Lizzie Lewis chats to brothers Euan and Callum from Bad Sounds in Glasgow just before they hit the King Tuts stage on their Get Better Clinic Tour, in the wake of the release of their first album.
Hello Bad Sounds!
How’s the tour been going so far?
CALLUM: Really good, apart from Indoor Pets (their support band) got all their stuff stolen, but apart from that its been amazing.
EUAN: I think all the gigs so far have sold out on the door, its all been rammed, and sort of better than we hoped for.
In an lot of your interviews, journalists like to draw comparisons between you and other bands, like Beck or Beastie Boys. Do you like being compared to other artists?
CALLUM: Good ones, yeah.
EUAN: I don’t mind it, I feel like its pretty stupid to expect people to tell someone about a band without referencing other people, so I kind of just feel like it is what it is.
It seems like your live shows and also your music videos are a big part of what you do. Would you say that image and the visual element of things are very important?
CALLUM: I think its important, and we do spend a lot of time making sure that it comes across in a way that we would find cool if we were fans.
And the live shows, was that always something that was important to you?
CALLUM: Well, when we started out, Euan didn’t wanna play live at all, he hates live shows.
EUAN: I never go to live shows. I think theyre really boring, most of the time (I am incredulous at this revelation). Yeah, I just think that most bands just stand there looking moody and playing songs just like the record. I think because I’m so into recording, I just feel like you get the best take you can doing that, so why would you ever go see a band play that song shitter live.
CALLUM: (laughs) But please come and see us!
EUAN: So when we did it, Cal kind of convinced me that we could do it in a way that was fun and engaging and actually a good experience to go and watch. Cos it is a visual thing, I don’t really get why bands just stand there and play the songs.
CALLUM: Depends on the band.
EUAN: Yeah its different if youre watching like, virtuoso stuff, I suppose that’s part of it, but as much as I like to tell myself we’re all virtuosos, shredders you know (laughs).
CALLUM: But yeah we put so much effort into the live shows because we don’t wanna be boring on stage, we wanna put on a show for people, rather than just stand there and play.
What do you think makes a good gig?
EUAN: I think theres loads of different ways you can make it a good gig, we try and have a more inclusive experience, we want it to feel like a party atmosphere in the room, we always end up getting in the audience. But for me the ultimate is like a Michael Jackson show, with a lot of theatrical stuff as well. Obviously the stages we play don’t really lend themselves to that right now but I would love to get to a point where we could do those types of things.
So that’s your eventual goal?
CALLUM: Well it would be amazing to do something like that, and still have it really inclusive for people, and have them be a part of it.
Do you think its tricky to strike that balance?
CALLUM: I think it really is. At this level its much easier because youre so much closer to the audience, and you feel like youre sharing the whole thing together, rather than just putting on a show for the people in front of you.
EUAN: That Coldplay wristbands thing does it pretty well, I think.
So you’ve just done festival season this summer. That always seems to me like its really intense and mad. Is it?
EUAN: Its harder to know what youre gonna get at a festival, because you have no idea if theres gonna be an audience for you. So even though you’re doing one after another all summer, you don’t really get into a routine, cos you have nothing to get used to.
Can that be quite difficult?
CALLUM: It depends on the mindset you go in with. If you expect amazing things and it doesn’t happen then you’ll be really gutted. You just need to go in with an open mind.
EUAN: Going in with a mindset of expecting there to be nobody there, is quite a good thing.
CALLUM: A natural pessimistic mindset. (laughs).
EUAN: But yeah, obviously its wicked playing festivals cos you get to play music to people who haven’t heard your stuff before, and hopefully make some new fans too.
Thank you very much Bad Sounds, been a pleasure!
Bad Sounds’ debut album Get Better is out now.