Badflower Hope Songs on New Album Will Make Abuse Victims ‘Feel Understood’
Badflower vocalist Josh Katz hopes the songs on their new album OK, I'M SICK will make victims of abuse "feel understood." Loudwire Nights host Toni Gonzalez recently spoke with the frontman about some of the themes on the record, from mental health to death to sexual abuse. See highlights of the interview transcribed below.
The song "Promise Me" is supposed to be the traditional love song on the record. And I thought so until we got to that line "Don't make me face the truth that I'm dying soon / That we're dying." Do you feel like you look at everything through the filter of death, do you feel like you're a little bit obsessed with death and where it stems from?
(Laughs.) No, I don't think I'm obsessed with it, but I truly fear it. And I can say that, I can admit that with some confidence that I fear death and I fear getting older. I really value my youth and the way that I look and the way that I feel. I'm afraid of growing up and I'm afraid of dying, so I think that comes up as a theme pretty frequently. I don't know if I would say "obsession," I don't think I'm obsessed with it. I'm not like one of those gothic guys who's always wearing the Hot Topic stuff.
This is a serious question. Do you worry that songs like "Daddy," which is about sexual abuse, will trigger survivors given how direct your songwriting style is?
No, I don't worry that it's going to trigger people. I hope that it's going to make them feel understood, that's the simple short answer of that. I think there's this thing happening in society where people are afraid to be triggered and they're afraid to talk about things and trigger warnings. I don't really buy into it. I think that we need to not be afraid to confront the things that have happened to us or confront the things that are happening around us, and we need to be able to talk about them.
I'd agree, but I would just also add that you don't know necessarily when a song is gonna come on the radio, you don't know when you're gonna flip over. I know you don't care about radio play, this may or may not get radio play given the subject matter. I just think that you just could come across it without being mentally prepared.
Sure, and you know what, too? I did think that about "Ghost" when it came out. I thought, "I don't know if this is gonna be right for the radio, I don't know if this is the right kind of thing that we should be putting in peoples' faces constantly." And then I was proven wrong, and I think it's the fact that I was proven wrong with "Ghost" is why I feel so strongly about saying, "No I'm not afraid of triggering people," because I've now had experience with this, where I had a song that I thought could be triggering and people could take negatively and people could point their fingers and say horrible things about me as the songwriter of this. I thought that would've happened or that could've happened and it didn't. People just said, "Thank you for saying what I can't say." I think a song like "Ghost" would be even worse as a trigger. "Daddy" is a song about sexual abuse, and if that triggers somebody's memory of that, that's horrible for them to have to feel like they're reliving it. With a song like "Ghost" it could a much worse outcome, being triggered by that, and that wasn't the case. I think people are a lot stronger than we give them credit for.
Listen to the full interview above.
OK, I'M SICK is available everywhere today. Stream the album below.
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