The members of Lincoln cinematic alt-rock band Radiant Bones unload gear from the back of a trailer parked outside an empty office space in southeast Lincoln.
For vocalist and frontwoman HoneyBee DeBose, bassist Dane Christensen, guitarist Garrett Helling and drummer Dany Turcois, this is a weekly occurrence — repurposing an unused office into a rehearsal space.
But this week has a special undertone.
Friday marks the release of the band’s newest single and music video for the song “Villain,” which The Daily Nebraskan is premiering.
DeBose, Helling and Christensen formed the band through foundational jam sessions in June 2018. Thanks to a Craigslist ad, the three-piece added Turcois a month later to round out the band’s sound.
Radiant Bones released its first single, “The Drive,” in December 2018. The four members worked with Jeremy Wurst at Coyote Face Recording (Histrionic, Death Cow, Evan Bartels) to produce the nearly five-minute single.
Radiant Bones’ songwriting process streams mostly from the fingers of Helling, as he brings in a chord structure or riff which is later topped off with basslines, drum fills and meaningful lyrics from DeBose that touch on life’s hardships and relationships.
“I draw inspiration from pretty much any and everything,” she said, “and I feel like I want people to listen to it and be able to find something in it that they can relate to that makes them either look at their own life and see how they could be better or look at their own life and see that they're accepted and that somebody gets it.”
“Villain” will be released on Friday along with a video that was filmed in the same office they use as a rehearsal space.
The video features a raging performance from each office-apparel-clad band member with flashing lyrics on the screen that highlight the message of the guitar chug-driven the song. The whole track is guided by DeBose’s forceful vocals wailing about refusing to become a martyr from life’s tribulations.
“People love listening to that song,” DeBose said. “So once we drop that, I'm just really looking forward to seeing people's reactions and hearing the feedback.”
The band released a video for “The Drive” in January. The band said that music video was much more serious, because it has a storyline that exhibits the fallout from broken relationships. With “Villain,” the band took a different approach to make sure the video matched the track’s vibe.
“This is, like, a really fun song to play,” Christensen said. “A lot of people really have fun at shows we play. So we just kind of wanted the video to look fun.”
But for DeBose, this song has a deeper meaning than just being a fun track. It’s about not conforming to what people expect, like becoming the victim when bad things happen.
“A lot of the times, from what I've noticed from not just me but other people around me, you either consider yourself a victim to your circumstance,” she said. “‘Oh, my life's not this, my life's not that, this man left you, this woman cheated on me, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.’ This song's more about embracing the darker side of things. ‘I have these things impact me, and now I've become this person.’”
For a new band, the first tracks it releases can determine how listeners think of the band, with the capacity to illuminate the brightness of its future. This four-piece chose to release songs that captured what Radiant Bones is as accurately as possible.
“When we were deciding what songs to first record, we wanted to pick the songs that we felt like, one, you can get a get a glimpse into who we are as a band,” DeBose said. “And then, also, what songs do we personally vibe with the most that we've written?”
The birth of a new track can be very exciting for artists. Their creation is being put out for the world to hear and apply meaning — something DeBose hopes her lyrics have.
The band said the side effect of self-doubt that comes with the beginning stages of songwriting is outweighed with the gratification of its release.
"All of us are relatively critical of our own parts in our own selves and how we contribute to our sound,” DeBose said. “So hearing it back and just hearing how well we all just flow together and hearing the song in its entirety, just being complete and knowing that other people are going to hear this, it’s like an enlightening feeling."
Watch Radiant Bones' "Villain" below: