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Band of Horses' Ben Bridwell Talks Politics Ahead of the Band's TV Debut on 'Veep': Billboard Exclusive

Christopher Wilson
Band of Horses

Country-tinged alt rockers Band of Horses may not be the most likely match for HBO's snappy political comedy Veep -- but nevertheless, they're making their small-screen debut on the show's season finale this Sunday (June 14). The group provides the soundtrack for faux-president Selina Meyer's (played for maximum hilarity by Julia Louis-Dreyfus) election night party -- and even gets in on a few jokes.

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The group's lead singer Ben Bridwell talked exclusively with Billboard about how they got involved, and what it was like bringing their music to TV's smartest White House satire -- read on for behind-the-scenes insights, with little political commentary on the side.

How did you get involved in the show?

I know a couple of those folks that work on Veep. We were friends, and they gave a little in there because we're buds. They needed a band. Not something we usually do, obviously.

Were you fans of the show prior to being on it?

To be honest I had never seen the show, but that's just because I don't see a lot of shows. I was very much coming into it blind. I spent the day before kind of cramming, and watching episode after episode -- from the beginning. I think I watched the whole damn [series], up to the new one being filmed. 

I became a fan instantly, it's f---ing hilarious. I've been watching this season as a dedicated follower of the show -- until this week, I might have to avoid it. We'll see. 

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You don't want to watch this week's?

It's like all I can do to not mention it to my buddies, or anyone I know so they they won't watch. I'm embarrassed -- like, who knows how bad my acting might be. I'll probably watch with one eye open.

So you do have some dialogue.

I think they kept like one line in. That'll be...something [laughs]. 

What was it like on set?

It was very laidback, and surprisingly loose! They really allow the "talent" to actually riff on the lines that have been obviously pored over -- it was interesting to see that there's ad-libbing and spontaneity on such a big show. You kind of think that everything's very metered out -- I would just figure that it's like a damn science. The talent is just allowed to be funny with one another, and it seems the camera just catches that magic for pure comedy. 

They were nice as shit to us -- they couldn't have been more hospitable, and making sure that we were cool. We were just kind of hanging out and rolling with it. It was a damn gas!

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Would you ever play a political gig in the future?

I guess if the right person came along that you really believed in, sure! Anything to make sure that sanity prevails [laughs].

The season finale of Veep airs this Sunday, June 14 on HBO at 10:30 p.m. 

Ben Bridwell has teamed up with Iron & Wine's Sam Beam for Sing Into My Mouth, an album of covers due out July 17. Preorder the album here, and find their upcoming tour dates here