I could start with punk rock’s first commandment “We don’t care” … but that wouldn’t be entirely true. We do. We see audiences enraptured by the performance but I can’t tell you that we have something special for you if I don’t know who you are. So I’m in a van on the second leg of a tour with nothing to do but think about you.

It’s been an ongoing transformation since Brandy and I sat down in 2011, recorded Headless Fowl with Tim and Todd then hit the road with Murder by Death. Over two albums and a few hundred shows the sound went from a post-rock’n’roll trio to symphonic rock’n’roll to Americana Noir with cello, arco bass, guitar, female vocals and percussion. I’ve heard that these days we deliver an experience closer to Nick Cave or Gogol Bordello than anything else.

I believe it because this band totally nails it live; during the Bestiary tours we’ve been playing the best shows of my life. Intense, enigmatic and invigorating is a combination that appeals to people seeking live entertainment no matter what sound you’re into. And we want to aim this beast at whoever is going to get the most out of it. So who are you? And where did you come from?

john at bigjohnbates dot com