Beautiful Freaks
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Beautiful Freaks

Seattle, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2022

Seattle, Washington, United States
Established on Jan, 2022
Band Alternative Art Rock




"Beautiful Freaks: Gonna stun and amaze"

Beautiful Freaks: Gonna stun and amaze
beautiful freaks web
by Brent Cole

Every few years, Bellingham’s music scene experiences a wave of new bands – ones that for whatever reason begin to coalesce as freshmen in college, evolving as musicians and songwriters until their junior and senior years becoming musical forces. In the latest wave of bands lies Beautiful Freaks, a duo (expanded to six piece for shows) who demonstrate the next wave is here and local music fans should be very excited.

Peter Bryson and James Bonaci began playing music together when they were 13 years old – the two and a rotating cast of bass players latched onto the underground and punk rock scene in the Seattle area. Just kids having fun, they began to take things more seriously their senior year in high school, recording their demo Electronic Astronaut as a way to get shows in Bellingham, where they’d be attending college.

Unfortunately, even the best plans often don’t work out as the live aspect of the band took a secondary roll for the two – Peter focusing on school while James was recovering from a bad back injury. “I was still injured so couldn’t play and just focused on writing,” James noted. They did play live when time and health allowed; Razzleberry’s Augie Ballew was in the band at the time and they performed at different DIY venues in the Bellingham area.

In late 2017, though, with Joey Schmidt in the band, Peter and James focused on the project, as well as setting up a recording studio (Play Along) and a house show venue (Luigi’s Mansion). “That was the start of us getting together and starting to have the whole thing come together,” James stated.

Last July, Peter and James began recording their full length debut, Cameo Artist. Unlike recording their demo a couple years prior, which was done in a studio, the duo, along with Joey, recorded everything at home using a cheap mixing board and a couple of mics. Steeped in the DIY tradition, Beautiful Freaks took the same approach to their recording. “It was very much crash and burn course – we were really doing it DIY on this one,” stated James, adding, “I think it made the recording environment a lot more personal.”

For the two, the learning process was just as important as the recording itself – they wanted to learn how sound worked, how equipment worked and how to record using very little.

“We all grew a lot,” stated James. “It was a learning experience – this isn’t going to be great but we’re gonna learn how to do shit. If we make it work we’ll be able to do it way better next time.”

After the basic pieces were put together, they brought in longtime friends Maxwell Lemke to do all the brass and Meg Hall to add vocals. After a couple of months, they went to the task of mixing which turned into a challenge in itself – everything bled and was, to some effect, an audio wash. But, thankfully, Joey was there to save the day. “If we hadn’t had Joey I don’t know what we would had done,” James said with a laugh.

At the time, life was exceptionally hectic for the band with school for the duo as well as Joey plus James’s work on AS Pop.

“It was crazy,” exclaimed James. “The chaos translated into the album.”

The end result as a remarkably charming, well written, honest and raw indie pop and rock record. Full of bursts of brilliance and elements of failure, the nakedness of Beautiful Freaks’ approach made even the flaws engaging. “It’s about all the little mistakes and little moments on the record that are fun to look back on,” James stated.

Cameo Artist was released last December and the band is now adding elements and members to their live set.

On April 27, they are scheduled to play on Seattle’s KEXP. Beyond that will include more shows, writing and exploring. “We’re definitely gonna try and see where else we can take our musical prowess,” he said.

See the Beautiful Freaks on March 8 at The Shakedown as part of What’s Up!’s 21st Birthday Celebration, with Hello I’m Sorry, Glitchlette, and LipStitch. Also catch them March 15 and March 24 at Karate Church. Follow the band’s Facebook page for updates. - What's Up Mag

"Inside the Track: Beautiful Freaks Slugs"

Words from Beautiful Freaks

We've all been there.

