Good fortune for Bad Rabbits at Boston Music Awards
Bad Rabbits are capping off a banner year (an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” sharing the stage with the Deftones) with five nominations for this weekend’s Boston Music Awards.
On tour in Europe, drummer Sheel Davé writes in an email to Metro that the members of the funky five-piece weren’t even aware they had more BMA nominations than any other act this year.
“I was not personally aware of that, but it’s surely an honor,” he writes. “The Boston music community has really embraced us. There are plenty of other bands/artists that deserve these nominations as well so we are grateful for the nominations.”
METRO: What does this honor mean to you? I know you’ve had multiple nominations before, but I’d imagine with so much time between albums, it must have felt good to rack them up again.
Sheel Davé: I think since our previous nominations, we have put in much more work from touring to recording, to the whole business end of our band’s operation, so it feels a bit of a relief, knowing that people are paying attention. It definitely gives off a bit of that “pay off” feeling but at the same time, we feel as if we have so much more work to do.
What Boston acts are you into? This can be contemporary or historical.
The Most Americans, Caspian, Junius, Irepress, Bearstronaut, Gentlemen Hall, RIBS, The Shills, Moe Pope, Retrospek, A Loss 4 Words, Lions Lions, Defeater, The Hope Conspiracy, Converge, Have Heart, Vanna, Doomriders, Cave-In, New Edition, PanzerBastard, New Kids On the Block, The Deer Hunter, Alyssa Marie, Bel Biv Devoe, Death Before Dishonor, Gang Starr, JoJo, Maudlin of the Well, Kayo Dot, On Broken Wings, Overcast, DJ Brek One, DJ Frank White, Street Dogs, The Appreciation Post, The Receiving End of Sirens, Passion Pit. I am sure I missed a bunch.
The category of “Best Boston Artist Who Doesn’t Live in Boston” has always been a telling category. Do you think you’ll ever be eligible for that category or are you guys here to stay?
Two of the guys live in NYC right now. The rest of us are in the Boston area. Boston is our band’s home though. We rehearse, record/write in Boston. I’m not sure if that is going to change any time soon.
I couldn’t help but notice you sell Celtics-inspired merch and Mets-inspired merch. Will Boston always be your home though?
I believe it will always be our bands main hub. New York is our second home for sure.
Speaking of “Boston you’re my home,” the main guy from the Standells just died. Have you ever covered “Dirty Water”? Would you ever? It’s hard to imagine a Bad Rabbits version. But the covers you do are so diverse, I don’t doubt that you could pull it off.
I did not know that. That is a bummer. We are in the U.K. right now, so I am out of touch with many things happening in the U.S. right now. Anything is possible with the covers. We have a list of songs that we want to cover. Just haven’t put our brains there since our last cover song. I’m sure we will get back into it soon enough.
I’m hoping you’re here to stay, because not only is the music refreshingly different from most Boston acts, but there’s also something so positive about the multi-ethnic makeup of the band, especially since Boston isn’t exactly known for diversity. There’s no real question here, but if you feel like commenting on any of these statements I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.
We are proud of our multi-cultural backgrounds. I think more so than musically, it helped shape our personality, as a band. More than half of us are first generation Americans, so we can relate to a lot of things with each other that we may not be able to do so with others. We hope that one day we can get all of our parents in one room together for one massive “fresh off the boat” party.
The iconography of Bad Rabbits seems very important. Who influenced you in that arena? Which one of you guys does all the logos?
No one in the band designs the logos but I personally work with our branding/merchandise manager: Justin Beck and his team to get all of the branding/iconography exactly where we want it. They are responsible for all of the design. Justin & his team have done some incredible projects in the past. They helped us put together the whole art/release campaign for our “American Love” release.
You guys have done a great job with branding for “American Love,” with the album artwork, videos and singles all having a consistent feel. Firstly, is the girl in the “Cant’ Fool Me” video the cover model?
Again, a lot of that had to do with Justin Beck and his team. Beck and myself talked a lot about where our heads were at as far as art inspiration for the new set of “American Love” single releases. The “bootie” covers is what Beck and his team came up with based on several brainstorms. The girl in the “Can’t Fool Me” video is not the cover model.
Is the cover model all the same woman?
No, our friend Megan Vice is the cover model for “We Can Roll,” and Leesa Unique (NY model) was the cover model for all of the other singles and the album cover.
Did you guys meet the cover model?
We have met both models.
What cover model in all of music history would you most want to meet?
So with the previous question, the deal would be that you could meet said model during the period of time when the album art was taken. So you wouldn’t necessarily be meeting the 70-year-old cover model of Funkadelic’s “Free Your Mind” in 2013. To take that question a little bit further, what album cover would you most want to be a part of? That’s different from the previous question because in the previous one you’d be meeting said cover model from “Free Your Mind” at a party or something, not in the blue background misty place where the photo was taken.
Michael Jackson “Dangerous.”
When you guys write, do you do it all as a band, jamming to figure out grooves, or does somebody bring in parts that you work out together?
At the beginning of our bands career, we consistently wrote as a full band in one practice space, but since some of us aren’t in the same city anymore: we have had to split up writing sessions with different groups of members, amongst the band. The internet obviously makes it easier to spread ideas amongst the band. Our main writing/recording spot is at our studio keyboard player’s studio in Brighton, MA. That’s where we all meet up and finalize demo ideas. For “American Love,” Our friend/producer: Brad Lewis was a major part in the writing of that album. He has brilliant ideas, in our opinion.
You’ve had quite a 2013, from high-profile TV appearances to sharing the stage with acts that I can only imagine were influential to you. What was the most meaningful to you?
I would say our performance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show and sharing the stage with Deftones. I think sharing the stage with the Deftones was probably my personal favorite. I looked to my left while I was playing and I see all of the Deftones watching our set from side stage. That was definitely a very surreal and gratifying experience. They were a huge influence on myself and a couple others in the band as musicians and now we can call those guys our “peers.” It’s unreal.
You guys have also played with a lot of acts who don’t seem anything like you. What’s been the most disparate lineup you’ve ever been a part of and was it a positive or negative experience? Please share an anecdote if it tilts especially towards one of those extremes.
What is the state of American Love as we head into 2014?
Sexual fury and half cast babies.
Bad Rabbits will perform a DJ set at the Boston Music Awards on Sunday night at the Liberty Hotel. Additional performers are listed below.