Wearhaus Featured Artist: BadflowerFebruary 5, 2015
Sometimes you hear a song so big, so epically well-written that you assume it’s a big name artist, only to find out it is a band on the rise. That’s exactly what happens the first time you lay your hears on ‘Heroin’ by Los Angeles’ newest power band, Badflower.
A gritty band with a promising future, Badflower has a good head on their shoulders, even on the verge of a major tour and EP release. They are poised to be one of the biggest rock bands of 2015, and we got the chance to chat with lead singer Josh Katz about what coming from LA means, their recording process and why their music videos mean as much as their live show.
Wearhaus: You worked with Pierre de Reeder, who played bass in indie powerhouse Rilo Kiley. Were you a fan at all beforehand? What type of influence were you hoping he would bring to the table?
Josh Katz: Yes, big fans of Rilo Kiley! We were mostly excited to work in that environment. So many of our favorite artists had recorded there with Pierre and his collection of old vintage gear. We wanted that true indie grit out of those recordings. It’s easy to get carried away with technology these days – music just sounds so polished and fake. We wanted to do it the old-fashioned way, and we did. And we’ve been recording music with that mindset ever since. Our newest self-produced recordings, which are yet to be released, are some of the rawest yet.
Being a LA band, what does the music culture of that city mean to you? Where do you fall into it?
The history of music in this city is very inspiring and we got our start playing on the Sunset Strip like so many great bands before us. Unfortunately, the music scene here is nothing like it was in the previous generation. We see a lot of different trends happening here and we try not to pay too much attention to them. Our brand of music is its own distinct thing and we take a lot of pride in that. So I’m not sure we fall into any category in this city, which is fine by us.
With the internet being the type of platform that it is, you have to work so much harder to solidify an identity for yourself. Attaching your band to the other bands in your city just doesn’t work anymore. That being said, reviving the sunset strip and bringing back that scene would be pretty awesome. A lot of great venues are going out of business or turning into nightclubs.
‘Heroin’ is a great tune, and the title makes us think of The Velvet Underground. What bands, albums, even situations made you decide to become a musician?
Well, The Velvet Underground for one. Profound lyrics and heart wrenching energy. Any band that has a reason to be making music is one that we’re influenced by. The oldies – The Beatles, Zeppelin, Stones, Pink Floyd, etc. And onto the grunge period like Nirvana and Pixies. These bands had no reservations or safety switch – they did and said some weird stuff that made people think. That’s what we like. Also the bond between music and stories has always been a powerful concept. When I was younger I would obsess over movie scores. The right piece of music could enrich a picture or scenario to such a high degree. It fascinates me and it has a lot to do with my style of songwriting.
Still an up and coming band, what do you feel like your live show needs to accomplish in order to gain those new fans?
We definitely stay away from the whole “hype” thing. Our live show is very much focused on the music and the performance of the songs we write. Our songs have a lot of storytelling moments and can be very heavy and emotional. So we try to recreate every little emotional detail that was present when the song was being written and project that into the audience. And our songs tend to lean on the darker side of human behavior, so it’s pretty intense. It’s actually very therapeutic for us and we think it attracts the right kind of people. We win over the audience that truly connects with music. And sometimes the ones looking to just get drunk and party, because our riffs are damn heavy
What type of impression of the band do you want to build through music videos?
We want people to know how honest and raw our art is. We really like making live videos of ourselves, performing in our space. Proving that a high production budget means absolutely nothing without quality content. And I think it shows in the response we’ve had from the things we’ve released so far. People love to see an honest performance. It’s so rare in popular music these days. And when it comes to actual music videos, we will always have a purpose or some kind of message to get out in the narrative portion. Something important to us, whatever that might be depending on the song. We have a lot to say, and we’re going to say it all.
What are your next steps — upcoming tour, album?
Yes both! We’ve just finished recording for an EP to be released in 2015. We are beyond excited to get this music out into the world and in front of as many people as we can. Touring will be a huge part in this as well. We won’t stop until everyone who wants to see us play has the chance to.
Categorized in: Uncategorized