Local Spotlight: Bundy
Bundy the band has been making waves in Long Beach since 2017, playing shows, dropping albums, and supporting their community along the way. We catch up with lead singer and founding member, Nani Gross, asking him how the heck he's doing after two years of a pandemic.
How did you come up with the name?
When we started the band, we weren’t sure what sound or style we were going for. I just got these 4 dudes in a room and said, ok let's do this. Let’s make SOMETHING. They were all a bunch of jokers and one of them (GABE who pretty much was out of the band after two weeks lol) showed us a music video from the 90's. It was David Faustino's rap music video called I Told Ya. For some reason or other, we all thought it was so funny. Someone said we should call the name of the band BUNDY, after his character in Married with Children. I've regretted the name ever since, but its just kinda how it goes I suppose.
Bundy has been on the scene in Long Beach for a while, but the current line-up isn’t the original line-up.
When and How did the band form? Who has come and gone during that time?
Gabe Cardenal, Derek Cookmeyer, and Kelsey Hoover were all the OG's in the band. They all had their own reasons for getting out. Gabe's car broke down and he never showed up to rehearsals. Dude lived an hour and a half away, so we just decided it best to move on. Kelsey left because of his alcohol problems. There was a lot of friendship we had together, we had spent a lot of time partying together and creating dumb fun things. I guess eventually he couldn’t handle his high so to speak. There was a lot of drama that ultimately led to me having to remove him from the group. I haven’t heard from him in a while now. Pretty sad part to look back on. Derek got busy and on top of that we were having some creative differences in the band. We’re still great friends to this day.
You’ve done Zines, Podcasts, and streams. It seems like music isn’t enough of an outlet to express yourselves. Where do you see Bundy expressing yourselves next?
I spent so much of the first 10 years in LBC working at art. Constantly exhausted from trying to get people working together, creating in my own projects, work, relationships. It took a HUGE toll on my mental health. Thats something that no one tells you when you do this. You have to give up so much of yourself, and sometimes it seems few people end up caring. And those that do care, mean everything to me. All that is to say, my newest endeavor is actually a selfish one. Im going to do NOTHING, and Ill only create if it makes me HAPPY. Im quite happy making music on my own time now. If I don’t release a song for a few years, thats ok by me. If I don’t play a show, its because I don’t want to perform at midnight on a Tuesday night (but thanks for thinking of us!) We’re going to continue being a band and creating art that we love, as long as we’re loving it.
- Favorite Album
The Walkmen - Lisbon
- Favorite Local Band
Live its gotta be Fartbarf, not live is probably WILLIAM ALEXANDER.
- Local Restaurant
- Local Bar
4th street will always have a soft spot in my heart. JIM and DUSTIN are the best dudes.
- Spot to Play
What is the writing process like? Who brings the ideas to the table? How has that changed over time with the lineup adjustments?
Writing is tough. I come in with an idea of a feeling of a song. Ill say something like "I want this song to sound like softly speaking in a morning dew, after staying up all night with someone you are breaking up with" and the band will usually just look at me and say "what." I then start to go around on the guitar til I find the proper sound. Thats when we round robin, adding to the song. Suggesting changes and so forth. The whole time Ill be mumbling melodies and words that come to mind. Ill take those recordings and sit at home, writing lyrics adding little changes. And we go over the song for weeks together until either we throw it all away, or decide to keep it. It might seem like a long process, its not as easy as "I multi-tracked some parts over a looping drum" but it’s how I find the most feeling in the music. Its raking the coals over and over until we decide to add the logs and start the fire.
Whats the process like when preparing to record a song/album?
Preparing an album is such a labor. For me I just want to get it done. Johnny on the other hand prefers to take his time. So we will track a live take to click, with minimal instrumentation. Then we add parts to flesh out the ideas. Then it’s off to the drum tracking. After that we re-record EVERYTHING on top of the drums. Vocals are last. and send it off for mixing and mastering.
Most dreaded question every band has to answer, how would you describe your sound?
I obviously cant describe it other than were indie rock. I would like to thing we have Talking Heads, Timber Timbre, and Walkmen vibes.
What do you want to communicate through your music?
I'm always telling my story to those that will listen. It’s all there. My entire life is on two albums and a few singles. If anyone took the time to listen to the lyrics, they can see all that. We all are going through tough things. past, present, and future wins and fails. they're all there for you.
what song are you MOST proud of as a band? Why?
They’ve Left us, I think. It’s surprising to me that we wrote this political song about how the middle and lower class are being left behind. Tossed aside by the rich and powerful. We wrote that song before Trump politics divided everyone so much. We have a real enemy and we’re getting caught up in it. We should be fighting the politicians, not each other. I think it's a pretty beautifully sad song.
Gear: band gear list: Be as specific as you’d like!
Well, on the stacks FX end of things I've got the Native Lung, which is by far my most used pedal. I love to pair that with a volume pedal to get beautiful swells. Someone told me once it sounded like a synth. And my Jazz Master never fails me. It's one of those J Mascis models that everyone got around the same time. I've had many guitars but this one always seems to be the proper sound for what I need. Amp wise, I am REALLY NOT PICKY whatsoever. I could play out of a fender solid state from 2001 and still be ok. I know for some people that's a crime, but I honestly think YOU are the master of your sound, the colors that your tools add are all just flavor. I've literally recorded songs that I love with my daughters' squire that cost about 100 dollars. Just make it GOOD.
- new releases coming up?
Some folks may not know, I release solo tunes too, under Nani Gross. I’ve got a new one I’m working on with a few friends adding their piece to it. Bundy is working on new material right now, and will be making some big changes for the LAST set of songs we do. I think after one more album, I won’t have much more to say. At least not for a long time.
- long term goals for the band
Be happy. Read more. Depend on myself for happiness. and create beauty. If others want to enjoy it, that would be nice.
- do you want to Shout out to anyone special In the community?
Shea Newkirk who used to run the LB Independent. They were really trying to help the community and unfortunately burnout is a real thing.
Jim Ritson for always opening his venue for small creators, and now Dustin Lovelis for keeping that up.
My friends who hit me up to just HANG OUT, and not do music related things all the time. They’re the real ones.
Everyone who has thoughtfully changed or is actively working on their self destructive, bad behaviors. Keep it up, we’re all gonna be better people.
Listen to Nani's Solo Project here:
Listen To Bundy's Latest Album here: