Nevada City, CA’s Beautiful Dudes announced their sophomore album, Radio, coming on Mama Bird Recording Co. on November 8th, and are following it up today with “Peace Train”, which continues with their brand of heady rock and roll but is a more overtly political track with frontman Tom Bevitori explaining that it “was written soon after Trump was elected. It seemed like we were somewhat on the right track with the environment and social change–and then it just shifted in that moment of the election. I woke up the next day and everything felt different, particularly the weight of negativity instead of optimism. I became very depressed, confused, and felt empty. Our civil rights are in jeopardy, animals are suffering, and the earth is being used like a toilet. Watching it all, there’s a feeling of helplessness that’s hard to shake.“
Beautiful Dudes’ first single, “The Shape I’m In”, is, on the surface, a straightforward, rollicking rock and roll song it belies the extremely personal nature of the songwriting, and the entire album, which sees lead singer and songwriter, Tom Bevitori, opening up about his chronic illness, relapse, and trauma that comes along with fighting to keep your life on track.
When Beautiful Dudes’ frontman Tom Bevitori wrote the songs for their sophomore album Radio, he found himself finally confronting the demons of his past while also facing larger social ills through this personal lens. Covering his own relapse, feelings of disconnection and abandonment, the opioid epidemic, and facing America’s upswing of reactionary politics; Bevitori and the Dudes captured these serious topics the best way they knew: heavy riffs, catchy hooks, and an eye on catharsis. A deep dive, though, reveals acutely vulnerable lyrics that contrast wildly with the band’s brazen sound.
“The intention behind what we are doing is not just about having a good time and getting fucked up. It’s about being okay with having emotions, getting pissed, and being real,” shares frontman Tom Bevitori of the Nevada City, California-based quartet. “My life is great right now, but I had this emotional pain I hadn’t talked about before. On this album, I felt ready to talk about it.”
The Dudes are Tom Bevitori, Robbie Landsburg, Art Echternacht and Zach Peach–all born and raised champions of Nevada City, California. Their playful band name commemorates a night out at a local bar when a woman called the group a bunch of “beautiful dudes.” Tom actually started the band ten years ago, but put the project on hold upon moving to Portland, Oregon. While there, he married and enjoyed a successful career in the folk and country scene. Things took a painful turn, though, when he endured the one-two punch of being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and suffering through a bitter divorce. Throughout that time, Tom’s struggles with substance abuse caught up with him. Alongside Crohn’s disease, the result was very nearly fatal. To get healthy, he opted to move back home to Nevada City. It was then that he resurrected Beautiful Dudes as a rock & roll catharsis.
Beautiful Dudes’ self-titled debut album captured a time when Tom had remarried, had his first child, and truly enjoyed returning to his musical home. “Our first album was uplifting. It was about my new life,” Tom acknowledges. “During the last album cycle, though, I relapsed, and this album talks about the shame I felt, and it addresses other residual shit that I began to realize I never quite shook off.”
Tom has been able to put his life back together and get back on track with the music that was so formative to him coming up. “This is the happiest I’ve ever been. I’m married with a kid, and my band is on a rad label,” he says, marveling. “Personally, this is the pinnacle of what I’ve done with my music, so far, and I want to keep progressing and keep the music accessible to people who want to hear it.”
Beautiful Dudes Radio Tracklist:
- The Shape I’m In
- Lose My Head
- Bad Behavior
- Peace Train
- Wet For The Weekend
- Hooking Up
Photo credit: Kaylja Rainn