Interview with Brian McTernan

Hey Brian!

Huge congrats to the new record releasing and to your new band Be Well, it is absolutely amazing! Could you lead us closer to the band?

Thank you!!! We are all lifelong hardcore kids that have kids of our own now. We have never stopped loving this music or this community and we all wanted to make something new together. We are so touched by how people have responded to the record and can’t wait to be able to play these songs live.

We are currently all going through a pandemic all over the world, how much does it affect the hc/punk scene in the USA? We’ve got many benefitions here in Europe especially to support the clubs in danger, is something like this happening in the US as well?

There are some venues that are starting to close here and it’s heartbreaking. Our guitar player, Mike Schleibaum, just did a benefit show, with his other band Darkest Hour, for a club here called the Black Cat. It’s a very sad time for venues, bands, booking agents, bartenders, sound people, etc.. The ripple effects of the pandemic in the music community will last for years.

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You’re actively working as a producer. Could you tell us for how long and if the work really represents something you’ve imagined when starting with it? At this moment we’d like to say you’re one of the most respected producers on the scene, you have been a part of so many magnificent recordings in the collaboration with bands as Thrice, Bane or Texas Is The Reason, that’s awesome! 

My career as a producer has far exceeded any expectation that I ever had for it. I have been able to be involved in some very special records with very incredible people. I started recording bands in 1994, so over 25 years at this point…. It’s kind of hard to believe.

You have released a single “My Last Breath” with Battery after the unbelievable 17 years and for loads of people this song is one of the best in the history of the band! How important was it for you all to write this song?

It’s my favorite Battery song, and it also helped me come to terms with that fact that I wasn’t in a good place in my life, and that I had a lot of emotions that I needed to find a way to express. Writing that song was what inspired me to want to play music again, and to start Be Well.

And as we mentioned Be Well, can European fans expect a live show until the situation lets us? 

We have a tour planned for Spring in Europe… Fingers crossed that it happens. I can’t wait to play these songs in a sweaty room surrounded by friends.

Would you say that the hardcore punk scene has changed politically?

Yes. I think that is much more progressive than when I was growing up. There have always been bands that spoke out about racism, but I think there is a lot more awareness now about what that actually means. I also love seeing the acceptance and support for the LGBTQ community become more prevalent.

Please tell us how you found each other as a band and who had the idea to found Be Well.

I have known Mike Schleibaum and Aaron Dalbec for over 25 years and I helped them make records with Bane, Darkest Hour, and Converge. I have known Peter (drums) and Shane (guitar) peripherally from their time in Fairweather. They are all awesome guys.

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Your lyrics deal a lot with your past and problems of relationships and emotions. It is very strong and reflective. What do you like to give to the people who listen to Be Well on the way?

Be honest with the people who love you about who you are and where you are in life. I feared that if people knew what I was really going through that they would not understand or would reject me, but it’s been the opposite.

Would you like to tell people something?

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Hopefully we can get over there soon and can meet in person,

Brian McTernan

Battery / Be Well