Bad//Dreems, the singlet wearing, beer drinking, stage diving four piece from Adelaide have had a huge 2017. They released their second album; Gutful to critical acclaim, they completed a mammoth Australian tour, including an impressive set at Splendour in the Grass, and they most recently opened for Midnight Oil in Adelaide to a crowd of over 12’000. Of course, 2017 is not over yet, and the Bad//Dreems lads know it. They still have Festival of the Sun to play in Port Macquarie on the 7th of December and then to really top off a hectic year they are bringing in the New Year by playing the Falls Festival shows. In amongst all of this gigging, they have also been writing their third album which may or may not be released next year. Miles Wilson, the drummer from Bad//Dreems was nice enough to have a chat with Jack about their crazy year, their new material and how cool it was to be able to include his saxophone playing dad in some of Bad//Dreems sets during their tour.
Jack; Hey Miles, its Jack here from Rabbit Radio. How have things been going man? I just recently saw that you boys opened for Midnight Oil in Adelaide. How was that?
M; Haha yeah, it was pretty crazy. We’re not normally used to that scale of things. I think they had about twelve and a half thousand in front of this enormous stage where you’re kind of like 5 to ten metres away from the other musicians which is really weird because we are so used to playing in sweaty little pubs where we are in a close proximity.
J; Then all of a sudden you’re really far away from each other?
M; And it was just as the sun was going down too right in my eyes. I’m the drummer so I just played squinting with sweat in my eyes haha. But we got there. It was heaps of fun but relieving to get off stage and enjoy Spiderbait and Midnight Oil
J; Yeah I saw Spiderbait were on the bill as well. How were they?
M; Yeah they were amazing. Like Kram is such a nice guy. And he was playing like his 20 year old songs. I was like; “Are you gonna play em mate?” and he was like” Yeah, may as well” haha. Some of the technical drumming he does while singing was super impressive. As soon as I start singing the beat starts wobbling and stuff but he was just tight as. Pretty cool.
J; Did you get to share a beer with Peter Garrett? I’m sure many people have asked you that.
M; Yeah everyone is asking us that and the answer is not really. They had a pretty tight security detail and sort of kept to themselves a bit. Apparently in Perth someone touched Peter Garrets bald head and he got angry.
M; Well not angry but you know, annoyed. So we watched them from the very back because the immediate vicinity around the stage was sort of kept out of bounds. He did come up to us in a weird cowboy hat before hand and was like; “Yeah fellas, just make some noise.”
J; Fuck yeah, so he must be a half decent dude.
M; Yeah it was sick. Im obsessed with Rob Hirst so I was kind of keen to bail him up but by the time they got off stage I’d had like 70 beers so it was probably for the best that I didn’t get in his ear lobe.
J; They have been killing it, Midnight Oil. I saw the pictures of the gig in Adelaide and it looked insane.
M; Oh man, there so good and energetic and such good musicians.
J; Yeah and I think they're getting on. I think Peter Garret is like 64 now so its not as though they're spring chickens.
M; Yeah there is no sign of them slowing down though. Rob Hirst looks like a personal trainer and Peter Garret still gets about all over the stage, running and doing those sporadic moves and still fast as ever.
J; Yeah nice. And you lads have FOTSUN coming up in Port Macquarie?
M; Yeah thats true. We played that a couple of years ago which was really cool. We are excited to play that again. It’s such a nice area. Right by the beach there. Its a real kind of warm, family festival. Great vibes.
J; So busy busy for Bad//Dreems?
M; Yeah FOTSUN will be sick. Isn’t Port Macquarie where you have to be careful of jellyfish or something?
J; Yeah it gets a bit hectic. It’s also quite sharky so be careful.
M; Thanks man, I’ll keep that in mind when I’m going for a 3am nudie.
J; Haha good man. And after FOTSUN what’s on the cards?
M; Yeah after FOTSUN we’ve got a gig in the McClaren Valley with the Presets in the wine region which will be really nice. Then we start the Falls tour which runs over New Years starting in Lorne.
J; You looking forward to any Falls set in particular?
M; Probably Byron the most because Byron is the one where we get two nights off after our set. So Byron will be the one were we can settle in and take some time to chill and treat it as a bit of a holiday.
J; Not a bad spot to do it either, Byron Bay.
M; Yeah exactly. We love Byron Bay. We’ve only played there once at the Great Northern which was fun. Had the best time there.
J; Yeah beautiful. I went to your gig at the Corner in June/July and reviewed it for Rabbit Radio and it was awesome in that huge band room out the back. I thought one of the best parts of the set was seeing your old man come out and play Sax.
M; Hahaha yeah, how good was that?
J; How did that come about? Did you mention to him one day that he should come out and play a bit of sax or?
