New York pop punk outfit DIZZY BATS have spent almost a decade finding their core sound. Through numerous lineup changes and countless tours, the process saw the band morphing between college indie rock, nerd rock, alternative punk and punk pop. After ten years and ten releases they’ve finally found it in their upcoming self-titled LP. Enlisting the production prowess of Such Gold’s Jon Markson, his perspective on high energy pop punk hearkens on a sound reminiscent of Alkaline Trio and The Mezingers while Connor Frost’s earnest vocals are almost a dead ringer to Remo Drive. It’s a perfect marriage of old and new, making The Dizzy Bats a must-listen. We have connected with Connor, David, and Zach and asked them to share ten songs and artists that influenced the writing and production for “Dizzy Bats”.
Thematically speaking, Dizzy Bats is a coming of age album or, in this context, a “long time coming of age” album. It touches on personal and peripheral anxieties, as well as feelings of helplessness in relationships, racist microaggresions, and an ever shifting political climate.
“The common theme that threads these songs altogether is this feeling of wanting to do more, but feeling the anxiety to do so, and thus struggling to actually do it. Whether it’s being there for a friend, standing up to a racist, or protesting in the streets, it’s often a struggle to show up in all of those spaces.” – Connor Frost of The Dizzy Bats
Dizzy Bats was started by Connor Frost outside of New York City back in the summer of 2011. Influenced by punk outfits of the late 90s and early 2000s, Dizzy Bats uses prominent power chords over heavily-picked basslines and infectious melodies as a vehicle for fun, energetic, Power Pop.
Almost a decade later, after numerous lineup changes, various iterations, and countless tours, the band has honed in on their most complete sound, featuring dark and personal lyrical content.
As an Asian American, Frost expresses his discomfort and confusion around his identity, provides commentary around personal experiences with racist microaggressions, and draws attention to his own anxieties surrounding this tumultuous time.
“10 Songs and Artists That Influenced Dizzy Bats’ Self-titled LP”:
1. “I Forgot to Take My Meds Today” – Prince Daddy and the Hyena (Connor)
The build-up intro in this tune is great, and I just love the mid-tempo feel of this song. Definitely influenced the writing for our tune “Not Like You”.
2. “Backseat” – Save Face (Zach)
I discovered this song when checking out a coworker’s band and remember showing it to Connor in my backyard at the time we were workshopping Five Years. I really dug the synchronized rest the whole band hits and thought it made the riff so much more interesting. That idea inspired the hits in the verses of Five Years.
3. “Hell Yes” – Alkaline Trio (Connor)
I absolutely love the guitar riff in this song – it may be the catchiest part of the song. The intro, which is very alkaline-esque, definitely inspired the writing for “Cut Me Loose”.
4. “Out for Blood” – Heart Attack Man (Connor)
This record and song came out after a lot of the initial writing for our LP had already been done, but a lot of the lead guitar melodies, vocal approaches, and instrumental interludes were a product of having this album on repeat.
5. “Storyteller” – Such Gold (David)
I love the vocals in this song and how Ben Kotin and Skylar Sarkis convey so much emotion/energy through melodic scream-singing and straight up brutal screams, respectively. That whole album (Misadventures) inspired me to try incorporating that kind of raw energy into my own vocal style. That said, we actually went into the studio with few, if any, screams in mind. I think we first added some to ‘GOOD!’ just because it felt natural – but then Steel Wolf really liked the vibe and we ended up going back in and adding a bunch more to basically the entire record.
6. “Every Man Has a Molly” – Say Anything (Connor)
It became clear a day into tracking vocals, that we wanted to take a more “theatrical”, aggressive, and animated approach to the vocal takes for this record. For that, I channeled my inner Max Bemis.
7. “This Is a Fire Door Never Leave Open” – The Weakerthans (Zach)
I always loved how together the bass and drums are in this track, how the bass guitar seems almost glued to the kick drum. Obviously that’s a super common component in a lot of songs, but for whatever reason I always associate that theme with this song in particular. I remember sharing it with Dave as a reference for how we could lock in on a bunch of spots, like in the intro to Southern Town.
8. “Miss America” – The Moms (Zach)
A few years back my old band toured with the Moms and I loved watching Donny play this song because of the open hand groove in the intro where he incorporates the toms. A little while after I started filling in for them and had to learn this part, and it was so much fun to play. The 2nd verse in Choir has an open hand groove with the toms in it that was inspired by this track, as well as a bunch of Alkaline Trio drum parts where Derek plays open.
9. “I Wanna Be” – Stance Punks (David)
The frantic eagerness of this track really stuck with me from the moment I first heard it in the end credits of ‘Soul Eater’. It has an unapologetically classic punk rock feel, and the incredibly earnest delivery of the vocals just puts me in a songwriting mood. Most notably, I really like how bassist Tetsushi Kawasaki gets all over the fretboard in the (3rd?) verse, making for some really interesting low end twists and turns in an otherwise straightforward and driving section of the song. I think this provided some inspiration for the little bass turns in ‘Southern Town’ and chorus of ‘Freezing’.
10. “Victory Lap” – Hostage Calm (David)
I like everything about this song, particularly how the different sections all feel so distinctive while transitioning from one another so well. Tim Casey’s basslines also do so much for the song while ultimately not straying too far off from the roots, which is something that I definitely also try to do in a lot of cases. This track also has some of my favorite harmonies and dueling vocals on a punk record.
“It feels like ages since a band like Dizzy Bats has come around and really made an impact.” – The Soundboard
“[Alone is] a ripper of a single and a good deal more up beat than the subject matter might suggest, feeling like maybe three parts Remo Drive and one part Alkaline Trio.” – Grandma Sophia’s Cookies
“With powerful alt-rock 1990s inspired instrumentalism, The Wonder Years-esque lyricism and a modern indie-punk expression, ‘Alone’ hits a spot right there in the feels.” – Hardbeat