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© Brigitte Calls Me Baby

In the ever-evolving landscape of alternative rock, few bands manage to carve out a niche that feels both novel and nostalgically familiar. One such band is Brigitte Calls Me Baby.

A sophisticated blend of soaring vocals, brash guitars, and energetic drums, this band is at the pinnacle of ushering in a era of music- one that hints at days gone by. But how did this unique band come together, and what drives their creative process?

In the hour leading up to their Los Angeles performance at Venice West, Millennial caught up with the band in the green room, an adjoined house straight out of 1960s Venice. The band all matching the vibe of the house’s era, lingered around as we met Wes, the tall, chiseled frontman.

Dressed in a retro-inspired 80s motif—black jeans, black shirt, blue jean jacket, and leather boots, with silver rings and coiffed hair, he was “on brand” for the neo new-wave sound we would soon hear. But there was something about his demeanor and deep sultry Texan twang that exuded a young Johnny Depp meets Elvis Presley. His laid-back and emotive energy screamed artist. It was easy to see, Leavins and Brigitte Calls Me Baby were about to become rockstars.

In a candid interview, he shared the story behind the formation of the band, shedding light on their influences and journey.

The Early Days

The story begins with a serendipitous series of introductions and friendships. “I knew this guy John in Chicago just over the internet,” Wes recalls. “Me being from Texas, he was the only guy I knew outside of Texas. I’m from a small town, so I didn’t know a lot of musicians.” Through John, Wes was introduced to guitarist Jack and later to guitarist Trevor. This initial connection was the seed from which the band would grow.

Wes’s move to Chicago was driven by a desire to explore a bigger city where he had some acquaintances. “It just kind of organically happened. Met Jack, met Trevor,” he explains. A few years later, Wes met Jeremy, who introduced him to bassist Devin. The band’s formation was gradual but felt entirely natural. “I met Jack in 2018, I think. 17 or 18. And I met Jeremy two years later. It was gradual but very, very organic.”

The Name Behind the Band

The name Brigitte Calls Me Baby is as unique as the band’s sound, stemming from an unusual high school project. “In high school, there was an English project where the class had to write to a notable person. I wrote to Brigitte Bardot and it seemed like I was not receiving a response for forever. Then suddenly, I received one, and it was from France,” Wes recounts.

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He had actually received a letter from Brigitte Bardot herself! In one of her letters, Bardot referred to Wes as “baby,” a term of endearment that left a lasting impression. “It was very sweet, and that’s sort of how the name came about.” When thinking of a name for the band, Wes says, “it just clicked.”

Millennial Magazine - Features - Artists - Brigitte Calls Me Baby Band

© Brigitte Calls Me Baby

Defining Their Genre

Describing their genre, Wes acknowledges that it’s a blend of sophistication and alternative rock. “For me, it was always about bringing a bit of sophistication to alternative rock music, whether it be vocally or lyrically,” he says. Wes’s distinctive voice plays a crucial role in shaping the band’s sound. “I’ve always had the voice that I have, and although times I would have liked to have had a different voice, you can’t change it. You are who you are.”

The band strives to infuse intelligence and depth into their music, creating a sound that is both unique and resonant with fans. “It’s just bringing a sophistication to the alternative world,” Wes elaborates. The result is a genre that can be described as sophisticated or intelligent alternative rock.

Musical Influences

Wes’s musical journey is shaped by an array of influences, stemming from his family and upbringing. “I was lucky to have a lot of diversity. My whole family lived on one street. My oldest brother was a product of the 90s, and the two brothers above me grew up with a lot of the same things, The Strokes and Arcade Fire. My grandparents were into [Frank] Sinatra and Roy Orbison, and my parents listened to Depeche Mode and The Cars,” Wes shares.

This eclectic mix of musical influences has played a significant role in shaping Wes’s musical identity. “There was not a particular song or sound or band that influenced the music, but all the music that I was exposed to sort of helped me discover myself.”

Songwriting Process

When it comes to songwriting, Brigitte Calls Me Baby follows a flexible yet collaborative approach. “We very much have a formula, but not in the way of ‘this is how we’re going to write a song.’ It’s the space we put ourselves in for a song to happen,” Wes explains.

