Is it possible to have good luck, yet bad karma?


Alex Gruenburg, of Brooklyn’s Best Behavior, knows the answer to that question.


“Last summer, I went through a hard time. I had just broke up with my ex-girlfriend. It was like a daytime talkshow mega-breakup. I had previously seen the astrologer who was telling me that I had no place in music, and I needed to get a real job,” Gruenburg said.


The astrologer told him he had good luck, just horrible karma.


“You could hear a pin drop in the room. My parents, when I was growing up, were super into metaphysical stuff and psychics. So, I’ve always had that in my life. I took it to heart. I carried that around with me for a little bit. After awhile, you are kind of like, ‘Fuck it. Who cares either way. I’m going to do it. Whatever.’ You hit rock bottom, and you realize, I realized, there was (the) music.”


The music was there. Gruenburg wrote what would become Best Behavior’s debut “Good Luck Bad Karma” (available Aug. 14) in a month.

 

“Because of all the things that were happening in my life, I was able to demo out and write an album’s worth of material in a month. It was a flood of creativity. I took those demos and started showing them around to some people. Eventually, I got in touch with Money Fire Record’s John Meredith, who ended up recording the album.”


While it would be hard to single out a favorite song on an album born of such inspiration, Gruenburg points to “Buried on the Mountain” as encompassing the sound of Best Behavior.


“(‘Buried on the Mountain’) encompasses the sound. I’ve always been a fan of The Kinks, The Yardbirds, The Beatles and early Nuggets; it had that reverb sound, jangly guitars and harmonies that are quintessential of that time period. I grew up on punk rock. Fusing those two elements, it makes that a key track on the album.”


Gruenburg played and recorded the album himself, with a release date rapidly approaching, and tour dates scheduled, a band was needed.


“I was lucky. A buddy of mine set up with drummer Chris Jimenez. We jammed out together. We just really vibed together. The bassist Alex Heigl, he is an old friend, and we previously played in a shitty punk band together, so we have this chemistry together on stage that people are really into. Jon Mann, I actually contacted him at 3:30 (in the afternoon) and by 7 (that evening), he had learned all the songs on the album. He is a great guy, and everybody knows him in Brooklyn. I got super lucky.”


Good luck, yet bad karma is possible, but in the end it all balances out.


“It is better in hindsight. At the time, I was ‘Oh my, what is happening?’ The result afterwards… at least I got these songs. It was the astrologer’s whole thing. She said, ‘You have really good luck, but you have really horrible karma.’ I thought that should even out then. At some point, there were two ways I could look at it all. It can either be the worst thing, or it can be the best thing. It is you who makes that decision.”