Premiere: Child Abuse’s “Bebe”


Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.

New York’s Child Abuse is a gloriously confrontational band, mixing the incoherent glugs of death metal, the dissonant meander of 12-tone composition, the atonal squonk of free-jazz, blasts of ucky noise, and a wet gob of old-fashioned punk rock. Second album Cut And Run (due on Lovepump Records, April 13) continues to blur the lines between metal, avant-garde, and simple nihilistic abrasion, blasting out six arty and ugly songs that sound like if Dirty Projectors got eaten by Cannibal Corpse. “Even though we all love Stockhausen and Morbid Angel, our sound and writing process has never been preconceived or self-conscious,” says bassist Tim Dahl. “Twentieth century composition and metal has influenced us, but I wouldn’t consider us ‘serious’ composers nor a metal band. Until metalheads consider us a metal band, we are not a metal band.” “Bebe” is some searing, mildly funky non-metal metal, working like zombie Stravinsky and zombie Battles clawing each other’s eyes out over some galloping 9/8 double kicks.

Child Abuse bassist Tim Dahl on “Bebe”

What is “Bebe” about?

Originally it was about my good friend’s sugarmama who he referred to as Bebe. However, after realizing there is a trashy store called Bebe, I would like to say it is about the store.

What’s been the funniest reaction your band has experienced from having a confrontational name?

The funniest reaction we ever had was actually in response to our music, although it did involve our name. We were playing in Warsaw, Poland, and after we finished our set, the crowd began to cheer for an encore. Picture 300 kids with Polish accents chanting, “Child Abuse! Child Abuse! Child Abuse! Child Abuse!”

Can you tell me about some of the influences that went into this particular track?

It wasn’t premeditated like that. However, stepping away from it and listening back to it now, I can hear all types of influences that weren’t conscious at the time. Off the top of my head I hear Stravinsky, Slayer, Vincent Price, Gordan Mumma and Bootsy Collins. I think the modern American musician can’t help it to be influenced by a wide variety of music and we bring it all to the table whether we like it or not.

How did you approach this record differently than your debut?

Well first of all, we put much more time and care into the writing. We also gave the recording process more time and didn’t rush things. We did it at Ben Greenberg’s studio. We are a pain in the ass to record and Ben managed to keep it simple and easy. Although, I am not sure if he would agree with me.

What’s the most memorable show you’ve played in New York?

I love playing in NYC so it is hard for me to favor one performance. With that said, a couple of summers ago we were playing Silent Barn and a bunch of local kids held up the place just after we left. Another memorable show was when we were unloading at Cake Shop and David Byrne wiped out on his bike in front of us.

What’s your favorite place to eat in New York?

NYC has many good food spots, but since I’ve lived in Midwood for 11 years I have to go with Di Fara’s pizza. I know it sounds biased, but it is hands down the best pizza in the city. I was fortunate to live in the neighborhood for three years before Dom [DeMarco, owner] became a rock star, where I could walk in, get a slice on a Friday night and only wait a minute. Now it can take hours, but that’s OK with me because it is still great. I am happy for his success.

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