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Bad Things

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The self-titled debut album from Los Angeles quintet Bad Things captures the sound and the energy of being young and figuring it all out with uncanny precision. Guided by producer Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Saves the Day), the album is due out January 21st, 2014 via Warner Bros. Records. The insistent yearning of the band’s first single “Anybody,” is a good example of how the band takes the listener on a journey of emotions. Other tracks on the forthcoming debut include the urgent, punk fury track “Fool,” the bold, New Wave-influenced experimentalism “Haunting,” the heavy, shimmering hard rock anthem “Caught Inside,” and spirit-lifting funk track “Vices,” all which showcase the band’s range and how they never once hit a false note or force emotional or musical harmonics. Not that a great rock and roll band has to be sincere all the time, but one listen to Bad Things and it’s clear that anything less would stall the momentum and solid sense of identity that these players fought so hard to achieve. “I would describe it as energetic rock music with attitude,” says drummer Lena Zawaideh. “It does have a lot of pop melodies. We love to harmonize with each other.”

Bad Things earned their undeniable chemistry through sheer persistence and — in the case of Zawaideh, guitarist Anthony Sanudo, and lead guitarist Shaun White — a friendship forged in their San Diego hometown that dates back to their teens. After running into White at a party in L.A., bassist Jared Palomar (formerly of Augustana) wound up hanging out at his house for a few days before the two made any music together. “We bonded over a prank we played on his neighbor, cutting down a tree, and throwing it in his neighbor's pool,” Palomar recalls (the name Bad Things comes from a love of mischief, especially when perpetuated by naughty children and captured on YouTube.) “When Jared joined the band everything changed,” Sanudo says. “The music suddenly felt effortless, but we still needed a voice.” One lead singer passed through the band briefly, after which “Lena really stepped up to the plate and started coming up with great melodies and lyrics,” Palomar says. As they grew more serious about their ambitions, the search to find the perfect frontman was on. “We still had this idea of making this a real thing,” White says. “So we put out the feelers for a new singer and Davis came to audition.”

As a kid, Davis LeDuke sat, like most future rock heroes did, with a stack of CD’s in a private, fantasy world populated by Led Zeppelin and the Beatles. He listened and learned. “My dad had me sit in my room and learn the songs up and down,” LeDuke says. “He wanted to show me what good music was and to actually see if I could sing.” The answer was affirmative. Shortly thereafter, LeDuke began writing lyrics and poetry. When the Strokes and the White Stripes hit a decade or so ago, Le Duke was inspired to start his own group. Now 22, he’s been in bands half his life. His addition completed the Bad Things line-up. “Everybody comes from really different musical backgrounds and this band allows everyone to play to their strengths,” Anthony Sanudo says. “We write collectively so at the end of the day these songs are collaborations of the best ideas.”

At first, LeDuke was skeptical about joining a band with a celebrity member. (White, as you might be reminded every four years or so, is also an Olympic champion snowboarder.) But White earned LeDuke’s trust and respect through his musicianship and commitment to the band, disabusing him of any notion this was a vanity project. “There’s a band, and one of the members is me,” White says. “I play with my friends..” According to LeDuke, however, White is minimizing his contribution: “Shaun is basically the driving force behind Bad Things,” he says. “He’s a perfectionist when it comes to things being right, which is a great thing for this band, because without him we wouldn’t have pushed ourselves to make everything the best it could possibly be.”
Now Bad Things is ready to share their electrifying sound and moving lyrics with the world. A recent 2013 US tour, which included stops at Chicago’s Lollapalooza and New Orleans’ Voodoo Music Experience, earned the band much deserved acclaim. With the upcoming self-titled debut release, it’s only the beginning. “Music is what we do,” Sanudo says. “It is all we can do and all we ever want to do. Though obviously Shaun is pretty good at a couple of other things.”

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