BJ Barham


American Aquarium’s BJ Barham joins Rhett from Philadelphia while on tour to talk about their new record Chicamacomico, and what it feels like to finally be back out on the road. BJ discusses his songwriting process, music as a way to help people through trauma, and how he turns negativity into a creative superpower.


North Carolina alt-country outfit American Aquarium rose to prominence in the late 2000s with a sound that mixed twang, grit, and some straight-ahead rock & roll. Focused around the songs of frontman B.J. Barham, the group had already recorded four records and gone on countless tours before finding more widespread acclaim with 2012’s Burn.Flicker.Die. Over the years, Barham has retooled his lineup a number of times and became more politically outspoken on later releases like 2020’s poetic Lamentations. In 2021, the band offered up a two-volume covers project of ’90s/early-2000s country songs under the title Slappers, Bangers, and Certified Twangers, before returning to studio and completing their latest album, 2022’s Chicamacomico.


Wheels Off is brought to you by Osiris Media. Hosted and produced by Rhett Miller. Co-produced by Kirsten Cluthe in partnership with Nick Ruffini (Revoice Media). Editing by Matt Dwyer. Production Assistance by Matt Bavuso. Music by OLD 97’s. Episode artwork by Katherine Boils. Show logo by Tim Skirven.


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