Loaf Songs’ top archers, chosen by the band


As one of North America’s top indie rock bands of the 90s, bread archers had a great first run. Releasing four albums between 1993 and 1998, the North Carolina band delivered anthems that fused sing-song hooks and abrasive guitar sounds into a hybrid that was perhaps just short of post-hardcore heaviness. or noise rock dissonance, but packed a lot more power than many of their lo-fi peers.

Although the Archers broke up in the late 90s, they reformed in 2011, touring for two years and eventually returning to the stage over the next decade, which ultimately resulted in a handful of new singles. in 2020, one of the few positives of who cursed the start of the pandemic year. It turns out they had a lot more music in the works, and two years later they come up with their long-awaited fifth album, Reason for decline.

With their first new album in over 20 years hit shelves and digital vendors via Mergewe spoke to Archers of Loaf bassist Matt Gentling about his 10 favorite songs in their catalog, which delves deeper into deep cuts and some of the live favorites from the early 90s to the present day.


of icky courage (1993; AKA)

Matt Gentling: I was going to tell you that this list of favorites would change drastically from hour to hour, but it’s about as reliable as anything I would have found on any other day, and “Wrong” will always be activated there. This is the first song I really went crazy for and I love what I do and being in this band. It has a lot to do with Bachmann’s guitar part on this. It was my first introduction to him playing his weird-stringed guitar where the song had its hooks in me. And I had never really played in bands like that before. A lot of bands I liked had that kind of vibe, I just hadn’t had the chance to play in any of them until then.

Triple: It’s kind of a live staple.

MG: Yeah, and I still love playing it every time. There are songs where you will feel like “God, I’ve played this song hundreds of times”. But it’s one I never tire of.

“What did you expect”

Single (1994; AKA)

MG: I love his high energy. And I love my bass part on it, so it’s fun for me to play. But I like how it just feels like a ripper. I like to play this really goofy bassline and do the backing vocals at the same time, and Mark’s drumming is amazing in this song. As a bass player, it’s fun to have a really good drum part to play.


of Versus. greatest of all time (1994; AKA)

MG: There’s such a creepy vibe, and it’s so explosive. It’s a bit angry and there’s a dark side to it that I like. It is a living staple. One of our favorites to start with. I think, broken down from album to album, this EP is the band’s favorite. It’s the one thing that we frequently play every song from. Sometimes in a set we play all five songs. So it’s bound to appear on my favorites list.


of Versus. greatest of all time (1994; AKA)

MG: The intro has a lot to do with [choosing this song]. I love this really long and absurd intro. It’s really fun, surfing. We listened to a lot of surf rock back then. We made two versions of it and I love both versions. The first one was more surfy, but the second one has that ending riff that I like to play. So I like this one. This is my favorite of the two we did.

“Freezing point”

of Versus. greatest of all time (1994; AKA)

MG: The Peel Session version was maybe what I had in mind, but I love both versions. cattle speed one I might like more than the EP, but I love them both. It’s the one we wrote on the road. Bachmann pretty much had the skeletal chords, but it all fell into place when we were traveling in England. I wrote my role in a hotel room. It was just a fun towing rite and the middle part, the bridge, Eric just brought in, yelling “guitar!” which is kinda silly. We had just seen Jonathan Richman before writing this, and it was just him solo, with a guitar. And when he arrived in the solo sections, he shouted “Guitar! And we were just laughing at that, so I think that’s why he added that.

“Dead Red Eyes”

of white trash hero (1998; AKA)

MG: I love this whole album. It’s strange. I was really happy with that one. It’s weird because stylistically we’re all over the place and we don’t play a lot of songs, but I was super happy with how it came out and how diverse it was. But “Dead Red Eyes”, this bassline is super fun to play, so it’s kind of a conceited choice on my part. And honestly, I love that weird keyboard part. There’s nothing I don’t like about this one. And every time we play it live, watching Bachmann with this little keyboard on his lap, it just makes me smile.

