Remember when we said it was a busy week for Bad Design? Add the premiere of their new video for "Stained Glass," directed and shot by Christopher Bryan and starring Ally Hoffmann, both of Denton's Peopleodian.
In this week's print edition, a shorter version of the My First Show Q&A appears due to space, but we couldn't pass up the chance to include all the stories Denton's Bad Design told us.
What was the first show you remember seeing? Were you with your parents? Steven Altuna (guitar/vocals): The first show I remember seeing was a 30 Foot Fall show at Fitzgerald's in Houston when I was 14 or 15. I had a friend with a pretty cool Dad and he dropped us li'l shits off and told us to call him when it wrapped up. Clint Sawyer (drums): The first show I remember seeing was Bill Mounts at a bluegrass festival in Glen Rose. I think I was about 8 or 9. Roy Thakerson, the fingerless fiddler, was at this festival also. After watching a man with nubs play "Orange Blossom Special" and totally killing, I remember my dad looking at me and saying, "Boy, I don't want to ever hear you say you can't do anything." This experience was also the first show I saw with my parents. John Paul Hossley (bass): The first concert I remember seeing was with my parents when I was about 11. We were in Nashville at some big country concert venue. We were there to see the Oak Ridge Boys, and from what I remember it was an amazing show. To be honest, the only details I actually do remember was when the Oak Ridge Boys broke out their hit song, "Elvira." I stood up, went out into the aisle and began to shake my little butt off. I still love that song! John Gillespie (guitar): Mine's not very cool. My parents dropped some friends and I off at a 1995 Oasis concert in Washington D.C. There were loads of much more vital things going on in D.C. at the time, but they were at smaller clubs my overly-protective parents were not comfortable with me going to. This had the effect of making me think that small clubs are much more interesting than they are, a misguided opinion I maintain to present day.
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What was the first show you paid your own money to see? Altuna: That same show above, but if you mean a Ticketmaster show, then it was Pavement at Numbers in Houston during their Brighten the Corners tour. I went to the show in hopes that they would play a lot of stuff off of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. I had been to many shows before that were local shows or house parties, but finally seeing what I considered "heroes" in such an intimate environment was something I will never forget. Sawyer: The first show I paid money for was Metallica in 1997 on the Load tour. It was a great show, of course. I'm pretty sure Corrosion of Conformity opened for them. Hossley: The first show that I paid for was Beck at Deep Ellum Live in 1994. From what I recall, Radiohead was the opening band, and it was the night of the O.J. Simpson car chase. My brother was taking me and my friend to the show, and he didn't want to leave his apartment until the car chase was over. I was so mad at O.J. for doing this on the day that I was going to go see my first "real" concert. I was sure I was going to miss Beck, but we finally got there and it was just as amazing as I thought it was going to be. In fact, at the end of the concert both bands got on stage for a grand finale, and sang an improv jam song called "Free the Juice." Classic! Gillespie: I'm not sure. I think it was either Mudhoney or KMFDM. I had very broad taste as a child. This is getting more and more embarrassing.
What was the first show that made a major impact on you? Altuna: It would have to be Boys Life at Fitzgerald's during their Landfalls and Departures tour. I was 16 and had been obsessed at the time with their arrangements and dynamics. They did not disappoint at all. It was a weeknight and there were maybe 20 people there. I got in huge trouble with the parents for going to that show, but it was more than worth it. They were so unique, and did things musically, in a rock band format, that I have never seen/heard any band do, other than maybe Fugazi. Sawyer: When I moved to Denton in 1997, I really didn't have a lot of exposure to music other that your typical radio pop rock. So you can imagine the importance of going see bands like Hairy Apes BMX, Reverend Horton Heat, Mushroom Groovy, and endless other great local bands. Mike Dillon, Earl Harvin, Matt Thompson and my especially close friend Trey Adams all have greatly influenced my passion for drums. Trey Adams is the reason I even started playing in 2000. Hossley: That's easy, At the Drive-In at Rubber Gloves in '98. My friend Bradley was from El Paso, and he wanted me to go with him to see this band that he was friends with from back home. I knew Bradley was an emo kid, and I remember thinking I was probably going to hate the show. See, I was only into old-school punk rock at the time, and pretty much despised anything else. I went to the show anyways, and was shocked ATDI completely blew my mind. Their stage presence and their sounds were like nothing I had ever heard, and from that point on my views on music were totally changed for the better. Thanks, ATDI! Gillespie: The "alternative" radio station in D.C., WHFS, had a festival called the HFStival. When I was 14 years old, Shudder to Think opened the show and it was a revelatory experience for me. They had just put out Pony Express Record, one of the most-overlooked albums of the '90s, and their bizarre art-rock mash-up of punk, glam and hard rock literally made me completely lose myself. I remember snapping to as their set ended, as if waking from a dream. I can neither confirm nor deny that drugs were involved.
What do you remember about the first show you played with Bad Design? Altuna: It was a last-minute gig my brother Greg asked us to play because he needed to fill a slot on one of his bills. We were four months into the project and only had about 35 minutes worth of material. I think we were all so pumped to play it live that we finished the set in 22 minutes. I also remember the guy promoting the event thought our name was "Bad Decision" and someone joked about it being a better name. Sawyer: The first show with Bad Design was actually a really good set. I guess the thing that sticks out the most was that we were announced as Bad Decision. This was sarcastically poetic because we had such a hard time settling on a name. Hossley: Bad Design had only been a band few a few months, and I had just recently quit my previous band. I was really excited to play in this new band and recall feeling that I was finally in the band I always wanted to be in. I was finally able to create the music that came so naturally to me. A lot of my friends were there at the show, and it was a great turnout for our break-out show. We were opening for Mescalero. A few days before the show, we had finally decided on the name of the band, as we had been running through tons of different names such as "We Stole the Cannon," "Paper Knife" and "Toy Horse," but finally Bad Design stuck. When we showed up at the club, we saw our band had been posted as Bad Decision not Bad Design. We were like, "Dammit, we can't win with this band name." We learned to deal with it, and haven't changed it since. Gillespie: I didn't drink enough and I got really nervous.