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Badflower 2022

INTERVIEW: Upcoming Music, Touring & More With Badflower’s Josh Katz

We recently had the pleasure of talking to Josh Katz from Badflower during the end of their America tour and close to the start of their Europe tour. They recently announced a 2023 tour too. We talked about upcoming music, how he writes his music, touring and much more. Check it out!

Thank you so much for your time. How are you?

I’m good. Really good, we’re in the middle of this American tour and excited to go to Europe.

You recently released the orchestral version of family on all platforms. While it was prior only available on Amazon music. Can we expect more orchestral versions of songs?

You know what, I dunno if I’m allowed to talk about it, but we did do two songs. And we only released Family. I don’t know what’s happening with that other one that we did, but we did do a second song. I’m not gonna say what it is.

You recently also shared videos, of you guys recording and you tweeted about writing songs in the tour bus. Can we expect some new music soon?

Hopefully. That’s what we’re working on. I’m in our back room right now. I have my setup ready to go cause we tour so much and we definitely have to release music at some point. We can’t just keep touring on the same two albums.
This is our first time doing that though. We usually separate touring and writing. Cuz personally I’m not good at multitasking like that. I have a one track mind. But it’s been working out so far. It’s definitely easy on this run that we’re on now cause we’re the support band, so it’s a shorter set, less pressure and we just have our days free.

So has there, now that you’re writing on a tour bus, also been more concepts that you throw away?

Well, I don’t think more concepts get thrown away. I think less concepts pop out. When I write, I don’t really take care of myself; I guess is the best way to put it.
I like turning my brain into apple sauce and just getting to this like foundational human state where I can then rebuild and start getting ideas and inspiration, and I can’t do that on tour. I have to get enough sleep and all that. So that I can actually sing and perform. So not being able to do that is tough for me. The music side of it is great and it’s really cool cause we’re all playing every day so we’re like really on top of it.
But when it comes to lyrics and like storytelling, it’s definitely more challenging in this environment. So I don’t think things get thrown away. certain concepts that normally would pop out don’t show up.

You often write about pretty heavy topics. Have there been moments where you had to stop writing or recording for a bit because it got too heavy?

No. I love it. I love that stuff.

Are there any genres or styles that you wanna try out on future projects? 

I don’t think so. I try not to think about that.  We lean into whatever genre suits the story of the song. That’s kind of what we’ve always done. And I think we’ll just keep doing that.
I’m a little bit happier than normal lately, which is weird. It’s a good thing, but it’s weird. And I don’t know how that’s gonna affect song writing. I kind of know cuz we’re starting to write already and I’ve seen it, but I don’t know. It’s very possible that there might be some more uplifting moments to come, and people might hate that from us. Because that’s not what we typically do.
I don’t know. It’s hard to fake it, is the thing. if I’m not feeling angsty or sad or angry it’s really hard to write those songs and like release them with confidence.

So kinda what happened to Twenty One Pilots with their latest album?

Is that what happened? I haven’t read up on it, but I know that people were torn about it.

Their latest album was a bit more uplifting and a lot of people were like:  “I miss when they were depressed” but that’s not good of course. And then there got a huge fight in the fanbase because of that.

Yeah. It’s such a weird thing, you could theoretically just write songs for a fan base, like giving them what they want.
I’m not able to do that. I don’t have that in me to do it. It makes me uncomfortable, the thought of doing that. I’m way more comfortable if I’m super happy and I write something that’s super happy, that sounds like it’s not on brand for Badflower, but it’s on brand for me and my life.
I have way more confidence putting that out than I have about, you know, another song about suicide or something like that I’m not feeling in that moment. That feels like: well now I’m just pandering to a crowd that I know I’ve cultivated because of how I’ve felt in the past and the things that I’ve said in the past, and that’s not right.
It’d be really cool if I could do that though. like it doesn’t matter what I’m feeling, I could just write a song about anything and be like, Yeah, this is great. I just don’t have it in me. And people do it. I’m sure they do it. But you can smell that a mile away. You can tell when it’s bullshit and when it’s real.

