Nashville’s dukes of delinquency return lend an advance listen to their upcoming Wish You Well … and Goodbye EP—the latest recordings from the siren squealing, baton busting, fuzz blasting enforcers—Bad Cop. Available October 28 from Jeffrey Drag Records and now for a free download; look out as label founder/operator/frontman Adam Christopher Moult, with Kevin Kilpatrick, and Karl Edwin Merkley once again assert their rightful place in the Nashville royal indie court of smart, snarling derelicts of distinction.
The EP starts out with “Wish You Well”, offering best wishes of good tidings and the best of health. The guitars themselves dance in herky-jerky patterns, with amps blazing in some sections, as the well wishes from Bad Cop bring down the floodgate dam-doors of chords with the kind of ripped denim rock that Nashville specializes in. Turning the tempo up a few notches, “SHOTGUN” makes a quick dash of rollicking riffs and fast rolling time signatures like drag racing Top Alcohol Dragsters taking their roadsters to the limits of mechanical engineering and laws of physics. Pushing past the pushers, and the shakers; “Get You Hi” makes a deal you can’t refuse with a chance to “take all of your pain away.”
The EP’s parting goodbye track plays with the pendulum of affections between two parties with propositions, smooth talking promises, and chemically balanced and controlled couplings. In just three songs, Bad Cop enforces their rightful ruling place at the Nashville rock and roll table, as we catch up with Adam Christopher Moult immediately following this listen.
First up, what is the latest and greatest from Nashville these days? State of the Nashville scenes?
The latest and greatest of the Nashville scene is that there are a ton of new bands. Nashville has become a mecca for great music, so that’s cool. It’s great for running my label, Jeffery Drag Records, because I can drive two miles and catch the ‘new rad band’ almost any night. Some insanely rad bands have been popping up—two of those being BZRK (grimey dark hip-hop group composed of kids all in death metal bands) and Penicillin Baby (this amazing cross between Brian Jonestown Massacare and DIIV, very cool sound.) Those are the locals I am all about currently. I snagged both up for my label too. I’m greedy with these good Nashville artists, I want them all! [Laughs.]
How was the writing and recording for you different on Wish You Well… and Goodbye compared to the The Light On EP?
With the recording of The Light On EP, it just sort of happened. We got back from tour with Cage The Elephant and Brad (Shultz) was like, ‘Hey—let’s make some songs.’ He was really into the band. So we said yeah, set up time, and we went in with what we had ready. We had “Cant Get Enough” and “Light On” finished, but the rest of the songs were completed in the studio with Brad. He was with us writing (on “Post McDonalds Punks”) and producing on more than half of that material, so it comes across different. I like it. All very natural and organic.
With Wish You Well… and Goodbye, we spent years on some songs like “Wish You Well” and selected the songs we felt would come across best when we were invited by Converse to record the EP. Some of them ended up being heavier songs I had written, not knowing for what project, so it’s cool that we didn’t write them setting out for a certain sound. I guess this new EP is more of complete ideas, that had been fleshed out, where The Light On EP was sort of this exciting moment captured on vinyl for everyone to hear. I love both the EPs though, I would love to combine them and release them as an LP on a label eventually… one day, one day.
What sorts of goodbyes and well-wishes lent inspiration for this brief EP cycle?
Hmmm. I guess it is sort of a goodbye to the wildness of the band’s original formation/craziness. When we started, we never believed, even though we had opportunity, that we’d have success, or I don’t think we ever took this as seriously as we should have. It’s not that we didn’t think we were good, we did [laughs], we just weren’t expecting to catch such wide attention with the first record we ever made as a band. And somehow we got signed, moved to NYC and back, toured North America, opened for some of the biggest bands out there, played some festivals all over, and managed to make a lot of people love us, and hate us, off one record that we recorded at 19 years old.
So our new approach is not like a new band, just more focused. I understand what I am doing better now. Bad Cop has changed for the best. We are still free spirited, I don’t think that can change. But as I’ve grown older, and almost grown up in a public manner, I have been touring and releasing songs (that are typically personal) since I was 19… so I guess this band now, is just like me and the dudes all “grown up” [laughs]. It sounds so funny saying, but yeah this record is wishing the days of partying all night, sleeping with as many girls as possible, and smoking weed all the time goodbye. I love Western culture and partying, but we are becoming more focused on our craft now, and making timeless songs. It’s just about maturing. I really enjoy all the perks of rock & roll along with my love of performing, so I had my fun, but now I am here to just make music that will stand the test of time. I am glad I got into this early.
Do you feel that the sound of Bad Cop is growing louder, and possibly rowdier?
For this specific EP, yes. It was very wild. I still had some things I needed off my chest. But I also feel we are moving in a more pop-driven way for our upcoming LP. That was not the last, but some of the last ‘heavy’ songs we have coming from the band at this point. We have been very influenced lately by The Beatles’ Rubber Soul, Elliott Smith, and anything by The Stone Roses, so our newer stuff still has an edge, but it is in a more “pure” form. It’s more about the song crafting than the energy.
Best places in Nashville not to get hassled or arrested by the fuzz?
You have to find ‘cuts,’ which means a little back road or way. I stay in the cuts down South (Southside of Nashville), as every side of the city has its hood, but every side has a nice side. So not to get messed with, you just got to watch the speed limit and stay in the cut if you’re going be doing something you shouldn’t, or just want to stay away from “squares, fuck boys, the five-0”. The fuzz here aren’t cool, avoid them.
Best places in Nashville to get hassled and/or arrested by the fuzz?
The Eastside. They love waiting for people to leave all the bars. And there are a ton of undercover police. When I was younger, you didn’t go to the east side. Now, it’s very different, with lots of college kids. But still heavy police presence, so if you don’t wanna get popped, then stay away from the Eastside.
What other items do you have in store for Bad Cop and the world?
We are preparing our long-awaited sophomore album. We put out our first one in September 2010, so it’s been a while. We are perfectionists with the songs, so we have really been crafting this. That’s why we have been doing EPs, to keep our fans interested, but not giving them everything yet. We needed to get some years under our belt since we were a band for such a short amount of time (four months and roughly 10 live shows) before getting signed for our first album.
I feel like this new album will be very special and something awesome to share with the world. I sincerely feel we will be pushing the envelope for rock music, and hopefully this album makes the waves we are expecting it to make. We feel the songs are at the height of our writing, and we’re making an album that can challenge the status quo. Look out for it next summer!