Bad Wolf: Steampunk, Panic and Escaping Boxes

bad-wolf-interview-golden-mixtapeAs Comikaze approaches I’m torn between dressing up like Babs Bunny or just going in a Power Ranger skirt that’s made from an old sheet. I’m sure others are facing these dilemmas. People like LA’s own Bad Wolf. When they come together their style falls under the ever popular and fascinating world Steampunk. Even their music features a futuristic, dreamlike state that’s paired with rock. The result is nothing less of interesting so I knew I had to talk with them about not only what they wear on stage, but what they perform, and some of their famous friends.

Bad Wolf might be from LA but don’t think they have these big egos. Their own Tommy says that they try to remain very “low maintenance,” and it shows in their humble answers that follow.

Kendra: If you had to place your latest album, Once Upon…, in a sci-fi movie, which would it fit best in and why?

Kota: Oh man, I would probably have to say Serenity, mostly because that’s definitely one of my all time favorites! It has a sci-fi yet steampunk feel, so I think it matches us really well!

Tommy: Kota wrote “A Better World” inspired by the Hunger Games trilogy, so I think it’s a natural fit (I think it actually belongs in the final movie). She sings about how if we keep fighting there won’t be anything left in the end – a reference to Peeta’s appeal to Katniss and the rebels from the 3rd book (SPOILERS!!).

Kendra: Were you ever worried about people placing you in a very particular box musically because of your influences and style?

Kota: Yes, people will always want to fit you into a box, and we still deal with that on a daily basis. When you try to be something different, or are a pioneer of a certain style, the general public will want to relate you to something else so that they can better understand it.

Tommy: Yes and no. My single goal is to make music that is different and interesting. I think our biggest challenge will actually be to make our music relatable to our audience. That said, it’s impossible not for people to put bands in a box. It’s too easy to say we’re the next Evanescence or Paramore because we’re a rock band with a girl singer, but I hope people give us a chance to show them something unique.

Kendra: Speaking of style, is Steampunk an everyday look for you guys?

Kota: To be honest, I’m the only one in the band who is super into steampunk style, the rest of us draw more influence from other styles. Alicia is very into the gothic scene and Tommy is more GQ meets prince charming, but when we come together as a band for a performance, photoshoot, or video, the steampunk element kind of ties us together well between our different styles. As for me, I like to infuse elements of steampunk into my daily look! I have an obsession with octopus jewelry, which is my little way of keeping a steampunk influence with me at all times!

Kendra: Have you ever played, or been approached to play a Con of sorts?

Tommy: Actually yes! Our good friend Traci Hines who collaborated with us on our first single and video “A Better World” asked us to play a couple songs with her at the Anime LA Con. It was a blast and I hope we have the opportunity to play more!

Kendra: How’d you guys hook up with Panic’s Dallon Weekes?

Kota: The venue that I own and run, Amplyfi, was approached by Dallon because he wanted to do a birthday show for his side project band, The Brobecks. We’ve all been fans of Panic since the beginning so we took the opportunity to join the bill and it was a great show! It even sold out! Dallon is a great guy and we really enjoyed playing and hanging out with him!

Kendra: Do you guys enjoy the video making process? 

Tommy: Music videos are definitely a new experience for me and I’m always fascinated by the process. It’s so unlike the live music setting that I’m used to so it’s still an adventure for me.

Kota: I love making videos! From start to finish I’m 100% involved in the production, creative side, styling, concept, etc. It’s one of my favorite creative outlets!

Tim: My favorite part about making a music video is having fun with my instrument. Playing drums in different settings while trying to accentuate the emotion and energy of the song is very fun- you don’t have to worry about playing everything perfectly, just rock out. Our video for “Drowning Beautiful” depicts three different “worlds” which really allowed me get creative with the percussion- I’m definitely looking forward to our next one!

Alicia: I love getting dressed up of course, but also just seeing how the movie magic comes to life! Like it was pretty cool how filming in something as simple as Tommy’s pool can look so amazing in the video and our director, Raiya’s backyard turned into a wonderland!

Kendra:  If you had to make a mixtape for a fantasy quest, what would be the first five songs on there?

Lions by Lights
Dragons by The Green Children
The Ballad of Mona Lisa by Panic at the Disco
Army of Me by Bjork
Fixed at Zero” by VersaEmerge

Minus the Bear – “I’m Totally Not Down With Rob’s Alien
Codeseven – “The Devil’s Interval
Incubus – “Echo
Radiohead – “I Might Be Wrong
The Reign of Kindo – “Something In The Way That You Are

Rob Zombie – “Feel So Numb
Rage Against The Machine – “Bulls on Parade
Marilyn Manson – “The Beautiful People
The Deftones – “My Own Summer
Tool – “Forty-Six & 2

Unleash the Red” by HIM
Angel With The Scabbed Wings” by Marilyn Manson
Sweet Blasphemy” by Black Veil Brides
Take It Away” by The Used
Prisoner of War (POW)” by Bullet For My Valentine

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