WOMEN, WHISKEY AND FREEDOM WITH THE BATTERY ELECTRIC

The Battery Electric is an American rock ‘n roll band from Asbury Park, NJ that sings about women, whiskey and freedom. Not a bad combo.

Speaking of women, the band, made up of long time friends Ron Santee on vocals and drums, Brent Bergholm on guitar and Alex Rosen on bass, has been known to get the panties and bras flying. 

If you’re reading this today, Friday, February 22nd, you’ll be able to catch The Battery Electric tonight at The Saint along with Julian Fulton and the Zombie Gospel, Chemtrail and Lor. Doors at 7:30PM.

We threw a few questions their way. They answered back. Here’s what the band had to say about the whole thing.

ANCHOR: How did The Battery Electric come to be?

BRENT: The Battery Electric grew out of some long term friendships. I’ve known Ron and Alex for about 7 years. Ron and I used to play shows together in different bands when I was going to Ramapo College and he was at Henry Hudson High School. I first met Ron when he dated a girl that was in my class and we would rag on her for dating a kid in high school.

However, when I finally met Ron he looked like he was 35 years old. He had this huge mane of curly blond hair and a big blond beard. I definitely didn’t expect a high school kid to look like that.

My band (at the time) Hsu-nami was the big band on campus and we headlined (an event at the student center). Ron came up with his reggae band “The Head Trip Crew” and played an awesome set. I thought he was one of the best drummers I had ever seen live. I only said a handful of words to him that night but he seemed like a really cool guy. We went our respective ways and would chit chat whenever we saw each other at the bars in Red Bank.

I met Alex when I was working at Quiznos in between semesters. He was this tall lanky high school kid with a bowl cut and glasses who loved Black Flag. We had an instant connection talking about music and shooting the shit in between making sandwiches. He told me that he wanted to learn how to play guitar so I offered to give him some lessons. Alex has a weird sense of humor and gave me a children’s manuscript book with Kermit the Frog on the cover. It was always entertaining tabbing out Dead Kennedy songs with Kermit staring right at me. It was so punk rock!

As the years went on I kept in touch with both of them. Ron and I got closer after I graduated college. I was touring with my band Hsu-nami. We would do local US dates, play festivals in Canada, and go back and forth touring Asia. When I was home I would play bass in one of Ron’s many reggae projects. Ron also did a solo gig touring England opening up for Pete Dougherty and toured the USA playing drums for Bad Manners. We would always hang out talking about our love of music and life on the road. We would stay up late drinking and Ron would go on about the Illuminati controlling the world, and how 9/11 was an inside job. I felt that Ron had such a strong personality – he needed to be in an aggressive band where he was rocking out, singing and playing drums all at the same time.

Alex was in college at this time and doing a study abroad in Norway. I always thought of him as kind of a dorky, nice guy. But when he came back from Norway he looked like a mix of Fabio and Thor. He had muscles, long blond hair, (no more) glasses, and played guitar in a bad ass hard rock band. Oh, and he also started drinking beer. I started catching a few of his shows and was super impressed by his stage presence and guitar skills.

When I got back from Hsu-nami’s “Hello to Taiwan” tour in May 2012 I had the feeling that I needed to get back to the basics. Hsu-nami took a little hiatus (we had been a band for 7 years so people were starting to get burnt out).  I, however, had a real itch to continue playing and do something that was completely local and different.  I knew that Ron and Alex shared my appreciation for Black Sabbath, The Stooges, MC5, and Motown. So I asked them if they wanted to get together and jam. Don’t come in with any ideas just meet, play, and see what happens.  Alex was on bass, I was on guitar, and Ron would sing and play drums. We booked two hours at Red Bank Rehearsal and wrote 8 songs. It was amazing how we clicked and our music had that punk rock, soulful vibe that we wanted. Since then we’ve written around 30 songs, recorded a record with Pete Steinkopf from The Bouncing Souls, and started getting out there and playing some gigs.

Oh, and we signed with Little Dickman Records and are putting out our full length “Weaving Spiders” this spring.  It’s kind of crazy how 6 months later we put out a record.  I am looking forward to the future with this band.

batteryelectric2L to R: Brent Bergholm, Ron Santee and Alex Rosen

ANCHOR: How would you best describe your sound?

BRENT: The Battery Electric’s sound is aggressive, sexy, and soulful. I’d like to think of it as if Black Sabbath started playing Motown songs. I think that sums it up pretty good.

ANCHOR: Favorite place to play?

BRENT: We had a great show at the Asbury Lanes. It’s one of my favorite venues in New Jersey. I love the vintage vibe and the carney feel of it. I have to give it up though to Scott Stamper at the Saint. He has thrown us lots of cool shows and it’s been a good place for us to hone our skills. Those are my two favorite venues in New Jersey hands down.

ANCHOR: Best memory on stage?

ALEX: For me, anything that shows that the music is doing something is a good memory. We are a new band but the night when a girl threw her bra at us while we were playing was pretty wild. It was also pretty awesome when two girls started making out at one of our shows at The Saint. I like seeing the audience get dirty. Shows that we are doing something right.

ANCHOR: You are currently working with Little Dickman Records. Can you tell us more about your new album?

RON: I have known Chris Yaniak, one of the owners of little Dickman, for about 10 years. He has always supported me in my endeavors throughout that time. He and his girlfriend Amy Earixson have started this label through their love of music and wanting to help out the local and national music acts they dig. We’re gonna have a record out soon called “Weaving Spiders”, 10 songs produced by Asbury Parks own Pete Steinkopf from the Bouncing Souls. We plan on releasing many more albums and singles. The record will be available on vinyl in mid April! Praise the rock ‘n roll gods.

ANCHOR: Where will people be able to find the music once it’s released?

BRENT: In March it will be available digitally on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc. and at the end of April it will be released as a 12″ vinyl LP and  available in most record stores in New Jersey, New York City and Philadelphia and at our shows.

ANCHOR: What are some local, up and coming bands from the Asbury area that you guys are digging at the moment?

BRENT: There are lots of talented musicians in Asbury Park.  Some of our favorite bands to play with are Plato Zorba, Mash McLain, The Vansaders, and Julian Fulton and the Zombie Gospel.  It’s always good to play shows with friends.  It creates a little scene and makes it more like a community.

Be sure to check out the band’s facebook page for future updates and upcoming shows. Some songs off of  “Weaving Spiders” can be heard here. Photos by Christina Lilly Photography.

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