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The Bad Plus Is
Determined To Never Stop

Blog
The Bad Plus Is Determined To Never Stop

15.11.2018

Text: Artemis Günebakanlı

Since the 90’s, The Bad Plus built themselves a solid audience around the world with their music that defies categories and their adrenaline filled live performances. Their latest album Never Stop II, the first to feature Orrin Evans on piano, was released this year. We came together with the band as the seats of Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall were filling up for them.

The Bad Plus always operated as a true band. You emphasize that there’s no leader. How does this system work while making music, recording and making decisions?

We each write music for the band but we write it individually. When it comes to the band, everybody gets to contribute their sound. It just naturally takes on the identity of the band, through us playing and the chemistry that we have together. Basically everybody is just interested in doing the best we can and if somebody has a good suggestion that’s working, we’re going to go with that. Nobody has to have their idea just because it’s their idea.

Do you each bring in a different point of view, different influences?

That’s the beauty of it. Everyone has something to offer.

Was it easy to maintain this chemistry with Orrin Evans joining the band?

We know each other for a long time. We knew that he was the only person we would ever consider so the fact he wanted to do it validated our intuition. We’ve never questioned it, we’re just moving forward.

You’re a very exciting band to see live. Which bands are you excited to see nowadays?

Avishai Cohen sounded good. There’s a bunch of people that I would love to see live. I would love to see D’Angelo live. Anderson Paak, Childish Gambino… but I haven’t had the opportunity to see them live. There’s so much music, whenever we get a chance to hear someone, we try to take the chance at least to hear it. In different festivals like this you get to hear someone great and hear their ideas. I heard the guitarist Julian Lage the other day, he was amazing.

A few days ago I talked to Till Brönner and asked him what his off-tour routine was. He said music was the last thing he could do because of e-mails and phone calls. Do you have a similar routine?

I spend a lot of time making music when I’m home. I don’t answer e-mails or texts, it frees up a lot of time. Everybody does different things; cooking, enjoying life, hanging with the family. Touring is a wonderful experience to be able to play music for people but the rest of the day you have no normal human being comforts like your family or the places that you’re familiar with and all these other psychological comforts. When you’re home sometimes it can be an adjustment of figuring out the rhythm of those two places; the touring rhythm and being home rhythm. Sometimes it can be very challenging.

Avishai Cohen just said you were one of his favorite bands and he’s excited to see you. Will you have the chance to see anyone in the festival?

We’re here less than 24 hours. I wish we were able to see many more people, it’s rare that we get to see many people. And also just to spend time in Istanbul which we have over the years. It’s one of our favorite places to visit. It’s frustrating to be here for such a short time.

When you are covering a song, do you have a certain strategy?

Only that we want to make it our own. And we have to like it, we have to think it’s interesting and there’s something we can contribute.

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