jeudi 19 avril 2018

Bad marriage - Knock 3 More Times (Review & Interview)

Boston has new R 'n' R heroes in town. Meet Bad Marriage !

Over the years the band have released a lot of Digital singles but only one E.P. So I'll talk about this one in particular today.

Entitled "Knock 3 More Times" it's featuring 6 songs of pure Hard Rock like we all loved during the late 70s/early 80s but up-to-date and tailored for this new century.

First we have "Knock 3 More Times". And man, I absolutely love this number ! For sure it would be my next Single/Video of choice.This is the kind of song that re-energize you. Driven, straight-in-your-face kind of tune with a highly addictive vocal melody. Well, all Bad Marriage songs got catchy vocal melodies and for a bigger impact there's multi layered vocal tracks.

While all the instruments are sounding great individually and collectively, it's really the voice that is put in front and get the best treatment. And probably because the band is aware of the fact that it really is the voice that getting the audience attention. And for the long haul. Especially for a non-musician listener. But don't get me wrong, not that the music in itself isn't worthy. On the contrary. Without a good background the singer can't shine.

And there is a lot to pay attention to when listening to the music parts. Guitar licks, drums fills, breaks and bridges, additional percussion or handclaps, guitar solos... What we got here is seasoned musicians that know their jobs and how to deliver the good. They are just not showing off for the sake of the song. They surely have plenty of occasions onstage to do so for crowd entertainment.

"Wizard Of Love" is a groovier tune but still hard rocking enough to make a live audience jump all over the place. How not like this track ? A bit of sleaze always please, innit ?

"Be With You" is the mellower track of the E.P. Actually BM go into AOR territory with this one and once again the band is doing it great. It reminds me of Mr Big (and not because of the title track) but without the shredding thing. Guess this one could win over a larger audience without sacrificing the energy cause they add some more beef on it particularly on the bridge part. Such song is good for the overall dynamic of the record.

Then come "Nay-Sayin' Blues" with its strip to the bone riff directly influenced by early 80s hard rock and a touch of AC/DC. Of course it comes with a cool guitar solo followed by a bluesy break just to getting back to the larger-than-life chorus with a bang.

The AC/DC-ish next number "Dead End Girl" nails it a bit more if necessary. Not a note to change here. Don't say to them Rock is dead, this song in itself could be their response to such non-sense

"Old School Stereo" is closing the E.P. with the swagger of a Rock anthem cut to be a radio favorite. Infectious melodies, lotsa mood changes to alienate you to their own cause. They made their first official video off this one and it's a no-brainer to understand why.

To say the least, not a bad track here and with all the songs they released as Digital singles you could cut a solid gold full length record. And if you fancy it, here's the link to my own selection to do so.

Obviously I'm inviting you to buy the Digital E.P. and checking out all of the material available on legal major music platforms. And the band is also pretty good on slower and more acoustic songs letting their inner romantic side show (Ode To Sister Sin, Pieces Of You, May Flowers Bloom)


Of course I was curious to discover more things about the band so I ask Mike Fitz (guitar) to tell me more.

First, can you sum up the band history ?

Sure, in early 2015 I had been writing a lot of music on my own and stacking a ton of my guitar riffs from the past. I decided to give this original band thing another shot because I knew that I had enough material to get something really cool started.
I handpicked the members of Bad Marriage from musicians in and around the Boston scene that I've either played with in years past or took notice of them while in other bands. I've always put 110% of my heart and soul into bands that I was a part when I approached the now members of Bad Marriage, i think they knew what they were getting into. We started getting together in Boston for writing sessions and the first tune that solidified and convinced all of us that we had something cool to share with the rest of the Rock n Roll world was "Knock 3 More Times" - hence Bad Marriage born.

How would you describe Bad Marriage to someone who never heard you ?

I like to keep it simple when asked that... and we definitely get asked a lot. I think we are a straight up bad ass Rock and Roll band. We have all have different musical influences but I think that's crucial to ultimately sounding like "Bad Marriage" and not too much like any another band. It's also very common to be asked what bands do you / we sound like... which is always a tough one. I usually respond with "well my influences in guitar playing and riff writing are that of the great hard rock / Blues guys (Page/Perry/Slash etc)". 
I like to think people can listen to Bad Marriage and decide for themselves. 

Why did you choose this name for the band ?

Ya know, it just came to me one day. We didnt even have a full lineup yet. We were still looking for a bass player at the time and I remember thinking of how difficult it actually is to keep a group of 5 musicians together, happy and on the same page with everything that involves being in a pro band. It's no simple task! ha! I also remember many years ago that an old musician friend told me "Being in a band is like having 4 girlfriends..." I always remembered, laughed at and agreed with that statement. So when we were thinking of band names "Bad Marriage" just popped out of my brain.

