Ellie Brady caught up with Bad Sounds before their gig at King Tut’s.
Congratulations on selling out King Tuts! Did you expect such a good reception coming into this tour?
- [CALLUM] Thank you! No. There were definitely a few shows in particular I was expecting to feel more empty, but they’ve all sold out so far which is mental
You have had a massive few years leading up to now, with support coming from people like Annie Mac and Greg James at the BBC and playing festivals up and down the country. How has all of the work you’ve been doing so far culminated into making ‘Get Better’?
- [CALLUM] I think with the first album you have to take into account all the singles when you’re thinking about how the it’s all going to come together. So there were always certain tracks we knew we definitely wanted on it, and then we had to look at all the other demos we had and see what went well with those and where, and once we had chosen a handful of tracks we could see a bit of a theme with the whole self-help idea and dealing with anxiety, so it was just something that happened in stages and came together.
How did your different tastes, styles and approaches to making music fit with one another’s when you were making the album?
- [EWAN] It really can depend which songs. Normally we’re pretty open to trying out each other’s ideas, and every now and then there’ll be an idea Callum or I will come out with, like we start a demo with a clear vision of what we want and the other one won’t really get it until its almost done. So, it does depend, but we trust each other’s taste enough to know that if one of us is happy with it, then we’ll both be happy. And we’ve never put out tune one of us didn’t like, so we’re pretty understanding of each other in that respect.
How did the experience of creating a full album in a studio have an influence on your approach and method of making music compared to how you used to approach it in the earlier stages of your career?
- [EWAN] I guess it feels kind of weird now, because we were writing demos for fun, but it’s also like starting afresh cause obviously doing your first album you have the choice of everything, every demo you’ve ever done before, whereas now were not in that situation. But it is kind of refreshing in that way, it’s nice to sort of be like “Oh, okay, we’ve done this” and now, rather than just being a totally blank page, you can see from Get Better the different directions we could go, which is really fun and I’m quite enjoying it. It’s like what Cal said, we wrote some of these songs before we’d ever thought about doing it as an album so this time round we can put together something that really is an album, at least in our heads.
You can certainly tell from the get-go how well rounded ‘Get Better’ is, with both the expected light-hearted, massive tunes that your singles would suggest, but also with more serious notes. How did you take the album from the studio and tackle translating it into the performative way you structure your live shows?
- [EWAN] I think it actually benefited in a way, because these are the longest shows we’ve ever done as its obviously our first proper headline tour, so now that we’re playing for about an hour, I think it would feel weird if we were just like 100% hyped the full time – it could feel a bit dead! So, I actually think it gives us a much better arc to the night if we’re having softer moments and still the party moments mixed in together. It’s been quite interesting though putting together the album tour set-list, mainly off Charlie’s back (bassist), compared to the albums running order, because seeing what fits well for a live show doesn’t necessarily do the same thing as it would on an album, but it’s been cool!
Why is it so important for you to put on more of a show as opposed to just turning up, playing the tunes in a and calling it a night?
- [EWAN] I genuinely just think, what’s the point? I wouldn’t enjoy it, and I feel like anybody who came is at risk of getting bored fast. I feel like it’s a myth that live gigs are actually fun to watch – I think it’s a bit boring.
Do you think it’s important to approach touring and playing live this way, especially when there seems to be a new band appearing each week to contend with?
- [CALLUM] I think generally whatever we do it has to pass the test of “Would we actually want to go and see this? Would we like this artwork?” and things like that, with anything we do. Ewan particularly hates going to live gigs, so we had to find a way to make it really fun and interactive, and something we’d actually appreciate and enjoy if we went to see it.
Finally, as this year is coming to a close, what are your plans for the 2019?
- [EWAN] We still are so invested in the album for now, we still feel like it’s still very young, so we’re focused on that. It would be really nice to get a decent support tour and get to see some people who don’t really know us. We’ve also started working with others more, doing remixes and producing for people that aren’t us. It’s actually really nice doing something a bit further removed from us and not so close to our hearts. You can have better perspective, I think at times, when you aren’t so invested in it, although we obviously still want it to be as good as it can be when we’re working with other people, we don’t have so much stuff built up in our heads and that means we can get to a point when we can take it more at face value, and that’s really valuable in our music making process.
[Ellie Brady – @bradyellie7]
Find the live review of their gig here.