Thursday, May 17, 2012

10 Questions with Johnny Badseed and the Rotten Apples

Johnny Badseed and the Rotten Apples is an alt country band from Tulsa, OK.  The band recently released the album Fill Yer Boots on BandCamp (read my review here). 

This interview was conducted via Facebook April 30-May 17, 2012

For more information on Johnny Badseed and the Rotten Apples, check out their Facebook, BandCampReverbNation, and Musicpage pages. 

Dave:  How did the band get together?

Robby Housh:  It was a dark and stormy night and though none of us new each other at the time, we all happened to be in the same bus on the way to a prestigious circus school in the Appalachian Mountains. Robby (the guitar player) was sitting alone near the back mumbling to himself about the oil crisis, Jack (the drummer) was sitting just a few rows up on the opposite side flirting with a woman that was old enough to be his mother, Mark (the bass player) was in the very middle of the bus trying to convert a group of Tibetan tourists to Christianity, and Brandt (the mandolin player) was in the very front of the bus trying to lead a group from the senior’s center in a sing-a-long of old Disney songs. All of a sudden the driver of the bus exclaimed that there was someone in the road up ahead. Brandt, being the next closest person to the front of the bus immediately turned around and looked out the window, and that is when it happened. As Brandt made eye contact with the stranger in the road, time stopped. And in that moment, the four of us came to know each other on the most basic of levels, and we also knew what it was we had to do. We must tell the story of this poor ghost, we must let the world know, the story of Johnny Badseed. Just kidding, Brandt and Robby have been friends since grade school, Robby met Jack through friends at college, we started playing together around then, and then a bit latter Brandt met Mark through work friends, he came to our second show, we invited him to our next practice and he was playing shows with us later that month. 

Dave:  For those who have never heard you, how do you describe your music? 

Robby:  That’s a tough question, we are still trying to find that common thread that ties all of our songs together, but we are pretty sure it is somewhere between country and punk rock.

Dave:  You recently released the album Fill Yer Boots.  What’s the story behind the record? 

Robby:   We recorded and mixed the album over the vicious 2011/2012 Oklahoma winter in our practice space. We then had a friend master it. We worked with a graphic designer on the art work and then screen printed the covers and CDs back at our practice space.

Dave:  Have you received any interest from record labels?  Are there any labels that you’d like to work with? 

Robby:  We did not look for labels at all for this release, but we will probably look around for some support on our next album.

Dave:  Many of your songs deal with the fictional character Johnny Badseed.  How’d you come up with the character?  Why did you decide to write songs about a fictional character?

Robby:  We created Johnny Badseed to be a sort of anti-hero version of all those old west tall tales. We chose to write from a fictional perspective because none of us have much experience robbing banks or shooting people in cold blood.

Dave:  Do you have any specific type of songwriting process? 

Robby:  Each song gets written in slightly different ways, but usually one of the members comes to the band with part of a song, and we finish writing it as a group. Song lyrics are often finished around a campfire.

Dave:  What are your thoughts on the music scene in Oklahoma?

Robby:  The Oklahoma music scene has an incredibly rich history, and we are proud to be a part of what is happening in it today.

Dave:  This is a High Fidelity inspired question.  What are your top 5 favorite artists/bands, albums, movies, television shows, books/authors? 

Robby:  In no particular order:
Top 5 Artists: Johnny Cash, early Modest Mouse, MF Doom, The Beach Boys, Paul Simon
Top 5 Albums: Rome (Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi), Pecos Bill (Robin Williams and Ry Cooder), Black Album (Jay-Z), Plastic Beach (Gorillaz), Alien Lanes (Guided by Voices) specifically the song as we go up we go down.
Top 5 Movies: Once Upon a Time in the West, Pulp Fiction, Beauty and the Beast, Rumble Fish, Step Brothers
Top 5 TV Shows: Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, Archer, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, Sherlock, Later… With Jools Holland
Top 5 Books/Authors: Look Me in the Eyes (John Elder Robinson), His Dark Materials (Phillip Pullman), Guts (Chuck Palahniuk), Master of Reality (John Darnielle), Where the Sidewalk Ends (Shel Silverstein)

Dave:  What’s next for the band?

Robby:  When we aren’t rehearsing for our next show, we are writing. We hope to finish writing the next set of songs in the next couple of months and start getting them ready to record.

Dave:  Any final thoughts? 

Robby:  We just want to thank everyone who has bought the album or has come out to any of our shows to support us. It really means a lot to us to see people enjoying what we are doing.

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