This Bath-based 5-piece, spearheaded by brothers Ewan and Callum Merrett, have been making serious waves in the indie scene over the past few years with a seemingly endless supply of top-notch singles and praise from Radio 1. We caught up with vocalist Ewan to find out about the creation of the band, their new “Mixtape 1” EP and the upcoming November UK tour – including a gig at Brighton’s Komedia Nov 22 …
Indie, funk, pop, rock, soul, hip-hop – just some of the genres that spring to mind when listening to the infectious 70s-inspired grooves of Bad Sounds. We wanted to know, what inspired the two brothers to create such an eclectic sound?
“Callum moved away to London and started learning how to record and work with live bands. I stayed home and got really into sample based stuff like hip-hop and trip-hop. So when he came back we both melded what we’d been doing.”
What’s it like to work in a band with your bro?
“I feel like the more people we speak to, and other bands we meet, it makes me realise how lucky we are to have it. We were doing a track the other day and me and Callum can just say to each other ‘Nah I think that’s rubbish dude’ and there’s no hard feelings or anything because at the end of the day you’re still gonna be brothers. So I think its only ever benefited us.”
For those who aren’t familiar with the band, how would you describe Callum?
“The main thing people know about Callum is that he is a very flamboyant dresser. The first gig we did with our current management, they were freaked out that he played the gig in a skirt. He goes for it quite a lot more on stage than me – he always gets picked up on his dance moves, I don’t know if those are good or bad things that people are saying!”
Growing up in Chippenham, was there anything there that inspired you musically?
“There were never any gigs there, no one ever came to play. There used to be a really cool club back in the day called Goldiggers, they had some real big names come through. I think The Who played there, Led Zeppelin, bands like that. Now that’s a retirement home – kind of an indication of what Chippenham is like these days.”
Hence the decision to move to Bath, is that better for the band?
“There’s not really a music scene here to be honest! But I think it weirdly benefits us to be sort of secluded on our own. That has sort of been the theme of what we’ve done, it kind of feels like we are always a bit of an outsider when it comes to everything that we’ve been playing a part of.”
One of your most popular tracks, and one that best captures your feel-good vibe, is “Living Alone”. Can you tell us more about that song?
“I think the most exciting thing was that it was the first thing we’d released that was a part of a body of work. It came off ‘Mixtape 1’ and we’d made that all so that the songs flowed into each other. We wanted it to feel like a cohesive short EP.”
Lyrically, your subject matter and delivery is quite unique and very relatable, clearly inspired by the small-talk of people around you, is this a conscious decision?
“We realised quite early on that we were shit at writing lyrics if we tried to write traditional lyrics. The first time it actually happened was on a song called ‘Avalanche’ – I had some placeholder lyrics which were just what a friend had been telling me about, what they’d been up to the night before. It kind of made me realise that works best for me. Especially the way I sing, it’s not like i’m a singer if you know what I mean, it’s a lot more conversational anyway.”
November sees the band touring the UK, including a show at Brighton’s Komedia (Nov 22nd) and London’s Scala (Nov 23rd)… “I’ve always found a lot of live bands just really boring”, shares Ewan when asked what we can expect from a Bad Sounds show; “I didn’t want to do it the normal way. Then Callum took me to see The Flaming Lips and showed me a lot more interesting bands, to show me how it can actually be fun. So we always try and keep in mind a show that we’d want to go to and put on a bit of an event rather than just standing up there and playing the songs in front of however many people.”
Is there anywhere in Brighton that you like to visit when you play here?
“I don’t really know Brighton! We’ve only been once or twice. We played a really weird bar when we played TGE (The Great Escape Festival) on the pier (Horatio’s Bar) – I’d never been anywhere like that before, it was a weird gentlemen’s club on the pier. It was kind of freaky!”
We can’t wait to see what Bad Sounds have in store for us at the Brighton show, if you are planning on coming (which you should be!) then get ready to PARTY!
FYI: Bad Sounds play Komedia on Wednesday November 22, 7.30pm, tickets are £7 + bf available from Komedia.co.uk.
Follow the band online for news: Facebook.com/realbadsounds
This show is presented by awesome concert promoter ‘Cross Town Concerts’ – follow them here to stay in the loop about more of their events and tour news online!