Gearing up for their Warped Tour set later in the day, Bad Rabbits sip on beer and energy drinks whilst lounging in the shade of a the only tree in the parking lot where all of the bands park their tour buses. I sit in a folding chair in a circle with bassist Graham, guitarists Santi and Salim, and drummer Sheel. Later we are joined by Fredua, the lead singer.
I hear you have a new album coming out. Can you tell me about that?
We have two albums that are almost done; an EP and a full length. Those will come out next year, but we still have an EP that is pretty fresh called Stick Up Kids. We’re just shelving these two records this summer and next year we’ll decide how we want to put them out, but we don’t want to rush into anything.
Early 2012 then?
What do these records look like in terms of length?
The EP, probably 7 or 8 tracks. The full length, 10 to 12. We recorded 14 tracks for the full length with Teddy Riley in a studio in Burbank and it came out great. He is our idol in terms of music producers. It was great to record a CD with him and that is going to be our first full length.
Did he handle all of the post-production and mastering?
Yeah he did the production on the record and it was great. The song writing too; it was all a collaborative effort.
Are we going to hear some of that new shit today?
Yeah, we’ll play at least two of those tracks live.
What does this new stuff sound like? More of the style of Stick Up Kids?
The EP we’re putting out definitely has elements of Stick Up Kids. The melodies and vocals and beats… we brought out our friend from Oakland, Brad Luis, to help us co-produce the album. He is a great song writer and has a very unique sound. It kind of has this west coast funk element to it.
It does. Your music is so beautifully unique. Heavy, too.
Yeah, you can hear the band a lot more on this new stuff. The drums are heavier, we use a big ass china cymbal that we smash a lot. It’s fucking great. It’s heavy and soulful and the core progressions are very happy and dreamy sounding but it still has that party vibe.
What is the song writing process for Bad Rabbits?
We just get in our rehearsal space and just write. We all have our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to writing so there is no main song writer for Bad Rabbits. We just start with an idea and we’ve been working with other producers, doing co-writes. Basically, with Stick Up Kids we wrote all of it ourselves and the producer honed it. We trimmed a lot of fat. I guess in a nutshell our production process is just us in a rehearsal space. We get an idea and keep building from it.
Any other collaborations coming up?
Well, we just did that record with Teddy Riley. That was pretty big. We’re looking for guest spots on that album but nothing is solidifies yet. We’re trying not to force too many collaborations. As long as it comes naturally, I think it will work out pretty well.
We’re talking about doing a 7” split with The Acacia Strain.
Cool. Is that something that just came up on the tour?
Yeah. We talked about it a little bit before the tour, but since playing together they’ve become close homies of ours and are probably our best friends on the tour so far.
[A guy on a mini bike rides through our circle, losing control and falling off of his bike, sending it crashing into a nearby tree. Everyone laughs at him as he limps away.]
Oh shit! … Sorry about that.
That was awkwardly priceless. Anyway, on Stick Up Kids, Travis from Gym Class Heros appears. How did you guys hook up with him?
I’ve known him for awhile. He played a show with my metal band and he was a fan of my band, I was a fan of his band, and we just became friends that way. In the past few years we’ve been trading music. He showed me some of his new stuff and I introduced him to my old band and we just remained friends. Every time they come to town we all hang out. We’re just homies.
Are we going to see him on your stuff in the future?
Maybe in a live context. We could come up on stage like he did at SXSW a couple years ago.
What are your plans after Warped Tour?
Rest. Well, we have to finish these two album.
And you guys live in Boston, right?
Yep. Get it right motherfucker!
Haha! How are you guys accepted into the music scene down there?
Not at first. It took some time. There are basically two scenes in Boston – the college club scene where you pay a cover charge and go do your thing the club and bar or whatever, and there is another underground DIY metal scene where you go play in someone’s basement or warehouse. That’s basically what we have going on in Boston.
What are some of the bigger musical festivals that come through Boston?
What did you just call me?
No, music festivals? There are none. Maybe the River Rave.
[Fredua arrives and takes a seat in the circle.]
Oh, Dua’s here!
Watch out, man. This is a mini bike crossing area.
What are we talking about?
The music scene in Boston.
It’s just a great local music scene. Boston has more music students than any other city.
No shit? That’s nuts. What is one of the crazier things Boston shows are known for?
We throw a lot of fucking crazy house parties that are just mad fun free for alls.
Wicked. In your video for “Neverland”, it’s done with mostly puppets. What became of all those puppets?
The directors took them. They came up with as treatment and we really liked it. We gave some comments on how to improve it but overall we really liked the way it turned out.
So those puppets were made just for the video. Was that shot in Boston?
You guys have done some awesome covers. “1979” was beautiful. What is the criteria for deciding to cover a song?
It’s just songs that are timeless done by artists we all love and know and respect. It’s sort of a curveball to showcases that we’re not just indie pop.
I wouldn’t call you pop music at all.
The Warped Tour thinks we are. But these are just songs we love and want to put our spin on it to show our versatility. So far it’s been very successful; Billy Corgan posted it on Twitter. The Defotnes saw that cover we did and loved it.
Who do you think is the most overrated musician or band today?
That’s a tough question. There really are so many, but anyone who is making a living off of music I can’t diss. We’ll just say that there are a lot more people out there that don’t get the credit they deserve.
I love you guys. Is there anything else you want to add?
We love you.
Will you marry me?
We have huge sexual appetites. Are you ready for that?
Photos by Dave Gatson
I’m second guessing this…