Formed in 2019 and hailing from Orange County, CA, West of House is already making their mark by connecting with listeners through their infectious anthemic melodies and socially conscious lyrics. Their music is haunting and unapologetic, bolstered by the deeply personal and emotional songwriting of singer/guitarist Erick Bieger, the soundscape creation of guitarist Kevin Huynh, and the driving rhythm of bassist Lance Bletscher and drummer Tommy Maras.
Drawing from influences spanning alternative and indie rock with flashes of new wave, West of House hit the ground running with their debut single “Fallen” in March of 2020 and haven’t looked back. Their newest single “Yesterdays” will be released on May 1st followed by an album release in late summer 2020.
We got the chance to ask Erick some questions, here is what he had to say.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
“I have five main influences vocally and I think you can hear all of them in various parts of the album: Freddie Mercury, Bono, Peter Gabriel, Jeff Buckley and Richard Page (Mr. Mister). They all have a mastery of melody and nuance that I find fascinating. I don’t think a day has gone by in thirty years that I haven’t sung at least one of their songs.
For guitar, I’m drawn to different players for different reasons. I love The Edge for the sonic atmospheres he creates, David Gilmour for lines so gorgeous they could be vocal melodies, and Nuno Bettencourt for doing things no human can do.
Songwriting is an entirely different monster. For that I owe it all to the greats, not all of whom are “song” writers – Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg. I’m inspired by a younger generation of old souls as well – Julien Baker, Kevin Klein (Valleyheart), Matt MacDonald (The Classic Crime)”.
What has been your best gig?
“Hard question to answer since West of House hasn’t had one yet. Come to think of it, the five of us also haven’t been in the same room together either…”
Can you tell us a bit about your music?
“Our current single is “Moving Shadows” and it’s a great representation of the band. No matter what we set out to write we often seem to end up with layers of big guitars, dancing melodies, and anthemic choruses with something to say. That’s the heart and soul of our music”.
Can you describe your music in 3 words?
“I can do it in two: raison d’etre”
What makes your music stand out?
“What we have to say and how we say it. The majority of music being created today is just another drop in an ocean of vapidity. And PLEASE don’t get me wrong – there is an absolute place for that. Escapism and frivolity is so necessary to our self care at times. But I think we offer something for those listeners who NEED to go deeper; for the sanguine dreamers cloaked in melancholy – we’re here for them”.
What are your plans for the rest of 2020?
“Since live music is dead in the water we’re jumping right back into recording. Currently we’re working on a collection of B-Sides and demos for an EP to be released in December”.
If your band had to be remembered for one thing apart from your music what would you want it to be?
“That the things we were passionate about put us on the right side of history”.
By Siân Parker