M; Pretty much haha. Because he recorded a bit of sax on ‘A million times alone’ on Gutful on the closing song of the album. So we wanted to do a sax part on that and we sent some references to him of Lou Reed etc etc and he was just like yeah, Ive got this part for it. He recorded the part on his phone and sent it through which is like a huge achievement for Dad because he is not very good with his phone if you know what I mean. And what he sent through, we were all just like oh my god thats perfect. Can you come into the studio and record it and he was like no worries. And he rocked up and he had scored all the music out on a written sheet. We were just like “dude, you can just play it and feel it out.”
J; Haha trying to get all technical.
M; Haha yeah, yeah. He’s been a music teacher his whole life and taught us all music. Everyone in the band he taught over different years at the school we went to in Adelaide. So everyone kind calls him Mr Wilson. Yeah he's a cool teacher who used to take the school orchestra and teach jazz and he plays all woodwind jazz. He’s pretty talented and well versed and was also in a couple of rock bands in the 70’s so he’s almost accidentally got a really cool taste in music.
J; So he knows what’s up by the sounds.
M; Yeah he knows whats up haha.
J; It was so cool seeing you boys rocking out and then just to see him come out with a sax and start shredding. I was blown away.
M; Yeah and he just kind of rocks up with no rehearsal, no sound check, blasts it out and then leaves. He doesn't make errors either which is so nice. And yeah after we recorded ‘Million Times Alone’ we got really good feedback with everyone saying how nice the sax was so we thought we’d ask him on the tour to play a few songs because he’s retired and he just said okay.
J; His eyes must of lit up!
M; Yeah, and we just asked him to do a bit of freestyle here and there and we would give him the key or whatever and he nailed it. He toured with us all around, and came up and played Splendour. Also in a weird turn of events, Robert Forster (co-founder of The Go-Betweens) got involved in the Splendour set as well and he came out and played with dad which was definitely a highlight of our musical career.
J; Wow. That’s huge. Gutful was a great album. Are you boys writing some new stuff at the moment?
M; Yeah, we have started writing the third album. Alex (lead guitarist) especially writes at quite a productive rate so we just have a dropbox with maybe 150-200 ideas in there. Some of them are just really average room recordings but they're just ideas to get down so when we get together we can just work on it. Last week we had a really productive time writing new songs and we have demo’d maybe five. There’s probably another 10 or 15 to demo after we sort through the massive amount of songs and see what has more potential than others and then take it from there. Then we will take it to a producer and sort of go from there.
J; Do you think you will take it to Mark Opitz (produced Bad//Dreems first two albums) again?
M; Ahhhh,I don’t think so. I mean, we’re not sure. We loved to work with him so much but at the same time we were like, we cant just do every album with him. We’ll have to go elsewhere and see what different sounds we can get and see how we can make our music progress I guess. Yeah so we will approach some producers with the songs and see what they hear in them and we will take it from there. The wheels are in motion.
J; Beautiful, and is the aim to sort of have it done by the middle of next year or just whenever it gets done?
M; Um, I think we will aim for a release by the middle of next year, whether its stand alone or off the album. Then we will probably release the album late next year or early 2019.
J; Thats exciting man. Can’t wait to hear it. Mark Opitz must of been a bit of character as he’s worked with The Angels, Cold Chisel and INXS. Was he a nice bloke?
M; Haha yeah, he’s really nice. Really cool and eccentric. Kind of old-school. He sits there in his reclined chair with his eyes shut waving his hands in the air while we’re playing the song and getting into the groove of it. Definitely a character. We will probably end up back with him haha, you never know.
J; Yeah well it was definitely a good partnership. Gutful turned out sick and is a great album. I won’t keep you too much longer man. I’ve got just a few more questions, and they're mainly just about the Australian music scene at the moment. Who are some of your favourite current Australian artists going around?
M; Ahhhh, what immediately springs to mind is some young up and comers. One of them is called ‘Mini-Skirt’. A four-piece from Byron. They're like kind of old, sort of like Lobby Lloyd or early Chisel. Kind of like really cool semi politically driven lyrics with a lot of spoken word with a lot of driving low-fi beats and stuff. I think they will do really well. And another band that jumps to mind is Pissed Idiots from Sydney. They’re just really cool ya know. Everything is just recorded on a potato but like the um, band is just so good and the singer is amazing. Alex actually flew over to Sydney to help produce a few of their songs and so I recently heard the fruits of their labour recently and it was super, super impressive.
J; Yeah, cool. And last but not least. You guys sort of came through the grass-roots of Australian music through Triple J and that sort of thing. Have you got any words of wisdom to young emerging Australian bands?
M; Yeah I guess. The hardest thing to do, but the best thing to remember is to just stick to your guns. Do what you love doing, and stick towhead you guys are in a band for and what it is you do best. Try not to worry about what other bands are doing, or whats on the radio. Stick to your guns and when the music is good people will come. Its the hardest thing to do but I think it’s definitely important.
J; Yeah, perfect. Cool man. I appreciate you giving us your time today. Its been fun. Thanks a lot.
M; No worries man, thanks for the chat.
J; No worries at all. Good luck with FOTSUN and Falls. I’m sure you’ll have a ball!