Christo Bowman of Bad Suns: An Indie Sound Feature

With their California indie vibe, Bad Suns has aimed to provide music lovers with a fresh take on new wave alternative rock.

Their newest release Disappear Here, shows significant growth in the bands musical approach from their 2014 debut, Language and Perspective.

The band started out by opening up for other established acts such as Halsey and The 1975, but the quartet is now selling out shows by themselves including a date in Columbus on June 9 at A&R Music Bar.

The Indie Sound got the chance to speak to lead singer, Christo Bowman, about the progression of Bad Suns and the band’s live performances.


The Indie Sound: You guys have been touring in support of your latest release, Disappear Here. How are the shows going so far?

Christo Bowman: It’s been pretty amazing. The shows have been just been different than anything we’ve ever been. Touring for Language and Perspective was a great learning experience for us I feel like. We kind of learned the lay of the land in touring. What’s been really incredible is everyone that have coming to these shows know the words to every song on both albums. We’re just really grateful and have been having a blast at every show.

TIS: Your first album Language and Perspective was released in 2014. How do you think Bad Suns as a band has grown from the Language and Perspective era to Disappear Here?

CB: With Language and Perspective we were coming from complete obscurity and had been writing for a long time. We were really out of touch with ourselves. When Bad Suns really started to come together around 2012, we had this point where we were not finding the right sound. Basically, we were really young and trying to make it work.

We had gone into the recording studio to record some of the early Bad Suns songs like “Transpose”, “Move Like the Ocean” and “Cardiac Arrest”, and with those songs we helped shape a sound. We put “Cardiac Arrest” on Soundcloud and it kind of ended up becoming a hit by accident. Our whole lives changed essentially and that kind of put us into the recording studio.

At that point, we were writing because we felt like we were on fire and then we came up with “Dancing On Quicksand” and the rest of the album. From that body of work, I felt like I needed a lot more work to grow as a lyricist and not writing songs in the perspective of a 16-17 year old anymore even though there are songs on the album that pre-date the first album.

Other than that, it was like “how do we push ourselves to be a better band than we were when we put out Language and Perspective?” We thought our first album was going to be a dud, so there wasn’t really any pressure on this album to write hit singles. It was mostly more about how write a better Bad Suns album for the fans.

We had this point to where we were not finding the right sound and basically we were really young and trying to make it work.

TIS: Speaking of Disappear Here, my favorite song on that album is “Outskirts of Paradise”. Could you go into a little detail about the backstory of that song?

CB: Yeah, sure that one’s actually a fun story. One day, Gavin [Bennett] started to play the intro to it on the guitar and Ray [Libby] came up with the bass line and then we were all like, “Miles [Morris], go play the same beat that Ray is playing on the bass” and right away we had the first verse of the song pretty much.

It was the last song that came together lyrically and logically because it was based on the fact that the whole album had already been written. It kind of ended up being about wanting to break out of the place where you are and the anxiety that comes along with it. And it’s also about the idea that things might not be so great today, but one day they will be.

TIS: What do you think it is about your band that makes listeners gravitate towards your music?

CB: You know, that’s a hard question to answer. I suppose because it could be a number of things. I mean all I know at the end of the day is that we try our best to be our favorite band basically. We’re all such huge fans of music, so much so that it can also be a little frustrating, especially when we were first starting.

When our band started to pick up I was 18 and that’s really young. All of these other bands who were in the same position as us were like between 25 and 35. I just remember feeling a bit strange, I don’t know exactly what it was, but I always remember feeling that there was some kind of disconnect between the fandom and the performers.

For us, we went straight from being fans to being on the other side. I don’t know, I still like to think of myself as a music fan. I’m one of the kids … I would show up and wait to meet different bands when I was growing up. I have certain expectations when it comes to this band, so with Bad Suns, we’re just going to try to not make those mistakes that other bands made. Let’s do the things that we expected of and that we wanted but didn’t get a chance.

TIS: Do you guys have certain songwriters you’re influenced from?

CB: When it comes to songwriters my heroes are people like Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Smith, and The Cure … people who continually make careers out of their skills. That’s what a lot of people don’t understand with a lot of these bands that they’re listening to … their music and a lot of the times those artists aren’t writing their own material or are collaborating with other people in the industry. And that’s fine, but to me I have always connected to people who have been able to build everything themselves. People like Petty and Springsteen who have been able to cultivate these followings of people who are passionate about their music and they consistently improve and deliver a better album each time around. Then you’re left behind with this whole catalog of incredible music that you’ll never get sick of. So I think that’s like the end goal of this band is to be able to have the ultimate catalog one day.

Bad Suns will be playing a sold out show at A&R Music Bar June 9 with support from HUNNY. You can listen to their sophomore record Disappear Here below and check out Bad Suns on Facebook, Twitter and on their website.

 

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