Singer, songwriter, R’n’B funkmeister, Brad Stank, is here to bring you his own self-proclaimed band of “sexistential pop”. He is out of the bedroom and soon to be making audiences croon around the world. Alex Rubenstein recently had the chance to chat with Brad Stank himself and Blisspop is happy to share the conversation on the day of his debut release, Eternal Slowdown.
You have defined your music as being “sexistential pop” Can you explain how this term came to be? Is this the type of music you’ve always wanted to make?
Brad Stank: Sexistential is just a silly term that my friend Lewis said once, and it just perfectly encapsulated what I was going for when I started making these tunes, so I stole it. And no, not really! I was really into Nirvana, Pixies, and Dinosaur Jr growing up so that’s the kind of style in which I was writing up until a few years ago. But a lot of that stuff is taken from old blues and RnB and some of the riffs and licks and all that are quite sexy, so it all kind of coincided in my head at some point; being influenced by both Pixies and Marvin Gaye makes a lot of sense if you go back far enough.
You have an EP coming out on Untitled Records on December 7th, what can fans expect from your debut release?
Brad Stank: A couple of oldies, a few newbies- Flirting in Space features on the EP, which might come off as a bit lazy but I really wanted to get it on wax both for the fans and myself. It’s a good sexistential pick’n’mix that I’m excited to get off of my chest and out into the world.
You recently supported Clairo on a couple of her U.K. tour dates, how does an experience like that compare to performing on your own?
Brad Stank: The Clairo show in Manchester was unreal, the excitement and love in that room was something I’ve not really experienced before, so I’m very grateful for that experience.
What do you think about the trend of “bedroom pop” acts becoming mainstream?
Brad Stank: There’s so many different interpretations of mainstream now that I’m not sure how much it really matters. You could say Mac DeMarco is mainstream but compared with like, Ed Sheeran, he’s nowhere near. And I guess ‘bedroom pop’ is doing well because there are some really good artists being able to make the music that they want to make with what they have available. It’s not really about the bedroom, but the artist in that bedroom that matters I think.
Your music sounds very honest. How important is honesty in music?
Brad Stank: It’s definitely in the Top 3 most important things for me. I’m not really vibing with an artist if they’re not being honest with themselves or about a situation anymore. If you listen to Jonathan Richman, John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone, or more recently Earl Sweatshirt and King Krule, the honesty in that music makes it feel classic straight away.
Are you still recording everything in your bedroom? Do you ever feel limited by making tunes in your bedroom versus having access to a full studio setup?
Brad Stank: Yes! And yes, definitely. But studios are mad expensive. I’d like to work in a proper studio one day for sure but I’m quite happy for now.
Can you walk me through your creative process? How does a Brad Stank song come to be?
Brad Stank: It changes all the time; sometimes I’ll start with the song title and it will all flow from there, or I like to start with the drums a lot of the time too and create something from the ground up. But yeah, there’s not a set structure to how I write or anything.
Can you describe your upbringing? Was it a musical one?
Brad Stank: Not really. My dad played guitar just for fun, but he never pressured me into playing or anything. My parents were big music heads, into lots of different stuff, but mainly the grunge stuff I mentioned before, and bands like Radiohead and the Cure and all that, so I was exposed to it a little bit growing up.
What is pop music lacking these days?
Brad Stank: Definitely honesty. I don’t know, maybe diversity? A lot of pop music seems quite generic now, but I don’t really listen to any of it either to be honest. You can kind of ignore it now because of the internet which more easily enables you to be into anything if you want to be. But the Top 10 is definitely lacking some B stank, baby, don’t ya think?
Brad Stank’s newest EP was released today, December 7th. You can purchase it via Juno Download or stream it on Spotify.