Music Q&A:
Bad Sounds

Singer Ewan Merritt is one half of the brotherly duo at the heart of the London five piece. They play Jimmy's in Manchester, 26 April

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What informs your music and songwriting?
Musically, whatever we’re listening to at the time. We listen to quite a lot of genres and hopefully that comes through. Lyrically, usually just snippets of conversations we’ve had with people or stories that people have told us. We’ll pretty much quote things people say directly. The characters in our songs are real people we know too. I used to work with Julie from our song Avalanche, Dr Papadopolous in Meat On My Bones was a teacher at our school.

How have you evolved as a band over the years?

I guess we’ve become a lot more confident in what we are. In the beginning we were sort of finding our feet in terms of what kind of noise we wanted to make and how we wanted to come across. I think there was a lot of pressure to be one of the really cool bands (maybe there still is that pressure but we’re just oblivious to it). I feel like as soon as we realised that’s not at all what we’re about, everything became a lot easier and more natural. People aren’t stupid – it’s easy to see when a band is being real.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
We’ve got a new release coming out in May so we’ve been working on getting everything together for that – sequencing and artwork, etc. We do our own artwork, and we can be obsessive over details that literally no one else will even care about. We’re always writing and recording a lot. Doing some exciting remixes for people too!

What’s on your rider?

Olivia has an intolerance to pretty much every food group so bottled water and Oreos. Charlie has no self-control and will eat any chocolate, sweets, mezze platters he can find. So we try to reduce his temptation. Sam gets a nose bleed if he eats too much food.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.

Hell no! I’m taking that shit to the grave. Haha! Half of what we do in Bad Sounds is extremely embarrassing, to be honest. We’re always falling over shit on stage, wearing questionable outfits, being human surfboards in music videos.

What song do you wish you’d written?

Soooo many. I have this thing about Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye it’s kind of become a bit of a jokey track now because people associate it with corny scenes on TV but it’s really an incredible song. It’s so simple in its arrangement – there’s only two sections but it flows so well you’d never know. Heart Of Glass by Blondie, Eye Know by De La Soul. I’m also really into that song Steal My Sunshine by Len, every Michael Jackson song from Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad and Dangerous? Crazy by Gnarls Barkley – OMG, what a masterpiece!

What’s your worst lyric?

Worst? Where do I start? We don’t have any good ones. Haha! I guess our best is our worst and vice versa. “I ain’t John Travolta, and you ain’t Sandy.” Why did we choose Olivia Newton John’s character’s name and John Travolta’s real life name? Syllable count, that’s why, but still.

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