Mood Board: The Bottom Line

Mood Board: The Bottom Line

By Punktastic

Aug 22, 2019 10:00

Following the release of sophomore album 'No Vacation' earlier this year, we caught up with pop punkers The Bottom Line to talk about the tracks that inspired their new music.

I think out of all the collections of songs I’ve ever written, ‘No Vacation’ was definitely written in the most unorthodox way possible. You hear a bunch of stories about bands going into the studio for five weeks or so before they record just to write, but for me that’s never seen me at my most proactive. The more I force myself, the less product emerges. The Bottom Line were on tour for over 80 days across 26 countries and we finished in late September, starting our new recording session in early November. For me, I thought this was no problem, but as the tour progressed I realised how much of an issue it was that we only had maybe three songs written for a two month studio session for our next album. This album was the first time I tried to write while on the road, and it somehow worked out to be the best way possible. TBL had always been renowned for our live shows over our records, and for the first time in five years I really wanted to bring that energy from our live shows into our record. I wanted you to hit play and BOOM – you’re right back into our show, getting sweaty and crowdsurfing and jumping.

Sum 41 – ‘Underclass Hero’

Sum 41 have always been one my favourite bands. I used to live next-door to this super nice lady whose son had gone to university and left all his music gear at home, and she would let me go into the garage and play it. I first started playing drums self-taught, and this would be my favourite song to jam to – it had that huge punch in the face intro that I would always imagine us playing in my head, picturing us walking out to a crowd of thousands of people. I’d just press play on my iPod and lose myself in how much energy was in the first 30 seconds of this song. I always wanted to find a way to recreate this, but in the form of Bottom Line, and that’s when we wrote the riff for ‘Reasons’. We actually had about five versions of this song and toured it three times with different choruses. We had a world tour with Simple Plan and wanted to have a big opening song to make the crowd jump, so we just made up the rest of the song so that it was kinda finished and we could play it live. The original three or four versions were a LOT worse than the released single you hear now.

The Veronicas – ‘Everything I’m Not’

Being the only boy in a family with four sisters, I was forced to listen to an abundance of random music that I wouldn’t necessarily listen to myself, but now I’m older I’m so grateful for it. About a year ago, I decided to re-listen to a lot of the music my sisters would listen to, and I fell back in love with The Veronicas. I used this song to inspire me to write my favourite song on ‘No Vacation’, ‘Gone’. I just loved how they would always use Low Fi electronic drums with distorted guitar, it was punk as fuck. With our previous records we would always play it safe and never break out of our comfort zone, but this kind of hybrid of pop and rock really helped me to start throwing a ton of electronic drums into the new record.

Good Charlotte – ‘1979’

Good Charlotte’s album ‘The Young And The Hopeless’ was one of the first CDs I ever bought. My parents had this huge Hi-Fi system in our front room, and every time they would go out I’d blast that record and play air guitar to it all night, as I was too poor to buy myself a guitar back then. I was super arrogant in my teenage years, and when they started making more poppy music I was that guy who would say they “Sold Out”, but when listening back I think I prefer their new records to their old. ‘1979’ was one of those songs that really stuck with me on my re-listen – I thought it was so damn cool that they could make a pop punk song with an acoustic guitar. While we were in the US, I was writing a lot, but the only thing I could jam on would be this super cheap Chinese made acoustic we were gifted through an endorsement (the company went under two weeks after the deal). It meant every riff I wrote sounded completely different to if I was to demo it in my studio with drums and electric guitar. I was literally in the back of a trailer with Joe from the band Patent Pending when we were jamming ‘1979’ and by sheer fluke made the chords to ‘Doomed’. I was so stoked that I had written a song that was absolutely made for acoustic, and we finished that song across three countries with input from our van drivers to our merch guys. On this tour we went through hell, from earthquakes in China, a hurricane in Houston, and a van fire in Nevada – we really thought this band was cursed. Our band and crew are a family and it was so cool that we all wrote it together like that. It will remain one of my favourite songs ever, especially as it is the least Bottom Line sounding song on the album.

The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness

The Smashing Pumpkins have always been probably my all time favourite band. It’s impossible to see the resemblance in our music, but it was always more about the ethics for me. That band would literally play by their own rules and go on to be one of the biggest rock bands in the world. They wouldn’t stick to the classic chord progressions, wouldn’t go for the obvious harmonies, would avoid following any form of classic song progression. They did whatever they wanted and people loved it. When I first started writing songs for myself, I would always try to write with the thoughts of our demographic in the back of my mind, like what would they want to hear? But I’ve come to learn the best songs come from just writing what makes you feel happy.