Occasionally, I come across music I really like in the most random ways. After seeing Ryan Cabrera was doing a StageIt show, I figured I might as well see what StageIt was all about and the first band to be part of his living room show was Badflower (formerly known as The Cartunes). Though they only played a few songs, I quickly became a fan and had to check out more music from them. The band released an EP last year under the old name and are working on more music to be released under the new name. Keep an eye on these guys because they’re a band you don’t want to miss out on. I chatted with Josh Katz about the music and what’s to come. Read the interview below and watch the video for their song “Animal.”
Arin: You just went through a name change with the band (The Cartunes to Badflower), so what was the reasoning behind that change and how did you decide on the new name?
Josh: We knew we had issues with the old name for a while; we were planning for a few months, our switch. We didn’t have a band name; we spent months thinking of band names. We spent months reading through books, and listening to music and lyrics, and trying to figure out that perfect name; and nothing really stuck, and [then] Badflower just kind of jumped in our laps. It was in conversation with a couple friends and someone said something stupid and Badflower just kind of came out in the conversation, and our guitarist Joey looked at each other and [we] were like, “Badflower,” and the name just kind of stuck. So we decided to put the two words together and make it one word that really doesn’t exist. I guess we kind of created a word, so we kind of like that idea that there’s really no way to associate it with anything else. It was catchy [and] it sounded good; but at the same time, it wasn’t like our last name, The Cartunes, where we could never really own that name. Not only legally, but you know when you hear Cartunes, you automatically associate it with cartoons on TV and whatever else. We like Badflower. We like that we could own it and make it whatever we want because it didn’t really have a meaning beforehand.
A: What got you all into music and how did the band come together?
J: I got into music when I was very, very little. I always loved watching movies and listening to the movie scores; and everytime I would watch a movie, I would jump back onto the piano and try to play the song. I just loved it. I just loved movie music, and when I was a little kid, that’s all I wanted to do. I guess [I got into music] when I hit middle school and jumped in the with the ‘wrong crowd,’ the Rock ‘n Roll kids; but I guess it was a blessing in disguise because I found beauty in the guitar, and I didn’t have to be so classical and proper and I could have more fun with music and I have never looked back. The rest of the guys, we’ve all been so heavily involved in music our whole lives and it was obvious when we first met, and eventually this came together. We went through a few members before, but we all have the same love for music and all that.
A: Now that the name change is all taken care of, what is coming up next for the band?
J: It’s looking like… Our plan originally was that we wanted to hit the road and we had a lot of opportunities come our way that we weren’t expecting and that’s kind of landed us a spot in LA, so now we have a residency at The Key Club. We play every Monday night at The Key Club, and we give our LA fans and friends and industry people and whoever else wants to see us a chance every single week at a great venue – a great sounding venue – and a lot of bands don’t get an opportunity like that. It kind of gives us an opportunity to work on a new album. With the band name change and our maturity levels changing and all that, we’ve just really grown as people; and we feel like we released our album not too long ago, but we’re ready for a new one and we’ve got a lot of great songs.
A: It’s always difficult to label music, but how would you describe your sound?
J: I would label it as indie rock and roll with a classic rock influence.
A: How does songwriting work for the band?
J: The process is memories. As far as lyrics, it’s all memories. Actually, it’s not all memories; it’s memories and it’s dreams. I write a lot of lyrics about times that I wish I had, maybe even sing about them in the past tense whether I lived them or not. They’re memories that I created in my mind to tell a story. Obviously, we also have the songs that are directly taken from life. You live something that’s so emotional and so powerful that you have to write it down; you have to sing about it. We try to portray that. We try to capture whatever emotion that is, whether it’s absolutely ecstatic happiness or down in the dump sadness; we try to capture that emotion and throw it back out to the audience.
A: What are your plans / goals for this year as a band?
J: Well, we definitely want to put out a new record – actually, just a lot of media. We just wanna throw a ton of media at the world. Music videos and cover videos and new songs and new albums. Just because of the band name change, obviously. It was tough to change over, [but] the more media that we throw out and we go kind of twitter crazy, I think the better it’s gonna be for us.