BADLANDBADLAND
are building a good name for themselves
in the UK's Midlands, with gigs booked
right through the year

Today they welcome
GET READY TO ROLL
to the neighbourhood
and singer Dave Cooper tells us about
their new album and offers to give us all
a lift on his motorbike!


Hi Dave, firstly, tell us about Badland - who does what in the band and what kind of music do you play?
I guess we're what you would describe as a classic rock band, if that doesn't sound too up ourselves! It's pretty much all original compositions (with a couple of covers for the live show) but some of the numbers were written over twenty years ago, some just a few years ago and a couple since we actually came together as "Badland". Personnel, starting from the foundations: Terry 'Drumdude' Boazman on the drums; Lee "Snake' Pallant on the bass guitar; "The Rodfather" or Rod Bloomer (to his probation officer) on the keys Dave Matthews on guitar and vocals; Martin Ratcliffe on lead guitar and yours truly, Dave Cooper lead vocals.

What led to this particular group of fellas forming a band together, and when/what/where was the first gig Badland played?
It was all a mixture of coincidence, conniving and downright cajoling which got us all together in the same room at the same time, very late last year. Dave (Matthews) and myself were together in a band called "Scorched Earth" in the Eighties - apparently we were part of the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal), though we didn't discover this until later! Anyway... for a variety of reasons the band ceased to exist in '85 and I decided to take a break from singing. That break lasted 22 years (!), although Dave and I stayed in constant touch. He tried several times to coax me out of my self-imposed exile and, finally, curiosity got the better of me. He told me about this "amazing" bunch of muzos he'd been rehearsing with and I decided to go take a look. Terry, Martin and Rod had all played together in various projects over the years and knew each other of old. After only one evening, "Badland" was born - all we needed was a bass player. Snake was already known through friends of a couple of the guys and, so the story goes, he was in his car and put on a cd he'd been given with some of the older numbers on. He heard the first few bars of 'Nemesis', stopped the car and called Martin straight away to arrange trying out with us. With the line up complete, we were offered a very last minute gig in March '08 playing with another band Terry plays with sometimes, a rock covers outfit called "Inoffensive". Their singer was ill and so "Badland" did a set, then I stepped in on vocals for the "Inoffensive" set, with Tez drumming. I've never learned so many lyrics in such a short time! As I recall, it was a biker bash at the Urban Social Club in Kirby In Ashfield... . ah the memories!

BADLANDYou're currently playing quite regularly in the Midlands. How have recent gigs gone and are you being invited back?
The reactions just get more and more amazing. Every show we do just seems to get tighter and more dynamic and the audiences... well, what can I say? We're getting loads of mail through to our website and people just keep coming back. We've been re-booked into every venue we've played so far (except the Urban Social Club!) and what started as a group of guys going through a mid life crisis is fast developing into a very serious business.

How is the songwriting coming along for the new album, and how actively (or not) are you looking for a label?
"Welcome To The Neighbourhood" is well and truly in the can and will be released unleashed in the next couple of weeks. It was almost all recorded in Martin's studio at his house, using Logic, with some of the live drums being done at our rehearsal rooms. Martin engineered and produced it all and only yesterday, the album was mastered by David Mitson (one time Head of Mastering at Sony and all-round mastering legend!). All the artwork has been done by my amazingly gifted wife, Mandy, and it's being pressed and packaged as we speak. With our combined knowledge of the process we felt there was no need to wait for a label to realise just what we've got. It’s good and hell don't we know it... so why hold back any longer?


I was surprised when I saw your promo video at just how professional it was. Did you invest in getting a pro dvd company to shoot it - or... what?
"Or what" is the answer to that one... So... we found the location "Project Paintball" (which happened to be half a mile from my house at the time), met with Rich (the owner, mad rock fan and, believe it or not, an extra in "Wayne’s World 2"!), he gave us the keys to the site and let us loose one Friday afternoon. Mandy shot and directed it (told you she was talented!) my teenage boys (the 'Road Crew") Dom, Dan and Oli were the production crew and I then spent about a month piecing it all together into what has become "Rescue Me' - the video!

What's been your proudest moment as a member of Badland? And also during your last 30 years as a singer.
Sounds corny, but every time we drag our carcasses up onto a stage and kick out a mind blowing set of rock and blues it makes me feel young again! I'm so proud of the guys around me... and we're confounding crowds and critics alike. I'm loving it every time I open my mouth - I still surprise myself - I've finally grown into my voice and these days it's hard to shut me up! (not that it was ever easy!)

BADLANDAnd your rocknrolliest moments?
I spent my twenty two year sabbatical from singing as a Tour / Production / Stage Manager for many, many famous artists and have countless stories (though Mandy maintains I never tell the same ending to a story twice!). I've been held at gunpoint several times, been arrested in the middle of Munich for inciting a riot with one particular band and had many narrow escapes - not least of which was spending an entire night 'entertaining' a lady Brazilian journalist who mistook me for my more famous employer on a tour.
I keep threatening to write a book, but I don't think I could afford the law suits... anyway, as the saying goes... what happens on tour, stays on tour!


What do you think of the current state of the music business compared with the 70s and 80s? And what changes do you think will happen in the next 10 years?
It's an exciting time, musicians and songwriters are in a much stronger position now than they've ever been. The world needs heroes, idols... whatever you want to call them. Music offers escapism and anyone lucky enough to be given a talent should have the opportunity to express themselves. My only regret is that I spent so many years standing in the wings watching others rather than doing it myself. In the next ten years? I'm gonna grow older disgracefully, keep on kicking it with these boys and enjoy the ride as we scale the heights to (belated) superstardom!!!!

...And further to that, what about in the next 20 years, when even the longest-serving of our classic rock bands such as the Stones, Quo, etc will be (won't they?) too old to rocknroll?
The only time I'll stop singing and recording is when they nail the lid shut! It's in your blood... you're only too old when it's too loud!

BADLANDWould you ever try your luck on a programme such as X Factor? Or what about 'Battle Of The Bands' type competitions?
I find it hard nowadays to accept criticism... so there's only really room for one ego on the X Factor! I've found my fantasy... we gig anywhere, anytime - we'll open a show for another act or headline... anything just to get up onstage. In fact we're doing a 'Battle Of The Bands' for the BMF (British Motorcycle Foundation) on 20th September at the East Of England Showground in Peterborough - bring it on... the chance to play in front of our type of people... can't wait!


What would you like to say to anyone out there who hasn't been to a Badland gig yet?
You're a long time dead and I personally guarantee you one hell of a night. If you can't get to a gig, drop us a line at www.badland.info and I'll come and get you... resistance is completely futile!


Click on the link below to go to the website

BADLAND  


Get Ready To Roll - 15th September 2008
GET READY TO ROLL


 

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