Interview: Bad Suns
Bad Suns are a band from my own neighborhood that are certainly a force to be reckoned with. Leather and denim clad like most of my favorite bands, the band is made up of four guys beyond their years musically. They've got a sound that has just enough angst to make me nostalgic for my favorite late '90s, early 2000s music, but also have the vocal sound, skill and charisma of a band like The Killers. Also, I'd like to add that Bad Suns' sound matches their appearance, which for me, personally, is crucial! One of the main ways to remember a band is how they dress, I mean, has anyone ever heard of that Mick Jagger guy? Below, frontman Chris Bowman answers some of my questions, including why John Mayer is still a relevant guitarist. - Maddie
What sparked your interest in playing music?
All four of us fell in love with music on our own terms, and at various times. Music has the ability to evoke certain feelings in people, a way that not much else can. The pairing of words and sounds can be an extremely powerful tool, when done right. I think the ultimate goal for this band is to make music that causes people really feel something.
Where did your band's name come from?
Coming up with a band name is a total bitch. Seriously. As simple as it sounds, I guarantee that it probably took "The Monkees" fucking months to come up with their name. The time when we were figuring out what to call ourselves was one of the most stressful periods of my life, I'm not even joking. Then, one day, I was scrolling through my iTunes and saw the words "Bad Sun." It was a song by The Bravery, and it immediately stuck out to me. I asked the guys what they thought, we threw an "S" on that sucker, and sealed the deal. Not as deep of an answer as the last, I know.
Do you have any specific influences when it comes to the music you make?
We like to keep things fresh when we write our music. There isn't a set method or regiment. Inspiration always comes and goes as it pleases. Sometimes I'll be sitting in my car and an idea will come out of nowhere. I'll put out my phone, record a voice memo of myself singing, and it will build from there. That's how the chorus of "Cardiac Arrest" came about. Sonically, our sound is a fusion of all of the things we love.
What are three records you can't live without?
This one is really, really hard. Depending on what I say here, people are going to decide whether or not they like us. Shit. Instead of listing my all-time favorite records, I'm just going to mention some of my favorite new music. I've really been loving the new Foxygen album, We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic. The band On and On released a rad album this year, called Give In. Also, Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d. city is just a nonstop collection of bangers.
But I probably couldn't live without Depeche Mode's Violator, U2's The Unforgettable Fire, or The Police's Reggata De Blanc. Those were game changers for me.
If you could play with any musician or band, dead or alive, who would it be?
I feel like playing music with a corpse wouldn't be much fun, so I'm gonna brainstorm within the "alive" category. The idea of jamming with Radiohead is incredible. But at the end of the day, I don't know how fun that would really be, and we'd just feel incredibly intimidated the entire time. I'm gonna say that we really, really, really want to jam with John Mayer. That would be incredible