Singled Out: Backup Planet's Bad Man

03-31-2017
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Backup Planet

Backup Planet released their sophomore album "Reactions" today (March 31st) and to celebrate we asked Blake Gallant to tell us about the song "Bad Man". Here is the story:

Bad Man was one of the first tracks to be pieced together that would later contribute to 'REACTIONS'. Gavin brought in the main riff idea that was aimed toward the heavier sound we were looking for that would serve as an outlet- whether we realized it or not- for some of the things we were going through as a band, and as friends, at that time.

This is without a doubt the track that most explicitly describes the car accident we encountered in June of 2015 while on the road. We had just left Chicago- heading for a festival gig hosted by The Revivalists in Dayton, OH the next day; deciding on what late night food we would get- when suddenly a drunk driver rammed in to our trailer, flipping the van and trailer on the interstate. Scott Soder, a long time friend of the band, sat down with Ben and Gavin and put their recollection of the event in to lyric form. At the time (when he wrote these lyrics), it would be hard for me to open up to people about some of what we saw and how it affected us- both on a daily-basis, and for the rest of our lives. Having someone else take the initiative to "put in on paper" first really opened up that window for the outlet that we so desperately needed, and I don't think he could have done a better job re-telling the events.

Two lines really stick out to me lyrically on this one that, without fail, give me cold chills every time we play this song live:
"I saw the future like a nurse with a suture
In my rear-view I've never been so sure"
I know for a fact Ben was experiencing an impending sense of doom getting in to the van that night, and the wreck left me with glass in my back (to this day) as well as multiple procedures on my right elbow and ulnar nerve.

"Feeling colds chills 'cause I'm still here
Wasting time is the only thing I fear"
We were already a very diligent group of individuals, but something of this nature really puts everything in to perspective, and showed us just how precious every second of every day is.

When the time came to decide on a track listing for the album it was a no-brainer that this should be the one to open it up and let everyone know where we were coming from- both lyrically and musically. The ambient, more spacey, intro is something that originated organically live, but we were really excited to have a more precise approach with it in the studio. As I said, the main riff that Gavin bought in was truly a directional "steering of the ship" so it was only fitting that this was the first riff that you, the listener, heard on the album.

Coming from a progressive rock/fusion background, a few sections stick out to me musically as, well, just fun as hell to play if we're being honest. One being the "hook" riff which is in a 7/8 time signature and I get to do some slapping on with wet effects on the bass. I think all of us nerd out on some rocking harmonies so we were all freaking out when Ben and Gavin brought in the harmony section that features the Moog synthesizer and guitar. A lot of the music we grew up listening to had these cool dueling guitar melodies, but we like to put a little spin on it by replacing a second guitar with various synthesizers. The third section that is "ear-catching" to me is the bridge- which is kicked off by layered guitar, sporting suspended chords and massive octave effects. When Gavin showed me the idea it had an initial vibe of the band 'Yes', so I was all about it. The vocal melody I put over the chords felt natural from the get-go, and might have even been the first thing I sang because I just asked myself "What would Jon Anderson do?".

Overall, I think Bad Man is a great example of the direction we took the album; from where the title, 'REACTIONS', originated to the variety of musicality and emotions the album portrays in a (relatively) short amount of time.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

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