Charlie Bach: How did you get your start as a band?
The Bad Man: Patrick was living in Seth and Peter’s closet. The natural next step was to form a band.
CB: What was the inspiration/writing process behind your debut record Ain’t Clean?
TBM: Adrenaline, The Twilight Zone, and 4th Street NE.
CB: Who are your biggest musical influences? How do you incorporate them into your music?
TBM: All five of us listen to drastically different things, from Bruce Springsteen and At The Drive-In to Primus and Anderson .Paak. Tom Waits is a common thread. Warren (Bass) used to play guitar in black metal bands and Patrick (Guitar) used to play folk. We baffle ourselves by working together, but maybe we’re just maladjusted enough to collectively make something listenable out of all these influences.
CB: What excites you most about being a part of First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2017?
TBM: Always wanted to see what the green room was like at the Mainroom. It’s also a huge honor to play that stage so early in our career as The Bad Man—definitely feels like we’re going to the moon.
Charlie Bach: After establishing a name for yourself with The Blind Shake, what is it like to be doing the same with BLAHA?
Mike Blaha: It is much easier to walk into this situation having known all of the tour contacts, labels, and people in bands to help get us going. In the early days of The Blind Shake, we had to kick down every single door we wanted open. Even getting a show in Minneapolis was almost impossible.
CB: Who do you look to for an honest review of your work?
MB: Scene Point Blank writes thoughtful reviews. But I am definitely not looking to add critics. I have enough self-hate issues without putting my self esteem in the hands of other people. So I prefer to just do the work, followed by some more work.
CB:What has been the biggest difference between playing with The Blind Shake and BLAHA?
MB:Not playing with my brother, Jim, is the biggest difference. When we write songs together or play live, things click super quickly because we can pretty much read each other‘s minds by now. Musically speaking, we sort of merged into one person. However, when we knowingly work apart, I think both of our projects attempt things that push us and help us grow more. For example, the last place I would have wanted to be in my life is singing by myself into a microphone in front of people. But it’s something I have to attempt in order to get through whatever it is about that I am resisting. If I only do what is comfortable for me, I just sort of become a cartoon of myself and I’m not breaking any new ground artistically or as a person. But yeah, you definitely can’t explain your ideas with the same intensity to a non-brother and have it still work out. Ultimately, being a little more open-minded and not having to achieve certain aesthetic has been a lot of fun. My bandmates are all great musicians who take the song idea and expand on it without losing sight of the original concept. With that being said though, there definitely is some magic in being extremely intense and unhealthy for 15 straight years.
CB:You released a ton of music this year. What can we expect for 2018?
MB: Hopefully a Blaha band full length and an acoustic duet album as Blaha & Costello, a project I’ve been working on with Christy Costello from Pink Mink, Von Bondies, and Oujia Radio. I think both albums are ready to go, we just have to line up some time and record them.
Mackenzie O’Reilly: When did you decide you wanted to get into rap for a living?
Dwynell Roland: High school my junior year is when I really put my mind that I wanted to do this for a living. Since then I’ve been making the steps to make that happen. So far so good I think. *laughs*
MO: Who influenced your style the most?
DR: I have no idea honestly. I like all types of music so I try my best to dabble into everything. When I was younger it used to be Mystikal actually (if you listen to my earlier stuff you’ll see what I mean).
MO: Who do you feel like you’re making the music for — the public or yourself?
DR: Well when I’m writing it and everything I make it for myself. Since it’s at the moment but I tend to put lyrics that other people can relate to while relating to my own work as well. So I wanna say both. I never really attach myself to my songs or anything. I just make the music and after that it’s for everyone to hopefully relate or like it.
MO: What can the audience expect from your performance?
DR: A lot of energy and just having fun honestly. I just want people to have fun and enjoy themselves. That’s my plan every time I step on stage so this event will be no different!
Mackenzie O’Reilly: What stands out about your music compared to other artists?
Lady Lark: I think we all need permission to let go sometimes and music is my release, being Lady Lark is my excuse to let loose and I want everyone to feel the same way when I’m singing. My music is designed to make you dance, tap, or groove like no one is watching, I want everyone to feel the same joy that I do from music.
MO: What song are you most proud of?
LL: The Rhythm is the song I’m most proud of because it was the moment I found my true sound. I’ve always wanted to record and perform but didn’t know if I could capture the same magic that I love. As soon as the Rhythm was released, my musical journey began and Lady Lark was born.
MO: What are you most looking forward to when returning to First Avenue?
LL: This will be my first time on the Main Stage, which will be nothing short of a dream come true. I played 7th St Entry about a year ago but never imagined this honor could happen, it’s truly a blessing to play on such a renowned stage with great company.
MO: Are you working on any new projects you can tell us about, or is live music still your focus?
LL: I’m getting ready to release a new single just in time for the new year and I can’t wait to share it! The single will be the first track off my new album, which I’m currently recording in the studio and plan to release the summer of next year.