Brooklyn’s Virgin Forest is stick-to-your-ribs indie rock courtesy of 80% of Phosphorescent, fueled on Townes Van Zandt and heavy metal thunder. Their sophomore album (and first for Partisan), Easy Way Out (due January 31), mines similar Neil Youngish territory as Phospho, but is more Ragged Glory than Gold Rush, the restraint jettisoned over for some unrestrained rockers. “Don’t Be Afraid” is a mix of shadow-staring doom-folk, Eagles-gone-loftpunk guitar shimmer and an irresistible splatter of fuzz bass.
What is “Don’t be Afraid” about?
Scott Stapleton, vocals/keyboards: The song is about refusal to let fear control you. And it’s about love. The lyrics speak for themselves.
How did you get this excellent bass sound?
Stapleton: Jeff Bailey is responsible for that. He is the best.
Jeff Bailey, bass: The bass sound comes from a Death By Audio Interstellar Overdriver. Also it comes from a bass played by alternating fingers, played with feeling.
You recently opened Whirlybird, a breakfast taco and coffee spot in Williamsburg. How is it going? What’s the hardest part about the taco business so far?
Bailey: Whirlybird is going great. Better than I figured even. It’s had a great response and has been growing organically. I’m learning as I go how to make it work, but if I had to compare it to a crossword puzzle, it would be a Monday. Also, the featured record label project [featuring a label’s records displayed on the wall as art] has been really fun. It has created a lot of conversation about Partisan during their feature and a slew of other record labels are interested. I’m going to feature No Quarter next, in early February. The tacos keep getting better, and Jesse [Ainslie, guitar] has been working there from time to time.
What was the most memorable show you played in New York City?
Stapleton: New Year’s Eve show with Deer Tick was by far the most memorable. With Phosphorescent we performed the To Willie record front to back, and sold that bitch out.
What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?
Bailey: My favorite place to eat is a tie between Nha-Toi, a Vietnamese pho spot on Havemeyer, and Miller’s Tavern on Hope Street. Both places just kill it with the delicious.