Bats & Mice's Dave NeSmith talks 'PS: Seriously.'
submitted by
Thursday, June 13, 2024 - 12:31
Bats & Mice's Dave NeSmith talks 'PS: Seriously.'

Bats & Mice have emerged from a 12-year slumber with their new album ’PS: Seriously.,’ out now on Lovitt Records. Saying that it’s an album that has been a long time coming, is a bit of an understatement.

When two of the founding members of Bats & Mice stepped into the studio to start work on their follow-up to their Back In Bat EP in 2012, they never thought it would take forever to finish. But in between babies and careers, life happened, and the project went dark for almost a decade.

In early 2023, the band reconvened in Chapel Hill North Carolina’s Warrior Sound to rework the original tracking and finish a 10-song full-length record. Named PS: Seriously. the finished LP is finally out on Lovitt Records. I’m not going to say it was worth the wait (nothing is worth waiting ten years for), but the band’s melodic yet angular take on post-hardcore meets emo is an absolute thing of beauty and ‘PS: Seriously.’ is definitely a contender for my end-of-year list.

We caught up with the band’s Dave NeSmith (also of Rah Bras, Committees) to talk about all things ‘PS: Seriously.’


PRT: You originally formed Bats & Mice around 2000 after your previous band Sleepytime Trio came to a halt. Was it clear from the start that you wanted to go for a different sound with Bats & Mice?

Dave: I would say pretty clear to us by what was just occurring naturally.  The interesting thing about Bats is that I never censored myself or thought I should play any other way.  I just let the music come out and that is what happened.  There were times I thought, oh this might be more mainstream than Sleepytime but I just well… that is what what brain wants to do I guess?


PRT: Following your initial releases between 2000 and 2004, things quieted down until the release of the ‘Back In Bat’ EP in 2010. I read that the idea then was to follow up with a full-length in 2012, but that idea never materialized until now. Was that a matter of life getting in the way?

Dave: Yeah, we actually recorded a lot of the main bulk of the new album in February of 2012.  But then I moved to Alabama for a year and a half for my wife’s job and then Ben and I had kids and life just got in the way.  I was doing Regents at the time and Ben joined up for some of that but we could never really find the time to finish the record.  We played a few small tours here and there but that was it for Bats during that time.


PRT: Was there a specific moment when you all decided to pick things up again? Or more of a gradual thing?

Dave: When I moved to NC in 2015 we got together and started practicing but life was still pretty crazy for all of us so Bats kind of dropped off again.  Ben and I did Committee(s) and I did a couple tours with my band Sweatpants.  We always wanted to finish the record but just didn’t have the time.


PRT: What is it that keeps bringing you guys back together to write music?

Dave: I remember when we got together for those practices back in 2015 after a few jams Ben turned to me and said, “I think I was born to play music with you.”  It probably was one of the nicest compliments I have ever gotten.  And I feel the same way!  Ben and I have always clicked musically and as friends.  Also adding Mark was a blessing since he just is a guy with a heart of gold.  We are adding Wells Tower (from Hellbender) as a 2nd guitar player for the shows.


PRT: The new album is out now, 12 years after the initially planned release. How many of the songs on the album go back 12 years?

Dave: All 10 of them!  Some were more put together than others.  


PRT: Did you rewrite a lot of the songs or were you still happy with how they first came out?

Dave: We kept pretty much all the basic audio, but we did move or cut some stuff.  It was really great revisiting it and actually I am SO much happier we kept waiting to finish it since I have learned a lot over these last 12 years.  


PRT: Was it easy right from the start to write and record together again or did it take some acclimatizing?

Dave: Man, it was just like riding a bike.  It is easy with those guys.  We can just start jamming and new stuff comes out.  


PRT: The new album is coming out on Lovitt Records, the label that has been a constant throughout all of your individual musical projects. They haven’t been very active in recent years. Did it take a lot of coaxing on your part to convince them to release the new album?

Dave: No coaxing at all.  I said to Brian, he do you want to put this out and he said “Of course!”   So that pretty much has been our relationship.   He’s always been there for us and we are all just family at this point.


PRT: Your lives most likely are very different now, leaving less time for Bats & Mice. Are there already any plans beyond the release of the album?

Dave: We have the shows we are doing for the release.  We are sort of just getting our feet wet with that and trying to figure out how we can incorporate playing live again with our lives.  All of us have our own things we are working on too.  Mark does Wailin Storms (which is awesome!) and I have a few projects in the works.  Also Ben and I always have something going on. 

Tom Dumarey
Tom Dumarey

Lacking the talent to actually play in a band, Tom decided he would write about bands instead. Turns out his writing skills are mediocre at best as well.