Houston Music

Artist of the Week: BetterLuck

Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to [email protected].

For some reason, back in 2002 we were super anti-fans of whine-rock goofballs Sum 41. We know it had less to do with them being from Canada (patriotism seems misplaced in any music argument that doesn't involve Toby Keith) and more to do with a girl and how she interpreted the lyrics to their hit "Fat Lip," but we're hazy on specifics.

At any rate, the genre always seemed ludicrous, but a couple of weeks we stumbled across BetterLuck, arguably frontrunners of Houston's growing pop-whine-rock genre. Their HateLoveLifeParty EP turned out to be very strong, and possessed of more depth than we we're expecting.

We got in touch with BL, and they agreed to answer a few questions for us. After the jump, read about the prostitution/drug/taco epidemic plaguing McAllen (sort of), whether or not they think they're better than Thee Armada and their response to criticisms that their genre is possibly a tad vapid.

Rocks Off: What's up with the tour? How's that thing going? Been scoring all kinds of tail or what? Actually, scratch that last part. In hindsight, we think that may have been inappropriate. It's just, we've got ya'll's music playing in the background and it makes us a little rambunctious.

Chase: The tour was very extravagant [laughs]. We were well taken care of by the first night of the tour. We met some people that paid for out meals and a suite at the Hilton for our first night in Dallas; needless to say we were pretty stoked because it started epically.

The shows on tour were pretty amazing. There were decent to great turnouts and every night was a new adventure. We woke up with new stories, inside jokes, and plans regarding our future from the night before. We made great friends with everyone on tour.

RO: That's cool. They probably paid for your suite because they didn't want you guys to realize that you all were actually playing a show in Dallas.

C: The only city we had trouble in was McAllen. It was insanely hot, the promoter didn't show up until well after the bands and, while the turnout was awesome, people were shady. Some random guy was trying to pimp out his girlfriend and her friend to Andy as well as the rest of us while getting us tacos, which were absolutely delicious.

Later, while we [were] in the middle of playing, he walked up to Kyle with a handful of pills. It was quite off-putting, to say the least. Even later, we think he stole our tour manager's iPod. The scene there is actually great though.

RO: What?! Tacos and drugs and prostitution? That doesn't sound like trouble. That sounds like awesome. Right now, we think it might be a toss up between you guys and Thee Armada for throne of the peppy-powerpop-rock genre. Is there some type of healthy competition going on there? Do you all ever war with them? If so, you should make fun of their singer for being from California. That'll show 'em.

C: As far as Thee Armada goes, of course there's a little friendly competition, as well as many other bands, but, in all honesty, we are all friends with them and they are great people and a great band. We're actually playing their EP release show on August 1, and we want to see mucho people attending because it's going to be a blast.

RO: You're saying that you all are all best buds, but we're picking up some "We're waaaaay better than anyone else at what we do" vibes.

C [laughs]: We are pretty fucking epic, but I wouldn't go that far [laughs].

RO: A lot of times, as soon as people hear that nasally yell that seems to characterize y'all's genre, they automatically disregard the band as being poor songwriters. But we think you all did a solid little ditty with "Only Human." Is that something that you all as a band are aware of, and something that you all are actively trying to rally against? Or are you all just like, "Fuck it. We do what we do"?

C: We basically just want to say that: "Fuck it! We do what we do." We're all best friends so when we write our music it's not about how much we need to stray from what everybody else is doing. We just try and write music that we enjoy playing.

See BetterLuck as part of the Texas Takeover Tour at Javajazz on Friday and at Warehouse Live June 28. They're also on MySpace here.

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Shea Serrano