Sometimes, growing pains for bands can be really painful—especially when they involve three of the four members choosing to move in a new direction, leaving the fourth behind. “Honestly, it was harder than breaking up with a girlfriend,” said Jim Harvey, lead singer of Philly’s Drink Up Buttercup, who confirmed today that the band will be performing its last show under that name at The Fire on Saturday night (as part of the Sundrop Arts And Music Festival). Harvey, Farzad Houshiarnejad, and Mike Cammarata will be moving on as White Birds, having made a clean break from their relationship with bassist Ben Mazzochetti at the end of 2010.
“When we stopped touring, and started recording our second album at the end of the year, we just really weren’t enjoying it anymore,” said Harvey. While Drink Up was trying to produce and record the album on their own in a rented house in Doylestown, Harvey said Mazzochetti wanted to keep going in the Drink Up direction, but the others disagreed.
“By the end of the year, we were just decaying,” Harvey said. With powerful personalities and irresolvable differences of opinion, he said the group decided to part ways with Mazzochetti, but has been playing shows as Drink Up Buttercup to honor previous performance agreements since the end of last year. During that time, they’ve also been trying out new White Birds material, to be released sometime later this year, slowly easing themselves into their new sound.
After writing the whole White Birds album in a week, Harvey, Houshiarnejad, and Cammarata knew they were a lot more passionate about pursuing White Birds than they had been just months before about Drink Up. Where Drink Up was theatrical and quirky, Harvey describes White Birds as “pretty” and “seriously musical,” allowing the three to mature as musicians. Today, the band will finish recording the last of 11 songs for its self-titled debut, which should be ready for release by the end of the summer.
“We really just wanted to make music that people want to make out to, fall in love to, or fall asleep with your headphones on to,” said Harvey. Fellow Philly musician BAnanas Symphony, who says he’s close friends with the band, called “Hondora”—one of three songs up on White Birds’s Bandcamp—“the make-out tune of the year, nay, a lifetime” on tumblr last week.
Harvey couldn’t confirm, but suspects that White Birds will also be announcing some concerts in the coming months, so keep an eye out. —Danielle Wayda
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