Monday, August 12, 2013

Interview with BAD VISION

Bad Vision are yet another brilliant band emerging from the hot current Australian underground scene. This Melbourne based four-piece merges classic punk with garage, surf, protopunk and powerpop to make it their own explosive mixture. They have a selfreleased 7" out, which is nothing but a true winner record!


First the usual questions: who's involved in the band, who plays which instrument, when have you started playing together, do you play or have played in other bands? 
Ok well my name is Josh, I play guitar, I once played with a Melbourne band called Alsatians, amongst other side-projects. Jay is responsible for singing/dancing/histrionics etc, he has played in numerous bands including Hutt River Solution, Velvet Tongue ( this band was literally puppets playing rock and roll) and the Indian Givers. Krystal also plays guitar and once played with the Perth band Jacknives. MattRad is on drums, when he’s not whetting his insatiable garage-punk appetite he can be found blast beating around the country in the blackened crust hardcore outfit Urns and atmospheric black metal outfit Encircling Sea. We are cusping on our second anniversary as a band, so I believe there will be some kind of cotton-themed celebration as I’m told is customary when honouring a bands holy union and matrimonial vows. 

To get an idea what Bad Vision sounds like can you tell me some of your influences.
Wipers, Jay Reatard, Oblivians, X (LA) Radio Birdman, Buzzcocks, Mission Of Burma, Jacuzzi Boys.

In the review of your 7" I wrote that your bandname sounds "unispired", because the words "bad" and "vision" are often used for bandnames. Do you have an objection and what's your opinion about the relevance of bandnames in general? 
I think a band name is simply and obviously a means of identification, the relationship between bandname/music is intrinsically linked and synonymous with the music being made. I guess obvious comparisons could be made with the judging of book covers, as a band name is not often reflective of the music contained within. No more than ‘John’ could be your dearest, bestest and oldest friend, or the pederast who lives down the street. Perhaps they hold more significance within certain genres, Creeping Death probably wouldn’t attract someone into synthesizers. But then there are even attempts at rejection of such classifications, being oxymoronic as it would lead to a genre in itself (generally bands containing ‘Fuck’ or any other banal expletive). Placing too much importance on band names can be stifling; forcing yourself into a corner, from which to come out fighting in defence, or cowering with regret. An early decision and then acceptance is probably the safest way, if not, there’s always the ill-reputed and not recommended ‘random dictionary flick’ approach. Whether it can make or break a band is anyone’s guess, things like ‘throbbing gristle’ and ‘smashing pumpkins’, as mere epithets, seem ridiculous and hackneyed, however when placed in context with their music, take on a completely different, normalized/revered meaning. Then there’s !!!, sunno))) and ..And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, where you would think the coinee of such names would do nothing but set themselves up for a lifetime of explanation (at least a broken leg heals...), or alternatively could provide a degree of strangeness or unconventionality that creates interest and defies ridicule once more. Then I guess there are also bands whose names are super cool, that make really shitty music (Milly Vanilli, Bay City Rollers?!?!) Then there’s Was (Not Was), The The, Mr Mister and of course the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I don’t know. It’s a can of worms. Relevance? Not much. Maybe Ill defer to Russel Crowe. Ultimately I guess the quality of music resonates more than the band name, which is, just a band name. Bad Vision came from a misconstrued/(mal)adjusted Jay Reatard song. However the tunes were appreciated so thumbs up ;) 

You've toured Europe a few months ago. How did this come about and what was it like?
 The tour was a result of many emails (millions?), expletives and advice from those who had made the mission before. Krystal and Jay provided most of the impetus and turned it into a reality. Whereas Matt gave some excellent back and shoulder massages, and I sent encouraging words from Honduras. Once we were there it was a whirlwind of autobahns, backlines and languages, often forgetting which one to attempt (poorly of course) to converse in. There were moments of sublime surrealism and those of addled-mind-bending breakdowns. However the latter were few and far between, generally a result of the Polizei.. But of course, it was something extraordinary that we all enjoyed and appreciated, especially meeting new people, and trying new beers. Things one isn’t terribly inspired to do in Melbourne. We will hopefully be plotting our sophomore sojourn sometime soon, this time with some more dedicated efforts from Matt and myself. 

