As it often is with any band origin story, a band can trace their origins to maybe one or two moments that can seem in retrospect to be both coincidental and destined to happen. In the case of Bailiff, the founding duo of Josh Siegal (guitar, vocals) and Ren Matthew (drums) can trace the origins of their band to two particular moments…
As a student at the Berklee College of Music, Josh Siegel told one of his professors that he was going to quit school, return back to Chicago and start a band. One particular professor quickly replied: “don’t procrastinate.” Taking that particular professor’s advice to heart, as soon as Siegal Chicago, he put up at a Craigslist ad seeking musicians to start a band. And in a remarkable turn of fate, drummer Ren Matthew, who was in a previous band that just ended, replied to Siegel’s ad, sharing a mutual love of early Dylan, Bernard Purdie, and others.
Bailiff’s earliest efforts, including their debut EP, Mm Hmm owed a sonic debt to the blues and British Invasion-era rock; however, their full-length debut, Red Balloon not only included elements of the blues, but that of Indian raga, new wave, reggae, funk and Native American chants. And thanks to the critical praise the album received from the likes of WXRT and others, the duo opened for Nada Surf, Dinosaur, Jr., JEFF the Brotherhood and others.
In 2012, Siegel and Matthew added multi-instrumentalist Owen O’Malley as a full-time member, and as a trio the band went into the studio to work on the material that wound up comprising their sophomore effort, Remise which was released earlier this year. And the album’s first single “Shake My Heart Awake” was a slinky, seductive track that actually possessed an anxious uneasiness at it’s center, as it was essentially about a very lonely man, who’s desperate to be loved and connect to someone else. But on a certain level the narrator of the song recognizes that the object of his love may be playing him – and he’s desperate to know what the truth really is.
Interestingly, Bailiff was invited into the BreakThruRadio TV studios to play a song or two from Remiseand some songs from the band’s upcoming EP, slated for an October release. The first song in the session “Golden Hour” consists of angular guitars and a throbbing yet angular bass line that sounds as though the band were listening to either the Rolling Stones (in particular “Emotional Rescue”) or Gang of Four but with a wistful tone. They speak about the recording process for their EP and then it’s followed by brief snippets of the aforementioned “Shake My Heart Awake” and “Love Like Mine."
Of course what the folks at BreakThruRadio TV excel at is creating the sense that you as a viewer are right there in the studio with the band.