Baboon is one of the most endearing acts of the D/d/FW scene. Born in Denton and moved to Dallas, they were adopted early on in their career by Fort Worth. Arguably the most Fort Worth band to never call Panther City home, the adoration Fort Worth showers this band is akin with the fervor reserved for their brethren band the Toadies. Baboon is the sort of band that can lay off the stage for 3 years and return with a passion and hunger unparalleled by most current acts. I’ve known and watched this band for over 20 years, I’m proud to call them friends, and even prouder they agreed to return to Fort Worth for their first proper show to headline and celebrate the 4th Birthday of The Synaptic blog/podcast, etc. I sent drummer Steve Barnett a few questions to answer, let’s see what he had to say.
The Synaptic: For those who don’t know, could you attempt to describe Baboon and your music?
Steven Barnett: Baboon is mostly very, very loud. Beyond that, we’ve made an effort over the years not to paint ourselves into a corner stylistically. We’ve given ourselves the freedom to be very accessible/poppy or completely irritating and inaccessible. That’s one of the things I’m most proud of about Baboon. I think each of our CDs has been pretty distinct from the others, and the same can probably be said for most of our songs.
TS: Baboon has been more active in the past year than in the preceding 5. Why the sudden spike in activity?
SB: A lot of people wondered about what happened to us there for a while, because we never made any formal announcements that we were splitting. I knew that I personally needed/wanted a break from the band, but I also knew it was inevitable that we’d wind up together again, so announcing a “break up” seemed like a melodramatic thing to do. So we all just did our own things for a while. Any spike in activity lately is purely a result of renewed enthusiasm for the group. As soon as we get bored/boring again, we’ll probably take another break.
TS: There were rumors following your incredible Three Links show back in February, are there any definite plans for recording new material?
SB: There are no definite plans for anything, but there are various ideas swirling around. We’ve talked about writing new material. I’ve got tons of old unreleased Boon stuff (studio recordings, live recordings, live videos) that I’ve toyed with the idea of doing something with. James (Henderson)and I talked about the idea of writing new songs, but rather than slaving away for months in the studio, just recording them live. We’re really just making it up as we go at this point.
TS: You’re a pretty avid film buff. In the Criterion (would there be any other edition?) film “Baboon”, who would play the members of the band?
SB: Well obviously Zach Galifianakis would make an excellent Mike (Rudnicki)…or maybe Nick Offerman. Dennis Quaid as Andrew (Huffstetler) . James would have to be played by someone British, period. Bart (Rogers) is a tough one…maybe Mark Harmon? For me, Christopher Walken or maybe David Byrne (he counts as an actor, right?).
TS: Horseheads, moustaches, ascots, matching outfits, whistles aside, without giving anything away, can the good people of 817 expect any surprises this Saturday?
SB: Yes. See you Saturday!
Baboon plays with The Cush, The Skeeves, Huffer and Panther Robe for The Synaptic’s 4th Birthday Party, Sat 6/21/2014 at The Grotto in Fort Worth. Be sure to get your tickets here and don’t miss out on any of the fun!