For just two guys from Cincinnati, indie-rock duo Bad Veins sure is making a lot of noise in the music world.
Bad Veins formed in 2006, composed of singer and musician Benjamin Davis and percussionist Sebastien Schultz. Critics from every corner placed them at the forefront for new artists to watch, including USA Today, who named “Go Home,” a track from their first album Bad Veins, one of the top songs of 2009 and Dan Harris of ABC News, who called the debut album “criminally overlooked” and “utterly fantastic.”
Monday at 6:30 p.m., the duo will be opening for Two Door Cinema Club at The Beacham in downtown Orlando. Schultz, the drummer and one-half of Bad Veins, took some time to talk with the Future about the band’s recently released sophomore album and their current tour:
Central Florida Future: Tell me a little bit about how you guys started Bad Veins.
Sebastien Schultz: We both played in our own bands in Cincinnati. Once those bands folded, we both wanted to keep playing music and keep pushing forward. I had a mutual friend that put us in touch and we had our first practice. That was about five years ago.
CFF: And so now Bad Veins is made up of you, Benjamin Davis and a 1973 Pioneer reel-to-reel recorder named Irene. What motivated you to use “Irene” as part of your performance?
Schultz: The reel-to-reel was always part of it because that was just a great way for us to have a limitless sonic palette; we could get away with having as many backing tracks as we wanted. There’s no way that we could ever tour with an orchestra or a choir, but if we have it on a reel, then we can get away with having that element in the live setting and having as much instrumentation as possible.
CFF: Davis is known for being the composer in the group, but is there any collaboration in terms of writing and composing?
Schultz: The ideas come up before the studio, but we flesh them out together in the studio. My percussion is the first thing that gets recorded and that shapes where the song goes, and then we sculpt it together from there on out.
CFF: Bad Veins is also known for using interesting sound manipulation elements in your recordings, such as singing through a megaphone. What’s the decision-making process in adding those elements?
Schultz: Basically, if it fits with the sound of the song, it stays. We definitely don’t go in saying, ‘Ok, this song has to have a megaphone.’ We see what works well, but we don’t force anything.
CFF: The band’s second album, The Mess We’ve Made, was released in late April. What was different about the recording process for this album from your first album, Bad Veins?
Schultz: Just having proper time to spend on it and having the time to make the record we wanted to make. I really enjoyed the first record, but we rushed to get it completed. With this album we spent a few months in the studio filling all the songs out and getting the precise sound we wanted, so this album, I think, is a much more polished sound. It’s the album that we had in our heads for the first record.
CFF: You’ve been touring pretty steadily since March, both as an opening act and as a headliner. How’s the tour going?
Schultz: It’s been good! It’s been a lot of fun – definitely tiring, but rewarding. We had a really good run so far on the west coast.
CFF: And then you’ve got another tour with We Are Scientists over in the UK in July – your first time touring there. Any concerns about touring overseas for the first time?
Schultz: I’ve always thought that the UK would respond really well to us, so things should be about the same. If things go disastrously wrong, then we’ll have to try and change our approach, but I think it’ll be a really good tour. We’re very excited about it. I think the UK is going to grab on to us – maybe even be a little more receptive than the [United States.]
CFF: After the release of a new album and all of that touring I’d imagine you’d want to take a little break. But do either you have anything else in the works currently?
Schultz: We’ll be on tour with this album for the next year, I imagine. We’ll take a break and work on what we work on individually, but I feel like we’ll be on tour forever. [laughs]
CFF: Well, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Do you have any final notes for your Orlando fans?
Schultz: We played Orlando a couple months ago with Jetpack and it was amazing. I just want to say a big thank you and that the fans in Orlando are fantastic. We had a fantastic time, and we hope you guys come out to the show.