Bastions on ‘The Forgotten daughter’

By Tom Aylott

Bastions ‘Bedfellows’ series of EPs has reached its second and final part in ‘The Forgotten daughter’, and we wanted to get a more in depth look at what the band were up to, so we got James Fox to catch up with the band about the release.

For people that weren’t aware before, what were the stories explored in part 1 of Bedfellows?

Jamie Burne: ‘The Bastard Son’, is treated as having separation anxiety disorder and dysphoric mania. He is both manic and depressive simultaneously. He is irrationally angry and immediate in his narrative. He recalls the story of his father abandoning them and cannot remember much beyond that. He feels very stuck in time and space. He cannot find closure to his abandonment and feels emotionally dependent towards his father. Dependency to him is a bastard. The vulnerability of being dependent is considered a failure in his eyes.

Where did the inspiration for the Bedfellows series come from?

Jamie Burne: My great grandmother was institutionalised at Denbigh Asylum after having her children. I used this as jump off point to weave a story loosely based on that. I also took a lot of inspiration from Christmas in Purgatory by Burton Blatt and Fred Kaplan. In 50 years how far have we come in the way we treat vulnerable people?

Is part 2 the final chapter? Or can we expect more?

Jamie Burne: Yeah it is the final chapter in the story, I’m finished with it now that I’ve come to understand a little more about myself and my family history. I guess I write to understand not to be understood and I understand that as desensitised as we are as people, art can remind us that we need to care.

‘The Forgotten daughter’ assumedly follows on from ‘The Bastard Son’, but what can we expect in part 2 in terms of themes and stories?

Jamie Burne: ‘The Forgotten Daughter’ is treated as having Korsakoff syndrome – seems to behave as a normal, intelligent young girl aside from her inability to remember most of her past and the events of her day-to-day life. She is more passive, confused and struggles to find meaning, satisfaction, and happiness in the midst of constantly forgetting what she is doing from one moment to the next. She has been severely malnourished, lacking vitamin b1 and is nearly always vomiting. She also elaborates somewhat as to why the father actually left. She tells the story of what happened to the mother and the miscarriage although struggles to make sense of those events throughout her narrative. She lives in her head and is constantly in and out of lucidity with audio/visual hallucinations.

The son and daughter tell the tale from two very different perspectives, this also gives an indication to their mental states respectively. Whereas first part was very immediate with the sons narrative, i.e ‘here I am’; part 2’s narrative is more “who/where I was”.

Describe ‘The Forgotten Daughter’ musically in comparison to ‘The Bastard Son’

Jamie McDonald: I suppose it’s just a natural evolution on ‘The Bastard Son’. We were really into the idea of making the record sound a little grittier/dirty, but at the same time we made a concerned effort to make sure it’s cohesive enough that you can listen to it front to back. I’d like to think we achieved that.

Not many other bands in the hardcore and punk community have taken on a narrative approach to their lyrics and music recently. Have you always seen the band moving towards writing conceptually like this? and do you see it as something that will continue for the rest of the band’s lifespan?

Jamie McDonald: Everything we’ve really done since we started has been concept driven, ‘Island Living’ being about small town life/mentality, ‘Hospital Corners’ being about Jamie’s experiences in working with mental health. We’re always about moving forward, so right now it seems quite exciting just to write a ‘normal’ record.

After releasing your next EP, do you have any other plans for 2014?

Jamie McDonald: We’re confirming some tours right now, but hopefully we’re releasing a split 7″, we’re starting to write our second album, as Bedfellows was sort of a misguided attempt in deflecting the pressure of writing another full length. With any luck we can get that written before the end of the year.

Get ‘Bedfellows Part 2: The Forgotten Daughter’ now from the Holy Roar Records store.


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