Artist on Trial: Bad Wheels
If you desperately seek more rock ‘n roll in your life, Bad Wheels provides an unapologetic, unrelenting dose of it. With members of notable KC groups ranging from Abracadabras to Cretin 66 to Tenderloin to Circle of Trust, Bad Wheels was created out of their mutual love of classic rock. Accented by the impassioned wail of frontman Bobby Topaz, the band unleashes a roaring two-pronged guitar attack and a mighty low end. Topaz tells us about what the guys have coming up.
The Deli: Down and dirty: one sentence to describe your music.
Bobby Topaz: Classic and loud freedom Rock and Roll!
The Deli: Give me some background on Bad Wheels. How did the band come to be?
Topaz: Bad Wheels came about a few years ago when I moved back into the area from St. Louis. Paul and Ryan Marchman were two guys I'd previously played with in a band called Crazy Talk and we decided to get together and jam and see what was there. Thankfully, we still had great chemistry and decided to make it an actual band. Brock Ginther happened to live in the space we were practicing in, and liked what we were doing and decided to come on board full-time as bass player. So, that was pretty much how it all started.
Since then, Chip Sage has taken over for Ryan on drums, but the overall sound/vision for the group really hasn't changed. That's what I've always loved about this group is that we have very diverse backgrounds...I was in Abracadabras and Antennas Up, Chip was in Cretin 66, Paul was in Circle of Trust and The Shaker Hoods...and Brock was in Tenderloin and the Homestead Greys. So, we all come from different styles but we all have one thing in common, and that is our love of classic rock and roll. So, that's what we play!
The Deli: What inspires your music and songwriting? What’s up with the Subway song?
Topaz:When it comes to songwriting, we like to keep it pretty simple, honestly. We will write about anything and everything. I'll usually come in with a riff or maybe a finished chorus and not much else, and the guys will tell me if they like it or not. If they do, we flesh it out over some Miller Lite tallboys and find out where the song is. We just want people to see us, rock out a bit, and have some fun.
The infamous “Subway” song is I think something that shows we love what we do, but don't take it super seriously. When our drummer was trying to learn the songs we sent him, he thought I was actually saying… “Gimmie Some Subway”...which I wasn't. But, we all thought it was hilarious and decided just to keep it.
However, in light of the recent allegations, we obviously don't think it's that funny anymore. We can't be associated with all that mess. Thankfully, we recorded the original as well because we didn't know if we were even going to release the other one. So, the Subway song is never going to be played again and we now are forever Goodcents men.
The Deli: What have been your greatest accomplishments as a band?
Topaz: So far I'd say just staying true to our sound, even though it's not a sound everyone always likes to listen to. Now, after almost 4 years we're finally starting to get some traction and it feels pretty great!
The Deli: What can we expect from your upcoming EP?
Topaz: The new EP will be a 7-song rock and roll record. We're doing a cassette tape release, which I know can be divisive, but it's cost effective and there will be download cards in the tapes for people to get the records from.
Also, Jud Kite from Killer Kite Productions designed us an absolutely killer logo and I'm just so stoked for everyone to see it. So, I think it will be pretty rad! Also, we'd been talking to a small label out of San Francisco called Ripple Music and they’d agreed to distribute and review our little EP. At this time, we've not heard back on the masters we delivered to them, so we don't really have a timetable for anything yet. Hopefully, we will hear back soon. If not... Well... We'll just keep doing what we've always done: enjoying freedom.
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?
Topaz: I think it's super important. I try whenever I can to support my local brothers and sisters! I know that people might think that's not true since I'm not always seen out and about. But, with two little kiddos at home and a full-time job...sometimes it's hard to get out to everyone I want to see. But I always support locals when I can. KC has some great bands right now too!
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now? Non-local?
Topaz: Favorite local musicians? Well, this is just me speaking but I'll list a few of my favorites right now: Doby Watson, JAENKI, Death Valley Wolfriders, Federation of Horsepower, ElectroPossum, Ha Ha Tonka, Circle of Trust, Hössferatu, Drew Black & Dirty Electric, basically the whole High Dive Records roster and I'm also a fan of your band The Philistines.
Non-local: I'm super into The Darkness right now, and I really love Royal Blood. As a group, we love Saxon!
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?
Topaz: Oh man... for me, it would be us and Queen, circa 1985.
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?
Topaz: Basically the four faces of Bad Wheels members because I just couldn't pick four other musicians I love that much since my mood is always changing. But, I would love for someone to capture my current hairstyle in stone forever.
The Deli: What goals do Bad Wheels have for 2015, and beyond?
Topaz: Our goals haven't changed that much and probably never will. Keep writing music that's true to the sound we want, have plenty of Miller Lite tallboys available at all times, and keep carrying the torch of freedom!!!
The Deli: Where can we find you on the web?
The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
Topaz: Don't listen take advice from anyone named "Tad", listen to plenty of loud rock music, always have a tall boy handy, and juat because you can play the accordion, doesn't mean you should.
Bad Wheels is:
Bobby Topaz: vocals, guitar
Paul Marchman: guitar
Brock Ginther: bass
Chip Sage: drums
Michelle Bacon is editor of The Deli KC and plays in bands. She likes Planet Sub.
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