Posted On 26 Jun 2015
Tag: All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, allaccessmusicnicole, Bad Suns, Blink 182, Boys Don't Cry, California, Cardiac Arrest, Coachella, Coachella 2015, DeSoto, Language & Perspective, Nicole DeRosa, Robert Smith, Spotify, Target, The Cure, Transpose, Transpose EP, Vagrant, Vagrant Records, Ventura, Woodland Hills
Bad Suns is an American alternative rock band that formed in 2012, and now consists of Christo Bowman, Gavin Bennett, Miles Morris and Ray Libby. A majority of the band members are from Los Angeles, California. The group has been signed to Vagrant Records, where they released their debut album Language & Perspective in 2014. The band’s sound is inspired from ’70s and ’80s post-punk pioneers like The Cure and Elvis Costello.
“All of these artists and bands had a big impact on me, at a young age, as far as song composition goes.”
The band’s debut EP Transpose features angst-ridden riffs and ethereal vocals reminiscent of post-punk legends of the early 80’s.
“I started writing my first songs at that time,” Bowman continues, “Though we can now reflect on that era of music, those artists were ahead of their time in a lot of ways. That’s what’s most inspiring.”
Transpose was recorded in the studio with producer Eric Palmquist (The Mars Volta, Wavves, Trash Talk) and serves as a prelude to the band’s debut full-length slated for 2014.
“The writing and recording process is always exciting, because it’s constantly changing and unique to each song. Inspiration comes and goes as it pleases, so a night when a song gets written is a very good night,” says Bowman.
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa got to catch up with lead vocalist, Christo fresh from playing at the infamous Coachella Music Festival. Read more in their interview below!
How are you doing today Christo?
I’m doing quite well!
First off, how was Coachella?
“Coachella was quite an amazing thing for us. We’re from California and we’ve been to the festival several times, just as music fans. Getting the invitation to come and play the festival was an honor. Beyond that, the attendance and the shows exceeded any expectations we could have had.”
For those that are not as familiar with you and your music, how did you get your start in music? Who or what as the catalyst or inspiration for you?
We’ve all been playing music since we were kids. I started writing songs when I was nine. There isn’t necessarily one moment or one catalyst that’s more important than the rest. Like anything, it’s a learning process, one that involves a lot of trial and error.
We all met each other at one point or another during our respective trial and error processes. Once the four of us starting working together, it was as if we finally found the right key to open this door we were trying to get past. We’ve since walked through several more doors and there are still many more ahead of us.
You guys released your debut album, Language & Perspective this past year. What did you learn between your EP (Transpose) and playing live shows that you felt you wanted to infuse into the new record?
Common misconception. We only ever wrote the album. The EP was simply a promotional tool; three carefully selected songs from the album and one b-side. We saw it as being the proper introduction to Bad Suns.
Tell me a bit about your single, “Cardiac Arrest” which cracked Top 10 on Alternative Radio charts and has over 16 million streams on Spotify and counting! What was the inspiration for that track?
It’s hard to recall inspiration once it’s gone. When you get into the zone and you’re writing / demo’ing a song that you feel really good about, it’s as if your brain is floating for a few hours while your body does the work.
“When inspiration comes, it’s running past you. It doesn’t call in advance and let you know that it will be stopping by. If only. You have to be ready to jump on it’s back and ride it through the night. That’s what’s fun about writing songs.”
After extensive touring throughout 2014 and your first ever SOLD OUT headline tour in 2015, and you guys are kicking off your second headline tour. What has this past year been like? What has been the highlight for you guys so far?
Playing shows is great. Touring is a novelty in the beginning of any band’s career. You’ve finally passed this certain threshold, you’re in a van, you’re playing in front of people every night, you’ve been working for years just to get to this point. If you’re lucky, that novelty eventually fades and it becomes more than just that notion of “We’re doing it, guys!” – It can become more special than that.
When we play a show now, I like to watch the room. It’s cool to have rooms full of people singing your words back to you, right? But why is that so cool? What do I get from that? That’s something I’ve thought about a lot. I often feel uncomfortable in many circumstances this band puts me in. Getting asked for a photo on the street, doing meet and greets; It can freak me out because I’m so out of the loop as to why anyone cares to meet any of us. We don’t feel special. When there’s a room full of people, every night, singing along to every song on the album, I realize that that’s because there are people actually spending real time with our record, and they actually like it. Enough to listen again and again and to go the extra mile and come to one of our live shows.
As a music fan first, I can relate to that excitement. As a musician who spent 10 years writing songs that no one heard and playing them at shows that no one went to, it’s hard to wrap my head around what’s going on. It blows me away when I realize that we’re able to share this with people. We have some really amazing fans and I feel very happy and very fortunate to do this.
Who have been your musical influences growing up?
When I think of my early years, I think of The Cure. Robert Smith really spoke to me as songwriter and his melodies always hit the sweet spot for me.
Do you remember the first album you bought yourself?
It was the self-titled blink-182 album. I bought it at Target on Ventura and De Soto in Woodland Hills.
Robert Smith makes an appearance there too. I still listen to that album from time to time and the CD is sitting in the kitchen upstairs.
What was the first song you fell in love with and why?
Sorry to be redundant, but the first song I remember really dissecting and falling in love with was “Boys Don’t Cry.” So simple and also so compelling to nine year old me. That was the first song I learned to play on the guitar which used barre chords. I have many vivid memories of trying to teach my hands to fit those chord formations.
Learning to play the guitar was a very exciting, challenging, and pleasant part of my life. It was the first hard work that I really loved doing. I was able to recognize the rarity and importance of that at a young age. Eight hours a day, every day, for years! I constantly thank my younger self for putting in all of that work when I did.
What’s on tap next for you? What are you most excited about in 2015?
Above all else, making album two!
To learn more about BAD SUNS , visit them HERE .