Walking through the woods, barefoot on the trails, and you encounter some slugs that may or may not exist. Or maybe that isn't the message, maybe you should appreciate art for your interpretation, for the anticipation, anxiety, joy and flood of emotions it involves. Freaks are a band of constant evolution, and this soon to be released track is no exception. Slugs had started appearing on setlists in the weeks leading up to March 2020, a song heavily credited to Graham. While staying in their homes, Freaks settled into a three piece line-up. This smaller size brought forward a more streamlined version of the signature freaky sound, more psychedelic and vocally driven. As a self recorded, produced and managed band, we have settled into a new catalog of a material that has been a process of refinement and stripping down the massive live sound. As we shift through an old catalogue of unreleased material, we plan to bring a much heavier and streamlined version of the Freaks you know and love. The catharsis and community interaction of this band speaks to our longevity of begining as children and having grown into young adults. The music in our coming releases speaks to this and we are honestly proud of the musicians we have grown into. Along with the rest of the upcoming EP, Freaks continue to collaborate and work with an array of musicians to achieve the ultimate passion that connects musicians together. While Slugs is not released yet due to James car accident and other factors, the upcoming releases and shows for freaks will show an entirely new light for us and we look forward to sharing that with anyone who ventures inside. What's next for the Freaks? Noise. An EP. Maybe a drum machine? A long term bassist? Then, ideally, being The Tonight Show house band. We will be touring to a town near u soon. Love all you freaks.

We highly encourage you to see us in Seattle on October 30th for our new Freak Fest tradition featuring Nësträ, The Rheotorican, CHRVNS, Mr. Dinkles and Danny Denial.
We also have a Co-headline Halloween house show in Bellingham with Actionesse, Glitchlette & Carlee - Ballard Vox

"Beautiful Freaks: Music to the people"

by James Bonaci

We have all heard the horror stories of DIY tours. Gear has been stolen, band ending fights have ended, and oh god the car troubles. Sometimes it seems like it is just an inevitable rite of passage for every band who hits the road. Now the Freaks are no stranger to chaos, but we can only handle so much. Preferably we’d like to keep it onstage. But we are a band on a mission, and the next step was to bring our music to the kind people of Pacific northwest. On guitarist and fearless manager Yammy pulled in all the calvary to make this happen, and the prep work showed the entire time. We (mostly) had lodging, a full budget, a complete plan, and intensive meal prep. The team had never been in finer form; we were beyond well oiled. This wasn’t just with travel either, I mean musically as well.

A line-up like this is special. Though as the tour approached our five piece line-up, James “Yammy” Bonaci on guitar and vocals, Meg Hall on vocals and keys, Montanna Siddle on bass, Graham Wallwork on guitar, and myself on drums, became the longest lasting line-up, and the sound showed it. Our songs have been more reflective of ourselves, and our playing has tightened and began to grow with each other. Every night of the tour we could feel that connection.

We did have some challenges upfront. We were booked and incredibly excited to play at the Underground Coffee House, but snow led to staffing issues and had to cancel. Nonetheless, the next day we might up at the rehearsal space, and crammed our two small cars full of gear. Anyone who has been to a Beautiful Freaks show can attest, we make a lot of noise, and that means a lot of gear. It was a tight squeeze, but we carved our cozy homes for the long weekend. I found myself in the backseat of the rhythm section car, shoulder to shoulder with our designated beater kit, “The Horse.” Rolling with two cars was not an ideal situation, but an effort was made to stick together, for us freakers could no longer cram in yams now dead Red “Vulva” Turbo Wagon (RIP 1996-2020). Headed down to Seattle, we were pumped to play the one… the only… TACOMA DOME… Wallingford Annex. It was fantastic, we made our way to the Tacoma Dome, an amazing house show venue run by members of Plum & Black Ends. The whole crowd itself was all friendly faces from the Seattle music scene. With Medijin and Rachel’s Children on the bill the room was captivated every minute. Passing a conceptual and physical joint with Maya, Alaia, Nicole and the rest of the crowd during Rachel’s Children’s set was a massive highlight of the tour. Drew from Dirty Dirty put us up for the night. If you haven’t met Drew before, they are one of the kindness AND heaviest hitting drummers in the PNW. The next morning we settled in for the longest drive, the leg down to Portland. Now we say this understanding this was the mini-est of mini tours. We luckily landed a double header in Portland heading to the Waypost for an early all ager rager with Pulling it Off. The Waypost was a cozy venue with some of the nicest management we have worked with, a big shout out to Cactus Flower Booking! Playing this show left us feeling energized and warmly welcomed to the PDX. We headed to the Tender Leaf House next and the other end of town. This show was packed with some true PDX Punks GUNK, Slippery Eyes & B.R.U.C.E. Sharpsteen Studios shot all the sets in glorious 4k, our new song Swiss Family Manson came across heavy and dirty on camera and we highly suggest you check it out. Gunk had all the doom that you could want turned up to 11, and Slippery Eyes had that tight emo and post rock sound that we honestly miss these days in Bellingham, not made by four white dudes too which is a plus! We don’t think our set would have been so great without B.R.U.C.E setting the stage. If you haven’t seen them, they RAGE on stage, with Anna getting up in your face you can’t help but become full enmeshed in their breakdowns. They really followed through on their FB description, come for the german nü metal stay for the nazi stomping and Be Really Unnecessarily Caring and Emotionally supportive. Ryan helped us out at night with a place to stay which we appreciated to no end.

