Photos and Words by Stephanie Nardi
Allow me to introduce you to your new favorite band, Betcha. Composed of Charlie Greene (lead vocals and guitar), Chase Wofford (drums), Ben Booth (lead guitar), and Taylor Dubray, or more often called Doobie (bass and keys), this Nashville based quartet brings each of their unique personalities to the table to create a fresh take on traditional rock music that’s bound to be something you come back to time and time again. After signing with Atlantic Records in 2019 and opening for artists such as Matt Maeson and Kaleo, it’s clear Betcha’s trajectory is on the rise with no sign of slowing down. Even after a canceled co-headlining tour with WLDLFE this spring due to the pandemic, the group was able to pivot and remain busy through it all. I had the pleasure of sitting down with the Betcha boys via Skype to talk about everything from quarantine to their latest EP and everything in between.
IM: It’s so great to see you all again, it’s been a minute! What have you all been doing to keep entertained during quarantine?
CG: We’ve been finishing a record, which we started before quarantine and then two days in, got axed by coronavirus and so we’ve been doing that in our basement which has taken up a ton of our time. Doobie’s been working with the air fryer.
TD: Yeah we’re a cooking squad. Yesterday, I whipped up some pesto gnocchi and buffalo cauliflower. I feel like we’ve all been getting into some culinary arts recently.
BB: We’ve been golfing a lot more. Me and Chase especially.
CW: We just got an espresso machine.
CG: We’re basically just very boring dads who don’t have children.
CW: It’s so domestic here.
IM: I love that, I know you definitely aren’t the only ones who picked up some culinary skills. So you mentioned you’ve been working on your new record. With quarantine, I’m sure it’s physically impacted how you’ve been able to record even with a home studio, but how has it creatively impacted how you’re writing music?
BB: It’s much slower. When we’re in the studio, we work with a few other people, producers and engineers, and when you have to send files back and forth the process just gets slowed down exponentially. You just have to wait on files; things don’t really happen in the moment. That’s more for the recording aspect. The writing aspect is still good, we still write a good bit.
CG: It’s kind of nice because if we had finished the record before quarantine, I think we would’ve run the well dry trying to write right now with three months of just shooting the shit trying to make something. It’s been kind of nice finishing this EP along the way because we’ve been trying to get these songs done for so long, and it’s different not having to focus on writing yet. We’re about 90% done with the last song, so after this week we’ll pretty much be done with the record and then we’ll go back to writing.
TD: We love these songs. The two songs, If That’s Alright and July are going to be on it and then I think there’s five more. Every year we write 100s of songs so the ones that actually make the cut are all banging. We’re super proud of every one. Honestly, we’re having trouble trying to decide singles right now. It’s a good problem to have though.
IM: For sure. So with writing so many songs, how do you decide what gets to go on the EP? How do you know when it’s the right fit to release?
CG: I think just what we’re all super passionate about. With this EP we were trying to make it more single heavy so a lot of upbeat rock songs that are really going to translate live. Then there are probably three to four songs we’ve been sitting on for a couple years that just didn’t feel right in the scheme of an EP but in a longer project feel better. So just process of elimination. Otherwise, our label and our management pitch in, and our producer JT, who did most of the songs on this record, was very passionate about a couple and said he had a vision for those, which helped us make the decision too.
IM: When you play songs that are from two, three years, ago, do the emotions change from when you first wrote it to when you release it? When you play it live does it ever feel different or do you get transported back to when you were writing it?
TD: That’s a great question.
CW: Yeah, I think it’s different for every song and probably slightly different for all of us. I know really old songs, especially when you play it live a ton, just evolve as you grow up and you find different meaning in it.
CG: We have a song called California that we basically closed every show with. We were kind of more folk rock/acoustic guitar driven rock and then we had this super intense energy rock song called California, so we felt like we had to close with that song because our other songs didn’t match that energy. It felt weird following that. Now with this upcoming EP, so many of the songs have that high energy so whenever we are back on tour we might open that song or it might be third and it won’t have to feel like we’re ending when we play it.
IM: I know you guys don’t like to define your genre, but rock influences are a common thread in a lot of what you create. What is it about rock music and being in a band that speaks so much to you?
BB: Being a four piece is big.
CG: Yeah, we just love bands. I think there’s even a difference between a solo rock artist and their show when they have players and hired guns, and a rock band. When there’s a great band, It’s almost like there’s four different energies and four different key pieces. It just makes it more powerful. I don’t know it just kind of happened. I would’ve never wanted to be a solo thing.
CW: It’s like we all love hip hop and other music like that, but I don’t think any of us were passionate about bringing a turntable onstage, hitting play, and rapping about something. We all kind of grew up playing instruments. It seems like people in our age group have a lot of the same [influences], even Post Malone, you can tell they were Blink-182 fans growing up, that kind of stuff. So we just all kind of met and had similar influences.
