Bad//Dreems tear it up on Cuffed and Collared

Adelaide locals Bad//Dreems have been steadily gaining momentum since the release of their debut EP, Badlands in 2013 and follow up singles Dumb Ideas and My Only Friend in 2014. The band have now released the next taste of their new album in the form of the electrifying  Cuffed and  Collared.


Explosive and electrifying, the roughhouse inspiring jangle of Cuffed and Collared is garage-punks Bad//Dreems’ best work to date.

2014 was an enormous year for the group, seeing them embark on sold out national tour, land slots at Groove in the Moo, the Adelaide leg of St. Jerome’s Laneway and Big Sound festivals as well as play a veritable miscellany of rock gigs with the likes of the The Scientists, Cosmic Psychos, The Preatures and Violent Soho. 2015 has already proven to be an equally fast-paced year with the band playing smaller festivals such as Farmer and Owl and Mates while gearing up for a U.K tour in May which includes the Great Escape and Live at Leeds festivals.

Surprisingly the band has also found to squeeze into the studio to lay down tracks for their debut LP which will drop later this year. For these recording sessions the band has teamed up with producer Mark Opitz (AC/DC, Cold Chisel, The Angels, INXS) who previously worked with the boys on single Dumb Ideas. The collaboration with Mark has unquestionably paid off with the single capturing perfectly the energy of their live performances.

Drawing upon the sound of underground rock acts like Wipers and The Replacements and combining it with the sounds venerable Aus rock legends Paul Kelly and The Saints the band have crafted a ramshackle, emotive and kick ass track. More aggressively upbeat than the slightly brooding and melancholy undertones of previous singles Dumb Idea and My Only Friend, Cuffed and Collared takes the energy to another level.

The depressive themes of desolation and isolation on previous tracks give way to frustration and aggression directed towards the conformity of middle class culture. The lyric “Cuffed and collared bleeding on the ground” says it all, likening the trappings of a working urban male to forcible submission to police oppression. The end results is adrenaline fuelling guitar driven chaos, thundering rhythms and a shout-along chorus which are sure to serve as the inspiration for all manner of utter insanity.

To get a better insight into the new single, Ben Marwe took some time to have a chat about Cuffed and Collared, as well as the band’s future plans.

HAPPY: 2014 was an absolutely huge year for the band and even that might be an understatement, has this had an impact on Cuffed and Collared and other recordings?

BEN: If you mean impact on songwriting then no, not really. We have always tried to put the song first. Everything else is irrelevant if you don’t have a product that you’re happy with. Some of the recent demos and recordings were written 2 years ago, but they haven’t found their place in the set or weren’t strong enough to release. The songs that have had radio play so far have been the more up tempo rockier ones, which is good because we find them easy to write. It’s the more intricate melodic guitar type songs that are the real noggin’ scratchers. We released a song last year called My Only Friend and it sort of went unnoticed, but we all thought it was a really good song. It’s all apart of the process though. We are developing as musicians and songwriters, so any type of success or support is welcomed with open arms and allows us to do what we love.

HAPPYCuffed and Collared hits hard and fast, what else can we expect from your forthcoming LP?

BEN: We have two weeks to finish the album and to be honest, I can’t really answer that properly. We have the basics down for 15 tracks, and have to eliminate three songs, which will be tough. There is some light at the end of the tunnel and it’s exciting to see everything coming together. Hopefully the LP will showcase our ability to be able to write in a number of styles and different voices, whilst still maintaining some Bad Dreemsness to it. There are influences flying everywhere in each song, so I suppose you can expect some nostalgic moments, some depressing moments, and some smoking darts in your car on the way home from work on a Friday night with a long neck moments.

HAPPY: I’ve seen people absolutely lose their minds when you play, are you expecting similar antics from U.K. audiences when you tour in May?

BEN: I hope so. I’ve never been to the UK so I’m very interested to see how people respond. If we can get 10 people in the front row at every show, then maybe some photographers can make it look like we’re a really big band to people back home and in America, and we can sign a multi-million dollar record deal and I can stop mowing lawns and living with four other guys. I love my housemates, but a man’s home is his castle, right next to the runway, just there.

HAPPY: Cuffed and Collared reminds me a little of the opening licks of George Harrison’s I Want to Tell You from The Beatles album Revolver, is this an influence? Is classic rock an inescapable aspect of growing up in Australia?

BEN: I actually can’t even think of how that song starts. Alex wrote the riff so I’m not sure. Someone also said it sounds similar to a Monkees song. I guess that’s a good thing. I suppose when you write a riff/melody/song, you want people to think its familiar. That’s what drags them in even if they haven’t heard it before. I was listening to Learning to Fly by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers this morning, and all I could think about was Tracy Chapman Fast Car. I’m not sure whether that has ruined it for me or made it better.
Classic rock is an interesting aspect of music these days. I think in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the melody was resurrected. Melody! Melody! Melody! Which is why when cheesy hits come on the radio or you hear it in a pub, you can’t help but singalong. If something is hooky enough, it will stay with you forever. I heard Boys of Summer by Don Henley a little while ago and thought, “Fuck me thats a great song“. It has everything, strong chorus and verse melody, steady drums as well as cool synth and guitar tones. Bands are trying to emulate that again now, like War On Drugs or Oh Mercy’s new one Sandy.



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