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The process often involves sparring off each other or expanding on someone’s idea. “Sometimes I’ll write the song, sometimes the bass player, Devin, will write the song, sometimes the guitarist, Jack. It’s always usually one of those ways.”

One of their standout tracks, “Impressively Average,” exemplifies their collaborative process. “That was one that I wrote while I was in Texas and completed in Nashville. It was just meant to be like if you could sum up the band’s sound in a song, what would that be? It’s got all the hallmarks of what we set out to do,” Wes explains. The track features big soaring vocals, brash electric guitars, and energetic drum patterns, encapsulating the essence of Brigitte Calls Me Baby.

Millennial Magazine - Features - Artists - Brigitte Calls Me Baby Performance

© Brigitte Calls Me Baby

Lyrical Themes

Wes’s lyrics often delve into personal fears and existential themes. “I tend to use writing a song as two things. Either one, to process a fear of mine. I have a pretty intense, diagnosable fear of death that I write about a lot,” Wes reveals. Writing about his fears allows him to confront and process them. “I’ve had this fear since I was a kid, and it’s not gone away, so I just write about it in order to come to terms with it.”

Another approach Wes takes is capturing the essence of a moment. “I will try to capture a moment where there is a strong feeling that I want to last outside of the moment,” he explains. This practice helps him recreate the emotions of specific experiences through his music. “A good example would be our song ‘Palm of Your Hand.’ The lyrics are not at all about the moment that I was trying to give permanence, but the feeling that I get when I hear that song is very much accurately representing the moment that I set out to recreate.”

The Thrill of Live Performances

Playing live is an integral part of Brigitte Calls Me Baby’s identity. “I think I just enjoy and always have enjoyed really strong feelings, which can be dangerous. But I do like just overwhelming feelings. I like to feel alive,” Wes explains.

The intensity of live performances provides a sense of vitality and excitement that Wes craves. “I would like to get my fill while I’m here. However long I’m here, I don’t want to have a single day where I just kind of sit around and feel nothing.”

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Outside of Music

Outside of music, Wes has a passion for movies and collecting. “I really love movies. It’s one thing I really enjoy because it’s not my avenue of creativity,” he says. Watching movies allows Wes to relax and enjoy creativity without the pressure of performing. “With music, it’s like I’m a little too close to it, but movies are sort of untainted and I can just enjoy knowing that I can’t do what they do.”

Wes also enjoys collecting items that help him hold onto memories and moments. “I like to have… It goes back to lasting moments and trying to personify feelings or personify memories or moments,” he explains. This passion for collecting extends to memorabilia and items that hold personal significance.

Wes’s aspirations for collaboration extend beyond the music industry as well. When it comes to a dream collab, he is more apt to want to collaborate with his film heros. “Honestly, I would love to work with David Lynch,” he says. Wes credits Lynch, “He’s just a unique guy who has a very, very strong identity. And that inspires me.”

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© Brigitte Calls Me Baby

Future Endeavors for Brigitte Calls Me Baby

Looking ahead, the band has exciting plans on the horizon. “We’ve only been with ATO for about half a year now, and they released the EP. They’ll release the record in August when it comes out,” Wes shares. The band is also preparing for several upcoming festivals, including a performance at Lollapalooza and two sold-out shows at Lincoln Hall in Chicago.

Wes dreams of playing at iconic venues and festivals around the world. “Of course, Lollapalooza has always been a big one, being from Chicago. There is ACL. I’m from Texas, so that would be great. Obviously, any of the Glastonbury stuff or any of that overseas would be right up our alley,” he says. But when it comes to LA, Wes adds, “I’m manifesting the Hollywood Bowl.”

It was obvious from the crowd’s excitement during their April 12 performance, Brigitte Calls Me Baby is a sound fans are craving. One woman even said she drove over two and a half hours to see their performance, noting she had only recently discovered them.

Their journey is a testament to the power of organic connections, diverse influences, and a shared passion for music. As they continue to make waves in the industry, fans can look forward to more innovative music and unforgettable performances.