By Noe Gutierrez
Burning Bettie has been a band for not much more than a year and they have already captivated the Coachella Valley with the upbeat tempo of their single “I’m Gonna Go”. The song is available for free download, along with “All We Know”, a slower tempo song with emotional allure, on their Facebook page. In listening to these songs intently, there is an apparent ambidextrous rock kick to their sound with a lot of other schools of thought applied for good measure. I would even make comparisons to the 70’s sound of Santana but refurbished. These four band mates met via Craig’s List and formed a friendship only after connecting musically. Lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Giorg Tierez is the primary lyricist for the band. He was the mastermind in determining the name ‘Burning Bettie’. “Burning Bettie came from it being so hot here in the valley through most of the year. The ‘Bettie’ from Bettie Page, the famous 50’s pin-up model, so kinda like “hot” and “beautiful” is what the band name means”. Tierez’ ability to vacillate his voice throughout the song is his biggest strength. There is soul in his vocalizing reminiscent of Al Green and Marvin Gaye. Josh Ballard is proficient in his drum fills and percussion while lending background vocals. Frank Michel is Burning Bettie’s mixed bag lead guitarist and provides background vocals as well. Shawn “Stretch” Fisher rounds out the quartet on bass guitar. All band members have a multitude of talents besides music. Tierez shares,“We are all artists in one way or another, from drawing and painting to full-on culinary chefs”.
Their influences run the gamut. All the rock acts like Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Deftones are represented in their music. There are also the surprising imprints left by Styx, Queen and Muse. “We get inspired by everything and anything. Sometimes songs get made from absolutely no inspiration at all”, Tierez explains. A Burning Bettie complete album release is in the works to be released by Summer 2014. Stretch shares, “We have several songs competed and are still laying tracks. We are taking our time because we want the people to hear quality production”.
Burning Bettie will be performing at the Synergy Fest at Dateland Park in Coachella on Saturday, November 16th along with a host of other musical acts. Synergy Fest 2012 was Burning Bettie’s first ever performance. Slim recalls their participation last year, “Performing at the Synergy Fest is special to us because it was our first performance together as a band. Doing it again, we hope to bring our fans new music and energy as we have grown significantly. We’ve only been together just over a year”.
These four comrades have enjoyed their ride in Burning Bettie. They’ve all been involved in other music projects. Tierez spells it out, “We’ve all been part of other bands in our past, but this one seems to be the most significant one, the one with most meaning”. In addition to the seriousness of their ambition, they also partake in the monkey busness that can only be found in a band setting. “Burning Bettie rehearsals are full of joking around and having full conversation in complete movie dialogue, lol, and of course some liquid persuasion to accompany us with our music writing”.
Feeling a part of the music community is an important aspect of their journey. Burning Bettie members all agree that they can be paired with any other band or artist. Slim expounds, “The music scene in the Coachella Valley has embraced us and we are thankful in their support not just for us, but for all musicians trying to share their music with the valley. It is a great time to be part of this scene, as the music and cultural diversity is shared and strengthens the vibe that is the Coachella Valley”.
There is no doubt that Burning Bettie is moving onward and upward. Their unique start has developed into a harmonious concoction. As I like to say, “Everything happens for a reason. It’s our job to figure it out”. Burning Bettie members are calculating their next move. Tierez has lofty goals and foresight. “Long term goal is to rule the world man. Short term goal is to perform at Coachella”. Don’t forget to catch Burning Bettie’s performance at Synergy Fest in Coachella on Saturday November 16. It also goes without saying, ‘Like’ their page on Facebook for up to date information on shows and their upcoming album release.
To contact the band, you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org