“You finally realized that it don’t make sense
The things you’ve come to love, well, they don’t exist.”
Así se despiden los Bad Sports en “Days of Denton” al final de su primera entrega bajo el sello de Dirtnap Records, el excelente Kings of the Weekend (2011). Y aunque la banda se refiere a la ciudad de Denton, Texas – es fácil identificarse: “And all the boys in the back they just do what they’re told / ’cause when the city dies tonight the stories have all grown old / And you study four years to make minimum wage / Why bother even playing when you don’t get paid?”. Como podrán ver, están hablando de muchas otras partes del mundo.
Y para algunos estarán hablando de Puerto Rico… pero no se lo digan al grupo. El trio de Bad Sports – Orville Neeley, Daniel Fried y Gregory Rutherford – nos visita este mes, tras haber entablado una amistad con los muchachos de Dávila 666. Consigo traen un armamento de canciones pegajosas (descarga “Teenage Girls” gratuitamente via Dirtnap Records) que estallan con la energía característica del punk, sin dejar atrás el corazón melódico del rocanrol clásico.
Gracias a AJ Dávila, tuvimos la oportunidad de entrevistar al guitarrista y compositor del grupo, Orville Neeley. A continuación nuestra conversación en anglais y detalles sobre las presentaciones de Bad Sports en Puerto Rico.
PRI: Will this be your (and the band’s) first visit to Puerto Rico? What are you looking forward to the most?
Orville Neeley: This is the first time any of us have been to Puerto Rico. Vacations are nice, but we are especially looking forward to playing to an audience we have never had before!
PRI: How did you and the guys from Dávila 666 meet? What did they promise you in order to get you to play Puerto Rico?
ON: We met Dávila 666 a few years ago when their booking agent asked us to do a couple dates with them on the end of our tour. We became fast friends. They promised us good shows and fun in Puerto Rico.
PRI: Bad Sports released its second record, the thoroughly awesome Kings of the Weekend, last year – any story you’d like to share with us about the making of the record and the songs that made it in there?
The songs about girls were taken from things that had recently happened. In any case, it’s all true! “Sweet Sweet Mandi” I wrote for a girl I was pursuing named Mandi. We played it several times live before she believed I had written a song for her. She would be standing up front and deny having heard the song! Maybe she was just testing me…
PRI: What’s the secret to writing a catchy power-pop gem like “Sweet Sweet Mandi” or “Teenage Girls”? Whats your approach to songwriting in the band?
ON: There are no secrets. The power to create what you love is all within you. Like the 13th Floor Elevators said “the kingdom of heaven is within you”, (I think that might even come from the bible, who knows?) and that song is far from pop, but the message is clear. What makes songs like that come together is serendipitous.
Daniel and I were writing songs with a purpose… to make catchy songs! For “Teenage Girls”, we were enthusiastic and simply playing around with riffs and the words popped into my head. It just happens sometimes. I went home and wrote the rest of the lyrics on my back porch from which I looked out upon the Baptist Church parking lot and the high school next door. Practice helps, but you’ve got to go with what’s fun. You know it’s right if it feels right.
PRI: How do you keep busy between recording, gigs, and other band-related duties? Is music a full time job for you and the rest of the guys?
ON: Music is definitely a full time job for me. In addition to writing songs and playing in bands, I do live sound and book shows. I also make time to do video projects with friends. We all play in several bands to keep us occupied. Perhaps it stems from severe ADD. Gregory is in six or seven bands and still in college and works with his dad, I think. Daniel has several music projects, he’s single, and he works in a record store (Mad World).
PRI: What have you been listening to lately? Any recommendations?
ON: I can’t speak for the other guys on this, because I know they’re into a lot of things that I probably haven’t even heard yet. They introduce me to a lot of music. I’ve been listening to The Saints’ Eternally Yours, their second album, a lot of ’68 Comeback, especially A Bridge too Fuckin’ Far, Sparks’ first album, Berlin Brats Believe it or Rot, Liquor Store’s Yeah Buddy, The Barreracudas Nocturnal Missions and Natural Child‘s 1971 and yet-to-be released For the Love of the Game.
The list goes on. Lots of older stuff, from the 70′s especially. AC/DC’s Powerage has been a staple since I was 11 years old. In Austin, I’ll go see The Fleshlights, Nazi Gold, Crooked Bangs, the Golden Boys, the Creamers, Sweet Talk, Cruddy, the list goes on. When they come up from Houston, I try to play with or go see the Energy, Secret Prostitutes, White Crime, Black Congress.
That enough suggestions for ya?
PRI: Yeah, I think we have some homework to do… Speaking of homework, are you into politics? What do you think will be the biggest issue in the coming election? Who wins it?
ON: Politics I have avoided most of my life, but I’m learning. I think that what matters more than WHO gets elected is HOW people use their liberties to ensure that they keep their freedom and possibly INCREASE it. If anything, I think more people should figure out who they really are as people. Knowing yourself is important to understanding others. Take action to get the things you need and want rather than relying on others to provide for you and fix your problems.
I really do not care who is President of the United States of America, because I’m going to do what I want anyway. I have a lot of issues with censorship, education, incompetent police force (at least in Austin), and so on, but I’m not saying I could do a better job, nor do I want that kind of responsibility. Fear, hate and paranoia should be as much a driving force in people’s lives as peace, love and understanding. People often confuse those things. What good is positivity without negativity?
PRI: Badminton – “bad sport” or “worst sport ever”?
ON: Badminton = boring sport
PRI: What’s the most kick-ass weekend you guys have ruled over?
ON: That’s a tough one. Although on our tour with Wax Museums last summer, we pretty much ruled for two weeks straight… even if I fucked up some songs, ha!
PRI: You guys have made a name for yourselves online for your live shows. For people not familiar with the band – what can they expect from a Bad Sports concert?
ON: Expect energy, sincerity and fun… also hot sex and rock and roll! You may not know who we are, but we know who we are!
We are Bad Sports and you’re welcome.
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Bad Sports se estarán presentando en vivo el 16 de febrero en el Red Shield Music Hall de Santurce junto a Dávila 666, Ardillas y Los Petardos; y el 18 de febrero en el Hotel La Cima de Aguadilla junto a Los Petardos, Velvetina y Los Vigilantes.