Jazz punks BBNG talk porn and bitches (and jazz)
Mathew Tavares, Chester Hansen, and Alexander Sowinski, make up BadBadNotGood (BBNG), some of the most creative electronic musicians in the game. What you might know is that they are in Australia, preparing to tear up OutsideIn with Freddie Gibbs, and Sydney’s own Jimmy Sing (co-owner of GoodGod), Cosmo’s Midnight, and Wave Racer (formerly of Pablo J & TheLobsterettes). What you might not know, is that this experimental Jazz-hop trio, are some of the most chill dudes I’ve ever had the pleasure to chat with. They told me that despite doing collaborations with Frank Ocean, Tyler The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, meeting with ASAP Rocky, and incredible success, they were scared to say ‘hi’ to Kendrick.
And for your listening pleasure, maybe while you read the interview, they pumped out a tune on their phones, which we were lucky enough to have the fresh af producer Scaaps remix.
BYO: How are you?
BYO: Where are you guys?
We’re in Katowice, Poland
BYO: Are you scared of me? Is that why you’re in Poland?
BYO: What’s your favourite BPM?
That’s a good question
Like 69, I don’t know what do you guys think
Alex, what’s your favourite BPM?
Seriously though, I don’t know what’s a good BPM?
That’s like the most annoying BPM because we have to practice all this lame shit at school with it.
I think 69’s a better answer
BYO: You all seem like cheery kids, but your name is all negative... what’s up with that?
That was just a name that our friend came up with, and we kind of liked it. Every time someone asks us what our band name is there’s always like a second or two (after we tell them) where they don’t understand. That’s kind of cool.
BYO: So back when you were getting started, you were all banging Bastard and got together through mutual interest in Odd Future. What’s the music that’s keeping you together?
Anything awesome. Anything we stumble upon. We’ve all got similar tastes. We’re always showing each other new music.
Last night we spent 3 hours going through old 90s Canadian mainstream rock music. Like blink 182 and stuff like that.
And then on the Canadian side stuff like Serial Joe, and like, Third Eye Blind, Mathew Good all that kind of stuff.
Like hilarious, faded music.
BYO: You guys meet up with a lot of famous people, Drake’s from Toronto, ever met Drake?
Actually that’s the one.
Alex and I have had like one or two strange dreams where we meet Drake. Funny enough though the guy we have a studio with, a really cool dude, Frank Dukes, used to be friends of Drakes, like way back in the day, like 10 years or whatever, when he was in high school. Drakes rapped on his beats, and he’s been to Drake’s house. So we’ve got to re-establish that, so we can meet him, Drake’s fucking amazing.
BYO: Are you still tight with any of the dudes you’ve met, like Earl Sweatshirt and ASAP Rocky?
Yeah Earls the coolest dude. Alex was just hanging out with him a week ago.
He was in Toronto for like a couple of one off shows and I just had him by the studio and he played me the rest of the album, and I played him a bunch of new stuff. It was cool.
BYO: I read once that Matt said Jazz has become a lot about technicality and not about musicality, I feel like that says a lot for BBNG which seems to bring Jazz back to the masses. Why do you think - you guys are taking off like you are?
I don’t know why we’re getting popular; I can’t answer that.
I think we’ve been pretty lucky obviously, but it comes from that we just try to make music that’s creative and sounds good, and not worry too much about hitting scales or being too technical. Just making music that’s inspired by everything we listen to, not just Jazz, but Jazz is a big part of it. What do you guys think?
Yeah that’s a good answer.
BYO: Tyler the Creator once tried to fuck my girlfriend has he ever tried to fuck any of your bitches?
No. I hope not.
BYO: You like beer?
Yeah we love beer. That’s like our favourite beverage. We have beers a lot; we love beer. It just happens to be that we’re drinking beer in the interviews.
BYO: What’s your favourite beer?
We were just in Belgium and Duvel is amazing.
You can get like a huge wine bottle with a champagne cap, like the fucking wood cork. It’s 750ml, and it’s so delicious. It’s like 3 Euros or whatever, and it’s the best beer.
BYO: I’ll give you some beer in Sydney.
That’d be amazing.
BYO: Anything you’re psyched for in Sydney? Besides the beer I’m going to get you...
Just being in Australia in general is going to be sick.
Never been, always been a fan of the two David Bowie music videos shot there. Like Let’s Dance and China Girl were shot in Sydney.
It looks cool.
Mission impossible 2 was shot in Sydney.
We’ve heard from people who have been there that it’s just a really awesome place, really beautiful.
People have cool accents.
The Opera House.
I don’t actually think I know about the history of Sydney.
Also coming from North America, it’s the other side of the world, it’s not the kind of place you just go for any reason. Most people I know who’ve been there are there for a job or for school, or they’re traveling around the world.
It’s like a 24 hour flight or something.
BYO: Are you excited for Outside In, the festival you’re doing in Sydney?
We’re fucking excited to play our music and see how people on the other side of the world react. We’re super excited to play somewhere, not in North America, we’re super excited to play in North America too, but it’s just extra cool to play on the other side of the world.
It’s always really awesome to play overseas and going to a new place
I actually have to double check the line up too *checks line up*
Oh shit, this is the show we’re playing with Freddie Gibbs. Freddie Gibbs is cool.
BYO: Any Sydney acts you’re keen on?
We don’t really know too much from Australia.
I guess they’re not from Sydney, I think they’re from Perth, but Tame Impala.
That’s probably what everyone says when they think of new Australian music.
Hiatus Kaiyote I guess.
Yeah Hiatus Kaiyote's cool.
