words and interview by Shabnam Ferdowsi
My month with Bedbugs is almost over! It's been so fun hanging with these dudes. Last weekend they took over the Beating Lights snapchat and I loved getting to show you a bit of their personality straight out of their iPhones into yours. Before I wrap this band residency up, I think you should get to know frontman Alex Johnson a little better. He's easily become one of my best pals over the past couple months, and being able to start this series off with his project has been that much more rewarding. Check out the little interview below then jam to the playlist he made me!
You've been in bands forever. Are you approaching Bedbugs differently?
I think the main difference between Bedbugs and any previous band/project in which I've been involved is the fact that this band started as a side project, and initially there was no established direction or roles. That fact alone made the early writing stages very low-stress. This also made for some unexpected collaborations between the three (and now four) of us as musicians/writers, as well as collaborations between ourselves and various producers (Jeremy Harris, Jake Munk, Frankie Siragusa).
We've been very trepidatious as to how we approach each new scenario that is presented to us, whether it be a roadblock or an opportunity. I feel like if I started a new band and didn't approach things differently and maybe more carefully than I did in any previous bands, there would be no reason to start a new band in the first place. We could just as easily (in fact, even more easily) play these songs alone in our garage if we didn't feel there was something new that we were bringing to the table.
What's your favorite kind of show to play? And how do you decide which shows you'd rather play over others?
This is a hard question. I've been playing live music for more than half of my short life, and I'm still unsure of how to answer this. I've never been very fond of playing shows. I think it has a lot to do with being uncomfortable in large crowds, and also with general performance/social anxiety. I love playing our songs and I love Bedbugs and I love all of our friends that come out to shows, but it seems like the older I get, the worse I am at meeting new people and being generally sociable. I'm working on it.
That being said, my favorite kind of show is any show that doesn't make you feel as if you could have been doing something more fun or more productive with your time. Did you have heckuva time? Check. Did you play to new faces and hopefully leave a lasting impression? Check. You just had a good show. Congratulations.
What about Bedbugs makes you smile?
Bedbugs is made up of the most solid dudes, and that makes me smile. Everyone in the band is very different from one another. We all come from different tastes, upbringings, and backgrounds, so I feel that the four of us make up something truly unique, at least on paper.
Also, Kenzo does this thing where he lies to your face and then smiles and says "gotcha". It's really cute/makes me wanna kill him.
If Bedbugs were to go on a trip together, where would you go?
Straight to hell, baby.
Alex made me a playlist of 10 songs he's been listening to lately. The songs are so hot: