This week, I caught up with Miles Wilson from Australian’s very own indie rock band, Bad // Dreems who are returning to Glasgow for their own headlining tour in March! We chat about the music scene in Australia, what it was like supporting The Chats in their last UK tour and of course their latest album, Doomsday Ballet. Have a read below now…
How would you describe your music to first time listeners?
A long table three-course a la carte dinner is in full swing. The room is candle-lit. Chris Bailey, Peter Garrett, Bon Scott and Ian McCulloch are there. They’re revved up on West End Draught and Barossa Valley Port. They’re having a vivacious argument about who is worse out of Trump and Boris. The volume is getting louder …
You guys are from Adelaide in Australia; how would you compare the music industry in Australia with the UK?
It’s kind of like the UK industry’s strange foreign exchange student billet. The Aussie industry is isolated, smaller and scrambling over a much smaller population. Having said that, there’s some great kinship and camaraderie there. Most of the bands I listen to are Australian.
Who are the Australian bands that you recommend us checking out?
100, from Sydney, really dig them. Shady Nasty, Amyl & The Sniffers, Floodlights, Jackson Briggs & The Heaters, Pist Idiots, Mini Skirt, Stella Donnelly, Crocodylus … the list goes on. We’re in a lucky and fruitful time down here.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
Both my parents were jazz musicians, so teenager hood began with a strange mish-mash of Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder, later lumped in with some early Nirvana, Jedi Mind Tricks, Joy Division and The Cure.
You supported The Chats on their UK tour at the end of last year; was there a particular gig that stood out for you while you were on that tour?
I just remember thinking the Scots were bananas, especially in Edinburgh. Basically, the entire capacity of the gig arrived prior to doors, sang songs and crowd-surfed one another outside the bloody venue, then threw their beers in the air and frantically disrobed as soon as the first band (Crocodylus) started.
You guys are returning to the UK soon for your own headline tour, including a Glasgow date on 15 March. What can Scottish fans expect from the gig?
The Glaswegians were ripper last time. They can expect a high-octane rock show with a few ‘Here we, here we, here we fucking go’s. But they don’t seem to care, they’re just there for a ruthlessly fun time either way.
Your latest album, Doomsday Ballet was released last year; how has the response been?
The response has been really humbling. And super positive. We’ve had so much great feedback on the songs – which is wicked, because you’re always kind of shitting your pants about that stuff. It’s super interesting to see how people perceive the lyrics and the music. Listening to people describe where their mind’s eye turns when they listen to a certain part of a song, is strangely rewarding.
My favourite song from the album is Sonny. What was the influence behind that?
Benny came up with the idea, from memory, based on an old war veteran trying to explain certain ‘things of the past’ to a younger person who will never quite understand. That separation of generation, privilege and such differing upbringings. I really love that idea from Benny. Musically we went for that anthemic rock feel, raucous and hard down strokes on the axes, fully open hi-hats, real crash-bang stuff. It’s fun to play.
Is there any advice you would give to bands and musicians starting off in the industry?
Be yourself. Back your own quirks, influences and abilities. The more you look to other bands and what they’re doing, the further you’ll get from authenticity, and authenticity is the most enticing quality a band can have.
Finally, what are your aims and ambitions as a band for 2020?
We’re hoping to get more of a footprint abroad. It would be nice to get our music heard as much as possible in the UK and the US. I think we have something to offer in those regions, and we bloody love going over to those places. We’re penning LP #4 now too, so there’s also that.
BAD // DREEMS SOCIAL MEDIA