Local Ballard band The Bitter Roots released their latest music video “More Pretty” last week. The video was shot in Ballard and is the latest single for the band that formed in our neighborhood in 2008.
The band comprises of trio Jeff Stetson, Ben Koostra and Don Allen. The Bitter Roots formed in 2008 when long time friends Koostra and Stetson reconnected in Seattle, after being long time friends in their hometown of Missoula MT. “I had a new batch of songs I wanted to do something with and when he (Koostra) got to town I played them for him and we got it all going from there,” said Stetson.
The band has strong ties to our neighborhood and the trio refer to it as their “home base”. The connection to Ballard started when Stetson and his wife Amy moved to our area in the late 90s. “It was the most affordable neighborhood at the time that reminded us the most of home. We love it here,” said Stetson.
Their first two albums, one self-titled and the next “Moral Hazard”, were recorded in Stetson’s Water Works Hill Studios right here in Ballard and mixed and mastered by music industry veteran Floyd Reitsma in Fremont. This latest single comes from the band’s third album “Chiaroscuro”. The band is proud of the progress of the album as it reached as high as number 26 on the iTunes New Rock Release chart and was on the College Music Charts across the country from October last year.
The Bitter Roots’ music can be described as “soulful rock, guitar oriented and diverse, with vocal harmony and tight rhythms,” said Stetson. The band have been influenced by the Punk, Metal, Garage and Melodic Rock from all over the world. Fans can hear influences from The Cure, Janes Addiction, REM, Deftones and Nirvana in their original music. “It is quite a diverse sound both rhythmically and melodically,” comments Stetson.
The Bitter Roots are unique not only in their sound, but in the way they record. Unlike most other bands these days, they record all songs live to Analog Tape. They shy away from the common uses of Auto Tune, Click Track or samples. “If it took 54 takes, it took 54 takes. This we believe is the best way to make the Rock,” wrote the band on their website.
When asked why the band chose to shoot their latest music video in Ballard, Stetson is quick to answer. “Ballard is great place to shoot film, you can pretty much find any backdrop you want to work with in the neighborhood.” The band are currently editing their next video which was also shot in our neighborhood.
Their latest track “More Pretty” can be described as a fast paced rock song about celebrity culture. Stetson revealed that fans will be entertained by the humorous side shown in the music video. “Director Ricky Pharoe turned it into a funny story about a bad girl (played by Mary Jo Reynolds) that takes over my spot in the band, it is really quite funny,” said Stetson.
Since releasing the video, The Bitter Roots have been rehearsing for their future shows at Skylark Cafe (3803 Delridge Way SW) on Saturday, April 6 and at Cafe Racer (5828 Roosevelt Way NE) on Saturday, May 18th.
Click here to check out “More Pretty” and learn more about the local band.