The Untitled Interview #211: Starring The Bad Years

In truth, The Bad Years sounds like Los Angeles. Languid, scuzzed out garage or sunbeam slow-motion hypnotics couple with lovely wisps of smoky vocals, and it's like sitting in late afternoon Southern California sunshine. Utterly awesome and lovely. 

The adorable duo behind The Bad Years, Sami Akbari and Aaron Mort, are hot off an EP release and hopefully working on their plan for world domination. In the meantime, they very kindly answered some questions for yours truly. Read on for Sami and Aaron's insights into all manner of things, including the joys of making things up, Phyllis Diller, and the great Nancy and Lee. And make sure you check out their fantastic Beautiful Liar EP. You can thank me profusely at your leisure. 

Fuzzy Logic: How the hell are you?
The Bad Years: Ok!

FL: What was the last song you listened to?
Sami Akbari: Ugh, it might have been “Style” by Taylor Swift. It was in the car and I was almost home, so I just let it keep playing . . . or maybe that’s just what I tell myself.

Aaron Mort: I was just listening to The Troggs “With A Girl Like You” and before that a Phyllis Diller comedy record.

FL: Playing music is:
SA: Fun, maddening, hard, easy, the best.

FL: What album most made you realize you wanted to make music?
SA: I don’t think there was one particular album. I grew up listening to A LOT of Beatles, and whatever my parents had lying around - Richie Havens, Kenny Rogers, Neil Diamond, it ran the gamut.

AM: Weezer’s “Blue” album was on constant repeat in middle school and high school, that record definitely changed the game for me. Before that, I really got into the blues, BB King & Howlin’ Wolf specifically, and a TON of Dylan and The Band.

FL: Beatles or Stones?
SA: Beatles!

AM: They’re both amazing in their own right.

FL: Top 5 albums (of now, of this week, of ever):
SA: Abbey Road - The Beatles, August and Everything After - Counting Crows (for real), When the Pawn . . .- Fiona Apple. I’ve been super into Father John Misty’s current release and Jim Croce has been playing on our record player this week.

AM: Always a tough is a pretty random cross-section of records past and present in no-particular order of hierarchy: New Morning - Bob Dylan, Dr. Dog - Shame Shame, The Dirtbombs - Ultraglide In Black, Abbey Road - The Beatles, Loaded - The Velvet Underground

FL: Favorite music-related movie?
SA: This is tough! I have to list 3, pretty different films: A Hard Days Night, Festival Express and Almost Famous.

AM: Although not a music-related film, the soundtrack to Moonlight Mile is amazing.

FL: Half-full or half-empty?
SA: Today I would have to say half-full but there are many days where it’s half-empty.

FL: Which of your peers do you think is making the best music these days?
SA: We are surrounded by a lot of talented people we know and don’t know. We were enjoying Broncho’s song “Class Historian” recently, and just in our circles we’ve heard fantastic music from Elle Belle, Misty Boyce and Lucius.

FL: What's the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning?
SA: Again??

AM: Morning??

FL: Little-known The Bad Years fact?
SA: We are avid stamp collectors. We also like to make things up a lot.

FL: The greatest record store in the world is:
I mean, Amoeba is pretty great.

FL: Your boots were made for:
SA: Takin' off and kickin' back on the couch.

FL: Shaken or stirred?
SA: Depends on the drink!

FL: Favorite venue (either to play or to visit)?
SA: The Hollywood Bowl is an awesome venue to visit.

AM: I’ve had some magical experiences at The Greek Theater in Berkeley, CA.

FL: Best piece of advice you've ever been given?
AM: Have you ever considered a real job?

FL: If you weren't in a band you'd be?
SA: I have no idea! That’s why I’m in a band.

FL: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of?
AM: Nancy & Lee. [ed. note - That would be Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood, of course]

FL: Best song ever written?
Not sure, but there is a good tribute.

[posted 7.12.15]


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