Pretty Green

Drive Under The Influence: THE BIXBY KNOLLS

Growing up in the local LA music scene has its advantages and disadvantages. One advantage, which can also be a disadvantage, is that you’ve got so many choices as to what to do with your night. Your invite card to all the shows happening on any given night can leave you feeling like a cowboy being pulled apart by horses. One friend’s at this show. Your band mates are at that show across town. Bands from all walks of life usually make Los Angeles a priority pit stop on big tours. So you have local bands, established bands, nostalgia bands of every genre filling up your date card. With that said, Like the fisherman who calculates just the right spot in the lake and the time of day when fish feed, I gauge if I’m at the right show if I see members of the Bixby Knolls scattered in the crowd. Whether if its seeing The Kooks at the Echo, or being at Club Underground in Chinatown, If I see tall and lanky lead singer Curt Barlage or any of the other members of the Knolls at the bar chatting up with a fellow band mate, the house DJ, or an indie rock princess, I know I’ve landed in the right spot.
They are one of those bands that walk around with a different air about them. A certain genetic cool that you can’t learn at Rock n Roll high school. They’re local scene socialites that are just as humble and make you feel like an old friend if you decide to chat them up. I’ve seen them play several times on stages around town such as The Echo, Hemingways, and The Satellite. In that defining moment when the lights get dimmed and they walk on stage, that undefinable air about them is heightened and the four of them now possess that power to flip the tables on your night because you are in their hands now. I caught up with Curt recently to ask him a few questions about the Bixby Knolls and how Britpop has affected their sound.


PROFILE CARD: Curt Barlage, Vocals & Guitars

*WHERE ARE YOU FROM?  Los Angeles, CA.

*FAVORITE FOOD?  Camel Turkish Silvers

*HOLLYWOOD CRUSH?  Tallulah Bankhead


*FAVORITE BRITPOP LYRIC?  Anything out of Jarvis Cockers mouth.

*FAVORITE BIXBY KNOLLS LYRIC?  “Every song that I’m singing….it’s all a lie”


1. How has Britpop influenced The Bixby Knolls sound?

Our favorite groups came from the U.K. in the 90’s so….it’s a huge influence! A lot of the musical gear we use you would find on the stage with all the bands on the Creation Records roster. We are always trying to write an anthemic chorus which would be one of the biggest traits of those groups. It’s good stuff from our childhood. That leaves an impression on you when you are very young.

2. What can one expect from a Bixby Knolls live show?

You can expect a ton of emotion including anger, ambition, love, elation and conviction. Volume…lots of volume. Movement, smiles, sweat, a little blood and maybe a tear or two. Maybe a violent hurricane in your heart and then…a large, looming void of emptiness.

3. How has your hometown of Los Angeles influenced your songwriting and lifestyle personally and as a band?

That’s hard to say from my perspective as I have nothing to compare it to. Los Angeles is where most of the band lived all of our lives so I imagine it is who we are as well. I think coming from a big city, you definitely have a bigger package than most by principle. It’s made us tough…survivors.

4. In the same way that Britpop was born, what do you predict will be the next wave of things to come as a reaction to what is happening in the music industry or the world as of right now?

The context of pop culture is very different than it was, let say, even 15 years ago. As we all know, information spreads quickly on our digital screens, the major music industry is and has been a crumbling empire…it’s like the Wild West now. Anything goes!! To be honest, that’s the way we like it because it leaves room for those who are dedicated, hard-working and talented. The changes happen quickly now. Fads and trends come and go in the blink of an eye. I know it sounds cliché, but in the end, I don’t think guitar-based music will ever die in this era of society. Rock n Roll is the perfection of the rebellious voice, the sound of the anarchist’s dream. We are glad to be a part of it.



The Bixby Knolls “Through The Cracks”



Check out for more information on the band.

Catch their upcoming shows September 6th &7th at the Desert Stars Festival at Pappy & Harriots in Pioneertown, CA www.PAPPYANDHARRIETS.COM

and September 17th at The Satellite in Silverlake, CA performing 2 songs for ‘A tribute to Oasis’ www.THESATELLITELA.COM 

As a kid I used to listen to R&B and rap. Until Nirvana and Pearl Jam came out and I was all into that. Then one day Britpop was born and Noel Gallagher told me, "Don't look back" I also write songs and play bass in a gang called far*out.

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