In Conversation With - Bad Sounds

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In the midst of their first North American tour, Bad Sounds’ Ewan and Callum gave us an insight into their time on the road and what it’s like working with Broods.

This is your first run of North American shows, how have the shows compared to your expectations?
Ewan: They’ve been really good, when you’re supporting someone you’re never really sure if the fans of that band are going to like you. I was really nervous for the first show because we can be quite in your face for a support band and I feel like people just want Broods to come on but everyone has been super nice and welcoming - no one has boo’d us off stage yet.

How have the cities themselves compared to your expectations?
Callum: Before leaving (for tour) I did said that I’d probably come back wanting to move out here and I’ve definitely fallen in love with some places. Even just the scale of the cities here compared to back home have been completely mental and it’s been nice to have a couple days to explore and get to know the vibe of different places.

E: I didn’t really get the scope of how big America was as a whole before now and even how different each city is from one another. In England, the cities are different but there’s still similarities between places like Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow etc. whereas here there’s definitely a different vibe everywhere.

How are you passing time on the long drives?
C: The scenery is incredible and our longest drive was actually our most beautiful drive where we drove through the mountains so we were all just filming out the window for hours!

E: As long as you have a laptop you can kind of spread it out, we’ve done some music stuff and we have a TV although we haven’t used it yet - we really should use that. I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Watership Down but I was talking about it with Charlie earlier and he ruined the ending!

C: He’s probably never even seen it but just knows what happens, he does that a lot - he’s basically the human IMBD.

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If you were to write a trip-advisor review of the entire tour (so far), what and where would you include?
C: I discovered Poke on this tour and it has changed my life - we need it back in the UK. I had it on Venice Beach the first time after a day of playing volleyball so that was a really good day! I loved San Francisco although we didn’t have a lot of time so just tried to run around as much as possible and take it all in.

E: The day we did the really long drive we stayed in this motel in Salem that looked like the one at the start of Dusk Till Dawn - basically a murder motel. We had been in the van for ten hours so went for food at Olive Garden where you can get free food refills which we all thought was a great idea at the time but ended up walking home food drunk to the point where no one was even talking.

C: I don’t think they knew what to make of us in Salem either, people were honking at us and stopping to look at us.

Starting at SXSW, are there any new acts you think we should be on the look out for?
C: Weirdly, while we were there we only managed to see British bands - ones that we hadn’t seen before though. Apart from Dylan Cartilage who we’ve obviously toured with and love to pieces! We played with When Young, also Squid who weirdly enough, one of them comes from the same town that we grew up in.

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Whilst you are supporting Broods, you’ve also worked with them recently, how did all of this come about?
C: Well we did remixes for each other first and then when they came to London for a gig, they asked if we wanted to open for them with a DJ set so we suggested we spend a few days in the studio together. We hung out for the weekend and I guess just got on really well!

How has it been working with them?
E: It’s weird because I’d say the four of us are kind of jack of all trades in terms of playing instruments, it wasn't like ‘you do vocals’ or ‘you do those chords’ it was all very natural and I guess they’re very chilled out and easy to work with.

C: I feel like the New Zealand sense of humour is quite similar to the British one and we ended up just mocking each other’s accents for the two days, it was fun!

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Last year you released your first debut, any plans for 2019 yet?
E: I don’t really know, I guess this (tour) has been it so far.

C: We’ve been working on music stuff that feels more developed than what we've done in the past so I’m excited to see where that goes but there’s nothing where we’re thinking ‘that’s definitely an album’ or ‘that’s definitely an EP.’ I think once we feel like we have the right collection of songs, we’ll know what to do with it.

E: We’re definitely writing a lot more but neither of us feel that fussed about a release date yet, it’s more important to us that we have the right material rather than (thinking) people are expecting something so let’s put something out, we’d regret doing that if we didn't have the right songs.

Lastly, what is one thing that everyone needs to know about Bad Sounds but doesn’t yet?
C: Not sure anyone needs to know anything about us to be honest!

E: That’s probably some Charlie trivia there

C: The fact we have a human IMBD in our band?

E: This isn’t really trivia but I’m just going to give you some random information. We’ve spent the entirety of this tour so far debating (within the band) what the better Red Hot Chilli Peppers album is - Californication or By The Way. Me and Calum think Californication, most of the band think By The Way and at least one of them just wants us to stop talking about it.

C: Californication is the better one. We’ve also been playing a different version of Snog, Marry, Avoid where instead, it’s if you could be in a band, write for a band or have one not exist.

E: It gets quite hard when you pick three really good bands and you have to kill one of them and vice versa when you don’t want to be in or write for any of them. When you’re in a van for that long, you’ve got to keep yourselves entertained somehow!

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Feature by Alice Hadden