Last night I had the chance to catch up with Bad Veins at Emo's before their set. Don't worry if you missed it, Ben and Sebastian will be back next month with label mates Division Day.
I kept the interview pretty brief, but we chatted about touring, analog v. digital and all that fun stuff. You can find the transcription below the break.
How is touring?
It’s fun, touring is fun, I mean it’s kind of exhausting it seems like playing a show is such a small part of touring because there’s so much traveling and just the logistics, the logistics of traveling is what you spend all your time on.
So, how are you traveling? Are you driving a van? You ride? Fly?
I wish we flew
Yeah, we’ve got a van pull our gear in a wagon like every other band out there.
Do you both drive? You switch drivers? How many people tour with you?
Well, our friend Aaron’s with us on this tour he’s helping us drive, helping us do merch and move in gear.
But it’s just the three of you?
Sometimes we tour just the two of us. We did a whole east coast tour last month it was just us two.
It’ll never happen again.
Was it difficult to take the songs from the record and re-interpret them live? Had you already planned that?
Yeah, we kind of worked backwards, like, I mean, yeah we made the record knowing how we were going to do it live. That was with Irene, the tape deck. Opening that possibility up, that allowed us to do anything for the record knowing we’d just do it on the tape.
So, you’re a fan of the old analog sound huh?
Well yeah, it’s fun. It’s fun and easy except for it’s heavy.
Have you thought about replacing it with a digital…?
It doesn’t seem interested. It’s probably less interesting for the audience.
Do you take a lot of time laboring over the artwork?
Well I mean the CD artwork is what we did first, that’s what the label wanted us to focus on. Yeah, we spent a lot of time on the CD artwork, we had a lot of ideas, it took us awhile to get it right, I think.
How has it been going from doing everything by yourself to all of a sudden having all these other hands in the stew?
In some ways it’s been really good cause we don’t have to worry about a lot of things. But, the creative thing you know might be a little uh too many hands in the stew. Everybody want to design this or that we have our ideas, they have their ideas.
You had to wait awhile between the point the album was done and now when it’s actually out.
A long time
We finished it, right before CMJ last year, so last October, the end of October. And, you know it just came out a month ago.
It must have been pretty frustrating at point…
Yeah, well once we knew it was coming out we could sigh. But we finished it right before the holiday season and you can’t really go shopping stuff around during that. And we got the deal with Dangerbird Records in February. So, once that happened it took till July to get the artwork, the distribution, get everything in place.
So really it was 3.5-4 months from the point the record was done until we knew how it was going to be released.
Have you had any Spinal Tap-esque moments on the tour so far?
Wait, what’s a Spinal Tap-esque moment?
You know a tragic-comic, like I’m too cool to deal with this shit kind of moment.
Yes, we had one in Cincinnatti actually.
At a hometown show?
It was a benefit we were doing for people who weren’t necessarily in the music scene. So, those always go weird. Cause they want you to play, “we want this cool band everyone is talking about” come play. Then you go to play and as soon as you start playing, “aww, you’re too loud” and all that kind of stuff. We had one of those.
The funniest part about it for me, I was actually wearing this shirt (Point to red button up shirt he’s wearing), which kind of fits in with Bad Veins aesthetic cause we have the roses, and like the military thing cause we usually have military shirts on . We were on stage there’s a curtain that closed in front of us and I was getting ready to rip [this shirt] off and change into another one and as soon as I started to unbutton the curtain started to open. So, I’m like ok I’m going to wear this shirt, that’s fine. So, the curtain goes by and hits my mic stand and knocks it over. We’re on stage and we weren’t ready for the curtain to be open but they were ready for us to start. So, the mic falls over and we were just sort of standing there. We just sort of brushed it off like, uh if we’re cool with it the crowd will be cool with it.
So, I have to ask...Bad Veins/Bad Brains...
It wasn’t intentional. I had never heard of Bad Brains when I came up with the name.
So, why Bad Veins, is there a reason or is it just one of those things?
One of those things.