AN INTERVIEW WITH BAD LUNGS
Slamming mosh pits, bloody knuckles, denim jackets decked out with pins, and grimy venues thick with anarchist sentiment and rebel attitude. Nostalgic for that legendary punk scene, Bad Lungs isn’t content to let the days of underground shows and the feeling of vinyl beneath your fingertips become a thing of the past. Instead Tom Rowlett (vox/guitar), Frank Lada (guitar), Dominic Sennett (bass), Winfred Kent (keys), and Chris Britain (drums) are determined to restore the London scene to all it’s scuzzy, seedy glory.
Igniting a frenzy with the release of their first 45, The DT’s, there’s something simulationsley retro and refreshing about it. Crashing in with “The DT’s,” the song races on with breakneck speed, a punch-you-in-the-face sort of power that comes with doing whatever the fuck you want. Made for the sweaty atmosphere of basement venues, the song writhes and twists the same way you’d imagine the crowd to. An insatibale angst comes with the jaded drumming and viciously cold guitars that sneer right along with the lyrics. Coming in on a tear, “Drones” breaks bottles, topples amps, and launches someone from the stage into the tangle of hands below in less than two minutes. A rapid-fire renegade, stubborn and unruly, the track rages and thrashes with unparalleled intensity.
Bad Lungs brings the experience of punk to a generation that’s been spoonfed mainstream hits since birth. They make music an experience, from the physical act of putting down the needle to the ambiance and attitude. Sneaking in through the back door, the spilled beer sticking to your shoes, the mess of flailing limbs and shouting: it’s something impossible to translate to an online recording. While everyone continues to turn towards spotify and livestreams, Bad Lungs are here to remind you there are some things you just can’t get from a screen: the thrill of completely losing yourself in the crowd being one of them.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT VINYL? WHY DID YOU WANT TO RELEASE THE DT’S AS A 45?
Vinyl still brings music fans together. With vinyl there’s still that community feel that exists in record shops.
FIRST VINYL YOU EVER BOUGHT? ONE WITH MOST SENTIMENTAL VALUE?
The first one I bought for myself is The Replacements’ Let It Be. I think I went back the next day to pick up more of their albums. My favourite and the most sentimental would be My Generation by The Who; it was the first album my Dad gave to me. Since then I’ve been given some great ones from his collection, plenty of Kinks, Captain Beefheart and tons of old blues.
WHAT ROLE IN THE CONSUMPTION OF MUSIC DO YOU THINK VINYL PLAYS IN OUR INCREASINGLY DIGITAL AGE?
The ritual of buying a vinyl and listening to it is more meaningful. I find I really give it my full attention if I’ve gone out, bought it, and put it on my player rather than just downloading a tune to the phone which is so much more passive.
WHAT WAS THE PROCESS OF SELF-RELEASING THIS RECORD LIKE? DO YOU FEEL LIKE BY SELF-PRODUCING YOU’VE CREATED A MORE AUTHENTIC PRODUCT?
Not gonna lie, it was done out of necessity but now we’ve done it and we know how to do it, we know we can do it again so it was well worth it. It shows people we ain’t gonna wait around for some label to take a punt on us and that we have a great work ethic and that we mean it.
THE DT’S IS YOUR FIRST RELEASE AS A BAND. HOW DO YOU THINK IT INTRODUCES AND ENCAPSULATES WHO BAD LUNGS IS?
It’s got our live energy down for sure! Within the song itself we show a lot of what we are about as a band, the kinds of riffs we like to use, vocal style, the krautrock section etc.
HOW DO YOU THINK “THE DT’S” AND “DRONES” CONTRAST AND COMPLIMENT EACH OTHER AS A AND B SIDES?
“Drones” is a great B side because it’s a one take recording. You’ll get a feel for what a live show might be like, it also shows that we are not always about playing crazy krautrock wig outs in our tracks, we are just as happy playing 2 min punk rock as we are experimental psych rock.“DTs” still has has that lively feel but shows that we are capable of doing a bit more in the studio to shape the sound of a tune.
YOU GUYS HAVE A REAL SENSE OF NOSTALGIA. WHERE DOES THAT COME FROM? IS THERE A PARTICULAR THAT YOU FEEL HAS REALLY INFLUENCED YOUR MUSIC?
I suppose it comes from listening to the music our parents liked and being in musical households. My dad for instance played the harmonica in loads of blues bands. It’s good to look back, there’s so much to discover but it’s got to be the 60’s early 70s for me. I think there’s something about that old warm sound the bands had from recording to tape, I know as soon as we can afford it we will too haha!
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO BE A BAND IN LONDON? DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’VE BEEN INFLUENCED BY ITS NOTORIOUS PUNK SCENE?
We’re influenced by all sorts, not one scene in particular but that’s the best thing about London, there’s something for everyone and you can pick and choose what you want or put on your own thing, it’s great.
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING ON? CAN WE EXPECT NEW MUSIC SOON?
Yep we’ve got some new tunes we’re really excited about. We just need to get them in shape a bit and we will be releasing again in the not too distant future...