10 Questions with | Bad Bubble
Bad Bubble's music is all about breaking the mold and creating something new. With each song, she explores different concepts and themes, pushing the boundaries of what electro pop can be. From abstract lyrics to unconventional song structures, Bad Bubble's music is a journey of discovery. His music is more than just a catchy beat and a good melody. It's a place where boundaries are pushed, and the imagination is free to roam. This is the world of Bad Bubble, a conceptual electro pop artist who is taking the indie music industry by storm. Indie Boulevard managed to connect with BB, and find out more about his creative path, new album, goals and much more.
IB: Hello Bad Bubble. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us and tell our readers your story. Indeed, we believe that music and creativity sometimes take unexpected forms and serve different purposes for different people. BB, correct me if I'm not accurate. Your goal and meaning is 160 songs (8 albums, 8 EP's, and 48+ single drops released over the course of two years) that represent an entire life through the eyes of Anna. It's like taking a huge book off the shelf and being surprised. Tell us more about this concept, and what does the main character Anna have to do with it?
BAD BUBBLE: Thank you so much for having me. It is my absolute pleasure to answer this question. Anna, is the centerpiece of the entire table. With everyone sitting around the table facing her. Conceptually, there are only a few different ways to do something like this. But only one is the truthful way. I could have done a “what if” story. Or even a “What I think would have happened” approach. But I decided in the end to do the hardest route. The truth. For those who have no idea what we are talking about, Anna is my daughter and she is loved. Her mother and I lost her before she was born. I am telling her story. And the only way to do that is to tell of how she came to be, who she came from, and what happened. To tell her story, I have to tell her parents' story. Her mother and what she did on her own accord, and her father’s decisions and consequences. I could only tell her mother’s story from my own point of view. I tried my absolute best to treat her with respect and dignity. I tried my best to treat everyone with respect and dignity. As for the length, I’m now wondering if it should have been longer. Bad Bubble is a love story. But not the conventional way it is told when the two characters were given the great gift of love and they struggle to find what to do with it. Love in this story is the villain. A horrible monster. The worst villain I could have possibly faced in each and every way. It leaves scars which are not visible. But they consume everything. Almost every kind of love is addressed in this story. Love of a woman. Love of one’s self. Love of friends (or lack thereof). Love of community (or lack thereof). Love of country. But only one love I’ve experienced has been a good love. It does hurt. It leaves scars which do not go away, but in a weird way, I am thankful to know it. This is the love from a parent.
IB: Apart from the music, did you have any other ideas on how to realize this project? I mean expand the universe you created in the form of a book, a radio play, maybe a movie?
BAD BUBBLE: Yes, actually. A book. I love writing, but all I ever had attempted was, of course, poetry. I love poetry. I have loved it my entire life from junior high school until now. But there is a big difference between the two. So I did look into it briefly. It didn’t take long researching before I decided on this route. With music, I just always took to it. It’s that one thing in life I do with confidence. And believe me when I say “the one thing”. I am good at this and nothing else. I’ve never had anything in life which gives me this much joy. However, if I could, I would trade it away for a talent in something more practical. Something which would have led me down a different, more “normal” path, for lack of better word. I’ve tried the music business once before, and walked away disgusted with the entire scene. This was years ago. My fingers did not touch an instrument for many years following this decision. Until I decided to tell this story around August of 2021. In 2024, hopefully by mid-year, I’ll have a book of poetry on this subject. I would like to be completely done with this story by then. It’s over the allotted time I gave myself, and that’s okay, but I would like to look ahead at what may come.
IB: Tell us how the concept came about. Do you keep a diary or do you have the whole story in your head? Do you know how everything ends?
BAD BUBBLE: After a long break up from music, I found myself in a peculiar situation. I was in the grip of something I did not ask for but had anyway. I briefly covered it in Past 1 EP and will return to it in Album 5. I shouldn’t give too much away as to what I’m referring to. This is the hardest part about this. I can’t say certain things as to give away the store. I can say when you have experiences in life which are difficult, a diary is unnecessary. Granted, the little details about these events are perhaps forgotten. But that isn’t always a bad thing. These little details can often resurface and cause delayed after effects. I would argue that trauma needs to be dealt with by frequent exposure to what gives us these after effects. Because you’ll find, over time, the after effects reside. So, perhaps a diary or journal would have been warranted. But I digress. I thought I knew how everything ends up to a certain point. Not necessarily a set date, but a point in time where I had then decided that things were done developing. I was wrong. That said, I don’t know if I can keep going with this. It is very hard telling a story with so much trauma placed on the people found in these songs. I have tried my best to tell this story with grace, and humor, and dignity, and am doing everything I can to be cognizant of the dignity and well being of those involved.. I’ve gone to great lengths to protect people in this story as I will not have them disturbed. They are regular, normal people who have been through too much. So it does need to end. I hope the place I chose for the ending does the story well. I’m only one man and I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve had no practice and there is no wise old man to turn to for guidance. I am exhausted. I want peace with this. And to not have it keep me up at night anymore. I want to go to sleep like other people do.
