Up & Coming Bands, P. 1
By: Selene Ball, June 14th, 2021
Tired of the same old music scene? Feeling depressed and lonely because your only social outlet is seeing the same 1980’s band you’ve already seen play 6,667 times this month? Do you feel anxious and overwhelmed when there’s talk about doing something different followed by long, awkward silences? Does the very idea of new music give you heart palpitations, stomach sensations, uncontrollable trembling, and sweaty palms? Is it time for an intervention?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then BP2 is your band.
Formed one year prior to Covid in February of 2019 from the remnants of local punk band AGGRESSIVE EXPRESS, founding lab rats Andrew Emerson (lead vocals, bass), Robey McClellan (guitar, backup vocals) and Fred Young (drums, backup vocals) had one mission in mind: Save humanity from certain death by boredom, one song at a time. Intent on creating a unique punk rock sound - complete with chill vibes and cool Periodic Table branding - Emerson comments on the band’s evolution, “We were still determined to make music, but we wanted to go a different direction with it.” Self-describing their strange brew as not quite as hardcore as AGGRESSIVE EXPRESS once was; it’s chi blending at it’s finest… an infusion of catchy hooks crafted in the contemporary fashion, but with an edgy, almost angsty, bite. These Backpacks simply refuse to be categorized or labeled: “I would say our music is mainly pop-punk, but we play a lot of different genres including rap, ska, and metal… There are too many great genres out there for us to just pick one,” says Emerson. The end result is something in the melodic vein of the super snappy and fairly badassy WEEZER, maybe sans the hangover.
As hard to define as they are, BP2 is no garage band. With Emerson as CEO of the music writing department, Young as booking agent / social media guru, and McClellan acting as the band’s practice-pad landlord, this self-managed and well-matched team is a step above the norm. These punk rock boyz have a clear purpose and an operating system that’s built to last - which is pretty neat, since they’re also decent dudes who seem to dig being around each other. Could it be this bond that makes them bulletproof? The chemistry between this trio is sure to remind you of better days and great friendships, what it was like to daydream in science class, and how awesome it was when your bros had your back (no matter how insane your ideas were). That kind of camaraderie is a rarity in the world today, but it shines through every time BP2 jams. As a result, their shows are fun, and even lighthearted, but loaded with music that pairs perfectly with ice-cold beer. Emerson describes the band’s fan-base as “awesome” and reports that audiences typically “range from pretty ladies to rowdy dudes… and sometimes even pretty dudes and rowdy ladies.”
So, what are the potential side-effects of a BP2 injection? You might just remember this ensemble as the band that was down to turn the Phoenix music scene around by being all-inclusive. These dudes don’t GAF who you are or what you’re into, and welcome all styles of music.
“Also, as the band that can crush the most Bud Lights.” -A. Emerson, BULLETPROOF BACKPACKS.