Ahead of their two very sold out shows, we got to ask Bad Bad Hats a few questions. Read what they had to say below, and don’t miss them in the 7th St Entry this Saturday December 16!
Liz Legatt: What does your band name mean and where did it come from?
Kerry (of Bad Bad Hats): Bad Bad Hats is a reference to the Madeline children’s books. I used to read them when I was little and I watched a cartoon version on VHS tape. In the books, a “bad hat” is a person who’s a trouble-maker or up to no good. When I was making a scene as a kid, my parents would ask me if I was being a bad hat. I don’t know why it was in my head when we were naming the band, but it’s nostalgic for me.
LL: Bad Bad Hats met and formed while attending Macalester College—so really, the Twin Cities are your stomping grounds. What’s your favorite part of performing for your local fans?
BBH: We love being a Minneapolis band. It’s such a supportive scene and very inspiring too. The local show is always the best. Lots of friends and familiar faces. It’s really special to us to see people coming back to the shows, who know the words and are excited to see us getting bigger. We are very grateful to our fans. We like the local show too because we like sharing the stage with our friends.
LL: I was able to attend your show with Hippo Campus in November 2015, and I must say that you have the funniest stage banter in between songs! Do you usually come up with your content on the spot?
BBH: Almost all of my stage banter was something I came up with on the spot at some point, though now there are a few bits that I do at almost every show. I’m glad people enjoy the jokes. We don’t ever want to take ourselves too seriously. I’m happy people can connect with the music in a real and serious way, but can also have fun with us at the shows. Making music brings me joy and I want to share that joy with our fans.
LL: Is there a song you’ve written that came completely out of nowhere? If so, what were you doing when it came to you?
BBH: “Psychic Reader” was actually a last-minute addition to our first album. We were about to head into the studio and we had all the demos ready. But I had this idea and Chris and I recorded a quick little voice memo. When Brett, our friend and producer, heard it, he was like, this has to be on the album. He helped us finish the arrangement and he wrote the bridge. So it ended up being a really cool collaboration. But, yeah, a lot of songs feel like they kind of just drop from the sky. It’s a thrilling experience when the right words and melody comes to you.
LL: Do you have any stories you can share with us about adventures on tour?
BBH: Oh wow. Tour is the greatest adventure of all. You meet so many people and see so many cities in such a small amount of time. It’s a crazy feeling to be in Seattle one day and then a week later be in Arizona. On our last tour with The Front Bottoms, we had to drive from Charlotte to Philadelphia the day of a show. We left ourselves plenty of time, but we forgot to factor in the fact that it was the day before Thanksgiving. It was the worst traffic I’ve ever experienced and it was so bad that we showed up at the venue fifteen minutes before we were supposed to play. Thankfully, everyone at the venue was ready for us and got all of our stuff on stage, got us sound-checked, and we ended up starting two minutes early. Success!! We earned our Philly cheesesteaks that night.
LL: What should we keep an eye out for next from Bad Bad Hats?
BBH: Well! We’re working on a new album. We’re almost finished recording. So that’ll be coming out in the somewhat near future which is exciting! Then just expect more shows. More rockin’ and rollin’.
Blog by Liz Legatt (Marketing Intern)
Ahead of the The Replacements Tribute night, we got to ask some of the artists a few questions. Read what they had to say below, and don’t miss them at the Turf Club this Saturday, December 9th!
Charlie Bach: What is your Favorite Replacements Song/Record? Why?
ahem: We really like Beer for Breakfast (listening to it we mean).
The Bad Man: Sorry Ma. 18 songs and not one worth skipping.
Lydia Hoglund: Can’t Hardly Wait. It’s honestly one of my top 3 favorite songs. It has every emotion, it has perfect instrumentation and wow I just can’t express how much I love that song.
Dylan Ritche (Teenage Strangler): Let It Be for its range, from punk fury to tender ballads to caveman bar rock its all there.
J.E. Sunde: Let It Be. My older brother, who I looked to as the source of all good music, gave me this record. I love how diverse it is in terms of the types of songs and the sense that it’s the product of a lot of different influences but still feels like a cohesive record.
Nick Leet: I love “Tim” the most. It has the most anthems! I think Paul hit his songwriting heights with this one.
Brian Vanderwerf: Let It Be. It has all the things I love about the Replacements—it rocks, it’s got some pop stuff, heartfelt lyrics, sincerity, humor…
Charlie Bach: Have The Replacements influenced your own music/writing style? If so, how?
The Bad Man: Mostly with drinkin’.
Dylan Ritchie (Teenage Strangler): Hook driven songwriting plus the thrill of near chaos are the key influences in Teenage Strangler.