IB: The first debut album is just something insanely exciting and often not publicized. For independent artists, it can be incredibly difficult to cross the line to the next album after the first. I'd love to hear your story about the first album "Future 9". Was there anything in the process of making, releasing, and distributing it that you'd like to share?
BAD BUBBLE: Yes, one fun fact does come to mind. I’ve told very few people this. Future 9 had a track called “Our Lot”. I personally love this song, but when I recorded Future 9, I was brand new and as green as the grass. I have never recorded on a 24 track mixing board. I use hardware, not software, and it is tricky to get levels correct right out of the gate. I did practice on maybe 5 to 6 songs just to find my footing, but still made rookie mistakes. I really messed up the recording of “Our Lot”. But, I like a good backup plan. I made 3 tracks for Future 9 as alternates. I do not mix and master any of my work. Future 9 was audio engineered by Prof Toast (@ToastProfessor on Twitter) who did a fantastic job. I received a text from Toast saying the hand of God could not fix this track. The alternatives were written specifically for this situation because lyrically it covered exactly what needed to be covered to support the story. In this case, it was a track that I honestly thought was a B-side at best. I sent it to Toast in a hurry because there was something I had to do. The next day I got a call. When Toast calls, it’s important. He goes on and on and on about how great this track is. Moreover, it's the one which needs to be pushed out of the gate as flagship single. I did not agree but received counsel from a couple of trusted people who all agreed with Toast. So, my debut album single was actually a band aid for a mistake. It is now my number one most streamed single, This is for Kori.
IB: Your tracks are professionally done and sound good. I enjoyed listening to your music, it fascinated me, even if sometimes I felt an inexplicable sense of sadness. Who helps you create this grandiose project?
BAD BUBBLE: Conceptually? No one. I did everything myself. That’s the problem. That is what a lot of Bad Bubble is. I do everything by myself. Everything. Not just this. But, we’ll get into that in about 10 or 11 weeks. As stated, I do not mix and master anything. So I do get help in that area. But the help, unfortunately ends there. When I launched in January, 2022, I had a team who helped me out of the gate. Since then, with the exception of mix/mastering, it’s just me. When someone hears my work, they’re hearing me and my audio engineer. I’ve never received any help with anything else, though I could have used it. Honestly, now that I’ve got everything down, and everything is already recorded, I’ve begun a process of self-reflection and admittedly, I’m proud of what I’ve done. I’ve steadily been right here doing the absolute best I can. And I’ve been alone the entire time. I don’t like not having someone to share the wins with. That would be very welcome. But at the same time, I can only point the finger at myself when something goes wrong. There is a great deal of comfort in that. I can never use anyone else’s bad decisions and mistakes as a crutch or blame anyone for anything. I must point that finger to myself. But when something goes right, the same finger gets pointed in the same direction.
IB: I noticed that you choose almost the same color scheme in your releases and music videos. Why did you choose purple? Can you tell our readers this secret? Does it have to do with your personal taste or is it part of the story?
BAD BUBBLE: Great question. Thank you for allowing me to answer it. I use three primary colors. Purple, the most dominant, yellow, a secondary color, and Blue. I wanted purple for 2 very important reasons. 1. Purple is not quite fully darkened. Not quite. It still has a little light. I wanted it to represent me. I’m not dead yet. I’m still here. And I still have something to do. And I still have something good inside of me. 2. I choose to use this color each time to show that I can be trusted. Consistency is important as so many do not have stability in their lives. I have kept every promise I have made. I have missed a single drop one time because of a distribution issue with the artwork. I still released that track on 3 platforms and did everything I could to make everyone aware. I was literally giving that particular track to anyone and everyone. I would set it down in chatrooms and on various feeds. I was not happy with that situation. But normally, I do not miss release deadlines with this story. Over 80 tracks a year, for two years. You can trust I will deliver what I say I will to the people who are kind enough to listen to me. If you listen to my work, I will burn this world down to get you what I said I would. There is nothing I won’t do for you. You can always trust I will keep you at the very front of everything. The color purple is used on all my work to represent the consistent release of the over 100 tracks I’ve done for over a year and will continue until we all cross that finish line. It’s a wink and a nod to those who are awesome and have been so kind.