Triple: Why aren’t these songs found on live sets as often?

MG: Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. I have no idea because we played a lot of it. We’ve played them all at some point live. I think it’s partly because since we got back together Bachmann has been thinking about “let’s produce the hits”. And that album wasn’t quite as successful with the crowds, so they kind of fell by the wayside for that reason. We just focused on the most popular songs, I guess? There are, however, a few of my favorites. This album contains the only song I wrote entirely for the band (“INS”), which I was proud of.

“Picturesque Pastures”

of All airports in the country (1996; pseudonym/father)

MG: This video was quite funny because we hated making videos. It was always an unpleasant process for us. We had a friend who agreed to do it. But we’re picky when it comes to making videos. We had a list of about five things we didn’t want to do. We wanted a video without having to do those things. And he came back to us and said that sounds good, let’s do this. We had done a festival in San Francisco and went to the LA area to film it, and it was our biggest budget video we’ve ever tried. And right off the bat he’s like “here’s the plans I lined up” and that was all we didn’t want to do on our list. And it was getting late in our contiguous career, this first phase of our career. And usually when this kind of thing happened, we would break down every time and say, “OK, I guess we’ll do it.” But this time, we just decided it was time to hold on. And we said “these are the things that we didn’t want to do and that you accepted!” And he got really mad and quit on the spot. So here we are with about an hour and a half of daylight, this huge crew, a bunch of rented gear, and no ideas.

Being part of a crew, working in movies and such, you have lots of ideas and you don’t dream of being a wage slave, so they were all open with ideas. We were on this Paramount Ranch lot, and I walked around to pee and saw that a maintenance worker had left a pickaxe and a shovel and I started thinking what if we had those tools and all of this walking around in the woods, so we do in this story where the rhythm section murders the guitarist. So we fleshed it out with the team members and turned it into the video it became. If you look at it, it looks a bit mixed up, but I really like the way it turned out. The process was difficult, but I like the way it went. And the song is just a funny, weird song. It’s one of those Bachmann wrote on his Teisco before it collapsed. The guitar kind of disintegrated.

“The Worst Defense”

of All airports in the country (1996; pseudonym/father)

MG: This one, every time I listen to it, I get excited because I like the way it sounds, the way it’s recorded. Airports was an interesting album because I think it was maybe the first where Bachmann recorded demos for us to write our parts. We had more time to work on structures and arrangements, and Mark and I had a lot of time to work on our parts together. The rhythm section clicked on this album more than the others. And we weren’t afraid to try weird ideas, and I love this record for that reason. This song just scratches an itch. That drum sound is amazing.

Triple: It was also the only Archers album on a major label, right?

MG: Sire distributed it. It was a deal Alias ​​had with Sire. It was always part of our commitment to Alias. But they had to do a distribution deal or something. But we never had to deal with them. Connecting with them was kind of sentimentally cool because they put out some Replacements stuff and we were really big Replacements fans.

“Saturation and Light”

of Reason for decline (2022; Merger)

MG: I didn’t expect to like this album as much as I did. It’s trying to be my favorite album we’ve done so far. It’s hard to say, it’s so new. But I’m so happy with it. Part of being a bit older is that I’m finally where I wish I was back then in terms of making things sound the way I want them to. I’m better at writing bass parts. I was all over the place back then. I finally managed to better choose what to do, when and where. I really like the lyrics, and that’s probably the main reason why I like this song so much.


of Reason for decline (2022; Merger)

MG: I like how it’s weird and goes from A to B. It’s not like verse-chorus-verse type action. Bachmann based the lyrics on a voicemail he received that was a wrong number. It was someone trying to smuggle drugs or something. And the song has nothing to do with it. But he uses the words in such a way that he changes around the words in the message. The person was talking about some Humboldt weed or something, and so that’s where “stay humble” comes from. So he just did this weird abstraction of the words in voicemail and then converted them to lyrics that had nothing to do with it. So I really liked this idea. I don’t know if he was making fun of me or what, but it was convincing.

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