Arts & Entertainment

Chicago-Based Artist Bailey Minzenberger Talks Recording Solo and Newest Release

Zack Miller | The Phoenix

Another Tuesday night, another Production Night Session — The Phoenix’s new live-stream series featuring Chicago artists performing and answering questions from reporters.

The featured guest for the May 12 Production Night Sessions was Bailey Minzenberger, a performing artist studying at Harry S. Truman College (1145 W. Wilson Ave.).

The Chicago artist’s first two songs, “One” and “Clary Sage,” were both from their album “Dramamine.” Minzenberger, who uses they/them pronouns, recorded all of the instrumentals — as well as vocals — for the album by themself. 

After picking up drums at age 10, they started writing the most recent iteration of their music after graduating high school. However, Minzenberger didn’t start recording it until they had a vision while on a road trip with a friend.

“I had an epiphany that I wanted to go back to school and record an album,” Minzenberger, 21, said. “I didn’t have a band at the time so I had to choose whether to do it full-band or acoustic and some of the pieces played themselves out in my head as full-band pieces.”

Despite recording the album solo, Minzenberger decided to add bandmates after the album was recorded and said they plan to have their bandmates record their own parts for their next release.

The rest of the band consists of Jack Lickerman on drums, Georgia Swinand on guitar and Niko Kapetan on bass — childhood friends of Minzenberger from Evanston — who help bring the full-band recordings to life on stage.

“The folks in my band are some of my best friends,” Minzenberger said. “I definitely prefer playing with a band, playing solo is good too it’s just a different experience. … Getting to work on something that’s so intimate and personal to me has brought me a lot closer to them.”

While Minzenberger remains on vocals and guitar for the group, they also recorded and released a series of demos on their own in late April. They said they had recently gotten back into “DIY recording” (Do-It-Yourself) which inspired them to put out the three songs.

“I did all of it myself,” Minzenberger said. “Since I’ve had so much downtime I figured I’d dive back into DIY recording. … The next time we’re in the studio I’ll bring the dudes in.”

Future plans for most musicians are uncertain due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though Minzenberger has begun to piece together some of what’s ahead between canceled plans and the recently released demos.

“I don’t know about all three [songs] but at least two,” Minzenberger said.  “We actually had plans to start recording and then the pandemic happened. … For right now I’m trying to exist very presently.”

Minzenberger closed out the session with a cover of “Kerina” by Adrianne Lenker.
The next Production Night Session will be May 19 at 6 p.m. CST on the Loyola Phoenix Instagram page @loyolaphoenix.

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