Photo by Jim Newberry

1.0  Folks are saying that “Smash Record” may be the bands best record yet, can that be? We’re really proud of it.  I’d like to think that all the music we’ve made collectively and individually since the last studio album would be reflected in “Smash Record.”  I’m thrilled at the response its getting thus far.

2.0  What led to the decision to do a new record and did you have specific goals for the album? We had been working on tracks purely for the love of pursuing our creative muse.  It sounds simplistic, but its true —     our only goal was to make the best album we could.

3.0   The disc is an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ effort, it must be gratifying to have such a talented extended family to work with? The guys in the band bring so much talent and joy to what they do.  It was a blast hearing how their ideas and contributions shaped and created the album.

4.0   How long did it take to record? Most of the work was done in the last year or so, but the origins of a few tracks dates back quite a few years.  The basic tracks for “Big E Chord,” for instance, are from sessions we did in the late ’90s in which I assembled the various line-ups of the band to record songs we’d never recorded.  “Pictures of A Masquerade” is from some sessions in the middle of the last decade with Josh “Cartier” Cutsinger, who worked on many of the Ralph’s World albums.  Most of the work took place over the last couple years, working at our Waterdog studios.

5.0   Are all the songs brand new or are there hold-overs from prior projects that fit? The songs come from a range of sources and time periods.  The glue that holds them together is that they are all songs the guys in the band were excited about working on, and songs that seemed to sonically and thematically fit together.

6.0   Which tracks are getting the best reaction thus far from fans? Fans have said they’re very happy to hear songs like “Ex-Girlfriend” and “Kill Amanda” we’d been playing live for a while as well as songs like “In Another Life” and “Gets All Messy” that they first experienced through the recorded versions.

7.0   Has writing gotten easier over time or more difficult? Writing’s never been difficult, per se, because it’s always been something I’ve loved doing for the sake of doing it.  It’s been exciting to grow as an artist, so it’s more fun than ever.

8.0   Do you have a formula you try to adhere to? No. The fun is to discover the song locked inside the idea.

9.0   Any tips for young songwriters hoping to make their music into a career? Write, write, write.  The more you write, the better you get.

10.0  What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened at a Bad Examples show? How many chapters would you like? I remember once I was mingling and talking to folks after a show in Minneapolis, and this gal who had been dancing like crazy during our last song told me that she had had an orgasm while dancing.  I went back to the guys in the band and said, “Well, we’ll never be this good again, perhaps we should quit while we’re ahead?”

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