What's the main difference between the underground scene + playing shows in Europe and in Australia or is their no difference at all? 
I guess playing a new venue is always interesting and exciting, be it overseas or at home. There are just a shitload more places to play and visit in Europe, whereas there can be a bit repetition at home, not saying it stagnates, just slightly less stimulation. Although the many musical microcosms of Melbourne is something we are definitely grateful to be a part of. With some more experience with playing overseas Ill be better equipped to answer your question. 

Your 7" is selfreleased. By necessity or because you want to keep things totally D.I.Y.? What is the advantage of releasing a record by your own? 
Well let’s just say if our door was constantly being knocked down by labels, we would have invited them in for a cup of tea. But releasing the single ourselves is something we are immensely proud of doing, it has done well and it was more important to us to get the thing out there, rather than focusing on who would do that for us. It didn’t suit us to shop around so it made sense to just put it out ourselves and see what happened. What happened was, we sold them. 

Melbourne is the hometown of countless amazing bands. I think the "Rough End Of The Stick" compilation on Vacant Valley is a great example how varied and aweseome Melbourne's current underground scene is. Do you share my view and which other bands from your hometown are worth to check out? 
Vacant Valley are always putting out new and interesting releases, from varying backgrounds. The river runs deep in Melbourne (not the yarra) and Rough End of the Stick demonstrates this very finely. There are many bands doing cool things here such as Mesa Cosa, Bits Of Shit, Batpiss, Brat Farrar to name a few. 

There have been so many outstanding bands coming from Australia during the last couple of years, Do you have any explanations for this boom? Why is the aussie underground scene so strong? 
Perhaps there is some Darwinian-themed explanation where, due to our geographical isolation from the rest of the world (negating internet trends), we have developed our own innate sense of musicality due to aforementioned microcosm, where bands rely upon and influence one another on a small scale, which evolves as a whole rather than individual units, that has recently been expounded to the rest of the world. There are many obvious trail-blazing Australian bands that are enjoying renewed enthusiasm and appreciation from abroad, maybe intensifying the scrutiny upon new sounds coming from down under. 

You'll be releasing a 12". What will it sound like, what can we expect and who will release it? 
Something like a chainsaw in a blender being bulldozed then beaten by the splintered and ghostly remains of Pete Towshends martys from the 60’s. Not that it sounds anything like the 60’s… I dunno. Garage… Punk… Pop… Girl group… Christian Rock… Wait a sec.. Adagio830 will release the album in Europe, with some talks with local labels currently happening now and also a small label called Dirty Pillows in American will be releasing it on cassette tape. 

Radio Birdman or The Saints? 
Radio Birdman. The Saints have more albums of great music, the birdmen did more with just one. 

AC/DC or Black Sabbath? 
While Black Sabbath have numerous riffs of delicious down-tuned doominess, they got really weird there for a while… AC/DC  have been waving their balls around for 40 years making nothing but sweet-ass head-banging goodness that will sweat your brow more than the dengue fever you caught in Indochina last year. As if the tolling bell of Hells Bells doesn’t get your bell-end a hell of a… Ill stop there. But seriously, I don’t think there’s been more dangerous noise put to tape than Let There Be Rock.. 

X from L.A. or X from Australia?
I’ll retrace and reverse my comments from Saints v Birdman; Oz X released one good album, but it doesn’t compare to the brilliant output by LA X, their first 4 are just goddamn awesome.

Anything else people should know about Bad Vision? 
We hold crochet classes on the thrid Tuesday of every month in the Brunswick community centre, for those who would like to join.