by Ian Duggan
‘Bitter Defeat’ is a local lo-fi solo recording project, that has been sporadically releasing songs via Bandcamp since mid-2016. We talked to Bitter Defeat about the project’s influences, the irregular nature of his releases, aspirations, and whether we should expect to see him playing live anytime soon.
HUP: You have released three tracks on Bandcamp to date. Your second, ‘Better’, sounds not unlike early-Pavement recordings, particularly in the way it builds in the last 30 seconds. Who are your influences on this project?
Bitter Defeat: I’ve loved that kind of sound for a long time, since first hearing Pavement on John Peel’s show somewhere around 1991. Over the years, I’ve got into a lot of similar sounding stuff that really appeals, like Guided By Voices, who I particularly enjoy, and most recently Car Seat Headrest. I don’t know why that sound sounds nice to me, but it does. So, that’s the musical influence; Stephen Malkmus and Robert Pollard are godlike in my tiny mind.
Bitter Defeat: That’s lovely to hear, thanks for passing that on! I’d like to do more, but it’s just the way it happens really. When random inspiration hits to spend a couple of hours messing round recording. It’s possible that a bolt of inspiration hits and a bunch of new stuff is out there. It doesn’t take long. I normally come up with an idea and turn it into something ‘finished’ in about 4 hours max. Sometimes it takes two visits with a break in between, but that’s about it. I love that about it. That it’s one idea, not thought about for hours, recorded quickly, imperfections left in. I like the honesty of that.
HUP: What are your aspirations for Bitter Defeat?
Bitter Defeat: Genuinely none whatsoever. I won’t push it at all. If I’m happy with it, that’s good enough. I think ‘would I like this if I found it somewhere?’ and if the answer is yes then it’s job done. Having said that, the few friends I’ve shared it with like it and that feels nice.
Bitter Defeat: Possibly. Conversations have been had with musical pals. I’d have to sing in front of other humans though, which is a scary thought. Given there’s less than 5 minutes of material to date, it’s a long way off though!
HUP: You have named your project Bitter Defeat. Did that name derive from you being a Liverpool football supporter?
Bitter Defeat: Haha! No, though that would have been possible. Arsenal in 1989 still hurts. It’s the name of a song by Kitchen’s Floor, a great Brisbane band who played here last year. Great lo fi punk. I think it fits the nature of the BD’s music quite well.