Back in November, I posted a review of Baddies’ debut “Do the Job” (link). Since then, the album has been on heavy rotation on my iPod, driving at excessive speeds while listening. The album is packed with energy and urgency, and inspires that little voice in the back of my head to say things like, “Punk is not dead.” It was a no-brainer for me: I reached out to the band, and Michael Webster (lead vocalist/guitarist) was more than happy to respond to our questions. We would like to thank Michael Webster for taking the time to answer the questions upon returning from gigging in Australia, and here it is: Baddies Answers 5.
1. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
I think my biggest influences are the stories that I hear; a great story or piece of news is always a great starting point for a song. Once you have one foot on the run of the ladder you gotta let your imagination guide you to the top!
I love the simple science lab sounds of Devo, the chainsaw guitars of the Jesus Lizard, the desperation of Morrissey, the insanity that lies within Killing Joke, the fact that Screamin’ Jay Hawkins sounds like the devil incarnate, I love what punk meant and wished I was there.
2. Baddies has been compared to a plethora of bands (many of which are unfounded) and labeled with everything from "alternative rock" to "post-punk revival." But how do you define your own sound?
It may sound boring but our sound is just the result of these four people writing music together. Sure, sometimes one member needs to take the reins to guide the sound in a certain direction, but we are not on the bandwagon. We aren’t concerned with being part of a scene or necessarily creating one. We like what we like and we do what we do.
3. When composing a song and writing the lyrics, what is the typical process for Baddies?
Normally I either create or am fed a guitar or bass part from the rest of Baddies, I chew on it for a while, freestyle over the top of it until I get my head around where I take it vocally. Once I have an idea of what the vocals will do, we can then all get stuck in and beat it into shape.
4. In my opinion, music is often marred when it become part of a trend, which often happens in major musical centers like London or New York City. Baddies definitely stand out from the prepackaged trends of the moment. Is this the product of coming from Southend, a conscious effort of the band, something that naturally happened, or some combination of the above?
I guess it’s a combination of the both. If there is no scene in your town, then there is nothing to be a part of. I think it’s OK to be a part of a trend, if you are the trendsetter.
5. You have played intimate venues to large festivals, from the UK to Australia. How is your approach to live music influenced by venues and geography? Any plans on America?
We have no shows currently booked in the States; we have been preoccupied with Europe and now writing album number 2!
Our approach to our live shows is always to put on a show and give it 100%. I love the intimacy of a small show but also the occasion of a big show, I am genuinely just happy to be up there playing to an audience!
Keep up with Baddies at their MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.
And a reminder: from 9 March 2010 to 1 April 2010, they will extensively be touring the UK, hitting Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee, Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Leeds, Cambridge, Birmingham, Oxford, Brighton, London, Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff, Northampton, Sheffield, Newcastle, and Wrexham with the Joy Formidable. Check out their MySpace for more information.