Q&A With Cover Artist Bad Veins


By now if you have never heard of Bad Veins before, you should at least recognize their name from all the love we have given them. (Seriously, take note. We think 2008 will be their year.) For this week's portion of their exposé, we spoke to the guys about what is going on in their world, plans for next year, and the holidays. Ben and Sebastien's personalities come out to the forefront (no offense Irene), and we are reminded why we heart them.

E: How did Bad Veins start?

S: Ben and I had both been very involved and committed to previous projects in Cincinnati. Eventually, both our projects folded. Ben started writing on his own and even played a show by himself. Through mutual friends he heard I was looking for a project. I heard some of the early Bad Veins recordings and felt like this would be a good fit for me. I understood the music and felt like I could contribute to the songs.

B: I kind of feel this duty to myself to finish the songs that pop into my head. For whatever reason, recording and performing them seems to be the next logical step. I guess I feel like it's not something I choose to do, but something I need to do, to stay sane.

E: Where does the name Bad Veins come from?

B: I wish to assert my 5th Amendment privelage.

S: It's top secret.

E: How does the song-writing process work for the two of you?

B: Well since Bad Veins started as a solo project, I've kind of grown accustomed to doing everything on my own. I still do all the writing and arranging, but I will eventually let Sebastien in on the creative process.

S: Ben will lock himself in the upstairs of his house (our practice space/studio) and write. Typically, he'll use some sort of melody that previously struck him and got caught in his head somehow. Once he's in the studio he'll continue to write and expand by adding various layers to the song. Ben will play me the early versions or demos and I'll come up with the drum parts. Then, we'll go from there and make adjustments as necessary. Once the song is done, we figure out how to present it in a live environment. This is usually where Irene (see below) puts in her two cents...

E: What are your plans for a debut album?

S: Well, we want to record our debut album very soon! We have plenty of material and have just been waiting for the right opportunity to come along. Notwithstanding, we may just take it upon ourselves to record on our own. I suppose it depends on what occurs over the next couple of months. A decision will be made soon, however, and an album will be out sometime in the next year.

B: We're planning on getting into the studio in the spring, and hopefully at some point in '08, we'll release our first full length. In what capacity it will be released is still up in the air.

E: If you could play any city and any venue (no matter the size), where would you choose and why?

B: I'll let Sebastien answer that; I think he has more specific expectations than I.

S: Does the venue have to be in the city I choose? I'll assume not for the sake of answering the question the way I envision it. I would love to play all over the world. I suppose this is a very difficult question to answer, however...perhaps Paris. I would love to be able to play Paris in the summer time. Get done with the show and wander about streets whilst drinking a good bottle of wine. As far as venues are concerned, I would love to play the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. I saw the Pixies there on their reunion tour and I remember the place being very cool. Although, the Metro in Chicago is also pretty rad. Go Chicago!

E: Do you do any covers (live or recorded)?

S: No, not thus far, but I'm sure we'll do something in the future. Ben and I have very similar, yet very different musical tastes, so we'll have to come up with a song that would be fun for both of us.

B: I'd like to do a cover someday. I think it would be cool to take a song that everyone knows, and turn it around... kind of bring out qualities that people tend to overlook. I've been thinking about "It's the Same Old Song" by the Four Tops. Maybe we'll try once we've learned all of the Bad Veins songs that are floating around.

E: What do you want Santa to bring you this year?

S: Well, I already bought a new crash cymbal from the Memphis Drum Shop when we played at Ardent Studios last month-that was supposed to be my gift. I don't know what I really want...a Porsche Cayman S perhaps? Ben wants an iPhone. I'm pretty sure he's got better chance of getting that than I do with my Porsche.

B: Yes, I asked for an iPhone. From what I hear, it can help me find donuts when we're traveling. I could just ask for donuts I guess.

E: If each of you could be a mixed drink, what would it be and why?

B: BE a mixed drink? I'm going to say that Sebastien is something little, flashy and French. I'm a warm glass of milk, no mixing.

S: That's a good question, but I don't think I would be mixed. I would probably just be a single-malt scotch. This is mostly because I like scotch. I bought Ben a good bottle of scotch for his birthday-I'm trying to get him into it. Maybe I should change my previous "play any city" answer to Edinburgh or Glasgow. We could get some great scotch up there. Ben and Sebastien could play Glasgow with Belle and Sebastian.

E: Have you given a name to the official third member of Bad Veins (the reel to reel machine)?

B: You mean other than Irene?

S: Yes. Her name is Irene. She's a little bit older than Ben and I, but she can hold her own.

E: Your CMJ shows went over well with a lot of buzz. Any plans to tour
in 2008? Is SXSW in the cards?

S: SXSW is certainly in the cards-we're looking forward to heading down to Austin and playing as many shows as humanly possible. As far as a tour is concerned, I'm sure that will occur in 2008. We've already been making our way around from New York to Chicago-so I'm sure that will expand in the coming months. Hopefully, we'll get the chance to play places where it's warmer than it is here in the winter.

B: We do plan on making it out to SXSW, hopefully we can land a few showcases or day parties, or whatever it is the kids are doing down there. There are a handful of bookers interested in working with us, perhaps once our record is finished, we can hit the road.

E: What are your New Year's resolutions?

S: To record and album and go on tour! Other than that...maybe I'll finally learn Swedish this year. I wanted to do that last year, but it didn't work out. I have some CDs and a book, so we'll see what happens...Tack!

B: To let Seb do all the interviews.

Bad Veins

Q&A With Cover Artist Bad Veins