Summer has drained away into fall, and you feel like your energy is draining away. You’re not as enthusiastic about hitting the beach, scrolling through TopShop in search of a new fall wardrobe and worn-out and sunburned from all the music festivals you’ve been to. You don’t even feel FOMO anymore because you feel like you’ve done everything.
If the end-of-summer blues are hitting hard, you need to listen to Bad Bad Hats, a three-piece indie-pop-rock band from Minneapolis, to boost your mood and make you feel like summer is never going to end.
We talked to lead vocalist Kerry Alexander, guitarist Chris Hoge and bassist Noah Bosswell about starting the band.
20something: What’s your favorite city to tour in?
Kerry Alexander: Every city presents a new adventure, that’s kind of what I like about tours, there’s always something new to explore…or eat. We’ve had a great time in Boston. Obviously, we love playing in our hometown gig. Just touring in general and exploring the country is amazing.
Bad Bad Hats has the perfect amount of quirk to catch your eye — or ear — and you can tell they just have a lot of fun onstage, telling stories with their songs and playing some great music. If you took all the edginess and angst out of pop-punk and added flare and good vibes, you’d get Bad Bad Hats. Their upbeat jams like “Super America” will easily get stuck in your head, and you’ll find yourself playing their music on repeat, sighing and wondering, “When will they drop their next album?”
Well, lucky for you, Bad Bad Hats are releasing their second full-length album, title TBD — true indie style.
What’s your story, how did you get started?
KA: Chris, who plays guitar, and Noah, who plays bass, and I all met at McAlister College, Minnesota, and we all made music independently of each other. We discovered that each of us made music, became friends and it just made sense to us to start playing music together and sharing songs with each other. It grew pretty naturally from there.
The great thing about BBH is that there’s no pizzazz, no glitter, nothing fake about the band or their music, they’re just here to play some songs. But they can be…endearingly weird. During their recent concert at Rough Trade in Brooklyn, frontwoman Kerry pauses to tell a story between songs. “I was on the Metro in Paris,” she begins, referring to when she studied abroad. She talks about being so enthusiastic about eating a really good sandwich—“ which the French call a sandwich”— but halfway through her sandwich Kerry realized she had eaten the paper that you’re supposed to unwrap.
And with that, she picks back up her guitar and starts a new song.
What’s up with the salad in the “Shame” music video?
KA: We were pressed for time, preparing for the release of Psychic Reader, and our label-dude was like, you need a video. But we don’t have time for that; we don’t have an idea, we don’t know who’s gonna film it, it’s not happening. And he was like well, it has to happen, so send me ideas. So we frustratedly sent him a list of bad ideas, but one of those ideas was just a video of me laughing with a salad, and he was like “that’s the one,” and I was like “no it’s not.” When I was talking to Chris, and he said, “I don’t know, it could be kind of cool.”
And then Noah came over, we borrowed a camera from Ian, and filmed the first couple of shots with a salad on a skateboard and were like “you know what? We might have something here.” And we had a lot of fun, the three of us running around Minneapolis, filming stuff. And it turned out to be my favorite video because we spent so much time working on it ourselves.
…and the Kazoo solo in “It Hurts”?
KA: A lot of the songs on the It Hurts EP were songs I wrote when I was studying abroad in Paris. I just made GarageBand demos of them since I just had a guitar, but I also brought a few little portable instruments and one of those was a kazoo. So I just had the guitar and a kazoo, and I used the kazoo a lot on those early demos to get that sonic texture, and I think for some reason we decided to keep it when we did the real reason of “It Hurts.” I kind of like it, we’ve only done it twice live, maybe.
Chris Hoge: Yeah, it doesn’t come with us.
If you were sad before watching the music videos for “Shame” and “It Hurts,” you’re just not going to be sad anymore. Say goodbye to the end-of-summer blues!