This Labour Day weekend is not only a three-day affair, but Goodgod Small Club is celebrating turning three with a birthday bash filled with more musical talent than you can shake a stick at. On the bill are Sydney’s brilliantly shambolic punks Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys. We chat to Nic and Ben about their plans for the gig and life as a ‘Bad Boy.
I have to start by asking you about the band name. How did you settle on Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys?
Nic: The same way all good bands get their name, a ouiji board ceremony with celebrity magician David Bowie.
Shortly you’ll be playing the Goodgod’s third birthday party. What can BWBB fans expect from the show?
Nic: A pretty similar set to most BWBB sets: eight or so loud rock songs, with one or two mishaps and maybe a bit of jive-talk. As Adam Lewis and the Goodgod team have taken care of promotion and organisation very well we don’t have to worry about back line, parking, figuring out the door split etc., so we may even be a little more relaxed than usual. When your band is called Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys you’ve pretty much got to create most the shows you play. So thanks Adam for asking! I’m looking forward to plugging in and playing for once in my friggin’ life and having very few other responsibilities.
Ben: Today some people at work said they’re going to come to the show. I have a distinct professional, as opposed to social, way of dealing with things. Expect accountability, micromanagement, responsibility, outcome measures.
You’ve just played the BIGSOUND festival in Brisbane, and got pretty great reviews. How was the show for you? What other bands stood out for you?
B: BIGSOUND was the one time as a band we got a few perks. They put on a free barbecue during the day after we played. We got to watch cable TV. A guy let us borrow a drum key. It was a great few days. We played an all ages show at Tym’s Guitar Store with Songs, and it was good to see a bunch of young people at the show having fun, in a place like Fortitude Valley, which can be really draining in every way.
N: I don’t want to talk about it, ’twas a strange few days. Glad we did it though as it showed the industry you don’t have to be a caricature of a human to be in a band.
It’s practically impossible to find a written description of your music – including Pitchfork’s – that doesn’t mention The Replacements. How much of an influence were they on your musical development? What other bands have shaped how you write and play music?
B: Sometimes I feel as that The Replacements comparison is warranted, but other times it’s just lazy writing, an easy way out. ‘This band is gonna rock you like this band,’ rather than working at writing actually how a band makes you feel.
N: We all agree The Replacements are a great band but I actually don’t think they were that important on our development musically, as in I don’t think any of us use them as a template for our song writing or playing. I do think there’s an underlying philosophy or approach to playing rock ‘n’ roll that we share though, essentially being liberated by punk then drawing from the history of guitar music until it forms into something that feels familiar but isn’t some awful retro-rock revival. I think the huge scope of music I’ve listened to has indirectly shaped how I write and play music as opposed to any specific artist. From (Australian) X to Brian Eno, the behemoths of classic rock to your humble basement rockers.
Moving to Sydney from Cairns must have been an experience. How did you find the move at first, and in what ways did you discover music when you got there?
B: This is a really complex question to answer and I just wrote down a huge answer but didn’t cover anything significant. I’ve been in Sydney for six years now. A quarter of my life. I was back in Cairns a couple of months back and it was the first time since moving to Sydney that I realised what an unbelievably beautiful place it is, visually.
BWBB have a reputation for performing while less-than-sober. What would be included in your ultimate tour rider?
N: Collectively I don’t think we’re ever that drunk playing any more, I mean at least not most of the time. It’s nice to have a few drinks before, while and after playing cause we’re all busy people and it may well be the only time we get to let loose that week. I think people confuse less-than-sober with not being a bunch of timid, top-button-on-shirt-done-up, beige, flaccid indie band. Ya know; being a little bit primal, rock ‘n’ roll as a release, not a fashion show.
B: I feel there’s a real boredom during the three hours between loading in gear to a venue and playing. Don’t drink out of boredom, but sometimes there’s nothing else to do. Drink to celebrate. Hey, we’re a group of friends playing rock ‘n’ roll and at the end of the day there’s no pressure to do any more, any less. I’ll drink to that! (note I’m not a very good guitar player just to clear up reasons why I mess up at times)
N: Tour rider: I’d prefer some type of stout or dark ale opposed to the watery beer usually provided. If we’re talking big dumb music festival that breeds inflated egos: Gin and tonic water. DVD of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Some Lebanese bread and dips. Picture book of baby animals. Music device that plays rap music like Kool Keith, Big L, Tommy Wight III, UGK, Clipse to get me PUMPED UPPPP.
B: For the tour rider, I’m a sweet vermouth man.
What are your plans for the rest of 2013 and beyond?
N: Being a Bed Wettin’ Bad Boy feels real easy at the moment. For the first time since Doug joined which was 2 to 3 years ago we don’t really have any set goals or deadlines. We literally have no plans and will just continue to do what we do. Earlier this year we wrote a list of half-song, riffs, home demos and unreleased songs we’d like to re-work or re-visit. Hopefully through the summer we’ll have the time to “work” on them. I say “work” cause I don’t think it’ll feel like work. Playing together has started to feel like second nature and although we’ve been taking it easy post-album launch and tour I think we’ve unknowingly been pretty creatively productive. Once we have a big old list of songs ready to go we’ll think about working towards another record.
B: I was away for four months this year and I guess it’s a bit of catch up still after that. We’re all busy people outside of this band, so we just try do what we can when we can.
TICKETS FOR GOODGOD BIRTHDAY NIGHTS ARE AVAILABLE HERE: http://www.dashtickets.com.au/?/tour/26