Southern California foursome Badflower have just released their debut album, ‘Ok, I’m Sick’. It’s a record that sees them tackle anxiety head-on, navigating abuse (‘Daddy’), depression (’24’), social media stalking (‘Girlfriend’) and Donald Trump (‘Die!’) across the record’s thirteen tracks. Frontman Josh Katz tells us more.
Hi Josh, how’s it going? You guys must have a lot going on with the album coming out.
You have no idea.
Tell us about ‘Ok, I’m Sick’. What was your frame of mind like going into it?
We had just gotten home from tour, and I was in a pretty dark place in terms of my anxiety. I’ve always struggled with that, but on that particular tour, it had gotten really bad, to the point where I wanted to run off stage every night. So when we got home, I knew it was time to write the record, and I just decided to tell that story.
How long have you been writing with a full-length in mind, and how did you approach curating the track listing?
We must have had 50 songs, maybe more, that we talked about putting on the album. I’ve always wanted to put out a full length. It isn’t like we didn’t have enough material to do that, we just had to decide what worked and what didn’t. Beyond the songs we already had, we wrote or refined another 10. The ones that ended up on 'Ok, I’m Sick' were the most relevant to the time in which they were written. This is a very modern album; it encapsulates the era in which it was written and curated. That was important to me.
You’ve been very open about suffering from anxiety, when did you realise you might need a bit of help dealing with it and how did you go about getting that support?
I’ve had these issues since I was a teenager and I always knew I needed help or support, but I didn’t seek it, outside of confiding in friends, until very recently. It can be difficult to get that help when you don’t have the means. I’m lucky to have people in my life I could talk to. That never fixed it, and I never told them every honest detail of how I was feeling, but it helped.
What advice would you give others going through a similar thing?
Confide in someone. Anyone. Talking about it helps.
What music did you listen to while you were growing up, and what drew you to becoming a musician yourself?
Movie scores. I listened to regular music too, but we watched a lot of movies in my house and their scores - the way they captured the emotion of each scene- really inspired me.
Are you creative in non-musical ways too?
Yeah. I love to build things. Building sets for music videos, lighting fixtures for stage. I also love creating the story behind our music videos.
The Johnny Galecki cameo in the video for ‘Heroin’ was fun, are you guys buds? Was it a bit weird working on a filmed piece with an acting pro?
We are buds. He’s one of my closet friends so I’d say that was weirder than him being a pro on the set of 'Heroin'. Being vulnerable in front of your friends is hard.
What’s the best thing you’ve done during your time in Badflower?
Write this record. Write songs that mean something to the people that hear them.
Anything else we should know?
We’re excited to come to Europe in April.
Taken from the April issue of Upset. Badflower's debut album 'OK, I'm Sick' is out now; they'll play Tufnell Park Dome in London on 8th April.
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