Remember the good ol’ days of hair metal, glam metal and good old fashioned rock n roll? Aberdeenshire five-piece band Bad Actress love nothing more than worshipping Mötley Crüe, Steel Panther and Motorhead and have recently released their new single “High-Speed Heartache” to much acclaim. I thought this would be a good time to catch up with the band and ask them a few questions. Good luck guys!
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Chick: We’re all based in the North East of Scotland. Bobbin stays in Portknockie, Tommy in Culloden and Vinnie, Lui and myself in Forres.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Chick: We used to go under the name Airrade, had a few lineup changes and became Bad Actress. Vinnie joined in early 2018, and Bobbin came along at the end of the year and we’ve stuck with this lineup since.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Tommy B: We’re just a no-nonsense rock band. That old style of rock. No growling vocals or anything like that. Just 5 dudes playing to a groove and putting on a show for people. We tackle subjects such as road rage and life on the universal credit, all the big issues.
Recently you released your latest single “High-Speed Heartbreak”. How does it feel to get the new song out there for the masses to hear for the first time and how have the reviews been so far?
Chick: It feels great! We put a lot of work into the track and the response has been awesome!
Tommy B: it’s been pretty awesome we’ve had some good response from it. It’s just a bigger sounding song so bringing that to our fans is just the best feeling you can get.
Being active for a few years now, how would you say it compares to that of your earlier material and do you think you have found the sound you strive for or will Bad Actress continue to keep experimenting?
Chick: This song definitely brings out our hair metal side (laughs). So in that way it’s definitely a bit different from some of the early bluesier tunes.
Tommy B: I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction and we will take aspects of it and bring it to new stuff for sure.
Before this fucking virus, how often were the band able to get together and rehearse in the studio?
Tommy B: We’d usually get together and rehearse in our practice room once a week. Can’t say we’ve ever rehearsed in a studio. Costs money for that. You should be rehearsing before you get in that studio. (laughs)
Where do you get together and record?
Tommy B: Well, we recorded our debut EP at Captain Tom’s in Aberdeen and went back there to record high speed. It’s a great environment to make music because everyone is sound as fuck and know what they are talking about.
How are the songs constructed in the studio? Are there the main songwriters of songs that take care of everything or is Bad Actress a band where all members contribute to the songs?
Tommy B: Well most of the time it’ll be me or Chick that has the basic riffs and ideas for songs and we will all write our parts to fit around that idea or riff. This new song we have was actually interesting coz we experimented with different vocal harmonies and tried different ways to sing the song which we’ve never done before in the studio. We usually have a concrete vision of how the song is gonna sound but we kinda just went nuts with this one till we found something we liked.
Is there a main lyricist within the band?
Tommy B: Most of the time it’ll be me or Chick that comes up with the lyrics or sometimes both. Like on “High-Speed…”.
What are the lyrics for “High-Speed Heartbreak” based on?
Tommy B: Well, I came up with the title after watching that Mötley Crüe movie. I just really wanted to make an 80s sounding song so I came up with that title and brought it to the band then Chick made the music and we both worked on the verse lyrics and it was a collective effort on how the chorus should sound. It was a great process to getting that song what it is today and it’s a method I would like to try again with the lot of them.
Being a five-piece band and having different musical influences within the band, is there sometimes a lot of negotiating in the studio or do you feel you are writing the music you want to for the band?
Tommy B: I think with our band we all know how it should sound. We all have a similar opinion on what makes music fun to play and having fun is key.
How hard has it been to juggle the touring side of things with the everyday jobs?
Tommy B: It’s not been too tough for us really. Haven’t done a proper tour yet. I save all the holidays I get from work for any gigs far away.
Do you have plans to go on more bigger tours and further afield in 2020 if things better?
Tommy B: I think it’s hard to say given the circumstances, everyone’s gotta be very careful going forward. I would settle for at least one gig tho! All I know is our next gig is gonna be one to remember.
How hard is it for a band like Bad Actress to survive in the current climate where bands have to tour non stop and sell merchandise in order to bring money back into the band?
Tommy B: Well, Bad Actress is a rock n’ roll band. And rock n’ roll will never die. Musicians as a whole are experts at adaption. We’ve all seen just how well the music community has pulled together and adapted. If a band wants it enough, they will always come back.
Before the internet, magazines and fanzines were the places to find out about new bands and trends. Now publications are replaced with thousands of websites catering for all genres. Do you think that some of the passion has been lost or do you think that the internet has been a good thing for music and Bad Actress?
Chick: For us, it’s always been the way it is now. It’s the digital age I suppose so just gotta work with it and enjoy it!
Unfortunately due to the virus situation, are you looking at new ways of getting your music out there?
Tommy B: I think we are just keeping things the same for now. Streaming platforms and YouTube. Think we are organizing a Bandcamp though so that’s new territory for us.
Chick: We were pretty lucky to have been in the studio in late 2019 so we’ve been able to release “High-Speed Heartbreak”. We have also been working with Stud Face Productions on a lyric video, due out on the 11/05.
You are currently unsigned as a band. Has there been any interest of late, especially when releasing new music?
Chick: There’s been quite a lot of interest in the band since the release of our new single “High-Speed Heartbreak”. We’re really pleased with the radio play and media coverage it’s had, as well as followers on social media.
What are your plans for the rest of 2020 going into 2021?
Chick: We’ll be releasing a new single this year and see what happens!
Being from the Aberdeenshire area, are there any other bands from your local scene that you would recommend and give a shout out?
Chick: So many! I’d definitely have to give a shout out to our Inverness friends King Kobalt. Check em out!
Tommy B: A good band that have just brought out some new stuff is Table For Four.
A fun question to end this interview. If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring 5 CDs to the party, what would they be?
Tommy B: The one and only CD you would need is Dougal’s sound effect album from Father Ted.
Chick: Huey Lewis and the News – Greatest Hits. Listening as I type this!
Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?
Tommy B: Just keep calm and don’t forget your daily dose of rock n roll!
Header image by Kenneth-Millen
“High-Speed Heartbreak” is out now