I caught up with Bad Sign ahead of their set at 2000 Trees. We discussed their new album, touring and the current British music scene. Interviewed were Joe (Vocals/Bass) and Kev (Drums).
What’s it like to be at Trees?
Kev: I’m not even just saying this but I think Trees is the best festival, in the country. It’s so sick. It’s nicely laid out, easy to navigate, they choose sick bands. We came last year as punters. It is my favourite festival. It’s got a really nice atmosphere
Joe: yeah very family like atmosphere
What do you like most about Trees?
Joe: The burrito bar?
Kev: The cheese toastie, mate that van is so good. They choose really good bands and it’s a nice variety as well. Like today you can see such a varied lineup. I think that’s important as a lot of festivals now are picking the same bands every 2 or 3 years so I think they do a really good job.
What bands are you checking out this weekend?
Kev: Obviously Black Peaks
Kev: Saw Wars earlier, who are great mates of ours
Joe: Frank Carter’s gonna be good, Nothing But Thieves tonight, LTA (Lower Than Atlantis) tomorrow.
Kev: Yeah top stuff, Grumble Bee we checked out yesterday, who’s a good mate of ours. Feed The Rhino were incredible yesterday. Tigercub are mates of ours and were sick
Joe: We’ve said so many bands already, I saw Young Guns, they weren’t bad. Pretty much everyone really.
Moving onto your debut album, what processes went into the songwriting and creation of the album?
Joe: What we did was start writing about 1 year to 8 months ago, and then record in stages. Because we’ve got day jobs and we have to spread out our finances and things like that. Usually we jam or write like that. Sometimes I come with 80 percent of a song and we get together and finish it, and arrange it properly. Writing’s easy for us. That’s all easy, it’s the other stuff that’s hard, the logistics and finances.
How did you settle on the sound for the album, as there’s a lot going on in terms of influences?
Joe: I think it comes from all three of us liking different bands. We’re still working on it, we’re still getting our sound. Our thing from day one was to not sound like anyone else. You get a lot of bands now coming and saying we wanna sound like this band. We just got together and wrote songs, but there was never a thing of we wanna be anyone else, we wanna be Bad Sign, we don’t wanna be anyone else. I think we’re forging our own path. And as I say that comes from the varied influences. Me and John (Guitarist) were bought up on Refused and At The Drive-In and then Kev has got pop sensibilities. And when you blend all of those
Kev: I don’t really listen to rock music at the moment. I listen to The 1975.
Joe: I hope we get better and blending stuff. And we get better at forging our sound. Hopefully people understand that. We’re not the finished product, we’re a band that is growing and progressing. It will take a bit of investment on both sides
You had Neil Kennedy producing the album what was it like working with him?
Joe: John went to uni in Southampton so he kind of knew Neil through that scene, we did destroy with Neil, and we were so pleased with the results, we got on well with him, and now we’re actually mates. It’s a strong relationship, it’s more than just going in and recording songs. He gets us. I’d write melodies in my head and then I’d sing them in the booth to him and he understood the process of working things out. He is very patience with me as I am very nervous when a first sing something. Maybe another producer may be quick to judge but he gets me. He pushes me as well, he says you can get more here, you can do that. He’s brilliant.
You’ve toured quite a lot the last few years, what have you learnt from those experiences?
Joe: the best thing about touring is the playing and getting new people involved in us. What’s also great is making new friends. The big relationships are great. It’s great making mates and playing music, what else would you want to do?
Any standout moment from the tours?
Joe: the show that I loved this year was Glasgow with The Contortionist. It was great
Kev: yeah the whole room sounded mad, there was crowd surfing and all sorts.
Joe: northern crowds definitely seem more up for it, they seem to get more stuck in
Last question what have you got for the rest of 2017?
Joe: we just want to keep touring and keep playing shows. And then we’ll be releasing more music next year. We’ve started writing, and we want to be releasing new music every year. We want to be in peoples faces all the time.
Sounds like you love creating music?
Joe: definitely. I know it sounds shameless, but we want to be as big as we can be. And we want to work hard for that. And we are up that.