Rock band Bodega hailing from Brooklyn recently performed at Urbanscapes, one of Malaysia’s longest creative art festivals. Urbanscapes happens yearly over a period of 5 consecutive weekends with both local and international acts performing.
For those who aren’t familiar with Bodega, we believe it’s time to get to know this punk rock band. Their music and lyrics are promising and will have you tapping your feet and actually thinking about the song long after it ends.
After all, they were dubbed as “New York’s most exciting band” by NME!
Team Marie Claire had the pleasure to not only rock out to Bodega but we managed to sit down and talk to lead singers of the band Ben Hozie and Nikki Belfiglio.
Which songs do you perform most frequently?
We have 14 songs and pretty much do all.
Which from those 14 songs would be your go-to song?
“Truth is not a punishment” is the last song on our record but it’s usually the first song we play and its only 3 minutes on the album. We tend to jam on it a little longer and it can go on for up to five minutes or 15 minutes or an hour. This ends up being a trance dance rock party.
What has inspired you to make music together?
Nikki and Ben both replied with love and lust. We are finding ways to upgrade the rock and roll library as rock and roll has been around for 70 years or so. It feels like rock and roll has been stagnant. We want to add something new to it.
Your songs have some interesting lyrics and titles? What’s the story behind that?
Nikki: It’s personal. Take that song, Margo I wrote, it’s about an old woman named Margo living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and has this job that has consumed her.
Other songs like Name Escape is fanatically interesting and was written on Manhattan subway where I had writer’s block on this one topic and Ben kept throwing names and I had forgotten the name and then Name Escape came.
Ben: Our songs are often wordy because we write the words before the music. Other people will write the music and then the lyrics will come.
Your debut album, Endless Scroll received some awesome reviews. Did you guys see that coming?
Nikki: Yeah but not like this. We definitely wrote with intention and we’ve been making music for a little while now. When we sat down with this record, we were looking into the rock canon and trying to position ourselves and it worked.
Ben: The toughest critic is yourself, and yes we want our fans to like it but once we got to a place where we liked it, we were happy. Because if others had nasty things to say as long we are happy with it, it wouldn’t matter.
Nikki: What we are saying is real and people can relate too. It has a lot of poetry in it too. We didn’t realize we’ll end up in Kuala Lumpur.
How has it been so far in Malaysia, since you landed here?
Nikki: We had Thai food along the street and that was good.
Ben: I first had some fried carrot cake and that tasted really good.
When you’re not playing music, what else do you do?
Nikki: I make music videos for other bands but primarily my own.
Ben: I love filmmaking, small-scale independent films in New York.
What is the main message you’re trying to convey in your album?
Ben: It’s called Endless Scroll because it’s about how we live our lives on the internet, and it’s not good or bad but it’s just pointing out. And how it will change our ethics and how our brain processes the world. There’s no actual message but it’s about asking people to question the things in their life and to not take things for granted.