After getting a classic Denny’s experience, punks, seniors, heroin needles and some dude trying to sell us a straight razor in the parking lot we headed to Olympia. Andy of CapCity Presents really went the full distance to help this end of the tour. We spent a good day in Olympia and spent a good chunk at the classic venue Le Voyer. At this point we were fully in tour mode, it was fun and refreshing to be stopping around towns in PNW, because we truly do feel connected and at home in this area of evergreen. The show was a blast and funny enough was followed up by a K Records Release show, which was a fun small word moment! A late night drive to Bremerton ended up with a wholesome time with our former bassist Dylan Hall and the band in Meg and Dylans childhood treehouse. We spent our last day in Bremerton. For any of you Bremerton, Silverdale, Poulsbo or Kingston kids, you know…you just kinda hang. It was honestly a really relieving way to end out. Jacob of Surrender the Crown Productions helped us keep our Chuck show from falling through despite a band bailing last minute by making it free. It was a wholesome show of good drinks and honestly the coolest, most apt venue for freaks to play. We spent the night in Poulsbo and made the move home the next day with time to spare in the afternoon.

It’s hard to put into words how much this little run of shows meant to us. We put our hearts earnestly into our music and our shows. Anytime we can entertain anyone at all with what we do we are happy. Every stop on tour meet new people we could meet, new friends to share music with. This type of touring isn’t about making money. It isn’t about partying hard. It’s just about connecting with people through music. Thank you to everyone who came to any of our shows on tour, or to any show ever. Thank you to all our hosts, and every band we played with. Thank you to every bar, and every house share. Thank you What’s Up, and thank you for reading. We will be planning many more mini tours to an area near you…but also keep your ears open…. We are working on a very ambitious album and tour to go with it! - What's Up Mag


Still working on that hot first release.



With a sound of sonic distortion beyond eerie, Beautiful Freaks channel all the best ingredients of indie, noise, punk, and pop rock into an avant-garde cocktail that fills your ears with new wave aggression, sexuality, and imagination. There is no crowd they can't energize with their catchy hypnotic songs. 
The Freaks have had several line-ups throughout their career. But the core and current line-up consist of Lead singer and guitarist James Bonaci, co-lead singer and keyboardist Meg Hall, bassist Dylan Hall and drummer Peter Bryson. In addition to the band's sound sharing similarities to indie legends, Sonic Youth, Bonaci and Hall are a musical couple whose on, and off-stage presence mirrors the iconic relationship of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon. 
Bonaci and Bryson started playing together in the Seattle area in 2010 when they were just 13. In 2017, they moved their project forward by heading to Bellingham, a city in Washington State with a rich musical history and an audience that would go wild for their bizarre style of music. After playing electrifying shows in clubs and house parties around town, in 2018, they released their debut album Cameo Artist. The record tackles subjects of self-exploration, queer identity, police brutality, and abstractionism. 
Recently Beautiful Freaks returned to Seattle, working tirelessly, playing shows and recording new music. Freaks made their SXSW debut in March and played WWU's Lawnstock in June. In February of 2022, they released their new single, "Slugs," which shows a clear progression in songwriting and production. Slugs was followed with their newest single CROCODILE which is to be featured as KEXP's song of the day during pride month. These singles are only a preview of the hair-raising yet beauteous sound to expect on their upcoming EP, Only Physical.