Nikki Roberts | March 2017
The boys in Bad Timing, a five-piece ska band, and Death of Self, a three-piece speed punk band, recently released Bomb the Burbs, a split EP that is wreaking havoc across suburbia by uniting skankers and head bangers alike. To add to the mayhem, the bands co-hosted an EP release show this past Saturday, March 25th, that featured a lineup with fellow suburbanites Travesura, Infinite Knottage, and The Electric Excuse Me's. The show was held at The Liquor Store, a new DIY venue in Brighton Park.
After both bands played at Jurassic Park on March 17th, I had the opportunity to talk with vocalist/guitarist Spencer Sisson of Bad Timing and drummer Joe Ott of D.O.S about their latest combined release, the progression of each of their bands, and their reception at the release show.
How would you describe Bad Timing’s sound in 5 words or less?
Spencer Sisson of Bad Timing: ILL SKA FROM THE BLACKHOLE
You released your first album, Busy Doin Nuthin, just a few months ago. What was that like? How is Bombs the Burbs different from that first release?
S: Releasing Busy Doin Nuthin felt amazing! For it being our very first release, I think it was really well-received. Friske Morris even gave it a good review on his podcast! That was really cool. As for Bomb the Burbs, I think it will be just as well-received. We're really happy with the way it sounds. Nick from D.O.S did a fantastic job with it. I think it sounds better than Busy Doin Nuthin!
As the title implies, Bomb the Burbs has a pretty clear animosity towards the suburbs. How would you say growing up/living in suburbia has shaped your sound and your direction as a band?
S: Growing up in the suburbs, you'll find that there isn't much to do when you're a broke teenager. Bad Timing was formed out of boredom. Me and Rob have been friends since freshman year of high school and have been jamming together since then. Up until senior year, it was just to pass the time. Then, we asked Wade (who went to the same school as us) to play bass, and it kind of took off from there.
What are Bad Timing’s plans for this summer? Any specific shows or releases in the works?
S: We are definitely trying to go on tour! I'm trying to get us onto the Bowl Bash at Skatopia! It's been a dream of mine to go to that for years. Playing it would be so cool!
Finally, any specific people/bands/artists/bums in the scene you'd like to thank?
S: I wanna thank the bands Death of Self and Bombflower for helping us get our music out there and being homies! Also, so, so much love is owed to all the dads who come out to every show. We would be absolutely nothing without them!
Your first EP, The Truth, came out last October. What was different about hitting the studio this time around for Bomb the Burbs?
Joe Ott of Death of Self: When we recorded the EP, The Truth, we recorded on a small Tascam 8-track. For this EP, we have an 8-input Studio One setup, so we were able to use more mics on the drums to get a better sound. Nick has also gotten better with recording, so we were able to acquire a more refined sound.
How has Death of Self progressed musically since the release of The Truth?
J: Compared to our new material, The Truth was written fairly quickly because we just wanted to get our name out there and get noticed. Now that we are fairly established, we are able to take a step back and take our time on our newer material. With this EP, the song structures are more complex with improved vocal melodies and harmonies.
You guys have been playing a lot of shows this winter. Any memorable moments? Favorite venues? Upcoming gigs?
J: Some of our favorite shows would include playing with Bombflower at the Fallout a few months back. We also played a show up in Harvard, Illinois and got a good reception from the people and were offered future shows, which is always awesome. We also played a show at "The Weenie Hut," which is the jam space for the band The Audio Dead. At that show, one guy was so drunk to the point where he ended up getting kicked out because he peed in the kitchen sink. That was a good time.
Your sound, described as “Bad Religion but on speed,” is quite a contrast from Bad Timing’s. What inspired you guys to collaborate on this split release?
J: Us and Bad Timing, although stylistically different, we are both around the same age group and are fairly newer bands to the scene. We thought that releasing an EP together would influence younger people to start up bands. We also thought that covering each other's songs on this EP would be a great idea because there has been a lack of stylistic differences at most shows. We wanted to try to bring different genres of music together.
How was the release show? Was the EP well-received?
J: The turnout of the show was amazing for just a few kids like us running it. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and loved all the bands that played. It was great meeting a lot of new people and starting to make better connections with the scene. So far, we have received great feedback about our performance and our split with Bad Timing.
You can listen to Bomb the Burbs on Bandcamp.