Near Beer – “Yelling At A Dog” (Video Premiere)

Today I’m really excited to bring everyone a new song by LA-based indie rock band, Near Beer, for their electric new single called “Yelling At A Dog.” The band is comprised of vocalist/guitarist Joey Siara, drummer Brent Stanathan, and bassist Jeremy Levy, and their dedication to their musical craft pays off widely on songs like this. Merged somewhere between the songwriting groove of Tom Petty, the modern flair of Brian Fallon, and the punk rock spirit of The Descendents, Near Beer could very well be your next music obsession. I had the chance to catch up with the band, and if you’re enjoying the new track, please consider purchasing it here.

Thanks for your time today! Can you describe the general ethos of Near Beer for those who aren’t yet familiar?

I feel like our band practices sort of get to the Near Beer ethos. We buy some beers. We play a handful of our own tunes to stay sharp. We tinker with a couple of newer bits to see if anything sticks. Then we half-heartedly attempt to play a bunch of our favorite songs by other bands for the next several hours. Whatever excites us in the moment — The Cars, GBV, Mott the Hoople, Petty, Blondie, R.E.M, Pavement, The Byrds, Op Ivy, Bowie — we’ve butchered hundreds of tunes. We abandon most songs halfway through once we realize we don’t know all the chords. Then we get pizza or burritos. That’s pretty much the vibe. 
Half-assed attempts at a ton of covers is sort of our way of getting better. We start to notice what works in other songs and then we try to integrate some of that magic into our own stuff. 

How would you describe your forthcoming project, and how does this first single fit into the narrative?

There are versions of these songs that I brought to other bands I was in over the last 10 years or so. Lots of bits and pieces that I connect back to different moments over the last decade —  moving across the country, breaking up a band, a birth, a panic attack, a funeral, good times, shitty times, and so on. The lyrics capture the nebulous existential fart of being in your 30s but slow to embrace all of the responsibility that being in your 30s tends to entail. It’s a solid adult anxiety record. The lyrics are anxious. The music is anxious. But still poppy and fun I think, in a drunk rock & roll fist in the air kind of way. “Yelling at a Dog” is pretty much all of the above in a blender and pureed. So it works as a declaration of intent — musically and lyrically. This is the band. This is what we sing about. This is what we sound like. And unlike a lot of the tunes on the record, this one was written later and very much for Near Beer. I consider it the first real Near Beer song. 

Creatively, did you go into writing a track like this with a set message in mind, or was it more spur-of-the-moment and based on collaboration?

Music happens first, along with some super loose marble-mouthed melodies. Then I tend to write lyrics in fragments — sometimes just a verse, sometimes just a little couplet. But from what I remember, this one came together in like two solid lyric chunks, which is more complete than how it happens most of the time for us. We didn’t really demo anything on the record, so there was some last minute lyric polishing on the day I recorded. We messed around with lots of guitar sounds and atmospheric blips and noises. I remember this one being a full on guitar fest. We tried a ton of different things on it. That’s when I’m happiest. Tinkering with guitars. Trying stuff out. Seeing if we make any happy accidents.