Toronto’s BADBADNOTGOOD are best known for their interpretations and collaborations in the realm of modern hip-hop. The four piece post-hop and jazz improv group first came together in 2010 at Humber College’s jazz program over their love of MF Doom and Odd Future. Founding members Matthew A. Tavares (keys), Chester Hansen (bass), and Alexander Sowinksi (drums) actually released their “Odd Future Sessions Part 1” on YouTube after their jazz instructors were unimpressed with the project. Ironically, it grabbed the attention of Tyler, The Creator himself and went viral. Since then, Leland Whitney (saxophone) has joined the mix, and together the quartet have worked with Tyler, Earl Sweatshirt, Danny Brown, Ghostface Killah, Future Islands’ Sam Herring, Mick Jenkins, Kaytranada, and more. The band are currently touring on their fifth studio album, aptly titled 'IV,' which BBC Radio 6 Music called the #1 album of 2016. This weekend, BADBADNOTGOOD play Denver’s Gothic Friday (01/13), and will take Boulder’s Fox Theatre stage with Sur Ellz Saturday (01/14). Grab tickets while you can here, and in the meantime, check out our chat with this crazy talented crew:
You guys had quite the international tour recently. Any spots along the way you’re really hoping to get back to in 2017?
We went to a lot of new countries we’d never seen before last year- Japan, Israel, Taiwan, Brazil, Mexico- they would all be amazing to visit again but we have a great time everywhere!
BBC Radio 6 Music picked 'IV' as their album of the year for 2016. What was your initial reaction to hearing that?
Very, very surprised to be honest. There were so many incredible albums we loved on that list and we didn’t feel like ours was a serious contender! We’re extremely happy about the recognition IV has gained. We’re also eternally grateful to our friends in the UK like Gilles Peterson, and all the other DJs at the BBC and otherwise for all the support they’ve shown us over the years!
What were some of your favorite albums dropped in 2016?
Solange’s A Seat at the Table, Kaytranada’s 99.9%, Anderson.Paak’s Malibu, Frank Ocean’s Blonde, A Tribe Called Quest’s We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, and Andy Shauf’s The Party, among many others!
Festival lineup announcements have begun. Anything you can hint at about your summer plans?
Sure! We’re going to be playing some incredible festivals across the world- Bonnaroo and Primavera to name a couple that have been announced. We’ll be around Europe, North America, and a few other trips are in the works. We’re also going to have a lot of time at home this year to record and get into some different projects! Peace and love for 2017.
Over the past couple of years, your collaborations with various hip-hop artists have been incredibly impressive. Who is next on your short list of peeps you’re hoping to work with?
We’d love to get a concise project together with Kaytranada. We’ve got so much work in the vault that has yet to come out, and he’s a great friend who’s a pleasure to work with. That’s probably top of the list right now. There are a bunch of other friends in Toronto who we’re stoked to record with too!
Give IV a listen:
When are you headed back in the studio?
Pretty soon probably! No idea what we’re going to work on, or what it’s going to sound like though.
If you had to tell us in one word what it was like working with Ghostface Killah on an entire album ('Sour Soul'), what would it be?
Wow one word... Challenging but also rewarding and amazing!
Make sure to catch BBNG at their Colorado shows this weekend; keep up with BADBADNOTGOOD here.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.