The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world



photo by Sean Berry
In a matter of twelve months, they have been signed to Atlantic Record Labels, toured with Smashing Pumpkins and released their first debut album Welcome to the Wasteland.  This new Chicago based band have already been praised by Paul Stanley stating "The album is an absolute knockout and the best i've heard in ages." Have you heard of Bad city yet? Read on and make your own decision, they are truly a band to keep an eye on in the future.

TH: On behalf of the Rockpit, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview.

MP: No problem, good to be here in THE ROCK PIT!!! <Double Devil Horn Sign> Your site is awesome. It makes me happy to know that is still a cool hub like this for rock fans.

TH: How would u describe ‘Bad City’ to someone who is unfamiliar with the band ?

MP: Oh gee. If I said "Explosion Rock", that wouldn't be very helpful, would it? I'd probably demand that person go download our music on iTunes and check it out. Not only would that efficiently familiarize the person to our music, but I would make money from it as well. You see, in America, that is what we call "Win-fucking-Win"


TH: The band was originally formed as ‘Power Space’ which was a more “pop rock” sounding band, what made you jump from that to a more “straight up” rock sound?

MP: Oh, see that fact is a bit misleading.. if you ever heard a recorded Powerspace song, you'd only be hearing 2 out of the 5 Bad City members. Bad City is really a combination of like 3 or 4 bands, not just Powerspace.


TH: When you guys first got together what were your intentions?

MP: To make a great, great debut album that we could build a career on. We're a real rock band- no autotune- no bullshit. When we started we didn't know anything about radio formats or industry shortcuts, we just wanted to rock.

TH: You got your claim to fame from the attention of Billy Corgan, describing the band as a “super fresh take on rock” and then he invited you guys to tour with the “Smashing Pumpkins,” was that where it all started?



photo by Sean Berry

MP: Yeah, that's right. We submitted for the tour almost as a joke, zero expectations. This was our first tour ever, mind you. Who were we to tour with the fucking Smashing Pumpkins? It was a beautiful early summer day when I got the call. I freaked out. I felt so nervous I couldn't eat, I even had some pretty raw anxiety attacks.

TH: I bet that was an amazing experience for you all to tour with Smashing Pumpkins, what are your thoughts of the tour?

MP: Being from Chicago, the Pumpkins were the band that I looked up to my whole life. I'm embarrassed by how much I adore them, really. I don't like to sound like anyone on guitar, but I still sound a little bit like Billy Corgan sometimes no matter how hard I try to shake it. Like I I said, I was so nervous, but after the first show I was comfortable and having the time of my life. At the last show Billy invited us back for another tour. What an honour!

TH: You guys have a song called “ Call Paul Stanley’ is there a meaning behind that song?

MP: Yes, the song is about a struggling rock star who falls for all the rock n roll lifestyle cliches and eventually burns out, but is saved by the woman who was there from day one. I usually don't like those kinds of stories, but since it's kind of implied that this story takes place over several years, it kind of gives the song a grander scale.

TH: It’s interesting because Paul Stanley stated that your album “was a knockout and the best he had heard in ages,” how does it feel to take in the positive feed back from not only Paul but other musicians and the media at this early stage as a band?

MP: The best middle finger to any negative criticism is that my actual fucking heroes like the record. I could give two shits if a spotty faced jerk writes 700 words about how we sound way too much like Queen or something. Fuck him. Paul Stanley is a legend and one of my greatest heroes and a kind and accommodating man, I'll take his word over Mr. Faceless-Hipster-Critic thank you very much.

TH: Please talk a little about the album “Welcome to Wasteland,” where was it recorded? who wrote the majority of the songs for it? And how long did it take?

MP: The album took a very long time to write and record, over a year. Like I said, we wanted it to be perfect. We recorded it in Chicago in the Pilsen district. The other guitar player Tom and myself (Max) wrote all the songs on this one because of certain circumstances, but the next album will be way more collaborative.

TH: You have been praised and criticised with the different variations of your music from different influences over the years, for example, sounding a mixture of Kiss, Queen, Smashing Pumpkins etc. I’d like to know how these different sounds reflect each of the members musical taste, do you all enjoy the same musical styles or have different likings?

MP: KISS and the Pumpkins are probably my two favorite bands, so I guess that part is kind of my fault, guilty as charged. Josh has the dynamic vocal range of someone like Mercury, so that comparison is fair too, even if we hear that one the most.

TH: What is your favourite song from “Welcome to Wasteland” and why? Please talk about that song and how it was created?

MP: People compare their songs to children for a reason. When you're making them it starts out very exciting. Sometimes you get too excited, and you finish them so soon it's kinda embarrassing. Sometimes they come out kinda damaged, and you have to start from scratch. My favourite on the album is probably the last song on the record, "Straight to the Grave". It was the first song we started and the last song we finished. It sort of encapsulates the whole album for me.

TH: What makes you unique and gives you that edge?

MP: Haha, well your question alone is flattering. We just try to be a real band. We have flaws, we make mistakes, we don't try to present ourselves as flawless robots or anything, like a lot of new bands do.

TH: Where do you see yourselves in 5 years time?

MP: Oh man, I want to know the answer to that question probably like ten times more than you do. I'll be close to 30, so hopefully we'll either still be going strong, or we'll have burned out really fast in some cult-like kool-aide suicide event.



photo by Sean Berry

TH: What music are you listening to at the moment? And who are your influences?

MP: I try not to listen to one thing for too long these days. Recently, I was listening to old Rainbow records, they were great, Dio and Blackmore were a hot combination. By this point, I know who my influences are and I'm almost trying to forget them, d'y'know what I mean?

TH: So what are the plans for Bad City in 2011? Do you have any plans to come to Perth, Australia in the near future?

MP: It's an expensive trip, and we are brand new, so demand is an issue. We plan on making a video for every song on the record, and putting them online. So far we have two!!! We have a lot of work to do, but I'm sure we'll get to Australia before you know it.

TH: I’m loving your new album, what can you say to encourage people to run out to buy it?

MP: Thank you! I think a lot of people are sick of fake bands. People are sick of the new breed of cookie cutter rock bands that don't take risks. We are a real band that seriously doesn't give a fuck. Check us out and make up your own mind! Maybe you'll think we're a buncha fags or something. I'd like to know.

TH: What do you think is important, the Riff or the Lyrics?

MP: Great question! Even though I'm a guitar player, I take the song-writing process way more seriously. The way melodies interact with the chord inflections under them is probably the most important part for me. Those chords can turn into great riffs, and the groove underneath them can be changed infinitely until everything is perfect. The song on paper is the important part to me.

TH: Do you guys have a superstitious routine that you all do before you go on stage?

MP: Not really. Sometimes we get really drunk though.

TH: A question we ask everyone, what is the meaning of life?

MP: Haha! There are a lot of people in the world. You can't please them all, not even close. Sometimes it's better to offend a majority of them actually. But there are some people whose opinions matter to you for whatever reason- your friends, your family, your dogs or whatever. If you end up being loved by those people, I think you did an ok job. Does that make sense? Wanna join my cult?


TH: I would like to wish you guys all the best for the future and hope to see you this end of the world sometime, any last words for us at the Rockpit?

MP: Thank you so much!!!! Thanks to the Rockpit for featuring us, we're a brand new band, hopefully in time we can be rocking Australia!!! Check out our album Welcome to the Wasteland on itunes! We love you! PEACE AND ROCK AND ROLLLLL!


Thank you                                     



By Tanya Hadlington