BOTTLE UP AND GO - “Wayward Son”
from These Bones EP (Killnormal)
Blooze-Rawk // Out Now
The blood-blister yawl of Bottle Up & Go singer Keenan Mitchell is vintage Soundgarden-era Chris Cornell, but the boiling rawk brimstone beneath is electric blooze whiplash napalm: electrified-fence riffage lashed to (and by) crashing drum kit indigestion and face-melting sax squalls. On “Wayward Son,” Mitchell belts out the kind of Dear Mom missive no momma ever wants to receive—“I got so thirsty, I fell down the weeeeeeeeell/Fell asleep in my bed, I woke up in Hell”—he’s in too deep, a gun in his hand and a dead girl in his bed, and “Wayward Son” is a jolting study in turmoil, a skidding declaration that shit’s fucked up beyond belief that doesn’t project a path to positive resolution.
Bottle Up & Go frontman Keenan Mitchell on ‘Wayward Son’:
Would you characterize yourself as a wayward son?
I have had a few moments in my life when I felt like the wayward son, not to mention the countless nights waking up on the living room floor with the room spinning, thinking about how my mother would cry if she saw me... The worst was probably getting rousted out of my jail-cell bunk at five in the morning in the Florida panhandle to find out that my mother had just paid my bail from our home in Oregon, and I hadn’t even asked her to do it. I guess she found out from my uncle, whom I had called with my one phone call to ask for an immediate loan. The worst part was calling her from the jail phone and hearing the automated voice say “Hello, this is a call from the Escambia County jail. Would you like to accept a call from—my voice, forlorn—“Keenan Mitchell” That’s what I wrote the song “Low” about, incidentally.
You really attack the vocal here. Have you ever blown your voice, or feared that you would?
I have to spend a few days after every little tour we do whispering like the Godfather because my voice gets so wrecked. My range has gone down by at least a quarter octave during the time I have been singing for Bottle Up & Go, from all the smoking and screaming. It’s gotten so bad that I can’t sing some of the songs we used to play when we started out. I think I have a plateau now, though. My voice isn’t going to get much rougher than it is now. I hope.
If you found out in advance that you were headed straight to Hell and were allowed to bring a case of any beverage with you, what would it be?
Initially, I thought I would just pick up a case of the cheapest malt liquor at the corner store before I headed off to Hell. Lucas [Carrico, saxophonist] persuaded me that a flat of Graves grain alcohol would be the way to go. As long as you are going to suffer for all eternity. You might as well bring something that will last a few weeks.