Interview: Bad Neighbour talk new single, debut album and Microwave

Brisbane alt-rock outfit Bad Neighbour have established themselves as one of the city’s most exciting acts in recent years. The band have today announced their debut album Millions, which will be out 20 September, and shared the punchy new single “Heart Pumps Blood”.

Following previous singles “And the Fleas” and “In the Car”, the latest offering showcases their signature style of emo-punk you can dance to with memorable riffs and subtly profound lyrics. It’s equally energetic and sombre in a way that Bad Neighbour do so well, suggesting a poignant maturity for the rest of the record. If you’ve been lucky enough to catch them live, you know their vibe is as fun as it is palpable.

We had vocalist and guitarist Cooper Riley fill us in on Millions, 2024 plans and more.

You released your new single “Heart Pumps Blood” today and announced your new album Millions. How keen are you for this new phase of Bad Neighbour?

Incredibly, we poured so much into this album over the last 3 years and to announce it feels truly surreal. To say we are excited is an understatement.

We’ve got three singles from the release so far, is that a fair indication of what to expect on the new album? 

Yes and no, we didn’t write the album as a linear piece of work. Thematically, it moves around a lot but we feel it captures our previous sound as well as exploring some uncharted waters. We’ve always found it easier to write more downtrodden, emotional songs so there’s definitely a few of them in there.

Is there a central theme to the release? What were the inspirations behind it?

Not particularly. Lyrically, it explores a lot of new ground for us as we wrote a couple of songs off the album from a third party perspective on situations and characters that weren’t real, but a lot of it goes over my own experiences from different parts of my life up until now. We took a huge amount of inspiration from an album called Much Love by Microwave but we all have our own personal inspirations in the parts that we played individually on the album.

Can fans expect to see the new album live launched this year?

They definitely can, more to come about that in the coming months!

You’ve played some impressive shows over the last year including New Bloom Fest Brisbane and you’re heading on tour with Badflower in August. How have the shows been for you, and do you have a bucket list band you’d love to play with?

The shows have been amazing. We recently wrapped up a national tour with Hot Mulligan and Free throw in March as well – we just clicked with everyone instantly, we all got along so well. We’re very excited for this upcoming tour! We all listen to so much different music but these are our bucket list bands:

Cooper: Microwave (again)

Zoe: Fidlar

Liam: Trophy Eyes

Jack: Underoath

Who’s on your playlist at the moment? What are you jamming the most?

We have all definitely been smashing too much Hot Mulligan and Free Throw since we wrapped up the tour but outside of those guys, here’s some of our picks:

Cooper: Pedro the Lion, Joe Pug, Slaughter Beach Dog

Zoe: Knocked Loose, Spiritbox, Poppy

Liam: Alpha Wolf, Bring Me the Horizon, Thrown

Jack: Alexisonfire, The Story So Far

What does the future hold for Bad Neighbour?

We definitely have a lot in the pipeline that isn’t announced yet but we have also just begun work on LP2 which is incredibly exciting and scary to start the writing process again. Lots more to announce for later in the year/early next year but more about that soon ❤️

That’s right, the Brissy favourites have already started their next album before the first one’s out. The band will be supporting California rockers Badflower this August on a seven-date Australia and New Zealand tour with hopefully a headline run in the works. Add “Heart Pumps Blood” to your playlist and tell a friend about one of the coolest bands in the scene right now!

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