Bacchae, the young D.C. punk quartet named after an ancient Greek tragedy, has just wrapped up a weeknight rehearsal, and now the band members are chitchatting on the sidewalk — the very environment where they continue to encounter the wolf-whistling creepoids who inadvertently gave rise to “Sour” and maybe “Read,” Bacchae’s two most ferocious songs.
“Yeah, [the songs are] inspired by walking down the street with people harassing you, telling you to smile,” says Bacchae bassist-vocalist Rena Hagins. “And just feeling pressured to always be positive,” says singer-keyboardist Katie McD. “It’s a response to our lived experience,” adds Hagins. And in that sense, “it’s impossible to not be political,” says drummer Eileen O’Grady. “The world forces you to be political,” says guitarist Andrew Breiner.
That speedy relay race of an explanation not only illuminates Bacchae’s ideology, but also the band’s collaborative spirit. The foursome first assembled nearly two years back with relatively little experience on their instruments, and even less desire to go chasing after a particular style. Since then, whenever they’ve come together to make music, the sound has come to them.
Here’s proof of that: “A lot of people have told us that we sound like the B-52’s, and I’ve never listened to them in my life,” O’Grady says. “But now I do, and they’re so rad.”