Los Angeles-based quartet Badflower dropped their first full-length earlier this year, the hard-hitting and emotional OK, I’M SICK. Since then, they’ve toured with Nothing More and Shinedown, and are currently on their first headline tour across the States.
They’re now adding another accomplishment to the list: The band recently became the new face for menswear fashion designer John Varvatos’ newest Star USA campaign, whose acclaimed work has led him to collaborate with some other recognizable names in the scene such as Machine Gun Kelly, Green Day and KISS.
Lead vocalist Josh Katz took some time between cities to talk about what it was like being asked to represent a new fashion line and how his band want to see you cry.
Is fashion something the members of Badflower are used to expressing themselves with?
Not even the slightest bit. [Laughs.] I think what John likes about us so much is that we’re not that kind of band. We like whatever is comfortable and whatever looks cool to us. We don’t pay too much attention to it.
He curated everything that we would be wearing [from his line] around us. He did it with us [and] our own personal styles in mind. Also, our personal styles have a little bit to do with his clothes, too, because we’ve been wearing his clothes ever since we met him. It’s a full-circle thing.
Badflower are the first full band to represent Varvatos and the line. What were your initial feelings? How did that whole process work?
John is part of our record label, as well. We’ve been with him forever. We’re close with him. He’s worked with our band for a long time. It was so casual when he asked us to do the fashion line. On a call, just like, “Hey man, just want to catch up. You guys are doing great at radio. I hope you guys are doing well. I hope the shows are going well. Oh, by the way, would you guys be interested in being introduced in my next fashion campaign?” Uh, yeah. Of course we did. [When] we got back from Europe, we stayed in New York, got the whole thing set up and there was a huge crew of people. It was a wild experience. We are honored and flattered to be asked to do this.
You’ve been on your first headline tour for a couple of weeks. What are some differences between headlining and opening?
JOSH KATZ: Well, this is a lot more rewarding and validating. It’s really telling of where we’re at in our career. It’s a lot more fun. When you’re a support band, your job is just to win over people. You’re playing for people who some of them might know you a little bit, and others have no idea who you are. You’re just trying to win them over, and that’s [an emotionally] taxing thing to be doing. [Now], we know people showing up to the shows already love our band [and] already know the songs, and we just get to enjoy it.
OK, I’M SICK dropped in February. Previously, you had released a few singles Why did you choose to release a full-length instead of an EP, which is what most bands tend to do?
It was fun to fully immerse ourselves in that process for six months…It’s easier for me and the rest of the band to write songs when we don’t have anything else on the schedule. Like, we know we have months set aside just to write. We can write a bunch of songs, work on only that [and] jump back and forth between songs. I think we’re a lot more creative than when it’s broken up between touring. For that reason alone, I think I’m more inclined to make a full-length album again for the next round, just because I know what we get out of a full-length album. We get the time to be as creative as we can without any breaks.
The next release might be different. We might go for the EP thing or just singles. We felt inspired to do that. The label wanted us to do that, so that’s how everything laid out, and we did it. We’re not working on another album yet, but as soon as the tour is over, that’s certainly going to be the next thing. Whether it’s an album or EP, I have no idea, but we’re going to start writing.
On the album, you talk about some heavy subjects such as anxiety, depression, abuse and politics on the album. Was it difficult to open up about these topics?
No, it was really easy. The things I talk about on the album are things that people talk about constantly. This is the kind of thing that is on my mind constantly, so it just made sense to sing about them. Not only on my mind, but it’s shoved in our faces with social media and just in life. It’s a very raw perspective of these things, more like the inner monologue perspective of them rather than what people would normally have in their faces.
You’ve releasing a music video for “The Jester.” What should we take away from it?
People can expect to cry. I hope that’s the reaction. I don’t know why we’re so obsessed with making people cry, but that’s our thing. I just like movies that make me cry, so when it comes to music videos, I want to do the same thing.
Badflower are currently on the OK, I’M SICK fall tour. Remaining dates and tickets can be found here. The band can also be seen repping the new fashion line here. Check out the video for “The Jester” below and the full album here.