Exclusive: Bad//Dreems sign record deal with Farmer and The Owl
Set to make a step up with their third album later this year, Adelaide band Bad//Dreems have signed a record deal with Wollongong label Farmer and The Owl.
They join Hockey Dad, Totally Unicorn, The Pinheads, TEES and Tropical Strength.
Bad//Dreems have been developing since their debut 2013 EP Badlands and two albums, 2015’s Dogs At Bay and 2017’s Gutful.
The band’s Alex Cameron said of their signing, announced today, “What they’ve done in the Wollongong scene is amazing.
“We’re big fans of how they’ve translated that passion and commitment into their label. We’re honoured to be a part of it.”
Ben Tillman, who co-founded Farmer and The Owl with Jeb Taylor told TMN that the sign-up was a major step for the label.
Q: Can you recall the first time you saw Bad //Dreems?
A: “They played at a bar we owned about 2011 I thought they were laid back country lads who played good Aussie rock. We went on to book them at festivals.
“Their songs have always been good, and you could see them get more confident on stage.
“They have a good work ethic and they put the work into technically getting better.”
Q: What made you extend the commitment and sign them up?
A: “It’s a funny one. Our label has always been Wollongong-centric in the artists we signed.
“So if we were going to step out of that and sign an Adelaide band, it needed to be a special one.
“To get to work with one of your favourite Aussie bands is pretty cool.”
Q: What are the demos for the next album like?
A: “Honest Aussie rock songs, they’re really good. I’m pretty excited.
“I think it’ll be a good crack at the world. Jack Ladder has come on board and helped produce.
“They’ve established a solid fan base in Australia, the people who ‘get’ music love them, they get support from radio and online, and they are standing on the edge of the next level.
“They’re doing some Midnight Oil shows in the UK in June, and also shows of their own.
“So the UK will be the next market step for them.”
Q: What’s the strategy for them this year?
A: “They’re wanting to get some new music out before the Oils shows, and use that opportunity.
“Then they’ll come back to Australia and there’ll be a couple more singles before the album.
Q: 2019’s been a great year for the label so far.
A: The Pinheads have a new album out real soon (May 24), they’re going t the UK and do an album tour when they get back.
“Their stuff is real exciting. They’re a volatile crazy band, you never know what’s going to happen with them!
“Totally Unicorn have just put out their second album (late February) and been smashing it.
“When we signed them, they were in this funny space – what genre are they, where do they fit, blah blah blah – and we had all these plans, and it’s really cool to see these slip into place.
“They’re a heavy band but with a lot of light and shade.
“Hockey Dad started out the year with three entries in the triple j Hot 100. They’re currently recording in Seattle at Robert Lang Studio with John Goodmanson.”
(Goodmanson has also been working recently with Freaking Sloucher, No Win, Freedom Baby and Sleeping At Last).
Q: In March you got the acts on the label to curate the Farmer and The Owl festival. Did that work the way you hoped?
A: “Yes it was awesome! I don’t think there was any downside to it.
“It’s a fun way to program, we didn’t hinder the bands’ wish lists, (although) there was a suggestion of an international band and there was a slim chance of them being in the country at the time.
“I am hoping to do that with Bad//Dreems next year, they’d bring some awesome ideas to the table.”
Q: You’d never run a record label before, what was the first time you realised it was working?
A: “One key thing was when the label could start paying its staff for the work that was being done.
“I still don’t take money out of the label, which is absolutely fine, because we put it back into our artists and the staff.
“Another thing is being able to sign up bands we’d grown up with from a grassroots level.”