In Part One of our conversation with South Australian band Bad//Dreems, Alex and Miles let us in on the massive slog they have been through in putting together their single ‘Double Dreaming’, as well as their third and latest album due out this October. As their chat with Verge continued, they let us in on how their band philosophy has changed, and what their plans are for the rest of this year.
You’ve got such a small chance of putting out music that you just can’t afford to get it wrong.
So I’ve seen online that it’s been a quiet year or year and a half for you guys. Was that down to juggling the band with your personal lives, or the recording process?
Alex: Nah it was stuff outside our control a little bit. But as I said we kind of just had to treat it as a positive and “we’ve got this time” and we pushed ourselves so hard to keep going. And I was gonna say before, it’s the first time in my experience with music that the songwriting actually became onerous. Cuz before we’ve obviously pushed ourselves hard but because we were kind of held up by stuff and we just kept doing demos. I’d be going over to Ben’s house after work and we’d both just be like “eugh f**k.”
Miles: We’re in a nice position now where we’re kind of like, reaping the fruits of our labour whilst forgetting how gruelling it was over two years.
Alex: We were having a conversation with Burke about this the other day because we re-recorded one song with him here in London. He was talking about his philosophy and was saying “you’re so fortunate for a start, to be in the position we’re in to make an album. You’ve got such a small chance of putting out music that you just can’t afford to…
Miles: Get it wrong.”
Alex: That’s why he’s fanatical about it. You’ve got that moment to make a three-minute thing that changes someone’s life when they hear it. You can’t be sloppy about that. You’ve gotta take it to the absolute ‘nth degree. I think we thought we were probably fanatical, and then to see someone like him, it makes you realise that you can go even that much further.
Miles: You see the success of the bands that he’s produced and you start to understand how hard he pushed them to make such incredible albums.
Alex: And the funny thing about the songwriting and recording process is that like 80% of the song can come in like 30 seconds, and then another 10% comes in like an hour playing it together, and the last 10% can be like hundreds of hours. And that’s the thing, you’ve got the 90% when you start recording and that last 10% which can be the difference between seeing it through to its fruition can be painstaking and hard.
Whereas before, certainly for myself, I find that 80% really easy, and then be quite lazy with the last 20% and I think on our previous two albums, the last two or three songs have been like “yeah we didn’t push it that hard to get it to where it should be.” But this album everyone was pushed to the absolute limit.
Miles: Yeah and as a result for our ears there’s just not one bad song. So you know if you’re pumping and putting out songs, you’re like “f**k I know how many hours went into that but if people don’t like it, I’ve given it a massive crack.”
Man, that is quite an arduous journey I gotta say.
Alex: But that’s what you do it for right? And that’s the thing, you just don’t wanna have regrets at all in life and these days with the way the record industry is you get so little time recording in that context and then you have to spend so long doing the stuff surrounding it. But it feels good to get it right.
Well I mean aside from this mammoth album that’s coming out in October, have you guys got any other major goals for the rest of the year, for the band, for yourselves?
Miles: I wouldn’t mind getting back overseas, I mean, I’m certainly interested in penetrating the UK, US and Europe markets so this has been a good guinea pig run to see how our music’s been received. Speaking of people last night at the New Cross Inn gig, they were such massive fans of it. It’s very Australian, there’s Australian references, geographical references that English people won’t know, but they understand it nonetheless.
Alex: Yeah it was really weird in Birmingham. Obviously, there’s Australians in London that come to the shows. In Birmingham, there was not one Australian there, yet there were people who through the power of the internet knew the band. Not many, but the people were there and they were passionate.
Miles: Both last night and Birmingham we came back to encores because they were going “one more song” and there’s no backstage. So either you do another song or you walk through them and deny them. And the Birmingham dudes were like, bikie looking dudes so we were like “better do another one.” They were so passionate and intimate, it was really quite astonishing.
Alex: Yeah and it’s kinda good at the moment because there’s quite a few Australian bands that are able to tour over here who we’re friends or peers with, like Amyl and the Sniffers, The Chats, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, DMA’S, we all know them quite well. It’s always been a source of frustration that we haven’t been able to match our Australian ascent with touring overseas, again sort of reasons out of our control but now our main goal really is to keep doing things in Australia as we have been but do overseas more.
We all live for this and to be able to sit in a van and play a gig every night, it’s such a novelty. Where in Australia obviously it’s every weekend one or two gigs, flying and stuff. Whereas playing every night with the same gear, it’s like what we’re all in the band for.
Bad//Dreems have since completed their latest set of UK dates, and will be kicking off the Australian leg of the ‘Double Dreaming’ tour on Thursday 4th July. Their latest album – yet to publicly named – is set to be released worldwide this October. You can give Bad//Dreems a listen on Spotify and iTunes, keep up to date with the lads on social via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as check out all thing Baddies on their website.