BBNG

a jazz trio on paper

BBNG

BBNG
BadBadNotGood is a post-bop, instrumental hip hop jazz trio from Toronto, Ontario. The group includes Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass, and Alexander Sowinski on drums.
badbadnotgood.com

If Mr. Jazz should do the nasty with Mrs. Hiphop, she would probably give birth to these three Canadian guys. Widely known for their jazzy journeys with Tyler the Creator, MF DOOM, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Kanye West, Zelda and a dozen others. We HOOKED UP TO DO SOME TOURISTIC SIGHT-SEEING IN AMSTERDAM: Window shopping at the Red Light District, burning up some coffee-shops and talking about MUSIC. A rainy day in Amsterdam with BadBadNotGood, check it out.

Tell us something more about yourself. Who are you guys and what instruments you play?

I’m Matt, I play keyboards, Alex plays drums and Chester plays the bass guitar. We’re just three boys in our 20s and we are very grateful to be playing music.

How did you guys met and how did BBNG started?

We all met at jazz school in Toronto and connected over the same music. We had a random jam after school and decided to play hip-hop instead of jazz. Alex had to do a project for school that we weren’t too stoked on so we decided that instead of playing ‘There Will Never Be Another You’ we would play Odd Future, Gucci Mane and the stuff we were listening to at the time. Our buddy Sam thought it would be a good idea to film it, so he did and it went on the NET.

What decision was, hands down, the best one you made last year?

Dropping out of school to pursue music and using all of the money we made touring to build our own studio because we had to leave Alex’s Dad’s basement.

Can you describe a regular day in the life of BBNG?

Currently we’re getting together everyday writing and recording music for the next full length album. We also built a studio by hand with our friend Frank Dukes in an old garage that we’re renting and were using this space to experiment with a bunch of different sounds and styles. Other than that we all live separate lives where we stay healthy and positive.

Electric Relaxation
by BADBADNOTGOOD

Jazz-music clearly has a great impact on your lives. Can you tell some more about your love for jazz?

We don’t listen to as much jazz as we used to but we will always be influenced by: Bill Evans, Eric Dolphy, Sam Rivers, Miles, Coltrane and Wayne obviously, Art Blakey, Herbie, Tony Williams, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Andrew Hill, Mingus, Monk, Grachan Moncur III. Also wanna give a quick shout out to Portico Quartet and Supersilent.

Can you name out some of your personal favorites in hiphop?

Between the three of us we pretty much listen to the entire spectrum of hip-hop so it’s hard to answer accurately but recently we’ve been listening to: Clipse, Wu-Tang, Organized Konfusion, DOOM, Earl and Tyler, ESG, UGK, Outkast, Danny Brown, Tree, Death Grips, 2Chainz, Kanye, Kendrick, Schoolboy Q, Juicy J, Gansta Pat, Dr. Dre, there’s just too many to name.

At the moment, which music do you guys listen to often?

Charles Bradley, Can, Hudson Mowhawk, Menahan Street Band, Serge Gainsbourg, BEAK>, Freddie Gibbs, Lunice, Talk Talk, Frank Ocean and James Carr.

We don’t listen to as much jazz as we used to but we will always be influenced by: Bill Evans, Eric Dolphy, Sam Rivers, Miles, Coltrane and Wayne obviously, Art Blakey, Herbie, Tony Williams, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Andrew Hill, Mingus, Monk, Grachan Moncur III.

BBNG in Amsterdam

A day in Amsterdam with BBNG. View all pics on our Facebook.

Did you already had some expectations of Amsterdam?

Matt had already been there as a kid on a family trip. When we got there however we were so jetlagged because we hadn’t slept for two days while we were touring that we just sorta arrived and it was awesome! We’ve obviously heard amazing things about the city though… like it’s architecture.

What are your thoughts on Amsterdam after your first visit?

The people, atmosphere, the ARCHITECTURE. Everything was amazing and beautiful.

 

Do you guys see any similarities between your hometown Toronto and Amsterdam?

I mean they’re pretty different given one’s way older than the other. We have streetcars and stuff but yours are way better. Toronto is organized into these nice symmetrical blocks whereas Amsterdam has winding streets and canals that intersect every road, it’s way more beautiful.

What was your best and / or weirdest performance yet?

We did this one J Dilla tribute concert where we played a whole set of our interpretations of his songs and it kept on getting rowdier and rowdier with people crowd surfing and dancing and having an amazing time. Towards the end of the show it got so rowdy that as Chester was taking a monster bass solo these girls came on stage and started grinding in front of him. First jazz show that we’ve been to where that’s happened.

A track like Bugg’n isn’t really your usual cup of tea to work with right? How do you transform a musical work like this into a BBNG jazz track?

It depends on the type of song, but normally we’ll try to deconstruct the song to it’s most basic elements and rebuild it to our liking.

Bugg’n at Mad Decent Block Party
by BADBADNOTGOOD

We can image the name BADBADNOTGOOD can produce some pretty lame jokes. What’s the worst joke you’ve heard so far concerning your bandname?

There’s this bass player who taught at our old school who didn’t say anything to our face, but after we dropped out he posted on facebook that we “Sucksucksthissucks”. Which is funny because our name is already BADBADNOTGOOD, and even more funny because he plays a 6 string electric bass.

Would you guys survive a hardcore zombie apocalypse? If so, how?

Absolutely not.

If you guys would win a million dollar each tomorrow, what’s the first thing you’re going to buy?

We would probably buy all of the 6-string electric basses in the world so we can break them or convert them back to four string basses.

BBNG Hanging out with A$AP Rocky

The pig-mask quickly became an cult-like icon for your band. Where did this insane mask come from?

Alex bought it from a party store for a halloween show he was playing with another band and then decided to bring it to a BBNG rehearsal. Hes played in it so much it’s essentially torn apart.

What would happen if you guys swapped instruments?

Normally we swap instruments at least once when we rehearse and the outcome is annoying music, so we’d probably just annoy people.

Imagine you could ask just one musician (dead or alive) to do a collaboration, which one would be on top of your list?

Probably one of the jazz greats like John Coltrane or Miles Davis. It would also be interesting to hear what they think about today’s jazz music since so many people strive to emulate them.

What decision was, hands down, the best one you made last year?

Dropping out of school to pursue music and using all of the money we made touring to build our own studio because we had to leave Alex’s Dad’s basement.

What do you envision yourself doing when you guys turn 80?

Chilling out and hopefully still making music that we think is interesting.

Can you tell us something more about any new collaborations coming up?

We actually just finished mixing a track we did with Earl and Frank Ocean for Earl’s new album and we’re really proud of it. We’ve also been working on a couple things with this rapper Tree from Chicago, he’s really dope.

Next to world domination, what are the plans for the (near) future?

To make a really good third full length and take it from there, were spending a pretty insane amount of time on it because we just want to make sure that it’s awesome.

Credits + Info
  • Publish Date: 25.01.13
  • Categories:
    • jazz
  • Photo's by Zahra Reijs, Gianni de Fretes & Maarten Mieras
Comments
About the author
Gianni de Fretes

Gianni de Fretes

Allround Creative

© 2014 Los Bangeles – Concept & Design by Maarten Mieras – Made by Ronny Wieckardt & Wouter den Boer