Hailing all the way from Ohio, the indie rock duo, Bad Veins, will be performing at Stubb’s this Saturday night. Alex Ramirez spoke to with Bad Vein’s drummer, Sebastien Schultz, discussing his affinity to pop music, the band's use of a reel-to- reel tape, and his thoughts on vinyl and singles.
Bad Veins have already garnered considerable acclaim in the underground blog scene after they released their second EP, Outliers. Mixing bubbly synths with a plethora of stringed instruments and aggressive drumming, their newest album, The Mess We’ve Made, is a mix of well-crafted pop vignettes.
I saw a picture of you guys at Disneyworld on twitter. How was it there?
Yeah. It was pretty awesome. We really didn’t have a day off but we were on our way to Kansas so we just decided to stop by at Disney. We went peeking around and just had a good time at the park.
It kind of surprised me when I heard you would like to collaborate with Kylie Minogue. Why her?
Yeah I actually love Kylie Minogue. She’s just a really great pop artist and has a lot of greatly crafted pop songs that I really like. The album, X, that came out a few years ago is one of her greatest albums. It’s pretty solid all the way through.
Do you guys ever feel limited using a reel-to-reel tape?
No, not really. Having a reel-to-reel allows us to put a lot of our backing tracks on to it. We do have some constraints, but ultimately, we can decide what we want to put on the reel and what we want to play live. But once it is on there, we are limited because we have to play what’s on it. But most of the time we feel pretty limitless.
You once said that songwriting is like finding that perfect pop song. Do you think that “single” mentality has increased in the music industry?
Yeah, it’s kind of funny how the music industry has kind of gotten back to that single focused mindset. Like back in the 60’s a lot of bands like the Beatles used to release singles on 45’s and that’s how bands got popular. And now in 2012 it’s getting back to that mindset with the iTunes generation. The album really doesn’t matter because you can just buy single songs on iTunes. The album really doesn’t have that much prominence as it used to, which is unfortunate because that’s not how we try to look at our albums. We try to make it cohesive and solid. We want it to fit together and be thematic to where it has a flow to it.
There is a bit of resurgence with vinyl again though.
Yeah, there definitely is, but to a certain extent because if you look at the aggregate, that is a very, very small percentage. You don’t find many people actually going to record stores and buying vinyl. But regardless it is cool that it’s coming back even in the smallest capacity. It’s nice that I’m still able to stop at the record store and still buy a good record every now and then.
Do you guys ever feel pressured to have that “single” mentality while songwriting?
No, not really. The songs really define themselves on their own. If you’re trying too hard to make a banging hit then it’s just not going to happen. It should just come out naturally. But like in every record we have our songs with hooks and the others that wouldn’t necessarily be considered a “single.” They still have their own melody and place within the album though. For example, “Not Like You,” has been one of my favorite songs for quite a while, but it’s not necessarily considered a single. It still has all the right elements of a melody, tempo, and drive though.
Davis said he usually hates the albums once they’re released after scrutinizing it so much. What’s the process that you go after they’re released?
I listen to it a lot initially and then never listen to it again. I’ve listened to it all the way through and our fans have too, which is really rewarding. But I’m really not scrutinizing it because once the mixing, mastering, and editing is done there is nothing I can do. It’s done and I’m pretty sure if I constantly scrutinized it I would drive myself crazy.
Do you wish you did anything differently?
No, I think we made a pretty solid and good album. Certainly, the first album was a little bit of a rough process so maybe that’s why I don’t listen to our albums after they’re out. But on this album, I hit everything I wanted to do. I felt really comfortable and confident. But on the first album, I definitely wished I did certain things that I didn’t do at the time. There is a lot of stress and time that go into making an album as well as listening to it constantly in the studio. Once it’s done, it’s nice to take a breath and not listen to it anymore. But over all I’ve been very satisfied.
Bad Veins play at Stubb's on Saturday night. Get Tickets.