Music in Motion Columbus

"The only truth is music." ~ Jack Kerouac

National Bands

Badflower’s Josh Katz Is No Rock Star Cliché

(Image courtesy of Badflower Facebook page)

Ed. – Leading up to the Sonic Temple Festival May 17-19,
we’ll have previews from select bands playing that weekend.
First up is Los Angeles, CA-based Badflower…

What is your favorite artist to you?

Are they Inspiring? Influential? Life-saving?

We all have a good reason to admire the people we admire, and some of us also treat them like the human beings they are. But after reading about the unfortunate event with a fan sexually harassing Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie as he walked through a wild crowd, it made me realize something…

Some people don’t respect those people that inspire us.

Josh Katz of Badflower (from Los Angeles, CA), recently took time out his busy schedule to have a brief phone conversation with me. During that short talk, he made me think a lot about humanizing artists and treating them better. Their song Ghost really captured my attention, so of course, I had to dig for some deeper meaning to it from Josh himself. What does it mean to him?

“Ghost kind of served as a band-aid,” he said. “It was everything, a form of therapy. We were originally branded into a bluesy rock genre as a band, and it felt like people didn’t know who I was. I had to put on this fake rock star act, and it was mentally taxing.  When we put out Ghost as our first single, it was like people finally knew who I was. A human being, not some bullshit, cliché rock star.

“They finally understood, and I no longer had to put on a fake act.”

Ghost definitely has a touch of heavy emotional endurance in it, which was why I  felt so attached to the song. It captured that sinking notion one has when they’re feeling lost, and Katz did a remarkable job morphing together the obscurities of looking into that darkness in a song. The fullness to its purpose is certainly unique, and the fact that Josh made it not only relatable, but still personal, was truly impressive.

Most of the time I feel like an artist writes with the purpose of only pleasing the listener. While that’s important in music, it’s also essential for the lyricist to feel the soul in their words. If you write with no intent to put your heart into it for yourself, what’s the point?

“OK, I’m Sick” album cover

Badflower’s album name, “OK, I’m Sick”, also highlights this illusion. Mental illness is a very important topic to me, and Katz opened up about his own concerns. The idea of the title, the album, etc, was to expand on what it was like to suffer from a panic disorder, and admitting you have a problem. A lot of people who struggle with a mental disorder are commonly hindered from seeking help, or even accepting that something may be wrong with their brain; not them as a person.

The biggest, most annoying misconception is that anyone with such illnesses can help it.

“Just be happy!”

“Maybe talking to someone will help!”

“You’re just sad. Everyone gets sad.”

We’ve all heard these things before, and it’s incensing. People who don’t have the misfortune of sustaining such issues can’t possibly understand the constant quandary we go through.

While it was exciting to sit and talk with Katz about all of this, I’m more excited about getting to come to say “hello” to him and the band at Sonic Temple, which they will be performing at on Friday, May 17.

Katz expressed that Badflower is excited to play the festival, mostly because they’re always thrilled to play to a big crowd. The energy is charismatic, and it’s always low pressure.

I’ll be there for all three days of Sonic Temple, covering the festival for Music In Motion Columbus, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the band live for the first time. If you’re there, take the time to check them out.

Badflower – Ghost

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