Quantcast
Advertisement
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)

VIVENDI EXPLORING MORE SALES OF UMG
They're looking for more than 10 cents. (10/17a)
TRAVIS' "ROOM" EARNS SECOND-BIGGEST BOW OF THE YEAR
Great Scott! (10/16a)
REVENUE CHART:
HIGHER & “HIGHEST”
Speaking of Travis... (10/17a)
TOP 20: ANOTHER FIGHT FOR #1?
Unexpected drama (10/17a)
MORE ABOUT MERCK'S MONEY
"More" being the operative word... (10/17a)
RIHANNA PREPARES TO RULE THE ROOST
What shoes go with dancehall?
WHAT'S NEXT FOR R&B?
How certain projects connect at streaming.
THE K-POP LANDSCAPE
농담은 한국어에서 더 잘 작동합니다.
THE NEW GRAMMY POWER
Change is nigh.
THE B-SIDE
GRAMMY PREVIEW: BADFLOWER
9/25/19

BETWEEN ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

By: Jon Pikus

In these trying times, artists with a positive message serve as a beacon, helping fans cope with the stress and make sense of the chaos. L.A. rockers Badflower have connected powerfully with fans via songs like the Rock chart-toppers “Ghost” and “Heroin,” as well as the anthemic pop-rock single “Promise Me.” We chatted with frontman/guitarist Josh Katz about his songwriting process, recording techniques and the band’s strong fan connection.


On your album OK, I’M SICK, you touch on some very deep issues—anxiety, abuse, alienation and depression. What influenced your songwriting process, and why was it important for you to write about these topics?
I didn’t really set out to write about any of these topics; I just get into the writing room and whatever comes out comes out. On a personal level, anxiety and depression are things that I’ve been dealing with for a while, so it was impossible not to write about them. I think that all the topics on this album are relevant to this generation and to now.

You’ve been a champion of mental-health awareness, and we know you have an extremely strong fan connection. As you continue to help your fans grapple with anxiety and depression, what have you learned from them about these issues, especially in response to your song “Ghost”?
I have learned that the sense of community in dealing with these issues is hugely important and helpful.

It’s helped me personally just knowing that all of these other people are going through the same thing, and they’re all coming to the shows. Despite their anxiety, and despite all the reasons that they want to stay home, they come out. They tell us their stories, and this community that has developed makes everybody feel understood, and eases the pain of whatever it is that we’re all going through.

We’ve heard that you are a hardcore vegan; your song “Murder Games” is about that subject. Any further thoughts to share on animal rights and welfare?
Stop killing and eating them, please. It’s not necessary. We’ve evolved past the necessity to kill animals for sustainability. In fact, it’s become very unsustainable to do so. And I think more people need to read up on it and wake up to the solution.

How did you hook up with OK, I’M SICK co-producer Noah Shain?
He produced two records for Dead Sara, and we were huge fans of theirs. For the longest time, we’d been talking about working with him; then we met Noah and he was awesome—we just got along with him on that personal level.

Scott Borchetta and John Varvatos of your label, Big Machine/John Varvatos Records, are both known for their passionate dedication to music and their desire to keep rock alive. How did their involvement and influence help steer the project toward completion?
I thought it was really cool that both John and Scott were on all the email chains, and we were sending demos and rough mixes back and forth. So we always had their input, and the whole thing became kind of a collaborative effort. You want the people who are going to be selling the music to be as passionate and as involved with it as the artists who are making it, because then they’re going to be more incentivized to really make something special out of it, and get it into people’s hands and ears.

What do the Grammys mean to you?
Being nominated would be the most validating moment of our careers so far, and we’ve had a lot of validating moments. There have been a lot of those really special moments where we look around and go, “How did we get here?” But I’m not going to believe it if I’m ever in a suit sitting at the Grammys with a nomination—that just sounds impossible. That’s something I dreamt about as a kid, and I still think about what my speech would be if I ever won one. And I know that if it ever were to happen, I’d just stutter through the whole thing. 

You embark on a big headline tour of U.S. and Europe this fall. Have you begun writing songs for your next album? Any bands that you would love to tour with?
We’ve begun conceptualizing the next album, but not yet writing songs. We’re hoping that before this tour, we can move forward on that a bit creatively. And after that, we have ShipRocked, a rock cruise. I would like to be making our next record, but if we keep getting radio airplay, we have to stay out on the road. It’s a good problem to have.

We’d love to tour with Highly Suspect; they just put out some new songs, which are awesome. And we would love to support Billie Eilish; that’d be so cool. That’s the game-changing tour that I have in my sights. Other than that, we prefer headlining.

Bonus question: What is the best swag you’ve gotten from Varvatos since you’ve been signed to his label?
Non-leather shoes.