From speaking out about the struggles of live venues, to a brand new clothing line, a very-nearly-here EP, the start of their second album, and an upcoming tour - Baby Strange are taking a difficult time, full of uncertainty and disruption, and turning it into something positive. Vocalist and guitarist Johnny Madden tells us more.
Hi Johnny, how's it going? What are you on with today?
I'm doing not too bad; I'm currently getting prepared to go and play a live stream with the band for the Hospitality Health Charity.
What have you guys been up to since we last heard from you?
We've been super busy. Last year we went out to Stockholm and signed with Icons Creating Evil Art! On top of that, we started working with a new manager and agent, so things have been full steam ahead since then. We're currently in the middle of writing our second album, which we're very excited about.
Do you have much new music done and raring to go?
The new album is starting to take shape. We're still in the demo stage but we're getting there. We'll be heading into the studio soon to start recording. We've also recorded 2 tracks for Record Store Day that we're putting out on vinyl. A song of ours and a cover, more info will be out on that soon.
When did you start working on your 'Land Of Nothing' EP, how did it come together?
We actually had 'More! More! More!' and 'Club Sabbath' already recorded before we started planning the EP. Having those songs ready to go was a great jumping-off point for us. The other songs were written when we stayed together in a house for a week. Staying together as a band was something we'd never done, so it was great to be creative 24/7.
Was it inspired much by events of the past year or so?
Parts of it, yeah. The EP title 'Land Of Nothing' actually came to me when I was walking through a street in Glasgow that is usually full of people and life, but seeing everything boarded up with smashed windows and no people around gave me this shiver down my spine. I just wasn't used to seeing Glasgow like that. The title automatically came to me then and there. There's a track called 'There's Something There' on the EP that I'm really proud of. It's the first time I've ever written about my struggles with mental health in the past. Getting this song finished was hard as I felt something inside of me telling me to scrap it, but I pushed through, and I'm glad I did. I felt a weight lift off that I didn't even know was there.
How has lockdown impacted your club night? Do you know when you'll be back?
Not being able to do Club Sabbath has been a massive blow to us and the music community in Glasgow. The club night is a place where people come to let off steam, dance, meet new people and discover their new favourite band. We have no idea when it'll be back, but we hope at some point this year if it's safe to do so.
What else are you working on at the mo?
We've started our own clothing brand with our manager Gavin called Pure Evil Clothing. We've always really been into clothes, so starting this made a lot of sense to us. There's been such a great response to it. We're currently stocked at Atika on Brick Lane in London, and soon the clothes will be available to buy at stores in Barcelona, Glasgow, and Stockholm.
Do you have any predictions for later in the year?
We're hoping some normality will return once everyone is vaccinated. It's been one year to the day that I saw a band play on stage; I miss that big time. Our June tour has been moved to the end of the year too, we're praying that happens as playing live is so crucial to what we do as a band. Playing in front of a packed room of people is something we'll never get tired of, and we can't wait to do it again.
Taken from the May issue of Upset. Baby Strange's EP' Land of Nothing' is out 30th April.
Featuring Lilhuddy, The Offspring, All Time Low, While She Sleeps, Evanescence, Manchester Orchestra, Gojira and more.