Bava Choco's debut EP, by the band's own admission, only offers listeners part of the story. The rest of the tale centers on a narrative so drug-addled it almost makes one question the mental state of its author.
Bava Choco's debut EP, by the band's own admission, only offers listeners part of the story.
The rest of the tale, which centers on a narrative so drug-addled it almost makes one question the mental state of its author (it involves everything from a man leaving his wife, who he believes to be a witch, for a motorcycle, to a clown killing spree set at the circus), is scheduled to unfold over the group's next two EPs, neither of which has been recorded as of yet.
According to singer Patrick Baracus, the Bava Choco mates took heavy inspiration from director Quentin Tarantino ("bava" and "choco" were strains of heroin peddled by Eric Stoltz's bathrobe-clad dealer in "Pulp Fiction") in crafting the story, which they wanted to be as free, expansive and heavy as the music, a bluesy hard-rock stew deeply rooted in the likes of Deep Purple and Black Sabbath.
"That was the stuff we wanted to sink our teeth into," said Baracus, who joins bandmates Eric French (guitar), Corey Gillen (drums) and Mike Lovins (bass) for a free record release show at Ace of Cups on Friday, Jan. 6. "Some of these songs are six or seven minutes long, and it gives you a larger palette to work with. So we started with the name [Bava Choco] and then came up with a story that would feel like a Tarantino film, where it's dark and there are a bunch of different things intertwining and intersecting."
For Baracus, it was also a welcome chance to distance himself from autobiographical songs, which he noted could be challenging to write in those times when things were going well. "You don't always want your life in a place where you can write albums about it," he said, and laughed.
Initially, Bava Choco started as a way for longtime friends Baracus and French to blow off steam while playing in a quieter, more country oriented group; the two launched the project in French's basement studio in February 2014, and didn't consider emerging from this subterranean dwelling until Gillen and Lovins joined the fold a year later. Even then, the band was slow to reveal itself, and the four-piece has only played out live a handful of times (according to Baracus, this Ace of Cups concert is the band's fifth-ever live show).
"We got together and worked on these ideas until we were ready to play," Baracus said. "After playing music for 20 years … it was great to be free to be able to do all this stuff we'd been dreaming of doing, and kind of getting all our Sabbath-y, Deep Purple fantasies out."