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November 2020

Baby Strange: “The more mad it is, the more fun it gets”

Glasgow trio Baby Strange have just released their debut album, and they’re having a whale of a time.
Published: 9:55 am, September 27, 2016
Baby Strange: “The more mad it is, the more fun it gets”
Four years to the day since the first live show they played together Baby Strange are in high spirits. It’s not surprising, really. With their debut album being released to the world, a national tour scheduled, and a huge hometown co-headline concert with fellow Glaswegians White set for December, the future is looking as busy as it is bright.

Make it to any of the trio’s live dates and it’s instantly obvious how much they’ve achieved in their time together – though it’s a fervour that’s been brewing right from the very start. “It was in our friend’s flat. It was a really, really small room, and there was maybe about forty or fifty people there,” frontman Johnny Madden recalls of the group’s debut performance.

“It was the first time anyone had ever heard what the band sounded like. We didn’t have any songs online. I think we’d just made a Facebook page that week,” he smirks. “But we’d been writing and rehearsing and speaking about it for months.” Spraying their band name onto a bed sheet to decorate the long-anticipated occasion, the group set up to a room quickly engulfed in still-wet paint fumes. “Pretty much everyone at the show was gassed,” Johnny laughs. “Which made it even more fun, I think.”

The four years since might have fine-tuned the trio’s DIY ethos, but their raw energy and rough around the edges charm is every bit as fierce as it always has been. “I’ve noticed a lot of people that come to our shows end up completely drenched in sweat and water and beer, and they’ve got a big smile on their face,” the frontman depicts. “I think because of us.”

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Their explosive energy an easy crowd-winner, it’s not just the fans that are having a good time. “The more mad it is, the more fun it gets for us to play,” Johnny enthuses. “That’s what’s been happening the past few tours. It’s just getting crazier and crazier.” Gearing up to headline the O2 ABC in Glasgow with previous tour buddies White, things only seem set to get crazier.

“Bored with what was happening with music, and especially music in Scotland,” the trio decided the logical response would be “getting together and writing songs and trying to vent some anger.” Four years on their opinion of the current scene may have changed, but their motives have not. Now, embedded in what they term as “probably the most exciting place,” Baby Strange are making a mark on the wider world with the release of their debut album ‘Want It Need It’.

Recorded over a year and a half across Glasgow, London, and Brighton, the album is a definitive look at everything the band have been and have become during the past almost-half-decade. “Having a full body of work out is a bit different to having a few singles out,” Johnny illustrates. Approaching the concept of a debut album with “around twenty songs,” the trio sat down and “picked the favourites.” “It just happened that the favourites were some of the singles that had been out before.”

Remixed on some numbers, rerecorded on others, and with some brand new songs thrown in to boot, Baby Strange’s debut is an anthology of their capabilities. “It was a no brainer, really,” Johnny continues. “It’s songs that we really enjoy playing live. It’s songs that we’d really like more people to hear. Hopefully when the record comes out it’ll expose us to more people.”

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With hopes now set on bigger and brighter things on the horizon, there’s no shirking that it’s taken them a lot of hard effort to get here. Working on their artwork and videos themselves, the trio are big believers in the ‘do it yourself’ mentality. “Even if you don’t know how to, try,” they advise. “Get hold of an old camera and just try it yourself. You will get better.” Having established their own visual artistic skill set in a similar fashion, the proof is in the pudding.

Baby Strange are already realising their dreams. “I think just putting out a record that we feel really, really happy with, that no one’s tampered with, and that fans like,” Johnny states, indicating towards their debut full-length. With their ten-track venture through garage, punk, and rock’n’roll now out in the world, leading up to their biggest shows to date, that’s already something they can cross off their hypothetical bucket list.

And their plans don’t stop there. “We’re thinking about doing an EP next year,” Johnny divulges. “We’re just going to get straight back into it.” Indeed, there seems to be no end to the group’s ambition. “We’re actually going to put out a second record next year as well,” he adds. “Just keep things moving and don’t stop, really.” Evidently not ones to sit back and drink it all in, Baby Strange are riding the rollercoaster right to the top. Fasten your seatbelt and hold on tight: it’s going to be one heck of a ride.

Baby Strange’s debut album ‘Want It Need It’ is out now.

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