Band To Watch | Ferret Bueller
Sometimes I forget to write these little intros before interviews, BUT NOT TODAY.
I first heard of Ferret Bueller last year when I listened to Elyse's single 'Passive Language', and immediately loved her songwriting and her ability to make each song very relatable. The Chicago based (Kerrville, Tx native) recently went from being a solo artist, to forming a full band. I'm really excited to see what the future has in store for Elyse and Ferret Bueller.
1. Who would win in a fight? A Matthew Broderick sized ferret, or 7 ferret sized Matthew Brodericks?
Honestly, a Matthew Broderick-sized ferret seems pretty powerful. Ferrets can be so deceptive and sneaky, and I feel like they’re simply more intelligent than Matthew Broderick. No shade.
2. What band has influenced you the least?
I have to say Green Day. I listened to Nimrod and Dookie nonstop as a kid, and yet, I’ve never written anything lyrically or instrumentally that sounds even remotely like Green Day.
3. What were your other band name options before you decided to be called Ferret Bueller?
Along the lines of Elton John Cena and Michael Cera Palin, I had considered the names “Weird” Al Gore and Ron Paul Giamatti. There’s just something about chain names that’s really appealing and fitting for emo bands.
4. What did you grow up listening to?
I could list so many artists here, but I’ll do my best to keep it brief but also far-reaching. With that being said, Ben Folds, Paramore, Bob Dylan, My Chemical Romance, No Doubt, Dashboard Confessional, The Wonder Years and Wilco are probably the artists that played the biggest roles during my formative years.
5. I’ve been trying to make a zine for like the last 2 years, but I have no idea what to do. Any advice?
Both the Sweater Zine and the Platypus are excellent zines. I have no personal experience running a zine, but they seem to know what they’re doing.
6. First concert you ever went to?
The Wonder Years and Real Friends headlining with Seaway, Knuckle Puck, and a really shitty band that I’m gonna avoid naming.
7. What was the last thing that made you cry?
I saw baby squirrel yesterday, and it was so cute that it drove me to tears.
8. We’ve been trying to come up with a slogan for the site, any suggestions?
I previously ran a music blog with the slogan “By music fans, for music fans,” and I think as long as you come up with something better than that, you’re good.
9. On a scale of 1-10, how thicc was Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web?
I don’t wanna objectify him, but considering that he was thicc enough to potentially be slaughtered, probably a 7.
10. I ask this question all the time, but nobody ever does it. Can you PLEASE write a song about Ray Romano?
I’ve actually never seen an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, but I’ll do my best.
Born Lose Magazine: To start things off, can you introduce yourself?
Elyse of Ferret Bueller: I’m Elyse, I use she/they pronouns, and I’m from San Diego, California, although I’ve lived in Central Texas most of my life. In addition to playing music, I study Journalism at Northwestern University.
Give us some of your musical background.
Elyse: I went to a tiny school in the middle of nowhere up until eighth grade, so I played alto and tenor saxophone in the high school band when I was in middle school. Not to toot my own horn (pun intended), but I was pretty good. I wish I had stuck with sax and I definitely have the intention of picking it up again (ska pun?) so I can be like Jeff Rosenstock. I took guitar lessons in eighth grade and learned a bunch of classic rock songs, and from there, I stemmed into learning pop punk riffs. My sophomore year of high school, I bought a bass from my Tae Kwon Do instructor and learned bass by playing along to Everybody is Going to Heaven by Citizen and Camp Cope’s self-titled album.
BL: How did Ferret Bueller form?
Elyse: After a week long summer camp that ended with a talented show (which I begrudgingly did not compete in), I realized that I felt like I wasn’t a talented musician because I didn’t have anything to show for my abilities. I was just covering Death Cab songs in my room for no one to hear but myself. So I said fuck it and started releasing my music on the world wide web. I honestly think my starting a band was inevitable, but this was just the tipping point of reasons to be a musician. In regards to how full band Bueller formed, Zack, Nayla, Hammad, and I were all on Beach Cats Records together and have become really close friends over the past year. When I moved to the greater Chicago area, I knew that I wanted them to take part in what I was doing.
BL: Did you have a specific moment when you realized that you wanted to pursue music?
Elyse: Camp Cope, Petal, and Sidney Gish toured together a few years ago, and seeing these powerful, talented women perform was very inspiring. That whole night felt really magical, and literally days later, I created my Ferret Bueller Twitter account and began writing tunes.
BL: Ferret Bueller went from being a solo project, to a full band. How has that transition been?
