Do Me Bad Things

When Designer Magazine spoke to the Do Me Bad Things on their debut headlining tour in October (Click here for the interview) they were faced with the reality that what was once their cult band was going to be playing in enormodomes around the country supporting the Darkness. With a few dates under their belts Alex McCann caught up with Hurricane Tommy to find out about the reality of opening up for the biggest band in the UK

Q: Last time we spoke on the debut headline tour you were quite hesitant about going on out the Darkness arena tour so early on. How are you feeling with a few dates behind you now?
A: I don't think hesitant is the word. It was just a little bit of trepidation and it being one of those corporate tours, but it's been surprisingly enjoyable because the guys in the other bands (The Darkness and Ash) have been encouraging and welcoming.

You don't actually get to see that much of what goes on. You turn up about 4.30, set up your gear and have a very brief sound check and then once you're offstage you just go to the bar or something. The weird thing about it though has been going on about 6.55 - we're the sort of band that should be playing at midnight!!!

Q: It must feel pretty Smash Hit's tour going on so early on in the night?
A: (laughs) Yeah, it does. It's like we've just followed Toyah and Spandau Ballet are up next. It's weird because our set has to be the regimented half hour, if we go a second over they just cut the power off because they're paying for advertising which costs about a million pounds a second. That has felt weird because not only is it so early, but it takes about half an hour of the set to get really into it.

Q: You didn't do the warm up date at Brixton, so it was literally straight out in front of the Arena crowds. How was it on the first night?
A: The first night in Nottingham was a little bit hair-raising because we were having some behind the scene's bullshit going on that day as well. After that first night though we took to it like water and it was like come and find an arena big enough for us.

On the headlining tour that you saw us on, Manchester was a bit of a weird one, but all the others were really insane. In London it was sold out and people were paying £100 a ticket outside...and now just over the last couple of weeks we've started to notice a real reaction where every headline show we do is sold out. I don't know how it's happened, and why, but there has been a renewed interest sweeping the students unions of the country.

Q: I looked on the Darkness message board just before I came down here and the fans are split totally with you guys and Ash. The consensus seems if you like one you can't like the other.
A: Yeah, I saw our message board as well. There have been a few people who have obviously never seen us before and made the effort to make a comment. It's strange because we still can't believe that anyone even likes us at all.

The audience are dead strange at these shows with family days out and stuff. You walk round when the Darkness are playing and the people there are the most normal average people you could ever expect to meet - they're the people you see at the pub. I was never quite sure what sort of audience the Darkness attracted before this. They haven't attracted the glam fans that the Manics and bands like that attract, it's just really normal folk.

Q: And tell us how you managed to attract a heckler in Newcastle?
A: He was just shouting f**k off all the way through the Nic just looked at him and started to queer it up saying "This ones for you" just to bait him

Q: So are you up for the idea of Do Me Bad Things in arenas now or do you still have that idea of the band as a cult icons?
A: We're never going to play these places again. I'm glad we've done it, but in these places there's just no atmosphere in them. There really isn't. When The Darkness are playing they're putting on an amazing show and the crowd are really going for it, but that separation is so large between the audience and the band that there really can't ever be that much atmosphere. I'm not assuming we ever would get to the stage that we could sell out venues like this, but we'd rather play to 1500 at the Garage. We'd never want to play anywhere bigger than the Brixton Academy cos at about 4000 it's still too big to get a real atmosphere. On the rare occasion i've been to see bands at places like that I just haven't enjoyed it.

Q: In typical music magazine fashion we're getting to that stage where we look back over the last 12 months. What were DMBT's doing this time last year?
A: This time last year in about 10 days we would have been supporting Turbonegro at the Mean Fiddler in London and that would have been our first support slot for a signed band that we had any respect for. We weren't signed, but we'd hooked up with Must Destroy and we were thinking about releasing our first single. A lot has happened - we signed 2 record deals, have got a manager and are a fully functional band now as well.

Q: As much as we'd love you to say the Manchester gig with the ever so memorable Morcheeba tribute band we know it isn't going to happen. What was your gig highlight of the year?
A: It's a tiebreaker between Bedford Esquire about 2 weeks ago and The Barfly in London. Both absolutely insane. I'd love to say Nottingham Arena, but it's never gonna be one of those type of gigs.

Q: How do the Darkness feel about the arena gigs, cos they've come from a similar position you guys are in now to this in 2 years?
A: It's hard to say what their position is, but I think they're as confused as we are about the position we're in. It is surreal to experience playing to so many people in such a short amount of time. I know I couldn't handle the responsibility of playing venues such as this - i'd break the band up before being in their position.

Q: There's been widespread talk that the success has gone to the Darkness' heads...and we're talking people who've stuck by them since the beginning and never said a bad worst against them previously as opposed to a couple of NME hacks. What's your take on it?
A: The thing is people have said that about us, yer know people from back home. It's works in the same way for the Darkness but on a large scale. I had someone from back home who I used to be a in band 3 years ago and all it takes is that one person to say something.

Q: What about the fact that they've banned every single photographer (bar Scarlett Page) in the country on this tour - The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney weren't that extreme?
A: Well we were going to have our own photographer on the tour with us, but we were told it wasn't  allowed. I can see their point because if you're in Heat Magazine every week t just goes to show what a weird situation it is for them. If it gets to the point where he (Justin) can't even leave the house without being photographed then you have to respect his decision. A few days ago after the Glasgow gig we were having a drink in the hotel bar, this guy pulls up outside, takes out a big telephoto lense and starts taking as many pictures as he can before he speeds off on his motorbike. That's when it becomes weird, when you can't even sit down and have a drink.

Q: Similar to the where the Darkness were in our Best Of 2002 issue, we've got congratulations for you. You're sandwiched between Scissor Sisters and The Departure as Best New Band Of 2004. How do you feel about the other nominees?
A: No comment. I actively dislike both bands. I'm aware of what the Scissor Sisters look like, but of the music all I know is that whenever they come on the radio I just hate them. People have said that we remind them of the Scissor Sisters which surprises me. There's not very many "new" bands I like. I'm into old bands. But Tokyo Dragons are a strange band who are friends of ours. They're an amazing band live, but i've not been too keen on their records so far.

Q: And your faves the Scissor Sisters have just beaten you in Best Live Act with Mozzer taking the Number 1 spot?
A: I'll let the Scissor Sisters thing go. Hype can be a dangerous thing. But Morrissey's a legend. For our Best Live Act of 2004 i'm gonna be sycophantic and say The Darkness. They had a really bad weekend at the Carling Weekend, but this tours amazing pyrotechnics and they've got 6 new songs in there. I've watched the Darkness for the past 5 nights so I think i'm being brainwashed by them - I can't stop singing their songs!!!

Q: So what's the plan for next year considering that you'll probably convert at least 10% of each show on the Darkness tour.
A: One piece of advice we took early on was never turn down a gig and play as often as possible. The next single is out in February called "What's Hideous?" (Ed: Designer Magazine suggests an early release date for Valentines Day - get What's Hideous as an Anti-Valentines present) and the album should be out in April.

"What's Hideous?" is due out late February
Expect a tour to be announced shortly
For more info

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Best Of 2004