"We take care of each other. We often want to murder each other. We share virtually all aspects of our lives and with that comes a very developed sense of communication."
Bernat elaborates, "We share a slightly twisted sense of humor that is fundamental to almost all of what we do and make." Which is one way to understand a band that has released an album titled Make Like a Fetus and Abort.
When asked over e-mail how she'd respond to an easily offended West Coaster like me, Cathers offers, "I welcome any conversation on the use of language. It is one of my great joys — as I look for sounds that will make the greatest impact, that will send a chill up the collective spine and put your flesh and your psyche in the same presence. I love words that have that impact as well."
What makes 16BPU fascinating is that beneath the intellectual muscle and blue-collar brawn is a group that is deeply sensitive, passionate, and emotional in their playing. Beyond the obvious (tough) love that they share with each other as friends, there is a seriousness to their music that stares right in the face of pain, anger, and fear with an absolute solidarity of purpose.
"I think what I try to convey through playing can only be expressed as a feeling of mortality," says Walters. "Being very close to death and vitality simultaneously."
"I can say we have seen a lot of nasty shit in our lives that can either make you want to leave the planet or create your own utopia out of dysfunction," Cathers writes.
"All those themes are present," Bernat concludes, "but they are present alongside equally positive feelings about strength, love, and perceptions of beauty."
All of which makes me think that perhaps they fit into the Golden State after all. SFBG
16 BITCH PILE-UP
With Hogotogisu and Skaters
Aug. 12, 9:30 p.m.
1131 Polk, SF
With Comets on Fire and Kid 606 and Friends
Aug. 16, 9 p.m.
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell, SF
Gabriel Mindel is in Yellow Swans.