Elyse: It’s been really nice, honestly. I’m lucky to have so many talented friends in Chicagoland/the Midwest that are willing to lend their abilities to me. And it’s sort of a mutual thing. We are all willing to contribute to each other’s projects when needed, so it’s almost more like a cooperative than a band. Shouts out Zack, Nayla, Hammad, and all of my other Midwest pals.
BL: Speaking of transition, you recently relocated from Texas to Chicago. Have you had a chance to check out the music scene in Chicago? Are there a lot more opportunities?
Elyse: So far, I’ve only gone to one show (Sök, Equipment, and Biitchseat at Panda Palace), but it was incredible! I think being from the Austin area, there were certainly a lot of musical opportunities there. Texas venues are way more inclusive in terms of being all ages, but Chicago has more local bands that play frequently that I’m actually interested in seeing. And basement shows are a thing here, but not in Texas because literally no one in Texas has a basement.
BL: My favorite song is ‘The Ann Greenly Special’, I feel like it ends too soon for me. It’s so good, it leaves me wanting more. Everytime I listen to it, I have to play it multiple times. Can you give us a bit of backstory on that song?
Elyse: I don’t have a driver’s license so I relied heavily on my mom for transportation when I lived in Texas. One day, I was waiting for her to pick me up, and out of boredom, I wrote the lyrics to that song. I already had the chord progression in voice memos on my phone, and when I put the two together, they just clicked! It’s one of those serendipitous things and I’m so lucky that the song I’m proudest of was written in literally 15 minutes. But also, I have a short attention span, so the odds of me writing a song that’s longer than 3 minutes are slim to none.
BL: I love your songwriting. Do you frequently use personal experiences when writing?
Elyse: Almost always, my songs are about personal experiences, but a little dramatized. Songwriting is my biggest outlet for my pent up emotions. I have a few unreleased songs that are stories from the perspectives of people I love, but I think I’m gonna make a sort of concept album/EP out of those.
BL: Who or what would you say has influenced your band the most?
Elyse: As cliche as it sounds, life has had the biggest influence. But in terms of actual musical influence, most of it comes from other bands in DIY.
BL: What has been your favorite accomplishment in music?
Elyse: Playing Capo Fest at the Panda Palace in June was a big freaking deal! Taking the stage with 23 other talented artists whom I admire was super validating, and I made so many close friends because of that fest.
BL: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
Elyse: I absolutely love Future Teens, and I think they do such an incredible job of writing songs both for people in love and people experiencing heartbreak, and I feel like that’s my goal in music. But also, Laura Stevenson is literally my idol and it would be incredible to work with someone as talented as her. Rapid fire runner-ups: Thin Lips,The Sidekicks, Mover Shaker, and Pool Kids.
BL: What do you hope to accomplish with or through your music?
Elyse: I really want to tour at some point soon, but my goal through music is to express myself freely and make others feel comfortable to do the same.
BL: If you could put together a music festival, what would the lineup look like?
Elyse: This is tough, because I played Capo Fest this summer and that lineup was literally perfect, but I would probably say World’s Greatest Dad, Pup, Granddad, Mitski, Great Grandpa, Best Coast, and maybe American Football? That’s kind of a mixed bag, but I love all those bands so so so much.
BL: What do you miss the most about Texas?
Elyse: I would say my friends, but hardly any of them live in Texas anymore. I do miss my mom a lot, though.
BL: What do you miss the least?
Elyse: I could say so many things, but I’m going to limit myself to three. Not having vegan options at most restaurants, Republicans, and the weather.
BL: Do you ever get nervous before performing?
Elyse: All the damn time! I definitely think being solo added to the nerves regarding playing, so I think I’ll be a little more relaxed performing with a band. A specific time that I was nervous performing was at Capo Fest. So many people I admired were watching me, and it made me so shaky.
BL: What can we expect to see from Ferret Bueller in the near future?
Elyse: I have an EP in the works, but because of school and work, I’m taking my precious time with it.
BL: Any advice for anyone else who is pursuing music?
Elyse: Stick with it. You’ll write some shitty songs, but in the end, you’ll grow from it. Bri Snider from Saltlick DMed me on Twitter right after I released Passive Language telling me that she hoped I never stop making music, and it really warmed my heart that someone so talented believed in me. So never forget that someone out there loves what you’re doing and wants you to keep doing it.
BL: Is there anything that you want our readers to know?
Elyse: Vote in the primaries. Eat your vegetables. Tell your friends/family you love them.
BL: And to wrap things up, do you have any questions for me?
Elyse: How’s your day/week/month/year? I hope you’re doing well!
BL: My year has been great, thanks for asking! I started doing video interviews this year and they've been a ton of fun. So far I've interviewed Samia and Sidney Gish and they were super nice. Hopefully I get to do a few more this year.