Are you bored? Stuck in a dead end job? Want to see the world? These questions may be presented to you if you were considering a career in her Majesty’s armed forces, but answering yes to these questions in Croydon gets you an entry-level position in the latest band to join British music revolution. With five main vocalists, three guitarists and a drummer, I can confidently say that with nine members counted for, all vacancies have been filled. Do Me Bad Things have just arrived in London from the bright lights of Aldershot on their UK tour to promote the release of their debut album Yes!
I take a moment to consider what events may transpire when surrounded by nine musicians of various shapes and sizes before entering the Mean Fiddler where they had been rehearsing for tonight’s gig, sitting myself down near a Pac Man counsel in the corner. Hearing a band live in an empty venue is a new experience; I was expecting them to plough through it half-heartedly yet front woman Chantal Brown sang with unreserved passion and Tom Shotton on drums doesn’t miss a beat on his kit.
The music stops and Pac Man annoyingly dominates the atmosphere again. The tour manager James appears, thankfully with only one member of the nine piece, ‘Hurricane Tommy’, the band’s drummer. He is introduced with a firm handshake as Tom Shotton. To my annoyance we take a sit next to the dreaded Pac Man video game where Tom informs me he’s just been doing his laundry. I smile and nod politely sitting in my lenor fresh clothes eager to begin the interview.
“Do Me Bad Things came about from this Greek fella [sic]” muses Tom. “This guy was shocked with what these teenage girls about town had written on their tops”. I contribute a puzzled look as Tom takes a drag on his cigarette; “you know, slogans such as ‘no one knows I’m a lesbian’. He couldn’t understand why this girl had one saying ‘do me bad things’ and it just stuck.” On first glance this band may be considered a novelty act with their nine members, excessive make up and striking band name. Nonetheless Tom tries to reassure me they’re not by declaring “ninety-five per cent of the people you meet are idiots, therefore ninety-five per cent of public opinion is wrong.” Pausing for breath, “It’s not like we thought about portraying a novelty angle, that’s something the critics have picked up on.” Be that as it may, listening to the album it sounds like the Scissor Sisters doing The Darkness i.e. overtly homosexual cock rock, with heavy sounding guitars and riffs that wouldn’t sound out of place on a rock album paired with melodies in tribute to The Beach Boys. It shouldn’t work but it’s strangely enticing. With the forthcoming releases from Coldplay and Oasis this year, you wouldn’t imagine Do Me Bad
Things to be Top of the Pops with the press yet interviews in Q Magazine and NME beg to differ.
Do Me Bad Things started as something of a Friday night project before ultimately becoming a signed band much to Tom’s disdain: “To be honest I didn’t want a record deal, it was meant to be a two gig thing for a mate, but we played a few more times and were signed at our fifth gig. Then we toured for a while and wrote the album.” When asked whether Yes! would be there sole release, the question is greeted with a mischievous smile: “We’re antagonistic fuckers, we told NME that our next album will be a full on reggae album for a laugh, it’s more likely to be more like Katrina and The Waves doing Black Metal.” At this point I feel that I’m being mocked and consider cutting the interview short when Tom declares “Anyway, I’m more of a music lover than anything, for me, Speakerboxx by OutKast is the ultimate album for music lovers.” I tell him I disagree; “well at least you like a type of music” he sympathises.
Feeling uncomfortable I change the topic of discussion to the politics of the band, I’m told the band is democratic and bands like Metallica (where financial and voting percentages in the band are split unjustly) are detached from why they started. “If the band is equal then why am I interviewing one person instead of nine?” I say forgetting that I was getting Dutch courage from a banana milkshake half an hour ago, Tom responds “Myself, Alex and Rich are the spokespersons for the band and I was told to do it.” Not very democratic I note.
In spite of this of this slight hypocrisy I feel more at ease after his reassuring attitude and the upcoming election is brought into conversion. Tom proudly announces he will be voting Liberal Democrat, when asked why he replied “I’m from a super conservative environment and I recognise their threat, Michael Howard is a little fucker”. Laughing, I probe further and discover that Tom thinks “Michael Howard is a racist right wing fuck.” Swiftly I return to the agenda of the day, music. “Being a music lover, is there any music you don’t love?” I inquire. Instantly, Tom tackles the question: “U2 shouldn’t be big, they’re irrelevant and redundant … Coldplay produce useless music”. A few moments later Tom expresses his derision for The Edge (U2’s guitarist) “He’s a whore … he wants MTV to pay U2 each time they show their videos, his attitude is ridiculous.”
I asked him if there is anything that he doesn’t like being reported about his band; contemplating this for a few moments Tom answers jokingly, “we don’t sound like the Scissor Sisters, I’ve never heard them but we definitely don’t sound like them.” Refraining from a debate about whom they do and don’t sound like, I thank him for taking the time to talk to me, wish them luck on the rest of their tour and head for the exit. As I leave Tom asks me if I’m seeing them play tonight. I reply with a nod and he says he’ll look out for me, yet when I saw him ten minutes later outside the Dominion theatre he ignored me. Bastard.