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Q&A with The Bathroom Poets

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

The Bathroom Poets (TBP) formed in early 2021 and is the result of Kenyon Smith and Nathaniel Waggoner’s nearly decade long musical partnership. The Seattle based quintet produces a punchy puree of punk, spoken word rants, melodic moments and overall goofiness. Their inspirations include Mr. Bungle, Frank Zappa and Suicidal Tendencies - and the band enjoys exploring the anti-authority, social critique and absurdist aspects of those greats. TBP is recording their first Studio Album in April, and have demos on Bandcamp.

Who are all the band members and what are their roles?

Per band regulations we list members reverse alphabetically by instrument… Nathaniel is on vocals, Dylan plays piano, Kenyon’s got the guitar, Ross bangs the drums, and David holds down the bass.

How did you all meet?

Organically, like many rock formations. Nathaniel and Kenyon met during a role playing session in a friend’s basement. They rescued Dylan from a trash can he'd been pushed into by possums. David just showed up one day - he said this guy Craig had us on a List. We've kicked him out of the band several times but he just keeps coming. Ross is actually a meat puppet constructed out of the remnants of a disastrous dinner party between two band members' ex-girlfriends.

How do you feel your songs have changed since you started making music?

They’ve definitely evolved but have kept their nougaty core! We’re silly and despite everyone’s best efforts to inject a “get a haircut and get a real job” attitude into things we’ve managed to hang onto that whimsy and goofish-ness. That said we’ve incorporated more melodic elements, tighter song structures, backing vocals, and have been exploring different sounds and styles. Early on Kenyon wrote most of the songs on bass, and a lot of them were formed around a core of Bass, Vocals and Drums. Since we’ve added a dedicated bass player and keyboardist the way we write has changed a lot and the songs reflect that.

I love the name The Bathroom Poets and it certainly fits the vision you’ve created for the band. How exactly did the name come to you?

That came from one of our earliest songs - “Bathroom Poet”. It’s the basic thesis of the band that music should entertain, surprise, discomfort and trigger reactions. We try to push those themes in our music and presentation. The name engenders a wide range of reactions from people and we love that.

Do you have a favorite song you’ve written? If you do, why is it your favorite?

It would have to be “Conspiracy.” It’s a fun song that offers an approach to life, the universe and everything. We’re all living a fever dream of our own creation. There is no Truth, just worlds of truths, you might as well embrace yours. We're also big fans of “Survival Of The Fittest” because other people seem to like it.

You have an awesome mascot called Potty Mouth that reminds me a bit of Boy Howdy! from CREEM. Who did the art for it and what’s the story behind it?

Everyone loves a good Potty Mouth! We keep a fireman on staff and when he’s inhaled too much smoke he sends us ideas. He’s kind of obsessed with us. Potty Mouth is his work from start to finish. We have plans for a crew of these guys - a tub, a sink, a toilet paper roll, and maybe a soap dispenser (sanitation is important). Whenever Fireman Mike has time between rescue missions they’ll form a band and get a record contract.

What are you listening to currently?

So much music!

Nathaniel: Haruomi Hosono, Hosono House

Kenyon: Rumspringa, Musical Chairs

Dylan: Megadeath, Rust in Peace

Ross: Puscifer, Existential Reckoning

David: Botch, An Anthology of Dead Ends

Listen to The Bathroom Poet's demo "Wet Denim" now.

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