Bad Bad Hats is an excellent band with an excellent debut LP entitled . Their first D.C. show was just announced, opening for The Mynabirds September 26 at U Hall. You should bring some money to buy a t-shirt.
We spoke with Bad Bad Hats lead singer/guitarist Kerry Alexander about her Nightmare Gig. It took place a long time ago in a city far away.
It was a Monday evening in the dead of winter there was a blizzard happening, there was also a Sigur Rós concert and I think a Beach House concert was also happening this evening and we were playing a show in Saint Paul first of all, Saint Paul is great but mostly, you want to be playing in Minneapolis, that’s where all your friends live so we are in Saint Paul first of all which you figure people aren’t going to come out since its snowing but we were playing at a venue called Station Four which is now closed in like a condemned space because like there are a lot of like fire safety violations.
And it was predominately a metal venue which turns out is not the kind of music that we play and we were opening for a touring solo musician and it actually turned out to be an ok evening in terms of like my experience but zero people came to the show. There was no one there except for us and this guy who was touring and the sound guy, Anthony, who was our audience. The whole show, we were just like “Alright Anthony, what kind of song would you like to hear now?” and through the little speaker he would be like, “Give me something loud,” and we would be like “OK, here’s a loud song for you, Anthony” and that’s what we did for like an hour and then we went home.
Brightest Young Things: Wait, wait you played an hour-long set?
We played half an hour and the other band played half an hour.
BYT: You both were like, fuck it, and we are playing this show
Yep, yep we did it. That’s the only show where we had broken a string.
Turned out to be a blessing.
BYT: Did you record that show?
No, there’s no evidence of it now. And Station Four was torn down so our legacy will go down with it.
BYT: That actually could be a really great like if you’re like, fuck it, we are going to record our new EP in a metal venue
I’m like happy it happened because now whenever we play a show with like low attendance it’s still better than the Station Four show where no one was there. So it’s put things into perspective for us.
BYT: What year was this?
That was, that must have been pretty early in our like playing so I kind of assume like 2013. Like winter of 2013.
BYT: I like how you’re like it was like a long time ago like I don’t know 19 months ago, very, very long.
Did you have any merch at the show?
No. we are terrible at bringing our merch to shows so I would assume that we didn’t bring it
BYT: It sounds like Anthony would have bought a shirt, it seems like he liked you guys
We really should bring them more. We always forget. I don’t know, we’re bad.
BYT: Why do you forget? That’s the one thing you need to bring other than your gear.
At first we had it in huge boxes and I just have a small hatchback like a Scion, not the boxy ones, it’s one of the rounder ones.
BYT: Glad we made that clear.
We have limited space and so it’s like we always have like cardboard boxes where it’s like no can’t do it, can’t bring it.
BYT: But you don’t have to sell all of them, like you can break that down easily.
Yeah, we are better now; we are making a conscious effort to be better about it. But we also just like we like people order online and that’s totally fine and we have a lot of dedicated fans who are, who thankfully come to more than one show so we are able to make it up them at the other show, you know
BYT: That’s good, I’m going to open your website now so look at your t-shirts if that’s OK, if that doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable.
Oh, yeah! Thank you!
BYT: These are good shirts! Especially the one that is only $10!
They are cool right?
BYT: That’s the best one!
Yeah, thank you!
BYT: And you’re losing money, you sell this for $10*, it’s an American Apparel shirt and you’re selling it for $10.
We aren’t losing money but if we mail it…no we’re not losing it we figure that out, we’re not making a lot.
BYT: This is a great shirt and you should charge at least, maybe it’s just the D.C. in me, but you should charge at least $15 for this.
Yeah I love that shirt but it’s not a top seller, I don’t get it.
BYT: Really? What’s your top seller?
Yeah, the blue. And the purple shirts.
But I’m with you, I like the bad shirt is my favorite one, it’s just like ‘oh she bad!’ I thought people would be into that.
BYT: I just think it’s kind of like an old saloon.
Yeah, well one of our friend’s designed it for us. She does really amazing illustration so I was really excited about the design and people do, people still buy it but that’s why…yeah it doesn’t sell as well as the other ones. Because people want the name I think.
BYT: But who cares….but if the other one is better enough and people are like ‘oh what’s that?’ and you tell them the band name, that’s going to stick more than just like…
That’s what I think too! Right, It’s a little intrigue.
BYT: I totally agree!
A little conversation starter!
BYT: There’s a band called Landlady and I have one of their shirts and it’s just a big, giant cursive L.
Yeah! I like that.
BYT: That doesn’t mean anything so now you have to ask me, ‘hey, what’s that thing on your shirt?’ and I tell them ‘hey it’s this great band’ and now we’re best friends, like that’s how things work.
I think so too. I’m willing to bet that like just a shirt…yeah, it’s just like yeah, an interesting, beautiful design on a shirt that people want to wear. That makes sense to me. And someone is like ‘hey cool shirt’ you know like you know, thank you!
BYT: Yeah, right!
A band shirt, yeah. We’re on the same page.
*The shirt now costs $15. It’s still worth it.