In Conversation: Catching up with BADBADNOTGOOD

Ever since I was introduced to BADBADNOTGOOD’s jazz-thrown-down-instrumental version of Waka Flocka’s “Hard In Da Paint” and their originally recorded roller coaster track “Rotten Decay” of a couple years ago – I was hooked. The 3 Toronto(ish) natives who graced the pages of PULP No. 6 were down to catch up at the venue before their set in Seattle. Their performance was as, and maybe possibly more energetic than, their hometown shows – the audience in a constant non rhythmic wave and bodies flying from either side of the stage. I felt a little at home for a short while. Since PULP last spoke with them lots has happened for energetic-down-for-whatever tri force. They released their third studio album entitled “III”, have been touring through the UK and Europe, and have solidified rumours of recording for an entire album with Ghostface Killah due out in Feb 2015. Once they found their way back to home turf we caught up via a mobile recorded skype and a few emails back and forth.

PULP Welcome home guys. How was your most recent tour? What were some of the high-lights?
BADBADNOTGOOD The tour went really well for us. Our highlight had to be our time in LA; one of our sessions fell through so we actually had some time off for a change to see some friends and get some sun. Oh and we got to crash at our lawyers crib and record a fake album with Earl Sweatshirt. It wasn’t a huge tour for us – just something small covering a few cities in the west coast.

PULP You’ve been doing quite a bit of touring since we last spoke, what have you learned about traveling as just the three of you?
BBNG Good question.. It’s just the three of us really so the key is just to stick together. If we ever lose someone it’s Chester – but just temporarily to a dead phone or something like that. Usually it’s a pretty busy schedule; take this train, go to this hotel, then to the venue and so on – over and over again in various cities until we’re done.

PULP How would you describe the audiences in the US or UK vs. hometown shows? Any cities you have played that have really stood out?
BBNGThe vibe of our shows can vary depending on the day of the week, what time the set is at and what energy we can pull out of the people at our shows. US vs. UK vs. hometown shows are always up and down. We try and take the same intent of playing our best and creating strong moments to every show. We have had some stand out shows for sure but to us every show is equal in importance. It’s about us putting out as much energy as we can, and hoping that we can connect with the audience and create a great vibe. Every time we go somewhere new to play, we’re blown away that people know our music and are excited to see us in places we never dreamed we’d be able to travel to!

PULP Last time we caught up with you was late 2012, before BBNG III was released; How was that record different for you guys from your past releases?
BBNG Extremely different. Literally every way it could possibly be different – it was. We had a lot more time to write the music and get ideas for production. We were still in school for all of our previous releases and would just get tied down with homework to have no time to record any music or even rehearse – just tried to figure it out when we got to the studio. People liked it but this was our full time endeavor. It’s like our first ‘real’ album.

PULP Speaking of releases; How did Sour Soul come about and can you tell us a little more about the album?
BBNG That started way back in May 2012 through our studio partner Frank Dukes who invited us to NYC because he was working out of Dunham Studios (once home of the Menahan Street Band). We went down there to record a few instrumentals that would theoretically be part of a new Ghostface album. The crazy part for us is that some of those songs were done like 2 years ago and the vocals were often sketchy iphone recordings. Through many trials and tribulations – it’s really happening.

PULP What is your opinion to genres in today’s generation of music? There is a lot of genre fusion happening which is great as individuals can find inspiration from several different directions. How would you best describe your sound?
BBNG Genres are a funny thing in today’s music as people push the boundaries of sound and style all over. If you’re a fan of a band or someone who makes music you can usually find the genres and influences they have. Being able to enjoy what they do is more important than the said ‘genre’ of the music they make. We are definitely a product of some genre fusion. Our sound is continually changing and following into different directions. It started as taking hip-hop songs and playing them instrumentally with solos and improvisation. Now we currently love to search for amazing records from all over the world some of which have been sampled by legendary artists. These Soul, Brazilian, Krautrock and Pysch records are the vibe of BADBAD’s new ideas.

PULP Which musicians / bands / producers etc are you personally inspired currently?
BBNG We have been listening to a lot of amazing Brazilian music by Arthur Verocai, Anna Mazzotti, Tamba Trio, Marcos Valle, etc. Also checking out stuff like David Axelrod to figure out how we can make magic instrumentally. In terms of current stuff, there are a lot of newer guys killing it in the hip-hop/electronic world also. The new Flying Lotus album is sweet. Shouts out Kaytranada, DJ Dahi, Boi 1-da, Marvel Alexander… too many to name them all!

PULP Lastly – what’s next for you guys?
BBNG There are a few things just sitting on the pot somewhat boiling. Some more remixes and collaborations, maybe a new album – definitely a new track. Everything we’re working on currently feels natural, mutual and great!

Catch BADBADNOTGOOD on tour on a short end of year east coast North American tour.

PULP suggested listening:  CS60 off of their ‘III’ album   / ~~~INSPIREDBOYS2014MIX~~~ 

Photographed by Brent Goldsmith
Styled by Raul Guerrero
Words and Interview by Brent Goldsmith
Fashion: All clothing supplied by Stussy Seattle (aside from Matty’s socks and shoes)

Special Thank-You: Paul & Bo @ Stussy Seattle
Matthew Langille @ People Champ MGMT
Morgan Steiker @ Prize Fighter Public Relations