Batávia Interview and Music Video Premier - 'Mercy's Burning Heart'
Goth-Ick/ unscene is excited to premier the new music video Mercy's Burning Heart from Goth, Industrial band Batávia. Also we get to share with you an insight into their project, and a little more besides, with this cozy interview around a virtual campfire to talk about their new spooktacular album Mythos which encompasses strange legends and stories from around the globe. Including a few not too far away from us here at the unscene, in witch legend New England.
This spooky husband and wife duo, Ed and Terri Cripps are based out of Jacksonville, FL. and in one year alone they have put out two EPs, two singles, a remix album, an LP, a heap of remixes for other artists, a few compilations, three music videos, and various livestreams.
They are signed to the Tigersquawk Records label who are responsible for setting up concerts and live streaming events. However, Ed and Terri self-publish all their own work. Ed Cripps originally grew up in Taunton, MA. and was introduced to music at an early age. Around the early 2000s he started going to BandStand Live, a recording studio in Taunton with friends where he learned to play different instruments and would jump from band to band that needed a keyboard, bass or guitar player. The Providence, RI music scene holds a special place in his heart (let's be honest, it does totally rock!) and is also where he started to learn how to record and engineer albums.
Hopefully in the near future Goth-Ick/ unscene will be able to bring the force that is Batávia to Providence, RI. for a much needed show... watch this space!
So, without further ado, sit back and take in the audio, visual, delight that is Mercy's Burning Heart before reading all about it, and much, much more, in their own words...
Q. Hi, and welcome both to the unscene.
Terri: Thanks for having us!
Ed: Feels like home to me!
Q. The amazing new album Mythos is based on various worldwide folklores and creepy goings on. What made you choose to write an album based on these tales? Is there a particular story or stories that has some personal meaning?
Ed: It was actually the Lovecraft Arts and Sciences comp that really kicked off the idea. We did Mercy's Burning Heart and probably halfway through recording, we had started tossing around ideas about fokelore being the running theme of our next album. Her Vacant Chair and The Walking Song are both hometown stories for me. Nobody is really privy to those outside of the area, so we wanted to bring those stories to light.
Terri: I grew up in a small little town in Tennessee, where we had the Bell Witch. Think like your childhood Bloody Mary game in the bathroom mirror, but it was the Bell Witch for us. However, the Bell family was real and their witch was, and still is, stuff of Tennessee legend and pride.
Q. Being your first full length album release, how did you find this differed from past EP and single releases? Were there any difficulties to overcome?
Ed: From a production and writing standpoint, we really wet-sanded the hell out of these songs. It still has grit and some texture to it. I don't like overly polished music, but getting it to sound how we wanted it to took a lot of work.
Terri: Also, we had an initial ideological theme from the outset that we actually worked toward this time. In gathering the right stories that we wanted to tell, we did a lot of outreach and research for just the right tales that needed to be told. There are so many endearing old yarns that beg to not be forgotten, so narrowing it down to just a few was a pretty daunting task.
Q. How long did the album take from concept to finish?
Ed: The bones of some of the songs were coming together probably right around when Batávia and Their Friends was finished. I'm always writing, so it's hard to tell. Once we had a concept laid out, it was 4-5 months of waking up at 3:00am, mixing and recording before work, and a lot of late nights on the weekends.
Q. As a duo, how do you work the songwriting experience between you both?
Ed: Our workflow changes from song to song. We set up a network drive for this album, and Terri has a set-up in the bedroom. She'd write a base track, I'd come in and add my stuff. Some songs are me compulsively writing to occupy my ADHD brain, but she always suggests changes for the better. Things to add. Parts that are too much in spots.
Terri: As far as lyrics, it's really been us getting an idea and jotting it down then we can normally iron out the messaging into the music in short order. With this one, though, Azafrán had to go through a complete deconstruction and rebuild because it was never the right approach until it was.
Q. The new music video for Mercy's Burning Heart is just stunningly beautiful. Do you film your own video's or is there a specific director you use? How do the idea's come together?
Ed: We thought about working with a few directors, but our goals are always so lofty and it would cost a fortune. Plus, it's probably the most fun we have in the entire Batávia process. For this one, we started spit-balling ideas right after it was initially recorded. The whole demi-god vampire thing was probably when I started getting more comfortable with After Effects. 'We can burn this place to the ground!' 'We can explode me into ploppy bits!'.
Terri: We happened to run into a coffee shop when the barista overheard a conversation we were having and mentioned this beautiful old land that sounds perfect for our ideas. We looked on Google and yeah, she was right. It was amazing. We went there and Ed got some great footage and he was able to use that to turn this story into something really visceral.