Could you tell me more about the songwriting process within the band ?

I've always been a riff guy. Hearing signature guitar riffs from all the great guitar gods growing up was life changing to me. That was and still remains my spiritual connection to the guitar. It wasn't the crazy technical guitar solo's or the simple but very effective chord progressions. It was the single note riffs like Zeppelin's Heartbreaker / Whole Lotta Love that really knocked me out. That being said, I love and live to write riffs. I'll quite often write a few riffs that go together along with an idea lyrically for a chorus and bring them to the band. We'll usually cruise from there on to button the song up. Jonny and I work very well together on lyrics to the songs. We bounce ideas off of each other constantly and I think thats the key to a successful songwriting process. 

You are the man behind the desk in studio and you really give a great sound production to BM material. Do you record every one of your song when ready ?

Thank you! As my own worst critic I'm constantly trying to get better at recording/mixing/production. It all depends on excitement. If I present the guys with a new tune idea and everyone loves it then we'll usually try and record that one ASAP.

In 2016 you planned to released a Double E.P. CD but as far as I know it didn't see the light. What happened ?

You caught us red handed! No, you're right... we had an idea to release 2 Ep's with coinciding artwork which still isn't out of the question. We actually have enough material for 2-3 albums right now. We just want to make sure we release stuff at the right time wheres its the most effective. The 2nd half of double EP may just be a full length. 

Were the tracks "Big Bad Woolf" and "Gateway Drugs" supposed to be on it ? These never been released so far.

Those are definitely still in the picture. We actually used to open each live set with "Gateway Drug" but when we recorded it we didn't feel that it captured the same energy as it did on stage. I think the tempo was slower when we initially recorded it and we have since re-recorded the drums at a faster tempo. 
"Big Bad World" is another great tune, however it has stalled out a bit in the studio. We've went back and forth with chorus melody and lyrics a bunch of times and are still waiting for it to be just right!  

Between 2015 and now you already digitally released 22 songs (including 5 covers). That's enough material to deliver a solid album in keeping, let's say, 12 tracks. Any plan to make a physical release in a near future ?

Wow has it been that many tunes? Sweet. Yes, we will definitely make physical copies of everything and we'll also do some vinyl do. That will be awesome.

Tell me more about the several covers you recorded. My favorite is Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak" but they are all well done. From The Beatles to Judas Priest, why did you pick these particular songs ?

Covers are just plain fun. We'll often message each other a cover to learn and try for the next rehearsal. Sometimes we'll play them for the first time and they're just magical. Those are the special ones that we actually record and try and make our own. We are actually working on a new one now... we may even do a video for it! :)

Last year you put online a video for "Old School Stereo". Any insights to share about the shooting of the video and the cool Clothing store some of the scenes are talking place ?

The was a blast. The "Old School Stereo" video was our first official music video. Like anything, the first time was new and exciting. We worked with Red 13 Media which we've known some of the employees for years. Great company and super pro at what they do. 
Rick Walkers is a vintage boot and clothing shop in the heart of Boston. I actually make some custom studded vintage leather jackets and consign them there. Every Rock star in area makes there way there while in town. Super cool place and the owners rock. 

Did the video allow you to get more coverage online and gain new fans ?

We'd certainly like to think so! But like anything, we gotta keep climbing and constantly be putting out more material...including videos!

You are releasing your music by yourself. Is it a choice to stay independent ? Are you considering signing with a record label at some point ?

We are unsigned at the moment, but we would certainly entertain any and all offers. We have no problem staying independent for now.

How's the Hard Rock scene in Boston these days ?

I'm a firm believer in the old saying "rock and roll will never die" - but it's sad to see a lot of my favorite venues in and around Boston close down. We can only hope that Bad Marriage helps to carry the torch and sparks the rock and roll flame. 

Do you tour much outside your town ?

We hit the surrounding states as much as we can. Ultimately we'd love to tour the country and the world. 

What's your plans for 2018 ?

Just rock as much as we can. We would like to release another video, along with a full length album.

Thanks a lot for talking the time to answer to my questions. Anything you would like to add ?

Thanks for reaching out! Super appreciated! Anything you need in the future just hit me up!

Bad Marriage "Knock 3 More Times" (2016 - Self released)
Digital and ultra Limited CD edition

1. Knock 3 More Times
2. Wizard Of Love
3. Be With You
4. Nay-Sayin' Blues
5. Dead End Girl
6. Old School Stereo

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