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Nashville's Finest

Bad Cop

by Rebecca Sueng

Published February 18, 2011

Bad Cop Harvest the Beast

Nashville-based psychedelic garage rock band, Bad Cop, has only been around for a couple years, but they’ve wasted no time in getting their name out there. Since their inception in April 2009, they've toured through most of the states, released their debut album Harvest the Beast on ROIR, got a residency in New York that allowed them to play shows in Brooklyn and Philadelphia a couple times a week, played a festival in Canada that had lead vocalist and songwriter Adam Moult barred from crossing the border, and appeared at CMJ for their first show with a new line-up that added Mikey Owens, Mike Frazier, and Danger from Little Viking.

“It’s awesome 'cause they play more shoegaze-y type music, so they bring this different influence to the songs. It’s just really great, the combination of it all,” said Adam. “Me and Mikey are definitely the best combo of writing we’ve had yet. I’m normally really weird when I do it myself, at like 5AM whenever I can’t sleep. That’s when I write songs, but writing with Mikey has been the most awesome thing. I think he’s a musical genius. If you ask anyone, they’ll agree.”

In addition to the new band members and a nod in Nashville Scene’s “Best of 2010”, Bad Cop is only gaining ground, with a new video for “I’m in Lust with You”, a split seven inch with PUJOL on Adam’s own Jeffrey Drag Records, and more tours all planned for 2011. Adam is also releasing a benefit PUJOL 7” through his label with proceeds going to Jeremy Ferguson, (the man behind Battle Tapes) and his wife Candice, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. This couple are one of the unsung heroes of the Nashville music community, and it’s always refreshing to see this level of support within an otherwise cutthroat industry.

Bad Cop Nashville

While their schedule may be demanding for these stereotype-defying stoners, since being signed by the iconic New York punk label ROIR, it’s nothing new. “We’d only played probably like twelve live shows before we got contacted by ROIR, and it was sort of humbling, you know what I mean? Some of my favorite bands have all done stuff on there. Germs, Beastie Boys, Bad Brains, MC5. I was blown away that they actually liked our shit. I meant to get serious, but I didn’t think, you know. It was just something that I loved doing. But once they contacted us, everything just sped up real quick.”

At this point, Adam rattled off an exhaustive list of back-and-forth shows between Nashville and the rest of the country that made me tired just hearing it. And considering the band has only been around for two years, it’s impressive to note how much they’ve accomplished in such a short time. But talking more to Adam revealed a long history of music that goes back almost a decade. Originally from Joplin, Missouri, Adam moved to Nashville when he was nine and just three years later he was playing in punk bands around town with members from other Nashville bands like Turbo Fruits and Jeff the Brotherhood.

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“It’s sort of weird—some people I don’t really know, but Jeff (the Brotherhood), bands like Turbo Fruits, Be Your Own Pet—all that spark came from this little pizza joint (Guido's Pizza). Whenever I was twelve, I was in a band called The Handicaps, and the dudes in Jeff were in a band called The Sex, and we shared a member, our guitarist. And then Turbo Fruits was originally called Jimmy Kushman, so a lot of the bands who still play here now, that you really love, were just playing back then as like twelve year olds.”

In the nine years since joining in the growing underground (and then underage punk scene in Nashville) Adam has never looked back, even dropping out of school so he could maintain the rigorous touring schedule of Bad Cop. “There was something about the culture, like really once I saw it, I was like, this is what I want to do, and it just changed my whole perspective on what life structure I’d like to live. I’ve met some of the most awesome characters ever that I never would have met going to UT and getting a nine-to-five and doing this and that.’

And with that perspective on music and life that resonates throughout this town and the subculture that has been building over the years, it’s no wonder Nashville has developed such a tight-knit community. “Nashville’s just got this awesome sound that nowhere else can really replicate or even get close to touching, and not like close to touching like that, but just something that could only be produced here.

Read more band interviews:

Blasted Diplomats
Bad Cop
Dope Body
Kaspar Hauser
Lamb of God
Radar Eyes
Reading Rainbow
Summer Girlfriends
Voice of Addiction

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