Picking up Bad Vibrations

Touted as one of the best bands in Halifax, Bad Vibrations are starting to make waves right across the country. With a sound that owes much to Moncton psych-rock band Elevator, the group hypnotically churns their way through Black Train, an exclusively vinyl release that was recently cast upon the masses.

Comprised of ex-Dog Day drummer KC Spidle, Evan Cardwell and Meg Yoshida, the group recently returned from a successful jaunt through Quebec and Ontario.

Bad Vibrations’ KC Spidle was kind enough to chat with The MusicNerd Chronicles last week about the band and where their penchant for the heavy comes from:

Bad Vibrations sounds like a considerably heavier (and scrappier) band than some of your previous work. Was this an intentional move on your part?

Spidle:  I think being heavy is something I’ve always been into because it’s fun and makes me feel a false sense of power. I guess we are scrappy because we record everything ourselves and try not to over think things too much, so there is always a bit of haphazardness going down. Being darker and heavier than most indie-ish bands is a direction that I didn’t necessarily choose but one that always chooses me.  I’m naturally evil, artistically I guess and Evan has a natural melancholic mysticism to his work as well. I thought this album was gonna be a lot more poppy  than it turned out, but I must say it is more optimistic than it seems. Evan and I seem to have a knack for writing riffs that would otherwise be screamed over by some angry dude with face tats but instead, we write sweet and spiritual melodies to them. I’ve always liked crust and punk but inside my heart there is an inner church boy. Evan is pretty much a hippy and a church boy (in youth) as well. Meg is the tuff one. As far as my previous work, I feel this band definitely combines aspects of old bands I was in fo sho.

Over what period of time was Black Train recorded?

Spidle: We spent most of the past summer in a dark and dank basement working this out. This was recorded in a relatively slow fashion for a punk record I guess but we moved steadily without looking back too much. We have jobs and lives so we couldn’t spend all our time doing this which maybe made it less of an anal retentive process.

It seems as though the music industry is more DIY friendly than ever before. Am I safe to assume that the band is happy having control over all aspects of your output in terms of design, recording, frequency of releases, etc?

Spidle: The music industry is in an interesting state right now, kind of a mess but exciting as well. You really have to make quality stuff that is a true expression or you’re doing it for nothing.

As far as DIY goes, it is really the only way I’ve ever been fully comfortable with, I do feel there is still so much to learn to make things better but at the end of the day it is the most rewarding way to go. I have always hated being told what to do. Everyone in our band is skilled in some way that keeps this machine working without too much outside assistance. We do really appreciate when friends and people we like wanna help out. We did have some great help on this record, with our best Moncton bud Kyle McDonald doing the master, our G Fry doin photos,  Heather Rappard making a rad video for us,  and the help of Pigeon Row and Divorce spreading the word among a couple of other folks. We are not completely paranoid of others, just some.

Why the decision to make Black Train an exclusively vinyl release?

Spidle: We’re all fans of mystery and even though giving everything away is generous and creates excitement, it also can take away a general desire to care about stuff.  Plus wax just sounds awesomer.

How were the run of dates you guys recently played through Ontario?

Spidle: It was a grand trip. We got to play with a lot of great bands and had a real good time. I only woke up in a metaphoric ashtray once, well twice, and for the most part we ate and slept well and also rocked hard. My pedals were acting up a bit because I had drenched them in beer early on in the tour but I felt my way through those obstacles the best I could. I always kicked back in on queue and that’s important. Evan and Meg were a very reliable and strong foundation to fall back onto.

What’s on tap for the band next?

Spidle: Well, after a few more shows we’re gonna hibernate a bit through the winter and work out some new stuff. Hopefully we’ll have something ready for the spring.

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