are building a good name for themselves
in the UK's Midlands, with gigs booked
right through the year
to the neighbourhood
and singer Dave Cooper tells us about
their new album and offers to give us all
a lift on his motorbike!
Dave, firstly, tell us about Badland - who does
what in the band and what kind of music do you
I guess we're what you would describe as a classic
rock band, if that doesn't sound too up ourselves!
It's pretty much all original compositions (with
a couple of covers for the live show) but some
of the numbers were written over twenty years
ago, some just a few years ago and a couple since
we actually came together as "Badland".
Personnel, starting from the foundations: Terry
'Drumdude' Boazman on the drums; Lee "Snake'
Pallant on the bass guitar; "The Rodfather"
or Rod Bloomer (to his probation officer) on the
keys Dave Matthews on guitar and vocals; Martin
Ratcliffe on lead guitar and yours truly, Dave
Cooper lead vocals.
led to this particular group of fellas forming
a band together, and when/what/where was the first
gig Badland played?
It was all a mixture of coincidence, conniving
and downright cajoling which got us all together
in the same room at the same time, very late last
year. Dave (Matthews) and myself were together
in a band called "Scorched Earth" in
the Eighties - apparently we were part of the
NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal), though
we didn't discover this until later! Anyway...
for a variety of reasons the band ceased to exist
in '85 and I decided to take a break from singing.
That break lasted 22 years (!), although Dave
and I stayed in constant touch. He tried several
times to coax me out of my self-imposed exile
and, finally, curiosity got the better of me.
He told me about this "amazing" bunch
of muzos he'd been rehearsing with and I decided
to go take a look. Terry, Martin and Rod had all
played together in various projects over the years
and knew each other of old. After only one evening,
"Badland" was born - all we needed was
a bass player. Snake was already known through
friends of a couple of the guys and, so the story
goes, he was in his car and put on a cd he'd been
given with some of the older numbers on. He heard
the first few bars of 'Nemesis', stopped the car
and called Martin straight away to arrange trying
out with us. With the line up complete, we were
offered a very last minute gig in March '08 playing
with another band Terry plays with sometimes,
a rock covers outfit called "Inoffensive".
Their singer was ill and so "Badland"
did a set, then I stepped in on vocals for the
"Inoffensive" set, with Tez drumming.
I've never learned so many lyrics in such a short
time! As I recall, it was a biker bash at the
Urban Social Club in Kirby In Ashfield... . ah
currently playing quite regularly in the Midlands.
How have recent gigs gone and are you being
reactions just get more and more amazing. Every
show we do just seems to get tighter and more
dynamic and the audiences... well, what can
I say? We're getting loads of mail through to
our website and people just keep coming back.
We've been re-booked into every venue we've
played so far (except the Urban Social Club!)
and what started as a group of guys going through
a mid life crisis is fast developing into a
very serious business.
How is the songwriting coming along for the
new album, and how actively (or not) are you
looking for a label?
To The Neighbourhood" is well and truly
in the can and will be released unleashed in
the next couple of weeks. It was almost all
recorded in Martin's studio at his house, using
Logic, with some of the live drums being done
at our rehearsal rooms. Martin engineered and
produced it all and only yesterday, the album
was mastered by David Mitson (one time Head
of Mastering at Sony and all-round mastering
legend!). All the artwork has been done by my
amazingly gifted wife, Mandy, and it's being
pressed and packaged as we speak. With our combined
knowledge of the process we felt there was no
need to wait for a label to realise just what
we've got. It’s good and hell don't we
know it... so why hold back any longer?
I was surprised when I saw your promo video at
just how professional it was. Did you invest in
a getting pro dvd company to shoot it - or...
what" is the answer to that one... So...
we found the location "Project Paintball"
(which happened to be half a mile from my house
at the time), met with Rich (the owner, mad rock
fan and, believe it or not, an extra in "Wayne’s
World 2"!), he gave us the keys to the site
and let us loose one Friday afternoon. Mandy shot
and directed it (told you she was talented!) my
teenage boys (the 'Road Crew") Dom, Dan and
Oli were the production crew and I then spent
about a month piecing it all together into what
has become "Rescue Me' - the video!
been your proudest moment as a member of Badland?
And also during your last 30 years as a singer.
corny, but every time we drag our carcasses up
onto a stage and kick out a mind blowing set of
rock and blues it makes me feel young again! I'm
so proud of the guys around me... and we're confounding
crowds and critics alike. I'm loving it every
time I open my mouth - I still surprise myself
- I've finally grown into my voice and these days
it's hard to shut me up! (not that it was ever
your rocknrolliest moments?
spent my twenty two year sabbatical from singing
as a Tour / Production / Stage Manager for many,
many famous artists and have countless stories
(though Mandy maintains I never tell the same
ending to a story twice!). I've been held at gunpoint
several times, been arrested in the middle of
Munich for inciting a riot with one particular
band and had many narrow escapes - not least of
which was spending an entire night 'entertaining'
a lady Brazilian journalist who mistook me for
my more famous employer on a tour.
I keep threatening to write a book, but
I don't think I could afford the law suits...
anyway, as the saying goes... what happens on
tour, stays on tour!
What do you think of the current state of the
music business compared with the 70s and 80s?
And what changes do you think will happen in the
next 10 years?
an exciting time, musicians and songwriters are
in a much stronger position now than they've ever
been. The world needs heroes, idols... whatever
you want to call them. Music offers escapism and
anyone lucky enough to be given a talent should
have the opportunity to express themselves. My
only regret is that I spent so many years standing
in the wings watching others rather than doing
it myself. In the next ten years? I'm gonna grow
older disgracefully, keep on kicking it with these
boys and enjoy the ride as we scale the heights
to (belated) superstardom!!!!
further to that, what about in the next 20 years,
when even the longest-serving of our classic rock
bands such as the Stones, Quo, etc will be (won't
they?) too old to rocknroll?
only time I'll stop singing and recording is when
they nail the lid shut! It's in your blood...
you're only too old when it's too loud!
you ever try your luck on a programme such as
X Factor? Or what about 'Battle Of The Bands'
find it hard nowadays to accept criticism... so
there's only really room for one ego on the X
Factor! I've found my fantasy... we gig anywhere,
anytime - we'll open a show for another act or
headline... anything just to get up onstage. In
fact we're doing a 'Battle Of The Bands' for the
BMF (British Motorcycle Foundation) on 20th September
at the East Of England Showground in Peterborough
- bring it on... the chance to play in front of
our type of people... can't wait!
What would you like to say to anyone out there
who hasn't been to a Badland gig yet?
a long time dead and I personally guarantee you
one hell of a night. If you can't get to a gig,
drop us a line at www.badland.info
and I'll come and get you... resistance is completely
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© Get Ready To Roll - 15th September 2008