Flavorwire interviews 8 Inch Betsy’s Eli Burke about what it means to put out this album in the wake of friend and bandmate Meghan Galbraith’s death.

8 inch betsy the mean days meghan galbraith eli burke Melissa Thomas 307 Knox Records chicago

The finality of death often spurs a reevaluation of life. For 8-Inch Betsy’s Eli Burke, the loss of bandmate Meghan Galbraith to illness was both shocking and devastating, but the record they made together, The Mean Days, proved to be a vehicle for the catharsis of grief.

8-Inch Betsy has been scraping by in the underground for more than a decade. The erstwhile Chicago queercore band toured with the likes of Gossip, Marnie Stern, and Jucifer, but never really had quite the impact outside of Chicago that they did at home. By the time Galbraith became ill last fall, The Mean Days was already recorded — the process had started in 2010 — and the band had even re-tracked the drums after their drummer quit for a second time.

But it was during a hospital visit from Burke, in which Galbraith gave the go-ahead to make the final push to release The Mean Days, that the album came together in earnest. When Galbraith’s condition didn’t improve and she passed in January of this year, the release took on new significance for the people she left behind. “At that point, it was like, ‘It has to happen now, I need to do this,’” Burke says. “Then grief kicked in, and it was really hard for me to let go of it. I knew I had to release it, and I wanted to. It was really important for me and her family and Steve Albertson, who’s one of her best friends, to get it out there. But I was having this sort of… once I get it out there, it’s over. And I don’t have that.” READ MORE…

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