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The Battery Electric on Their New Record, Whiskey, Women & The Freedom For Fighting

Photo was taken by Danny Clinch.

The Battery Electric just got home from Joshua Tree, California, where they recorded their upcoming album with Dave Catching and Jesse Hughes from Eagles of Death Metal. Now, these Asbury Park rock ‘n’ rollers are amping up for their Christmas show this Friday (Dec. 15) at House of Independents.

At the show, you’ll experience the pure adrenaline rush of their fully charged performance. Abundant with rockabilly, garage rock and soul vibes, provocative lyrics and badass guitar solos, their songs know how to inspire action in listeners. Grab a beer or throw down a shot of whiskey, hit the dance floor and let loose.

The Pop Break had the opportunity to interview The Battery Electric’s Ron Santee and Brent Bergholm in anticipation of their Christmas Show at House of Independents on Friday. We discussed their musical influences, what it means to fight for freedom with artistic expression and the recording process of their upcoming album.

Your Christmas Show at House of Independents in Asbury Park is coming up on December 15. What are you looking forward to the most for the show? What important details do you want fans to know about the event? How should they prepare for partaking in the festivities?

Ron Santee: Well it’s our time to get together with our friends and families after a long year of work and not seeing everyone so much. I want it to be more of a party than a show—although I guess that’s how I view all of our shows. How should they prepare? Find some of your parents’ really old drugs they stashed away, dress nice, show up, DANCE.

Along with Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Queens of the Stone Age, what other artists and bands inspire you? What is it about these artists that influence you?

Santee: That’s a really broad question, especially for this band. But anything that is real and true, whether it’s music or physical art. That’s one thing about everyone in this band: we can smell bullshit a mile away.

How would you describe The Battery Electric’s life philosophy and how do you think it comes across in your music, appearance and high-spirited performances?

Santee: Well I can tell you if you aspire to be a wealthy stock broker or something, don’t follow in our lead. Our philosophy? Try to not suck I guess? We want to write honest rock ‘n’ roll that stands up to our heroes. The live show is where I feel most comfortable. I grew up as a performer, so when I’m on stage, my Alice Cooper mask kinda comes on.

What is the motto of The Battery Electric?

Santee: In the kind words of our local watering hole, Bond Street, go fuck yourself!


So you write songs about “whiskey, women and fighting for freedom.” While it might be pretty obvious, since they’re all great things, what is it about these subjects that you keep coming back to? And how do your songs channel the idea of fighting for freedom?

Santee: I think if you are making any kind of art, you are essentially fighting for freedom. Whether it’s paint, wood work, music, etc., these things free your mind from regular constraints of normalcy. On the first record, I wrote a lot about the inner workings of the “new world order” and corrupt government and stuff. But I really wanted to step away from politics in our lyrics recently. This is rock ‘n’ roll. It’s supposed to take people away from all that shit. Unless you’re the MC5, you’re doing it wrong.

Your most recent release was The Little Eden Sessions Vol. 1 in July. I love the old school rockabilly vibe of these songs, especially in “Ghouls in Heels” and “Need Ya.” How does this EP reflect your evolution as a band?

Brent Bergholm: I feel like we are just getting better as songwriters.  Even when we started as a band, we pulled from the same influences: mainly old school rock ‘n’ roll, and Soul. That’s a huge blanket of material you can pull from. You can take from rockabilly, punk rock, garage rock, country, rocksteady, soul, and everything in between. We are just getting better at expressing ourselves by taking that vibe and putting our own spin on it. We don’t sound like any other band. We sound like The Battery Electric. But I bet if you listen close enough, you can hear what’s been spinning on our record players.

What was the recording process like for The Little Eden Sessions Vol. 1? How was it working with Pete Steinkopf? Do you have any favorite memories from your time spent in the studio?

Bergholm: I mean it’s always great working with Pete. We have put out lots of material with him, two full-length albums and a short EP. I know that we will definitely be going back to the studio with him at some point in the future. But, the “Little Eden Sessions Vol 1.” is actually pretty old by this point and was released about a year ago.


Can you bring us up to speed on what we can expect from your new album?

Bergholm: We just recorded our new upcoming album at Rancho De La Luna, in Joshua Tree, California. It’s gonna be eleven badass rockers, produced by Dave Catching and Jesse Hughes from Eagles of Death Metal. We are currently in the mixing phase so I am not sure when the record will come out. However, I am really stoked on this record and I can’t wait for everybody to check it out.

What do you like most about being a part of The Battery Electric?

Bergholm: It’s a fun band to play in and I love how the crowd gets into our sets. It’s so much fun to see people go crazy. We also have a pretty diverse audience, so it’s awesome to see so many different people rocking out. They really get into the music and it makes me believe that rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well. Everybody puts on their “boogie woogie” pants at the Battery Electric shows. I also enjoy the occasional free drink every so often. It’s not a bad deal.

As far as 2018, what’s in store for you guys?

Bergholm: We will be releasing the new album sometime in 2018. It was an amazing experience recording with Jesse and Dave from Eagles of Death Metal. We had so much fun in the desert, and it was a very inspiring place to make music. This will be our best record yet and I can not wait for everybody to get it in their ear holes. Other than that, we will definitely be hitting the pavement hard by touring and playing boatloads of shows. So stay tuned for new music and shows.

Laura Curry
Laura Curry
Laura Curry is a Rutgers University graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. Interviewing bands and writing about music is her passion. She is a frequent concert-goer, whether they’re happening in New Brunswick basements, Asbury Park venues, concert halls in NYC and anywhere in between. Alternative rock is her go-to genre (i.e. Kings of Leon, Cage the Elephant, Foals, The Maine and lots more). When she isn’t writing for The Pop Break, she works at the North Brunswick Public Library, which offers plenty of Fantasy/Adventure novels to quench her love of reading. Additionally, she takes on creative projects from dream catchers and scrapbooks to paintings and jewelry making. She’s always happy to talk about her furry Maine Coon cat Austen and his knack for playing fetch and hide and seek. Just try not to ask about her next career move, because trust me, she’s working on it.

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