freedom to experiment under the new band?
Jimmy Brown: Absolutely, we can go in any direction we want and we love it – we’re not committed to anything other than making music we like.
CLTure: How do you think the sound and lyrics differ from other projects?
CJ Hardee: Our sound is a lot more rocking than our previous projects. We really wanted to set the banjos, acoustics, and mandolins down for a bit and play electric, loud drums, synths and have hazers smoking us out. Lyrically, I think there are more mature themes and it can come across more emotional than any other songs we have written.
CLTure: What has the live reception of the band been like and what’s it been like performing as a new persona for familiar fans?
Jimmy Brown: We’ve performed 5 shows so far and they were all well received. We played the Untapped Music Festival showcase at SX, which was packed out and the crowd was electric. I don’t know that we have a new persona in Bassh, but I feel we are more deliberate in our approach to the live show. I think that has to do with our lyrical content, which is generally a lot darker than Matrimony ever was.
CLTure: What excites you about Bassh? What should we be excited about?
CJ Hardee: Bassh is exciting for us because we are getting to play and do whatever we want without trying to fit into a sound or box. No one else really has a say in our music at the moment. Hopefully that translates and the fans will be excited to see and hear that as well.
CLTure: Where do you see the band heading in the future? More music and tours?
Jimmy Brown: Our calendar is booking up very fast and we will be releasing a new single followed by an EP or LP very soon.
CLTure: What are some of your go-to spots in Charlotte?
CJ Hardee: I’ve been going to DD Peckers bimonthly since I was probably ten. Growlers Pourhouse is pretty much the neighborhood bar where I know I can walk in and see a lot of my friends. Abari just opened and it’s fun as hell.
CLTure: What are you currently listening to that you’d recommend checking out?
Jimmy Brown: BIA’s tune “Gucci Comin’ Home”
CLTure: How has Nashville been treating you?
Jimmy Brown: It’s been great! We have made lots of new friends to party and write with.
CLTure: You guys will be headlining Edgehill Rock Festival and made an appearance at SXSW this year, how was it? What benefits do you think the band gets from playing festivals that you don’t necessarily get from your own tours?
Jimmy Brown: We’re excited to headline the Edgehill Rock Festival and support it’s effort to provide for the community. We played 3 shows at SXSW and it was great to see people dancing and enjoying our songs. We definitely made a few new fans. The benefit from playing festivals is the diversity of the crowd, experiencing a wide variety of talent and making new friends.
More about Bassh.
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