Q. Mercy's Burning Heart featured on the Goth-Ick/ unscene production of Putting the Stars Right charity compilation in aid of the Lovecraft Arts & Sciences Council earlier this year. Was this the first time that you had been part of a charity album project before?
Ed: Yes it was, and it was an honor to be part of! Our honeymoon was in Providence. Their shop was a major destination for us. Providence is my favorite city on this planet, and it's because of things like that. It's defiantly unique and holds on to its identity, and there's a punk-rock, Victorian horror element that's sewn into the fabric.
Q. Ed, you are a New Englander at heart. How does it feel to have had some local recognition from your home region with a wonderful full page article in the Taunton newspaper regards the new album Mythos?
Ed: It might not mean much to people outside that city, but as a Tauntonian, there isn't a bigger honor you could get. I delivered that paper when I was a kid. I read it on my lunch breaks at work. It really helps to underscore how big of a deal these stories are to the locals and the identity of the City.
Q. That is amazing, such a personal thing for sure!
Ed: It really is. No lie, out of all the amazing things that have happened in the past year, this is the first one that made me scream like I was watching The Beatles stepping off a plane in the 60's.
Q. How did the two of you meet?
ED: We met on LiveJournal like, a million years ago. I posted some Skinny Puppy lyrics to properly express my emotions, which was the style at the time, and she commented on it, because I got them wrong. I thought she was the coolest girl on the planet, cool enough to keep her in the back of my head for decades after we lost touch. Fast forward to a few years back, I'm listening to Pandora, and a song I hadn't heard in years came on and it reminded me of her. I sent her a message, just a "how-do" of sorts, and we did not and could not stop talking to each other. Like, Terri is truly 50% of me. It's hard to explain it and not sound canned or cliché, but our crazy work ethic and output is literally the byproduct of the chemical reaction between the two of us. I think we might have lost a sizable amount of readers at this point, because of the gushy love stuff, which is totally not goth, but you know... Just keeping it honest here.
Q. You have both done a few online streaming events during this past Covid year. What was it like having to change to this platform of performing? Was it hard to adjust?
Ed: Well, it's been a solid decade since stepping on stage, so I guess I got my 7 year stage virginity back. It's good practice though. There's a whole extra layer of possible technical failures to worry about during a live-stream, so for me, it's good prep to make sure all the boxes are ticked before we start our set.
Terri: It gave us the chance to play virtual sets, which were really fun. We can't afford to play in a Doom or Mortal Kombat level.
Q. Now things are relaxing a little with the lockdowns are there any plans for some in person, live on stage concerts?
Yes! We're playing at MystiCon in February, which is essentially a mini-Squawk Stock. Beta Virus and Night Terror are on the bill as well. We'd definitely like to toss in some gigs between now and then. We're a family, we have full time jobs, so we're not going to hammer the Eastern Sea-board or anything, but the thought of that kind of approach is kind of horrifying to me. We're home-bodies. To me, a perfect show would be an opportunity to fly or drive to somewhere where our friends are at and turn it into a big, goddamn party.
Q. What can we expect from Batávia in the near future?
Ed: We're working on a physical release for Mythos, and we're spit-balling ideas for what our next big project is going to be. We're working with a lot more varieties of artistic mediums. I see us growing more into a multi-media project than just kicking out albums every few months. We just have these grandiose ideas and lack the common sense to think we couldn't or shouldn't try to see them through.
Terri: I still want to do Captain and Tennille covers. I'd like to stretch my musical legs and write more. Also, finding more stories to tell through our art.
Q. If you were both Mulder and Scully, what do you think your monster of the week would be to investigate and why?
Ed: Our monster of the week would be the old lady next door that gets pissed when we feed the geese near her yard. Our investigation would be throwing bird-seed off our balcony at night and peering through the curtains the next morning and watching her try to convince a Canadian God-damn Goose to move away from free food. It's not even her lawn... It's a condo.
Q. Many thanks for taking the time to chat with us here at the unscene, it has been such a pleasure. Any final words you wish to share?
Thank you so much for having us! We're in Jacksonville, that much is true, but Providence is the best city on the planet, and I'll die on that hill. It's old, creepy, artist friendly, and punk as fuck. When Batávia eclipses Nine Inch Nails as the de-facto gate-way band to teenage angst, we're buying the Cranston Street Armory and turning it into our headquarters.
You can purchase the album Mythos and the rest of Batávia's back catalog from their Bandcamp page:
Mercy's Burning Heart also featured on the Goth-Ick/ unscene production of Putting the Stars right:
And be sure to check out Batavia's social media platforms: