Twenty-five percent danceable, 25 percent weird, 50 percent fast: this is the breakdown of The Bad Arts' new self-titled EP. "We picked one [song] of each kind we write," drummer Andrew Patterson says, "a dancey one, a fast one, a weirder one."
"A couple fast ones," bassist Corbett Hancey chimes in. With a distinct post-punk sound and a sharp, urgent live show, The Bad Arts has been building a local fanbase since they began playing in 2008. Maybe it's the Mission of Burma-like sophistication they've had since early shows, or the coordinated outfits or the Ian Curtis-like figure singer and guitarist Paul Conrod cuts on stage.
The band is releasing its first EP on cassette (with a digital download code), because "we didn't get any government money to put it out on vinyl," says Patterson.
"There was a mutual agreement we didn't want to put it out on CD. Everyone's going to put it on their computer anyway," Conrod shrugs.
The three were brought together by music tastes. Kristen Finley of The Rhythm Method originally handled vocals, but they've been playing in the current configuration since the beginning of 2009, after Finley left for India. Conrod had played with some bands in his hometown of Saint John before moving here, but it's the first Halifax band for all three members.
One gets the sense that their knowledge of rock 'n' roll history is never far from their minds. "At our last show we had some guy claiming one of our songs was a Fugazi song he'd never heard," Hancey says. "Then I got worried someone knew more about Fugazi than I did," Patterson jokes.
They don't cite Fugazi as a main influence though, listing Wire and Gang of Four among the vast store of post-punk bands making up what Hancey calls the "white noise in our listening past."