BYO: Who would win in a fight Freddie Gibbs or Zomby?
Definitely Freddie Gibbs.
He’s a hard dude.
BYO: I liked your cover of Hard in the Paint, do you think that you would ever cover the Crizzly remix?
The Crizzly dubstep remix?
Where it’s like BUuuUUBUUURRBBUHhhuuUU??
With the crazy Synth. We haven’t actually played that song in a long time.
That’s a sick song to play, and we were inspired by that song (the Crizzly remix).
I thought you based a bass octave thing off it?
Yeah I did. I don’t know if we’re really going to play hard in the paint anymore.
Maybe we’ll bring it back.
Also, I think the Crizzly remix is so hard and so dope that we wouldn’t want to steal his thunder for how epic he made the most epic rap song.
It’s one of the best beats ever (the original Hard in the paint), one of the best rap songs; it’s so amazing and definitive, and it’s a masterpiece.
Just an awesome song.
BYO: A lot of your stuff is covers, or reinterpretations, how do you think that your fans would react to you just doing completely original stuff? Or do you think the essence of BADBADNOTGOOD is reinterpreting electronic and hip hop music?
We’re always inspired by other peoples music, and we’re probably going to keep doing covers and reinterpretations, but over the last year and a half we’ve been moving into writing new songs and recording new stuff. The next album is going to be pretty much all original so hopefully people like it.
Yeah that last song we released was all original and seemed like people got a good vibe.
You can download that for free on Soundcloud.
Obviously the covers get a lot of hype like lemonade at 500BPM; a lot of our original songs get a lot of hype now too which is cool.
We’re always going to record covers because it’s fun to reinterpret someone else's music and put a fresh spin on it. Or just be able to hype a crowd because someone put out a dope composition, that’s just immediately able to get a crowd going and having fun.
Some people seem to think that the covering is a negative thing, but some of the most amazing songs ever were covers.
There’s no better way to learn all kinds of music is to learn all kinds of songs and see how they fit together.
And put your own style on another person’s music. And there are so many great songs that were covers like Cinnamon Girl by Eric Clapton. *All three erupt into laughter*
We should tell him about that.
We were at this festival in Belgium last weekend that was supposed to be Crazy Horse and Neil Young, but Neil Young cancelled. We were watching the set, and they said that Neil Young wasn’t there, so we assumed that we were watching Crazy Horse. After watching this band play Neil Young songs for like 40 minutes we figured out that it wasn’t Crazy Horse.
He’d play like a Stones song and be like oh I just found out that wasn’t a Neil Young song sorry.
It was fucking hilarious.
They were actually all really entertaining; they were wearing all Adidas tracksuits and sunglasses even though it was like pitch black.
BYO: You’re new album is called BBNG3. Fuck yes.
We weren’t sure for a while if we were going to call it that. But I think we’re more set on it now just because it makes sense for us. It’s a good transition.
The fourth one will be self-titled (double live), and then the fifth one will be houses of the holy.
BYO: I feel like it’s important for your aesthetic: which is all about the music, not about how you market it.
It’s hard enough just thinking of song titles. So many pretentious instrumental music titles that are just turn offs when you see them. When you write songs with lyrics it’s a lot more appropriate, but then you see instrumental tracks with super descriptive titles that are like seven words and the album name is like fucking whatever. It’s just like: "get over yourself."
(Modern) Jazz has a lot of funny titles.
People name their albums something like “tune for bird”.
There just seems to be worse names in instrumental music. That doesn’t mean that every instrumental artist is pretentious with their names.
BYO: The other day someone asked me what I did for a living, and I was like guess, and they were like a porn star.
BYO: Do people see you travel, with your flock of groupie biddies running behind you, and ask you if you are all rockstars? And you guys are like no we’re jazz musicians, and they’re like no you’re not.
I don’t even know if we have groupie biddies.
They’re definitely not flocking with us everywhere we go.
People like to hit us up to sign autographs and talk to us which is really cool. But we’re like really low key guys; we’re not running around with reflective aviators and bucket hats.
Bucket hats are cool!
No, I meant like trucker hats and mustaches and whatever. People see us, and they’re like three 21 year olds they must be backpacking through Europe.
It would be cool to have flocking bitches, but we all have girlfriends, so it doesn’t really affect us.
BYO: Name 5 Canadian porn stars
I know Nikkie Benz is Canadian; she went to a high school down the street from my house.
I only know that because I follow her on twitter.
How do you know that they are?
I guess you just have to know that they are.
I’m searching Canadian porn stars *he searches Canadian porn stars*
I don’t know, do you know 5 Canadian porn stars?
Do you know 5 Australian porn stars?
Well we got one.
The porn here (Europe) is crazy. We were flicking through the channels the other day, and we found this like super weird thing, and we were like what is this? And it was just this woman in a bra and panties just doing domestic chores.
For like 20 minutes.
There's nothing really sexual about it except she would take off a piece of clothing.
But if you watched it for like 30 seconds you would think she just woke up or something, and was just going about her day. And as you watch it more the camera angles just get more close up and more sexual.
BYO: What do you know about the Piu Piu scene?
I’ve never heard of this actually *googles it*
That’s kind of cool
We know that Montreal has a great scene, and we saw Lunice just last week, and he’s like the coolest guy, but I didn’t know it had a title like that.
A lot of people I know don’t even know that name. Unless they’re real in the Piu Piu scene.
The fact that Lunice is a part of it, and Jacques Green everyone should check it out because those guys are really fucking talented and makes some of the most creative electronic music.
- Al @CerealMonk