Bad Sounds are Olivia (drums), Sam (bass), Charlie (guitar), and fronted by brothers Ewan and Callum. Expect cheerful pop hooks and undeniably addictive chorus’, channeling the sounds spanning several decades- funk and soul from the 70’s and 80’s, hip-hop vibes of De la Soul and Beastie Boys of the 90’s plus a nod to the anthems of the baggy era too. With only 3 singles released to date, bad Sounds have received praise from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit, DIY, CLASH, BEAT and NOISEY and with strong early support from the local BBC Introducing In the West, have gone on to receive plays from Zane Lowe (Next Hype), Phil Taggart, Huw Stephens, Tom Robinson, Chris Hawkins and Annie Mac, who premiered the new single ‘Wages’ as her ‘Hottest Record In The World’. We caught up with Callum for a quick chat…
So tell us a little bit about how you guys got together? Who and what are your main influences?
Ewan and I are brothers. We were in bands together when we were kids but didn’t play together for years. In that time Ewan got really into hip-hop and started making sample-based music, and I got really into recording techniques and the great pop music songwriting of classic soul and R&B. One day we were just messing around, sorta showing each other what we’d each learned and ended up having loads of fun and recording a track that neither one of us could have written alone. So that was kind of the start of it. When we started performing live we asked Olivia Dimery to play drums with us as we met her at a music shop we were all working at, and we met Charlie Pitt (guitar) and Sam Hunt (bass) a little later on.
Your new single Evil Powers is out now. What was the inspiration behind that?
It’s kind of a downer story, but basically it stems from a story we were told about a family member who was deeply religious. When she heard in the news about the horrible death of a young child she started questioning her faith. So when she went to see her priest to talk it through they told her that it was God’s will and that the kid could have grown up to be a murderer or something, which restored her faith. I mean it doesn’t sit well with me, and the song isn’t specifically about that, but it was the catalyst. It’s basically “Sometimes its easier to just blame Evil Powers than deal with what’s really going on”.
Tell us about that video – looks like you had a lot of fun making it. Who was involved in the story and the direction? Was it all your own ideas?
So this is the first time that we’ve worked with a director, up until now we’ve basically tried our best to make our videos on our own. Partly because we’re massive control freaks and don’t trust anyone else to do it the right way. So this time we sent our ideas to Eoin Glaister who is the genius behind a number of today’s music videos and he just instantly got it. We asked for something between Sam Raimi and The Coen Brothers and he absolutely nailed it. Ewan and I are obsessed with Evil Dead and B-movie horror in general so we’ve been keen to do a horror style video since we started. The highlight of the shoot was Sam having to lie in fake blood (food colouring and syrup) for 3 hours, in the background. There were a lot of ants.
When writing your songs what process do you go through? Writing lyrics? Creating melodies?
I think it can be kinda dangerous to come up with a “process” or formula to writing. Past experience says that you either end up getting really bored of it, or you end up writing the same song over and over. Musically we’ll be inspired by whoever we’re really into at that point in time. We tend to get super into an artist for a couple of weeks and then move on to the next. We’ll go in deep, learning to play our fav songs, watching interviews, reading about recording the records, how they approached writing certain songs and how they are constructed. Lyrically it’s much closer to home: all of our lyrics are stories either about the people around us or stories that friends have told us. Sometimes the stories can be super normal everyday stuff, but certain phrases will stick with us and become the start of something else.
When can we expect the debut album? Is there any plans for one soon?
We’re literally finishing it this week! I’m about ready for a nervous breakdown but we’re both super proud of it. It’ll be out for summer. It’s a summer record with songs about death and anxiety.
What can audiences expect from your live sets? I hear they are quite the party!
Honestly we’re just trying to have fun and entertain people for half an hour. We’ve all been to too many shows where the band ignores the audience and tries to look cool. We want our shows to be inclusive and positive. We’re all pretty anxious people in general but we want our shows to just be pure positivity where people can forget about real life for a second and feel like a part of something else.
You’re playing at a number of UK festivals, which are you looking forward to the most?
Obvs Y Not. We didn’t get to play our slot last year cos of the bad weather, so this year it feels kinda important 🙂
With festival season is coming up. Which are the three essential items for you when playing/attending festivals?
Ticket, Hotel booking, phone charger.
Bad Sounds play YNOT on the 27th of July tickets are available here…. https://ynotfestival.com/tickets/