INTERVIEW: Bad Bad Hats
Written by Cameron Capers
On Saturday Minnesota indie trio Bad Bad Hats played their first show in Kansas City at the Riot Room opening up for Hey Marseilles supporting their debut album ‘Psychic Reader’ out via Afternoon Records. Before their show BEYOND THE SOUND hung out with the group and talked about touring, new music, and Kanye West in the interview below.
Your debut album ‘Psychic Reader’ came out July of last year. Do you find yourself reacting differently to your songs from an emotional standpoint since you’ve started touring the album?
“Well yeah, certainly when we first recorded the album and finishing it up before it was released I think we all sort of wondered what songs would connect with people? Once the album was out, “Midway” really seemed to catch on for people…it kind of took on a new form. It’s like, “Oh that’s the song people like.” Kerry Alexander (lead singer) states. “I feel pretty similarly toward the lyrical content and the feelings behind the songs. Trying to figure out how to plays songs live can create some animosity toward certain songs” followed by laughter from the band.
How was it touring with Hippo Campus?
“It was great. I think the biggest thing we learned from them was how important it is to talk to your fans and engage with people.” drummer Chris says.
“I think we’ve always done that but seeing a band like that…that has such a big following and a following that’s growing, I think we were all very impressed with how warm they were with their fans and so grateful.” Kerry interjects. “They seem appreciative of how much people support them. They play with so much energy. I think all of us were sort of motivated to rock out a little more and like….practice.” Kerry explains as the group breaks out in laughter.
The lyrics throughout ‘Psychic Reader’ seem to be coming from a very vulnerable place. When you guys started writing as a band was it easy for you to write and sing about these personal situations?
The places I was living there weren’t many outlets to perform live so I hardly ever performed live when I was growing up. But I was writing songs and focused on the craft of songwriting. But I’ve always also been into performing, I did a lot of theater when I was in middle school so I feel pretty comfortable being on stage. But it was a bit of a process to get used to playing my instrument live because I’m more confident in the song writing than the music playing. But it’s also really fun! It’s always been a dream of mine to be in a band and play electric guitar….I still get a lot of joy from it.
Do you ever write while you’re on the road? And if so, how does it differ from writing in the studio?
“We have a different approach in that we haven’t really written anything on the road…”, Kerry says as we all share another laugh.
“I don’t see how anyone does it.” Chris says.
“Every time we’re in a city and stop at a guitar store we’re always like, “What if we got this thing and then maybe we could write on the road? Maybe if we had a tiny keyboard or a tiny guitar….I’ve written a few lyrics but I think we’re still trying to figure out how to do that.”
“Yeah logistically the time and the energy. There’s not a lot of private alone time.”
“I’m used to writing by myself or coming with ideas or I’m used to jamming and practicing with these two which we don’t get a lot of time to do.”
What albums are you excited for?
Chris: “Definitely that Now, Now album. I’m not sure if it’ll come out this year or not. Um, Land of Talk? They stopped being a band for a long time and just posted they’re touring a little bit so I’m crossing my fingers.”
“Kanye’s album just came out.” I state
”…….I like his music” drummer Noah says followed by a laugh.
“We’ve had a lot of conversations about him.”
“I really want to listen to it….we’re not trying to get a Tidal subscription.” Chris says as we share yet another laugh.
“I will listen to it when it becomes available on normal platforms…..” Kerry adds as we continue laughing.
What’s on the horizon for a new album?
“Before we started touring we had a few songs that are in the works, like half way through. I just need time to finish them. I have a lot that have everything but verse two. I have a lot of song I’m really happy about, we’re not starting from scratch which is good. I think are goal is to start recording this fall or winter.”
Written by Cameron Capers
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