Bad Omens are having an incredible 2022, so it only seemed right to discuss and dissect the path that has led them here.
Bad Omens have been going from strength to strength in 2022, and it’s all off the back of their album, ‘THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND’.
A record that spans the most delicate and devastating parts of the band’s sound, it’s a collection of songs that, since its release, have resonated with thousands. From gaining new fans on tour with A Day To Remember to going viral on TikTok, all the way through upgrading venues across Europe multiple times for their upcoming ‘CONCRETE JUNGLE’ tour, there is no slowing down and that’s the band the band like it.
To talk through what this year has represented, and how they are reflecting on ‘THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND’ and everything that it represents, we sat down with vocalist Noah Sebastian for an in-depth discussion…
First, how has it felt to be back out on the road this year in a capacity you are used to? How has it been sharing that with so many people?
“It’s so great. I am grateful for the timing because we released the record when it felt like most of the COVID-related things were coming to an end in terms of actually being able to tour. The tours have been great, and seeing people who know the words to these songs is even better. It’s very exciting. We have so much more planned, and it makes me even more excited for what is to come.”
And how are you personally feeling about ‘THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND’ now that it has been out in the world for as long as it has now? When it’s no longer just yours, and has become solace and sanctuary to so many others?
“The stakes felt so high as we were writing, making, and producing it. We didn’t know how people would receive it. Despite that, we knew we loved it and knew that there was something special and incredible about these songs. Though by the day of release, the illusion kind of shatters. It’s out in the world, and we will see the response no matter what. But we are still trying to be entertained by it just because we have been around it for so long. It’s interesting because I’m finding new ways to perform songs that we still need to perform properly. Tours are still coming up, and I am already ready to change things up to keep that momentum and excitement there. Hopefully, it will be exciting for everybody who sees us.”
When you think back to being in the thick of it, of figuring out what you wanted this album to feel like, how do you look back on that from where you are now?
“It finally feels like what we have achieved is deserved. We always feel like this when making a record, but at the time, we were saying, ‘This is the best thing that we have ever done’. It’s scary when you’re in that mindset and feel so confident and strongly about it, just because you don’t know what the consensus will be. It’s just really nice to see that come to fruition and see how many new fans and listeners it is bringing us. But in a way, and the least arrogant way possible, I almost knew that this would happen when we were making the songs. It’s stubborn, but I felt, ‘If people don’t like this, then I lose my faith in this’. We put so much in and made such a conscious effort to make sure it felt different, especially where the scene is concerned, and it feels like my belief in myself is being acknowledged. Waiting for those feelings to come true, and them doing so, is the best thing that I could have asked for.”
For many artists, that belief almost doesn’t exist within the process of making a record. Usually, there are struggles or hills to climb rather than direct pride in what you are making. But perhaps it’s because Bad Omens have never really stopped in their pursuit of pushing the boundaries of what you’re capable of…
“It’s not just music where that applies. Whatever your career, passion, or hobby is, you need to enjoy what you’re doing. And if you enjoy it, you’ll do your best at it. If you’re doing the best at it, people will pay attention to that and gravitate towards it. It goes to playing a show, and you see that an artist is visibly having a good time, then you’re going to eat off that energy. The same goes for writing a record, painting a picture, or whatever your thing is. You can tell when somebody cares about it, which is more important than any other characteristic that a piece of art can have. From radio play to having enough breakdowns to wondering if people will even like it, you have to throw it all out of the window and remember the feeling you had when writing your first record. There was no pressure or expectation, so you were making just for yourself. I try to apply that with everything we do.”
When you exist in a world where everything could be totally different in the next 24 hours, all you can truly do is focus on yourself and your path and your destination. For Bad Omens, that destination appears to be opening as many doors for the future as possible…
“I think a lot of artists forget that. They want to fit in so badly that they get lost in their surroundings and peers. It’s awkward sometimes because it can feel like we are the odd ones out often. The weirdos, sonically speaking, at least. But isn’t that what you want? Isn’t that how great artists are made? Nine Inch Nails, The Weeknd, Billie Eilish, doing their own thing and being the best at that rather than trying to be something else. Like when we were on tour with A Day To Remember and Beartooth earlier this year. Beartooth came on after us, and they could not be more opposite to how we play live. We come out slow and dark, moody and soft, and they come out screaming. I would watch them as much as I could and love everything about what they do, but we will never be a better Beartooth. That’s their job. We want to be the best Bad Omens. So if you allow that tunnel vision to take over and focus on your lane instead of trying to be the best in somebody else’s, that’s when you get on the right track in your career.”
Life is made up of different levels of emotion, in the same way, that great music is. And to harness those ebbs and flows, in the way you have on ‘THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND’, is to harness what it means to live. How do you feel as though putting those waves together affected you personally?
“That’s still something I’m trying to master in terms of my emotions and how I process them. I try to put as much humanity and myself into our music as I can because to convey the feeling that I want people to feel, you have to be in that headspace. It’s almost like acting. There are method actors and then actors who can turn it on and off. I’m trying to be less of a method actor and learn how to turn it off and on better because I have much fun on tour and recording when I’m in that better headspace. That’s only sometimes pick up on or recorded properly when it’s not authentic. So it’s what makes you more professional, being able to hone in on the ability to turn it on and flick that switch. That way, I can finish a session or show and feel like that average guy again when you’re not playing this character or role I’ve created within myself, whether true or false. There’s a lot of depth to it, and once you find that depth, you hold onto it.”
Your comfort in accepting that continues to resonate outside of those studio and live settings. Though when you think back to previous cycles, would you be trying to control feelings in those environments more than you do now? Does that come down to learning more about yourself?
“It feels more authentic now. And that authenticity comes from growing older and growing as people. You have the fortune of applying whatever little wisdom you may have at a young age, but whatever wisdom you can then gain and carry over into your creativity later is a big role. Your taste in music and attitude about certain things change, and your opinions change, and with that growth, you also want to grow with your audience. The same thing applies to the people who listen to your music, and you have to keep that in mind. If you can grow outside your art, your art will grow as a result of it organically. And when others grow in the same way, that’s where deeper connections are formed.”
When considering how much you put yourself into Bad Omens and what you are pushing into the world, how do you feel it has affected your relationship with the band? What does it mean to you, and what part does it play in your life right now?
“I’ve been thinking about this a lot, because it’s crazy to think of the process of starting a band from where we were and looking at where we are. Seeing how little we knew and not being in this position and thinking of the people who we see starting bands now. It sounds terrifying. It was terrifying when we started, but so much is different now. There is so much adversity and so many mistakes you have to make to learn what is right for you. These are things for there are no rule books. But the things you start with are so low when you compare them to how high the ceiling gets as you make moves through the industry. To identify who I was when we started and see who I am now, I can see how much I have learned from being in the middle of this. The truth is that anyone can do this if they want to. But this band has allowed me to look at the past and see how much potential there is in the future. Thinking about where we could be in another six years, makes me feel so excited. And it makes me want to encourage people not to give up because you never know what is around the corner.”