IM: So you all met at Belmont studying Music Business and then started your band outside of that. Do you ever wish you would’ve done a music program instead or do you think it would’ve ended up pigeonholing you?
CG: We would’ve been pigeonholed.
BB: The music programs at Belmont are super intensive and the music business program was super chill, so we got to actually do more music on the side I feel like as opposed to sitting in our dorm being like, “ok, we gotta learn this classical music”.
CG: At Belmont, everyone who’s a music major doesn’t have time to make bands or do their own thing or pursue their own interests. They don’t even do showcases. They’re literally knee deep in cord theory harmonics and then they graduate. Not for everyone though, not shitting on them. It’s kind of its own stereotype at Belmont, but the people who are really doing stuff and getting after it aren’t music majors a lot of the time at least when we were there.
TD: We were kind of on the outside of that circle where even though we were music business majors, a lot of our friends were music majors. We were so involved in that musical circle, but almost looking in from the outside in a sense. We were growing our social circles and even right now, a lot of our team in Nashville came from that. Our booking agent went to Belmont and was friends with Chase, our manager went to Belmont and we had a bunch of mutual friends. We had a unique spot in the bubble that gave us almost like a casual “oh, those are just the Betcha boys, they do rock music, they’re homies, and they throw some good parties occasionally” kind of thing. It was almost less pressure and gave us a minute to keep figuring out the best route for us.
IM: You’ve talked a little bit about your brand in previous interviews. What does that look like today and how do you see it developing with this new music?
CG: We’re getting a lot crazier music videos. We got one coming out pretty soon and its pretty out there.
TD: How would you describe it Charlie?
BB: Yeah, what were the three words you used to describe it?
CG: Birds, Barbie, and science.
BB: That’s all we can say.
CG: Other than that, I think we’re just trying to lean more and more into the band four piece. I feel like a lot of bands get bigger and the font man takes over, but I think a lot of people really just love seeing us as a group. We’ve been doing these Live at 9 streams at night to try and really heavily incorporate all of our personalities and play off being something that’s really exciting to be a fan of. Even seeing the new Taylor Swift stuff, people who are die hard fans of hers are so excited and are like “oh what’re they gonna do, this is so interesting, this is so fun”, so were just trying to keep thinking of stuff that if people are really engaged with us, its an exciting thing to be a part of.
IM: I can’t wait to see this latest video, so I can fully understand that description. Is your latest single July a good indicator of what the sound of the new EP is going to be like?
CW: There’s elements of it for sure. It works, it ties in.
CG: A lot of these songs were at the halfway point when we released July. Some of them didn’t have as much of an edge to it and we might have kept it more clean, but then I think the fact that July is so rockin’ and did so well, we were like “man this is a true and true rock song, we need to make sure we incorporate at least some of this feel on every track”. So they’re not all in that vein, but they definitely pull from it.
TD: I just thought of this, it wasn’t prepared, but I kind of think this EP is going to be the Betcha tasting platter where there’s gonna be just a lot of different kinds of beers.
CG: It’s actually the name of the EP.
TD: Like if July is the dark brown ale then the next song we’re releasing is the lighter pilsner ya know, something like that and the next one is going to be like a sour. So honestly, right now we’re really trying to find the parallels between everything but at the same time we’re like “here try this, what do you think?” because we don’t even know.
CG: We’ve got one that’s pretty much straight absinthe.
CW: We just want to keep people entertained ya know? We don’t want people getting bored hearing the same old things.
IM: What do you want fans to take away from your music?
BB: Geesh you’re hitting us with all the good ones. I want them to vibe. My favorite music is the kind you can just put on and just straight up vibe to it.
CW: I feel like we’ve always tried to be music that you wanna listen to in your car when you’re driving fast, windows down. So I think as long as people are having good vibes in the car with it, then we’ve succeeded.
TD: I think my favorite music is when I can listen to something and nothing else in the world or my life matters besides just being in that moment. At the end of the day that’s what we’re trying to get to is that sort of feeling where people listen, and it’s an escape. Especially right now, I feel like people need to be able to listen to a song and be somewhere else for a moment and realize you can go somewhere else versus coming back to the real world and realizing that everything is going up in flames. So that’s all we can do is just give four minutes of an escape.
Betcha has undeniable musical chops, but what sets them apart is their ability to be authentically themselves and create a space for their fans to not only know their music, but also know them.
There’s no front. Who they present is who they are, and in this day and age with social media where everything can seem disingenuous, it’s something a lot of fans crave. This is only the beginning for this talented group and we can’t wait to see what this next chapter has in store for them. Stream their latest single “Closer To The Sun” along with “If That’s Alright” and “July” while you patiently (or impatiently in our case) await the release of their new EP.
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