RENDEZVOUS: A Quick Catch Up With Bad Bangs
“It was pretty exciting to record everything to tape, working with analogue gear gave the track a super warm tone and character. It was also the first recording that we’d done live, so as a band who gigs a lot, it felt good being able to capture that kind of energy that we can achieve when we play together.“
Melbourne trio Bad Bangs deliver gritty garage rock with a whole heap of charm. Centred around jangly guitars and seriously soulful vocals - it’s warm, honest and bursting with groove. We caught up with lead singer Shelby De Fazio to chat about their dreamy new single ‘Crush’, a shared love for Ty Segall and the pros and cons of recording to analogue.
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Your latest track ‘Crush’ is a real beauty. Can you tell us a bit about the recording process for your new single?
Oh chuurs! So we had the pleasure of recording this one with our good pal Fabs (Fabian Hunter) at his studio Fish Bones Tone Shack (the exact whereabouts we can’t disclose). We tracked it all live to tape and then had room to play with some of his fun gear - old mics, fuzzy pedals and a space echo. *side note - I keep most of our gear at my house and screwed up on the day we were recording because I’d left Tim’s cymbals and snare in the garage, but it worked out well because Fabs has a real sick old kit that Tim was loving. It was pretty exciting to record everything to tape, working with analogue gear gave the track a super warm tone and character. It was also the first recording that we’d done live, so as a band who gigs a lot, it felt good being able to capture that kind of energy that we can achieve when we play together.
What does the general Bad Bangs creative process look like? Who writes the songs?
I’ll write the bare bones of the song - guitar and lyrics and then bring it to a jam with Ben and Tim where we’ll flesh it out a bit better. Ben’s always got a hook bass line up his sleeve and Tim runs wild with some pretty crazy fills, *cue Animal drum solo*. As a three piece our sound is quite stripped back so we try and really focus on details in dynamics and tone to create a sound that’s more unique to us.
While your music has that garage-rock edge, there’s a lot of soul there too. How do you maintain that balance?
I think there’s something contrasting between the vocals and the drums/guitar/bass that bridge together some different directions. Sometimes you can pigeon hole yourself in a style and play it safe, so I’d like to think that our music is kind of malleable and we’ve got potential to take some different turns, and kind of push the boundaries of a more typical “rock” style of garage.
There’s a real vintage authenticity to your sound. What are the pros and cons of recording to analogue?
I guess cons would be that it’s expensive and not as accessible. Pros... it feels a lot more real and considered. I mean sure, we can listen back and re-record but I really like the physicality of the process, being in the space with the tape rolling and adding its own seasoning to the mix. I think working with analogue gear brings really special and unique details to tracks, it’s kind of a bigger feel to a song than a specific effect you can just add on top of a recording.
Guitars are very much the driving force in most of your songs. What are some really great guitar albums you always find yourselves coming back to?
Power chords all the way baby, as Ben says you only need 3 chords to write a hit. Uum I’d say Ty Segall Twins is a great one - super punchy and real nice tones, Parquet Courts Light Up Gold is such a runaway album and Angel Olsen Burn Your Fire For No Witness is a super warm garage-folk vibe - her song ‘Stars’ gets me every time.
Garage rock is one of my favourite musical genres, but it does often feel quite male dominated. How important do you think it is to have more female voices singing over fuzzed out instrumentals?
Totally agree, and I think it’s super exciting hearing more women within the genre. So many great female artists add stacks of depth and tonality to the genre, keeping it super fresh and distinctive. Angel Olsen, La Luz, LA Witch and Mothers are all doing very cool stuff within the broader genre of garage and are great points of inspo for me!
‘Crush’ is your first release of 2019 – what else do we have to look forward to?
We’ve been gigging pretty flat out for the first half of the year so around this release we’ve been thinking a lot about what the next step is for us. We’ve been working hard on a new live set and I wanna take more time to write this year. Stay tuned for more releases in the coming months though and *potentially* shows outside of Melbourne.
What do you want people to feel when they walk away from a Bad Bangs show?
I want them to feel like they’ve been punched in the guts in the best way possible.
Finally, you obviously have an ear for music. How do you go on the dance floor?
(Laughs) I’m definitely not shy to a dance floor but I’m not necessarily encouraged. I think that paints a clear enough picture.
Don’t miss Bad Bangs at The Gasometer Friday 28th June for the official ‘Crush’ single launch. Support from Baby Blue, Eggy and Chook Race DJs.