Five For Five with Brian McTernan of Be Well
Well, this is definitely a "holyshit" moment if ever there was one. Be Well, comprised of Brian McTernan (Battery/producer of the most classic records in hardcore), Aaron Dalbec (Bane, Only Crime, Converge), Mike Schleibaum (Darkest Hour) & Peter Tsouras & Shane Johnson (both of Fairweather) have come together to create emotionally charged, melodic hardcore tunes, that remind me, anyway of bands like Culture, Turning Point and, of course, Battery.
To say i grew up listening to either all of these bands, or albums that Brian has produced is an understatement to say the least, and being the legend that he is, Brian answered my dumb questions. Somebody, pinch me. But not hard.
1. If you had to introduce extraterrestrials to music with five records, what albums do you choose?
Rites of Spring - End on End
The Cure - Disintegration
7 Seconds - New Wind
Elliott Smith - Either/Or
Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight
2. I hate the term "supergroup", but that's pretty much what you are. I know Darkest Hour and Battery had a whole D.C connection and Brian has produced Darkest Hour as well as Bane and Fairweather. Was it a "time and place" situation for Be Well as a group? And do you think it has the potential to be a full time gig for any of you?
Yeah, we are kind of all in the same place in our lives- a bunch of hardcore kids who now have kids of our own, but still love music. It's awesome to be working with people that I have known and respected for so long. I think we would love to have it become a much more full time thing... Mike and I are the most flexible time-wise, so it's possible that tours will have different people filling in at times.
3. It's 2019 and vinyl is thriving. Do any of you collect vinyl, and how do you think vinyl has impacted somewhat of a resurgence in the underground and hardcore scene in the last few years?
I lost my vinyl collection in a fire in 2006, which was crushing. I have been trying replace all of the records that I have produced or played on, but I have never replaced everything I lost. I love vinyl... the packaging, the lyric sheets, the smell. I think it's especially good for punk and hardcore, because the art, lyrics, and photos are such a huge part of the experience.
4. What are five records or bands that gave you that "holyshit!" moment the first time you heard it?f
Gorrila Biscuits - Start Today. I will never forget putting that record on and hearing the horns. Operation Ivy - Energy. I bought this record because I saw the X and thought it was a Straight Edge band... haha. I was shocked when I put it on, but I kept listening and it totally blew me away.
Dead Kennedys - In God We Trust. This was one of the first punk records I ever got. It sounded so crazy to me that I couldn't even figure out what speed it should be played on.
Inside Out - No Spiritual Surrender. I initially got this as a demo before it came out and it absolutely blew my mind. I was lucky enough to see them live and it was unreal.
Fugazi - 7 Songs. This was a game changer in terms of exposing me to a whole new level of musicality, diversity, ethics, and emotion.
5. What does Be Well have coming up in the near future?
We are finishing the mixes for a new 7" as we speak. We have most of a full length recorded and hope to have that out at some point next year. Lots of shows will be coming up soon with some amazing bands- stay tuned for those to be announced soon.