Was able to get on the phone today with Josh Katz, front man for the band Badflower. They open for The Wrecks on November 14th at Denver’s Marquis Theatre, but sorry – the show is already sold out. Fear not, Badflower returns to Denver in February with Nothing More at the Ogden.
Josh was very open about his anxiety during tour, how he poured that into their hit song “Ghost,” and how life has been getting back out there. Badflower just (today!) announced their new full length album, OK, I’m Sick, so pre-order it now.
Interview With Badflower Frontman Josh Katz
Tell me about the history of Badflower.
We’ve been together for about five years. The last few have been intense touring, nonstop. You know, we’re the typical story: couple kids that were playing together in the garage with big dreams … and here we are.
And your debut full-length album was just announced?
Yeah! The new album comes out February 22. We’ve been making it for about six months. It has very intense lyrics. We focused on that rather than musical acrobatics. We wanted to tell real stories.
The last single, “Ghost,” is very emotional and dark.
I wrote that song at the end of the last tour. I was having panic attacks on stage every night, and I didn’t know what to do. I really went to that place, and I was terrified. I wanted to just go home and write and not do anything else. That song essentially wrote itself. I didn’t think it would be anything other than a song for myself. But then I shared it with the band, and it went up the chain to management, and then the label … and everyone decided that it was a song that people need to hear.
I have a 16-year-old son and a friend of his committed suicide last year. I think songs like this are important. What has been the fan response?
Well, first of all, I am very sorry to hear that. But yes, the responses have been incredible. Whether they relate to it themselves or with family or a friend – that’s been the coolest thing about releasing the song. A lot of people have told us that they’re using it as a conduit to communicate with their family. That they’ve been afraid to tell people about their feelings and they ask them to listen to the song, and then they talk about it together. That’s by far the most rewarding aspect of all of it.
Are you the primary songwriter for the band? How does the music come together?
Yes, I write all the lyrics. But for the music, it depends. Sometimes we’re just jamming and figure stuff out. Or I’ll bring the melody in. We have a studio at the house that we generally all live together in when we’re recording. And we record everything as we’re writing to get it down. We’ll go back and listen and see what we got that day. So, we end up with all of these demo songs to refer back to. Actually, last time, we ended up with an entire album of demos.
Do you prefer the studio or the road?
Well, by default, I always prefer being in the studio. But now after “Ghost” and some of our other songs, touring is better than it ever has been. It’s like the audience that shows up knows us and is connecting us on the fundamental, emotional level. I don’t have to put on an act – I can be myself and say whatever. That’s really makes being on tour much easier and more fun.
Have you played in Denver before?
Yes, several times, actually.
Oops. Then I am bummed to have missed you guys. You will be at the Marquis with The Wrecks this month. How do you like supporting a band versus being the headliner?
Of course, we prefer being the headliner (laughs).
Well, I thought it might be easier sometimes to be support?
No way! It’s much more pressure to be the opener. I mean, we’re very excited to play with The Wrecks, and it will be a great tour – but obviously, this is a job. You’re in a bigger venue than normal, and a whole lot of the crowd doesn’t know who you are, and you have to win them over. It’s very daunting. But I feel like we put on a good show and at the end of it, we’ve gained fans, and it’s a great time.
What do you guys do for fun while touring?
Mini golf. That’s our big thing. In every city, we try to find mini golf – or go carts – that’s our kind of classic fun thing to do. We’ve been busy on this tour doing radio and interviews, but it’s always about mini golf.
What about hobbies?
I’m really into woodworking and remodeling. So the house that we record in – I do a lot of work on that. Our tour van is really decked out. I find a lot of satisfaction in building things.
Any last thoughts on the new album, since I just found out about it before this call?
Listen to it with an open mind.
What do you mean by that (laughs)?
Well, it’s full of opinions. This album may not be for everyone, but we just wanted to put ourselves out there.