What’s your favorite song to play live?

It changes every night. I really like playing Machine Gun from our last album.
It’s so simple and vocally, it’s really fun. It’s a huge range of vocals. Like it goes from really soft to really, really intense, but not in a way that feels too difficult. Whereas some songs the vocal range is actually hard for me. I get a little bit nervous about it, some nights I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to hit it the way I want to. But Machine Gun for some reason even though it’s difficult, it’s just fun.

With what songs do you have a more difficult time?

Family‘s a really hard song to sing live. It’s gotten a lot easier. It’s better now, but in the beginning. That song goes from zero to a hundred. Quick. And that’s, yeah, that’s hard. I still love playing that song too. There’s certain moments when it’s harder than others.

You recently got to open for My Chemical Romance, what was that like?

It was was great.
I mean, it a hard show. People don’t realize that. When you’re playing a stadium or arena, whatever you call it, of that size. We did a couple of them, and we were the first band of three. You’re not really playing to an attentive crowd. There’s still some lights on.
It’s a big place and people are shuffling in, and finding their seats, and getting their drinks, and doing their thing. So there’s chitter chatter. The show itself is actually pretty difficult. It doesn’t matter who the band is. Just playing in that environment as the first band on is just hard.
But we made it work. We had a blast. We felt honoured that they asked us to do it. And as hard as the show is, we would do it again in a heartbeat if they asked us to.

Are you ever scared that you forget some lyrics when you play live?

Yeah, and then I do forget lyrics. And then I have to just laugh about it. It happens almost every night. Cause I start zenning out when I really get into it. And sometimes I’ll be singing, and I’ll see someone in the crowd singing along, and I’ll fixate on them, and they’ll start mouthing the words wrong, and then I’ll start getting it wrong cuz I’m looking at them. That happens a lot.

So for everyone coming to see you guys live, just know all the lyrics from the top of your head.

Yeah. Get it right or else I can’t look at you.

What do you like to do outside of like touring, music, writing, creating, all that kind of stuff?

I like anything creative, so I build stuff. I like tinkering with electronics. I like building. And I recently moved to a farm. From L.A., I moved to Tennessee. So, I live on a big piece of land and the plan is to turn it into an animal sanctuary, like a rescue farm.
But I thought I would do that a lot sooner, and then a bunch of stuff happened, and I had to put that on hold for a little bit. But I live on the property still, and there was like no home there when I moved in. There was no shower, nothing like that. So I was just living in that environment and doing it all myself, I didn’t hire anybody.
When I had off time, I built a studio, and then I set up a situation where I could sleep, and survive snowy winters and stuff like that. But I love it. Nesting basically.

What kind of kind of animals do you want rescue there?

I wanna rescue Cows mostly.

A while ago, the Badflower band account posted pictures with the caption: “Yippee Ki Yay tour starts today.” Was it actually secretly you that posted it, but you blamed it on management?

No. It was actually our manager. He’s to blame for “Yippee Ki Yay”.

But is it that bad?

No, it wasn’t that bad. I actually thought it was funny, but I wouldn’t say “Yippee Ki Yay”. Although a bunch of people commented and they were like: “That was totally you. You would totally say Yippee Ki Yay” I’ve never said: “Yippee Ki Yay”
Like I say, dumb shit. I’m into dumb shit, and dad jokes, but I just never said that. I dunno why it upset me so much. I promise you it wasn’t me.

Okay. I believe you. Thank you so much.

Awesome. Thank you very much.

Badflower are currently playing shows all across Europe, which includes 2 shows in The Netherlands in Amsterdam and Tilburg. The Amsterdam show has recently sold-out, but for the show in 013, you can still get your tickets here. For now, stream Badflower’s sophomore album below and catch the band on the road!

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Aspen van der Wijst