Name: THE ANGRY BADGERS
Mission: TO EXPLORE OUR OWN MUSICAL POTENTIAL AND PRODUCE THOUGHT PROVOKING HIGH QUALITY SOUND TO ENTERTAIN
Towards the end of last year I had a very interesting meeting with Mike Issacs who runs the Bristol Music Industry Network. It was at one of BMIN’s meetings that Eddie heard about The Spiralling. He dropped me a message to see if I would be interested in writing a feature about their band, so I said yes!
The Angry Badgers formed in early 2014. “We’re a 4 piece (Jools, Eddie, Adrian and Derek) and from day one wanted to go beyond individual songs and to link our music though soundscapes. We’re unusual in that we’re cross generational and cross genre. Playing as a band pushes us all creatively and brings out the best in us. We really enjoy practises and the creative processes as we all bring different skills to the band. The song writing process usually takes place between Eddie and Jools, and then all of the band get involved with structural development of the track and the overall sound. We try and ensure that we can reproduce everything we record live. Playing live is something that we enjoy and need to do to give us a focus and to keep our playing tight.”
The band got together when Jools decided that he wanted to play originals again after years of playing other peoples. “He posted a small-add looking for a bass player and Eddie answered it. Eddie had been in a couple of short-lived bands and brought some songs and lyrics from previous projects. Derek previously played keys and guitar in electronic experimental bands and knew Jools though his day job, Adrian used to practise in the same studio and was looking for an original project to work on. We’re all open minded musically and willing to experiment and this shines through in our music.”
Due to them being a mix bag of people and genres, it’s not surprising that they take their musical influences from all over the place. “Our inspiration can come from anywhere! Rock. Punk, Progressive, Trance, Metal, Orchestral, Folk, Spoken Word and Jazz. Pineapple Thief and Nine Inch Nails were bands we often talked of when we formed. The work of Stephen Wilson is often mentioned during recording. Sometimes it’s just a phrase that you hear from someone on the bus or TV or it could also be the lyrics of musical greats such as Alan Hull (Lindisfarne), Neil Young, or Alex Harvey and a special mention should go to Lou Reed, Brian Molko (Placebo), and Shirley Manson (Garbage) whose lyrics often explore the darker side of humanity and have no fear!”
The Angry Badgers proudest achievement to date was the release of their EP ‘Dario’s Visions’. “It was created on a shoestring. The theme comes from the work of the Italian film director ‘Dario Argento’, who is often known as ‘The Italian Alfred Hitchcock’. The track ‘Deep Red’ refers to one of Dario’s films. The EP is very atmospheric and has a sense of foreboding, thanks to Derek’s soundscapes. We remain very happy with the result and it is representative of what we do live.”
Initially for the band one of their biggest problems was being able to meet up for practices. “We aren’t full-time musicians, and for a while all 4 band members worked different shifts. Things have since improved and we can now get together more regularly, although travelling to gigs can still be an issue.” Their other difficulty has been reaching the audiences for our experimental form of rock music. “Thankfully we have had support and encouragement from some on-line rock radio DJ’s and radio stations. We don’t quite fit into any current band genres or music pigeonholes. Our recognition is improving though so we have high hopes for 2017 and beyond.”
The band are currently busy badgering away, “We are working on several things at the moment.
We have a single called ‘Jason Lane’ ready to release that was recorded with a video in mind. It is about the work of a Bristol sculptor and metal worker, called Jason Lane who makes fantastic creatures from junk and up-cycling. The video is almost finished too and Jason will put in an appearance along with some of his creatures. In the run up to video release there are some Bristol Gigs scheduled, including a showcase set at The Blue Lagoon on the 29th March.” Also they are beginning to work on their first album “I can’t give too much away at the moment, but it is an ambitious project and a concept album and we have several songs that are ready to record. Going forward we want to work on longer sets and to add visuals and light shows in our live performances.”