The Wanton Bishops are Nader and Eddy.
They’re from Lebanon. No, not the one in Ohio, the one on the Mediterranean.
They play a raw blues-infused kind of indie rock.
In recording sessions and on stage they’re joined by hired badass musical muscle (also known as session musicians).
A few years ago, Nader moved back to Beirut after a stint in Paris. He went there to study finance, but that proved to be pretty shit, so on a drunken night he got involved in the expat blues scene there. He didn’t learn how to sing the blues, he learnt how to feel it. Which sounds like a cliche, but that’s the truth.
When he got back to his native Lebanon, he started singing in a blues bar and that’s where he met Eddy.
Well, technically, he met Eddy on the sidewalk outside the bar mid-fistfight.
Their friendship developed over cheap tequila in Beirut’s dive bars, and on stage where they played the blues together.
One day they decided it was time to stop singing covers, it was time to write and to start a band, and that’s how The Wanton Bishops came about.
Eddy likes himself some Rolling Stones, some Kinks, some Arctic Monkeys.
Nader likes himself some Muddy Waters, RL Burnside, some Seasick Steve.
They both agree on the Black Keys and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
The dynamic they have is pretty conflictual, hang around them long enough and they start looking like a couple in a loveless marriage.
They never agree on anything. Until, that is, they do.
And that’s where the special shit happens.
Finding common ground between swamp blues and rock riffs, between acoustic and electric, between indie rock and the blues, that’s where the Wanton Bishops are at their best. Actually, where they’re really at their best is live. But that’s not something you should be reading, that’s something you should experience for yourself.
You can taste the sweat when you listen to a track. Between Nader’s guttural voice and his wailing harmonica, and Eddy’s rhythmic riffs, between the stomping, and the strings snapping on abused guitars, you’ll understand the poetry in the rawness of it all.
Enough talk, go listen to a track or something.