Glasgow duo Bad Mannequins are back with the first taste of the second instalment of their EP trilogy. ‘Double Denim’, the first single to be taken from the forthcoming EP, is out now so we caught up with the pair to find out more about Bad Mannequins.
Raw, acerbic, flamboyant and fun.
First up, tell us bit about yourselves - what first got you into music?
We both grew up in musical households. Music playing constantly and instruments kicking around the place. Pretty natural to get into playing in that environment.
How did the band get together?
We were already in a band together when we started trying out some new stuff as a two piece. The chemistry was instant and it felt cool to play songs in such a raw setup.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from to form your musical and thematic style?
There are the two-piece bands like The White Stripes, The Black Keys & Japandroids. We are also huge fans of The Hives, Electric Six and The Strokes. We mainly draw inspiration from 70’s era New York, bands that played CBGBs around that time - that vibe informs most of what we’re doing.
How would you describe your style?
Raw, acerbic, flamboyant and fun.
Your track ‘No Easy Way Out’ being featured on US TV Show Limitless. How did that come about?
The guys at CBS heard a song of ours and asked if we could write something specifically for their first episode. The actors mimed to our performance which was pretty cool. Much more interesting than a normal sync deal.
Did that usage open any doors for you?
It created a bit of hype for us and a few articles in the press. Entertainment Weekly did a story on us and it gave us a good platform to start the band properly. That was only the second song we recorded.
You released your debut ‘Deny Til U Die Part 1’ earlier this year. How was that received?
We had a really positive response to the the debut EP. Quite a bit of radio play including BBC6Music which was cool. We were just starting the band and I reckon it was a good introduction to us and our sound.
Tell us about your new single ‘Double Denim’. What’s it about?
‘Double Denim’ is about a girl whose parents hooked up at a party in the lower east side of NYC in the mid-80’s. “You wouldn’t even be here if your momma didn’t rock that Double Denim”.
How does ‘Double Denim’ build on your previous music?
The first single from the debut EP was pretty uptempo and really rocked out. I reckon ‘Double Denim’ ups the tempo and the attitude to kick of the second EP. We kept the tongue-in-cheek lyrics going but the vibe is up another notch.
‘Double Denim’ is taken from the second instalment of your EP trilogy. How does it slot in with the other songs?
The other songs on the second EP keep our themes going. Another tip of the hat to CBGBs era New York comes with ‘I Don’t Wanna Die In NYC’ which talks about buying records at Bleeker Bobs and plays with the idea that if you’re gonna bomb (die) on stage, you don’t want it to be in the coolest place on the planet. Another song from the EP is ‘Japanese Dreams’. It’s based on the pretty standard dream of any band, “making it big” in Japan. We throw our own vibe in there with lyrics like “visualise yourself from your housing scheme, buying pants from a robot vending machine”.
What are your hopes for ‘Double Denim’?
We would love for Double Denim to get some major radio airplay obviously or for a huge jeans company like Levi’s to want to use it but the main hope is that it would inspire a new generation of Double Denim wearers!
Have you ever committed a double denim fashion crime?
Every. Single. Day.
When and where can we expect to see you on tour next?
We are setting up our own home town show in Glasgow for late February so we’ll book a bunch of dates around Scotland and hopefully Manchester and London too in the Spring. We’ve been putting the feelers out for some shows in Berlin and Amsterdam so we’ll see if we can swing them.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
This might sound a bit obvious but I would love to collaborate with Jack White. He’s has an instantly recognisable voice and guitar style which is pretty hard to come by. I think the guy has some amazing vision for music & style and how to sell all that as an amazing product too. Third Man Records Store is full of killer ideas. I reckon we could do something pretty amazing if we collaborated.
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
Always be your own man. Never let anyone else dictate who you are or what you do. If you manage that, there’ll never be anyone ahead of you.
Watch the video for ‘Double Denim’ on YouTube below. For news and tour dates visit the Bad Mannequins Facebook page.