Charlie Bach: What excites you most about playing this tribute show?
ahem: Just hanging and listening to the other bands for sure, hearing what they decide to play. But we’re also super happy our friend Devon from Fury Things is joining us on bass that night.
The Bad Man: That The Bad Man has Ben Hintz on saxophone instead of Bob Stinson.
Lydia Hoglund: All the performers and their takes on the songs!
Dylan Ritche (Teenage Strangler): Getting to sing one of my favorite Mats songs “Johnnys Gonna Die” off the STINK EP.
Brian Vanderwerf: Good times.
Charlie Bach: (For returning performers) — You have performed in this tribute in years past, what’s your favorite part about playing this night?
Lydia Hoglund: My favorite part of playing this night (I think it’s my… 4th or 5th?) is the energy and the collaboration, the attentive crowd, working the crowd, the kindness and mutual love for this one beautiful band.
Nick Leet: I absolutely love getting together with friends I don’t see nearly enough. It’s an added bonus that we are performing some of the greatest rock songs of all time.
Brian Vanderwerf: Good times and jamming out to the Mats.
Charlie Bach: Is there a Replacements song you enjoy performing most?
ahem: Treatment Bound is a blast to holler along to. Not too bored to thrash (yet). Also, Rattlesnake if we get to pick two!
Dylan Ritchie (Teenage Strangler): Answering Machine or Little Mascara would be contenders for best Mats songs IMO.
Brian Vanderwerf: I’ve done a cool arrangement of “Bad Worker” that was real cool…but I also love singing and playing “I.O.U.” Bad Man beat us to it this year…
Charlie Bach: What about The Replacements music draws you in the most?
The Bad Man: The songwriting. Truly genius music doesn’t act smart. The Replacements nailed that.
Dylan Ritchie (Teenage Strangler): The band fearlessly expressed themselves honestly at a time when pretense was king in entertainment, the authenticity of the band through its many phases makes their music endure.
J.E. Sunde: The combination of a sense that they didn’t take themselves too seriously and yet there is enormous ambition and reach in what they produced.
Blog by Charlie Bach (Marketing Intern)
Ahead of The Cantina Strikes Back: A Star Wars Dance Party, we got to ask Jake Rudh a few questions. Read what they had to say below, and don’t miss them at First Avenue this Saturday, December 9th.
Note: a portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit Toys for Tots. Costume attire is encouraged.
Mackenzie O’Reilly: What Star Wars costume are you most looking forward to seeing at The Cantina Strikes Back Transmission Event?
Jake Rudh: I'm always a sucker for an old-school Stormtrooper uniform, though a Snowtrooper, Biker Scout, and/or an Imperial Gunner/Engineer sighting would be amazing to see (NERD ALERT)! P.S. I've been told that at least two of those will be making appearances Saturday night.
MO: If you could be any character in the Star Wars series, who would you be?
JR: It would have to be Luke because he's still alive! Though secretly, it would be pretty sweet to play Boba Fett ... because Boba Fett.
MO: What do you want listeners of your Transmission show to get out of it?
JR: Simply that if you groove on Star Wars like many of us do, First Avenue is definitely the place you're going to want to be on December 9th. I can speak through experience from the last Star Wars party I hosted there, the biggest fans in the Twin Cities show up in all of their galactic glory!
MO: You said on your show you regret not seeing the Cocteau Twins & The Smiths in concert. What First Avenue concert do you think your audience should not miss?
JR: Upcoming shows in the Transmission wheelhouse that are recommended include Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on 2/11, Peter Perrett (of The Only Ones) at The Turf on 3/7, They Might Be Giants on 3/15, OMD on 3/18, The Wedding Present at The Turf on 3/27, Yo La Tengo on 3/28, The Soft Moon & Boy Harsher at The Turf on 4/2, Cigarettes After Sex on 4/15, Marshall Crenshaw at The Turf on 4/19, Franz Ferdinand on 4/27 & Joy Division / New Order's Peter Hook & the Light on 5/7. That's not including the other 30 bands I'd love to see between now and May that have been announced. I have a problem.
MO: What do you think about the direction current music is going?
JR: People ask me if I enjoy current music as I'm known for mainly playing tunes heavily based in the '60s—the early 2000s. I love digging into the history of bands and their influences, but I also love loads of current music as well. I have to. I own a DJ company, and I wouldn't be doing a good job at owning a DJ company if I didn't pay attention to what's going on in music today.
MO: You talk a lot about Stranger Things on social media. In one word, what was your reaction to season 2?
JR: "Bitchin." (Eleven)
Blog by Mackenzie O’Reilly (Marketing Intern)