The best way to describe the vibe~ of Bad Nerves, is that it’s a bit like if Supergrass were a messy, freewheeling punk band. Their self-titled debut flies by at such a pace it feels as though it might careen off the rails at any given moment, yet the perfectly-placed hooks come through in abundance, fast and ready. It’s a lot of fun, and a much-needed blast to blow away some of 2020’s most stubborn cobwebs. Here, the band talk us through the release, front to back.
CAN’T BE MINE is about following your gut when you meet someone you like. The video for this was filmed in one of the rooms of the haunted pub I used to live above.
MAD MIND is about nostalgia and memory and not wanting to be forgotten. Probably my favourite track on this record. I never thought I’d get away with multiple key changes in a Bad Nerves track, but it turns out anything is possible.
BABY DRUMMER is kind of a tribute to past legends like Joe Strummer. There’s a few lyrics in there inspired by various other bands I like. It’s loosely about longing for something exciting to happen in music again. For a band or an artist to come along and totally change the game. For a new subculture to emerge championing guitar music again like it has in the past. We can dream!
PALACE came out of a time when I was living in London and was an observation of various people I met. Being there made me realise that I didn’t want to stay in one particular place for too long. The longer you stay somewhere, the more of a fishbowl it becomes. 2020 is the year of the fishbowl. There’s also a little dig at the Royal Family in there for good measure.
RADIO PUNK is a bit of a piss-take of the made-for-radio rock music you hear so often. I wanted it to be as catchy and as structurally generic as possible, but without being complete trash. The irony is that there’s definitely an argument to be had that most, if not all of our songs, are in fact radio-friendly trash.
BORED OF BABIES is exactly what it says on the tin. I’ve seen too many friends swap music for babies, RIP.
ELECTRIC 88 is about enjoying your youth and having no regrets. We filmed the video for this in a field in Chelmsford. I wanted clear blue skies but didn’t bother to check the weather report, so we spent most of the day chasing gaps in the clouds.
WASTED DAYS is the break-up song of this record. I suppose most records have at least one of them? I pretty much drove straight from being dumped to the studio, and within about 2 or 3 hours we had this track. I think that’s still the quickest a song has ever come together since this band started. I wrote all the vocals in about half an hour, and the lyrics barely changed from the demo to the album version. Don’t be fooled; being dumped is fantastic.
NEW SHAPES is just about not letting our differences divide us. We’re all human. We all live and die. Be kind, be considerate, be open to new and different ideas. And buy the new Bad Nerves record.
LAST BEAT is another track that came out of when I was living in East London. Too many parties, man. I always wanted to write a track with just a few lyrics, and this is it.
TERMINAL BOY is about trying to find a balance between your passions, your work, your relationships blah blah blah. The working title for this song was ‘Ride the Elephant’. Make of that what you will.
DREAMING is about cheating death. Living in peoples minds through melodies you wrote in your garage. That’s one of the coolest things about music; it’s like a time capsule. Bury your mp3s on the internet, and you will live forever.
Bad Nerves’ self-titled debut album is out now.