Bad Weather California

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Bad Weather California team up with Akron/Family for tour, new record

:: Bad Weather California ::
:: GNU Experience Gallery :: February 17 ::
:: hi-dive :: February 18 ::

By Cornelia Kane

Chris Adolf had to stop driving Bad Weather California’s van in order to take The Marquee’s call for our interview. Somehow, this came as no surprise. As lead singer/guitarist and frontman of the Denver-based indie rock/pop/ punk/surf/soul quartet Bad Weather California, the DIY-or-die ethos is evident in nearly everything he and his band do. Apparently, that also extends to driving duties, as Bad Weather California roams the East Coast on tour with Akron/Family.

Adolf was typically laid-back, even while contemplating the band’s impending eleven-hour trek straight through from their gig in Georgia that night to the Daytrotter studio in Illinois. The following afternoon, the band was scheduled, to perform an exclusive, stripped-down live session as part of the studio’s new streaming subscription service offered by Daytrotter, the influential web-based musical content provider. He was more concerned about the quality of BWC’s set than the overwhelming amount of hours on the road.

“We’re playing all these dates night after night, so our set’s really tight,” said Adolf. “It’s always kind of stressful playing on the radio, or internet … in that studio situation, where it’s like, ‘This take is it,’ and it goes out to the world, it’s really stressful and off-putting. I like the live, in front of an audience thing, because … they can see that you’re human when you’re messing up, you know? That means you’re a regular human.”

Speaking of the live show (which is hands down what BWC does best), be prepared to participate. Asked about the amazing audience call-and-response aspect to BWC’s live show, Adolf explained, “You have to keep it really simple. You have to keep it, like, three syllables so people can just shout back without having to memorize the line, you know? I was basically just really inspired by this footage on YouTube of Muddy Waters doing it.” His contemporary take on the traditional technique is amazingly refreshing, especially in this modern age of rock concert attendees expressing their enthusiasm mainly by remaining absolutely silent and motionless.

It’s hard to stay still when listening to the new BWC album Sunkissed, out February 21st on Akron/Family’s imprint, Midheaven. The record is rife with catchy, reverb-laden hooks, sparkling surf-rock guitar, and handclaps. In other words: all the best, most fun elements of traditional rock and roll. It’s not that you haven’t heard music like this before, it’s that you haven’t heard anyone having so much fun making music like this in a long time.

“It’s a collaboration with us and Seth from Akron/Family,” said Adolf. “It really sounds a lot like us, you know? It’s not as rowdy as the live show, but I think because we recorded it as a band in the studio we got some good jams.”

The Akron/Family tour and record deal came about in just the organic way you might imagine. “We got a show in Vail with them,” said Adolf. “There weren’t many people there, it was just a little show in a little bar and we just became friends. That night we just all hit it off and they really liked our CD, and from there they were like, ‘Hey, let’s help you.’ And they’ve been helping us ever since. It’s hard to be a band in Denver, because you’re on an island, and they saw us in that situation and wanted to help.”

Adolf described the BWC sound as “teenage weekend beach music. Punk rock that doesn’t sound like punk rock. Soul that doesn’t sound like soul.” On the BWC website, they call it “street-level music,” which is an apt description of both the rootsy, surf-punk the band is known for and their working-class approach to making it.

While the band has been around for over a decade, Adolf remains the primary and longest-standing member. The current lineup is rounded out by Joe Sampson on bass and guitar, Adam Baumeister on guitar and pedal steel, and Logan Cocoran on drums. All long-term veterans of the Denver rock scene, the members have played in a variety of other notable bands over the years.

The group, which Adolph explained was unceremoniously named Bad Weather California after finding that the band name ‘California’ was already taken, had the honor of touring with the Meat Puppets in 2011 — a match that was seemingly made in heaven. “The Meat Puppets tour was amazing. Those guys are grandfathers of punk rock music. They’re legends. It was amazing just to be around them. They’re really down-to-earth people, you know? You forget, because nowadays music is big business, but back then they started it. Punk rock was just punk rock; it was in the streets. That’s where they’re from. It was really inspiring to be around them for those dates,” said Adolf.

Up next, Adolf has plans to record and produce an album for local rocker The Heavy Drags this spring. “That’s going to be cool, they’re like the real garage-y kind of punk band, you know?” he enthused. “They’re out of Grand Junction and I think they’re one of Colorado’s best punk bands.”

 

:: Bad Weather California ::

:: GNU Experience Gallery :: February 17 ::

:: hi-dive :: February 18 ::

 

Recommended if you Like:

• The Meat Puppets

• The Giraffes

• The Minutemen

 

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