Chats with Christo from Bad Suns
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Bad Suns returns to Cleveland on Monday, Mar. 6 at The Grog Shop as a part of their “Heartbreaker” North American spring tour. The alt-rockers are back on the road in celebration of their sophomore release, “Disappear Here,” that was unveiled in September 2016. Two years ago Bad Suns had their very own Spot Night, the predecessor to UPBeats. “Cardiac Arrest,” the leading single from their critically acclaimed debut album “Language & Perspective,” landed Bad Suns in the Top 10 on Alt Radio charts and secured performances on late night staples Conan and Jimmy Kimmel Live! The band has also toured with artists Halsey and The 1975.
I got to talk to Christo Bowman, the lead vocals of the band, as he was driving to rehearsal in Los Angeles.
Q: You guys seem to have a lot going on, with your own tour coming up, as well as the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, and BottleRock Napa Valley. Have you guys gotten much of a break?
A: To an extent it’s been nonstop, but we’ve spent a lot more time at home working on the new album, and we treat it like a full time job. We just got off the road a couple of months ago, had the holidays off and now we’re working towards what we have coming up. It’s a life for us.
Q: Are you guys doing anything for Valentine’s Day?
A: We usually save those plans for the last minute. My girl is in Dallas right now, but I got to see her over the weekend and we had dinner.
Q: Is this your first time going to Bonnaroo?
A: Yeah, I heard it’s really muddy and I’m really excited.
Q: What has your favorite venue been?
A: The reason why it’s so hard to answer is the fact that we can come into every city and people can be receptive. What comes easiest is [playing shows] in LA, having a hometown show. We get to come to a venue and have it sold out [months before the show] and everyone knows the lyrics. This whole last tour felt like an awesome home run.
Q: Is writing a collaborative effort, or are our songs mostly based on one person’s experiences?
A: I’m the band’s song writer, and then we make the music together. I’ll bring in a song and then we’ll take it from there. Everyone is a really talented musician, and sometimes the song starts with a musical feature and then I’m tasked with writing lyrics. That happened with songs like “Rearview” and “Outskirts of Paradise.”
Q: Do you have any favorite lyrics from the album?
A: One of my favorite’s is: “Her plans fell through this evening/Plan B, that’s not beneath me.“ I rarely make myself laugh. Lyrically, I’m more proud of this album than the last one.
Q: How do you think growing up in Southern California has influenced your music?
A: I guess it sort of subconsciously works itself in, we didn’t really try to sound like anything else. We are such fans of music and art in general.
Q: What do you think the main difference between “Language and Perspective” and “Disappear Here” is?
A: One thing we talk about a lot in the studio is when we made our first album, we were all around 17-20 years old. We were making a debut album and we were all very conscious of what we were doing. The goal was to present ourselves in the best way. “Language and Perspective” is like the first few dates with a person, showing things that you’re proud of and who you are. “Disappear Here” is like when you get deeper, and show someone who you are—and there is more risk involved.
Q: What’s your favorite song to perform live?
A: One of my favorite is definitely “Rearview,” it’s a really triumphant song, it always energizes people for some reason, you can get everyone to bounce up and down. Watching a room of people jump up and down in unison is incredible.
Q: What’s an album or song you wish you wrote?
A: There isn’t really one answer for this. But the other day Gavin and I were in the car, and we were listening to “The Big Chair” by Tears for Fears and we were like, “D*** man, these guys did it.” They did the ultimate thing you can do with an album.