Bat House drove out of Boston on a stagnant, humid day. A month later, they returned disheveled and sweaty, full of stories and the chips and peach rings that helped countless Midwestern miles roll by.

For bands like Bat House, there is no grand tour bus or plush green room waiting for them. Their tours cruise beyond the reach of the marquee lights of stadiums and theaters which host big-name bands. Instead, they exist in another less glamorous world of touring musicians. They pile into a crowded cargo van purchased with loans and band fund fumes, ready to embark on tours they planned and booked themselves. They take time off from whichever coffee and audio jobs that would allow them to vanish onto the road for extended periods, and play in whatever bars and basements that will host little-known Boston bands. By day, they drive from town to town, and by night, they sleep on the floors of friends and strangers.

At the heart of their sound is a complex psychedelia which serves as a vehicle for the depths of Bat House’s musical ambition. For all their lofty artistic goals, they remain anything but aloof. The band came up in Boston’s underground DIY scene, and the humble, often self-deprecating dirt of their punk roots cuts through the psychedelic haze of their sound with every broken string and drop of blood that rolls down their pickguards. The band’s live performance broadcast an intimate mastery of their craft; an intimacy that drips and oozes from their chipped instruments and tattered amplifiers. An intimacy born of a deep personal understanding between members, and of playing shows night after night for weeks on end.

Since their 2013 inception, the four members of Bat House—Shane Blank, Kate Siefker, Ally Juleen, and Emmet Hayes—have built a small, dedicated following for their music both in and beyond their home base in Boston. Over those six years, Bat House has become central to its members’ lives. The band is a fundamental part of their identities and social lives; it is regularly the basis for which life decisions are made. When they look for a place to live, they do not seek comfort—only a basement to practice in.

When Emmet injured his hand (one of the two he plays bass with, no less) they did not cancel any shows. Instead, he learned his parts on a synth bass that he could play one-handed. When Kate pulled over to smell the rural Indiana night and got the van stuck deep in the mud, the band dug it out with a mixed nuts container lid and built a makeshift path to freedom from spent drum heads. Bat House is its members’ lives, and that life is never better lived than when it is taken on the road and shared with a hungry world.

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