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Glam, grit, and grime: Bad Habits and the addictive nature of Rock

Glam, grit, and grime: Bad Habits and the addictive nature of Rock

Dead? Rock & roll is alive and well, and Bad Habits is the band that proves it.

With explosive energy and a sound that’s a blast from the past and a jolt to the present, this band is a force to be reckoned with. But they’re not content to just pay homage to the greats. Bad Habits capture the essence of their idols (The Stooges, The Replacements) while still maintaining an uncompromising authenticity. It’s this sharp edge that serves as a beacon for relatable self-expression and the obliteration of senseless stereotyping. And while their first singles may have been selected for Spotify playlists, it’s their aptly-named “Rock & Roll extravaganza” live shows that truly highlight their greatest strength, earning them a steady upward trajectory in the two years since their establishment in late 2020. Currently, in the studio recording their 12-track debut album, Bad Habits is poised to take the rock world by storm, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us. So Keep your speakers loud!

Tasos: Can you tell us a little bit about how the band was formed?

sellyoursouls (BH): The band was formed for fun by Ellie and a friend of hers, and called Apostol and I to play L7/Motorhead/Ramones/Runaways covers… until I accidentally wrote “California” in a smoke break. We hastily wrote 3 more songs (Bad Luck, On The Run, and Nothing to Lose) and went in the studio for a 4-track live demo, saw some true potential in the process, left the demo unfinished, and decided we’d do a proper recording. Whilst being totally unprepared, we booked Destiny Studio for 14 songs (left 4 of them unfinished – it’s becoming a pattern now), and brought in Severin and Jo to complete the puzzle.

Shot by @dida_myworld

Tasos: Your music has been described as a perfect balance between the alt ’00s and the raw rock power of the ’70s. How did you go about creating this unique blend of styles?

sellyoursouls (BH): When you let a diverse bunch of people make music together, this is what you get. And this is not because of different music tastes blending in a big jam session. I could bring in songs that others can’t stand to listen to, and vice versa, so in the end everyone subconsciously tries to mold their ideas and influences in a way that the end product is acceptable to the group. And having people who love Glam Rock, Hardcore Punk, Deathcore, Grunge & Heavy Metal agree to something is more difficult than it sounds!

Tasos: The band is currently in the studio recording. What’s the process been like, and how has your sound evolved since your first singles were released?

sellyoursouls (BH): We had A LOT of potential song ideas to choose from, so this was by far the hardest part of the process for me. You have to learn to manage rejection because your “best songs” might not even be good enough for B-sides in the end. Other than that, things are running smoothly in the actual recording process, adding layers of ideas as we go. I wouldn’t say our sound has “evolved” per se; we’re still pretty much the same people so don’t expect major shifts. But playing our “old” material live made us realize what works for us and what doesn’t, and we tried to build on that.

Tasos: Bad Habits is rooted in uncompromising self-expression. How do you make sure your lyrics stay true to your own experiences, and what messages do you hope to convey to your fans?

sellyoursouls (BH): To be honest, we were never good at fictional storytelling, so our lyrics are almost always derived from our real-life experiences and thoughts. Sometimes the message is in plain sight, and sometimes you need to read between the lines, but it’s never hard nor complicated. Our music is pretty straightforward and our lyrical themes follow. I’m a firm believer in staying true to yourself, and sadly this phrase is commonly misconceived as “staying true to a certain pattern/behavior”. The whole point is staying true to your values as a person, the lifestyle you have chosen, relationships you’ve formed, no matter what others/the society/norms are dictating you do. And to be honest this is the single most important thing I hope people get from our music or lyrics.

Tasos: We’ve heard about bands becoming almost as famous for their infighting as their music. How do you keep balance within the group dynamic?

sellyoursouls (BH): Not gonna lie, the relationship between the members of a group, whether it is a band or a sports team can never be picture-perfect as portrayed by many. And we’re no exception. If people have ambition and want to succeed at something, their ego is bound to get in the way at times, but as long as it’s for the common good all issues get resolved sooner or later.

Tasos: You’re known for your high-energy gigs. What can fans expect from one of your live shows, and how do you make sure each performance is a unique experience?

sellyoursouls (BH): Up until now, we never gave serious thought to the preparation of our stage show. Maybe some stunts now and then, but all in all I find “acting” in a gig to be off-putting. From our first concert back in the summer of 2021 we went onstage, gave it our all, and never looked back. Every great showman in Rock & Roll history was spontaneous and that’s where the magic is – e.g., people never knew what to expect from a Scott Weiland or Johnny Thunders gig. After all, can you really play high-energy music without offering a high-energy show? The music itself is the driving force behind the showmanship.

Taken by C. Allosi

Tasos: What’s the most memorable moment you’ve experienced so far while performing onstage?

sellyoursouls (BH): This answer is ever-changing, but I feel that our last hometown headline gig back in November was the best experience we’ve had. A packed venue and people engaging with the music from the first to the last song, singing back the lyrics, dancing, and partying. Moments like these make us believe that what we do has value to this community, and give us the strength to carry on and do our best.

Tasos: From photo shoots to videos and track artwork, your attention to detail is impressive. How do you approach creating a visual identity that complements your sound?

sellyoursouls (BH): We just know how to copy from the best in the genre! Hahahaha. In all seriousness, visuals were always a huge part of Rock & Roll music. Would Elvis leave the same footprint in history without his flamboyant visual identity? This is why we’re adamant about giving our image the same amount of attention as our music. Not being strict about it helps a lot – everyone can incorporate little bits and pieces of his own personality into it, as long as it fits the bigger picture.

Tasos: You’ve been making waves in the music industry despite being a relatively new band. What advice do you have for other up-and-coming Greek acts?

sellyoursouls (BH): Be yourselves, get inspired by the greats, follow what successful people around you are doing, steal some good ideas, be yourselves, pay attention to every detail, look at your act from the perspective of a fan, and be yourselves. Oh, and don’t be afraid to annoy people with your choices. You’re not meant to be a standardized mass-consumption product.

Tasos: Where do you see the band going in the future? Let’s hope this bad habit never breaks!

sellyoursouls (BH): I can’t really say. We could be playing festivals, or playing empty bars and sad wedding parties, could also hate each other’s guts. Let’s take it one step at a time, the first priority is our debut record turning out the way we hope it to be. Thanks for the cool interview!

Stream the brand new single “It Ain’t Love” here:

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