IB: A lot of neon and synth space sounds. Like creating another world, another universe. Each album continues the story of the previous one, from the first instrumental to the color scheme. It's a huge responsibility and just requires incredible strength. Where do you get the strength to keep going? Have there been situations where you gave up, and what helps you not to give up?
BAD BUBBLE: Most of the hardest time was the first year. I was screaming so loudly for anyone to listen. It didn’t take long for me to be humbled. I looked around and found so many others like me. Screaming just as loudly and their stories or their reasons to be heard were just as important as mine. I do not deserve any special treatment. Nor will I accept any special treatment if I feel it is being given. Although, I understand it. There are times I have wanted to quit, sure. This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It has taken a huge toll on me. I was hit hard financially. Right around the time I launched, COVID, and all that came with it appeared. I was hit hard emotionally having to relive everything I’ve been through. It’s also hard when someone learns of the things I’ve been through and they’re in disbelief. That reminds me that I had it hard at times and others have not. But I always remember those who I personally know who have had worse happen. One of the greatest sources of my pain is also one of my greatest sources of strength. We’ll all get to that on album 6. I’m halfway through album 4 now, but we’ll be there soon. And you’ll learn really fast what I’m referring to. That instilled strength in me really fast. And I use that to this very day. I really want to tell everyone, but you’ll see why I can’t just yet. Whenever I want to quit. Cash in my chips and go home, I go twice as hard. I pull another all nighter on social media laying promo. Go the extra mile until the feeling goes away, which it always does. I just do it. I don’t think about it. When the smoke clears, I’m in a much better position. That is what works for me.
IB: How do you think music can help us come to terms with the inevitability of injury, and what role does music play in the recovery process?
BAD BUBBLE: This is a great question with a not so great answer. And really, it just depends. I think now, people are healing from music, but at a far less degree than they could. I think of this sometimes and equate it to someone having open heart surgery while running a marathon. On the go. Everyone is in a hurry. Ask yourself, when was the last time you sat down and heard an album, start to finish? I guarantee as time passes, it is less and less. If you hear a song that helps you and you are listening to a playlist, find out who it is and get it. Do not download and save for later. You know as well as I do it will be forgotten about. Listen to it right then if need be. Because the healing is in there. Not in one song you heard while doing laundry. That is the issue. And it is sad. Music is listened to now very passively. It is something to play in the background when it is actually something to sit down and put your mind into. Listen and decipher what the artist is trying to tell you. If you do that, you will find healing, and much more. If not, I don’t know. I think someone out there, or perhaps large groups of people will be looking for water in the desert and step right over a case of it. They’ll have the answer right there in their grasp, and won’t take the time to realize it.
IB: What do you hope people take away from your music?
BAD BUBBLE: This used to be much simpler answer. I wanted people to know I had a daughter and her name is Anna. Now, after hearing people relate to some of the bad things I’ve had to go through, I think that must be made a priority. I never wanted to be a guy to point to as the spokesperson for life’s woes. And I am not a victim. Most of the bad things I’ve dealt with were from my errors in judgment. I realize this. I accept the responsibility. I will learn and move forward. And that is what I want someone to take away. Don’t be a victim. Take responsibility. Don’t scapegoat. I never pointed the finger at anyone but myself in any song I’ve ever recorded. Never. Not even once. It was always me. Take that away. You will heal faster. You will find your “happiness”, whatever that is, quicker. You will achieve self-actualization post haste. And it is easier than what you think. It’s harder to blame someone else than to just take responsibility, ask forgiveness if need be, forgive yourself, learn, and move on. That is what needs to be taken away.
IB: And the last question. You plan to finish the project at the end of 2023. Do you have any idea what you will do when the story comes to its logical conclusion?
BAD BUBBLE: No. I have no idea. There are things I would like to do that are simply not possible. I’ve been kicking around the idea of playing live again. I love it. And I am good at it. I spent a lot of time on various stages and I do miss it. But it would have to be a good and worthwhile situation. But right now, I just don’t know. I still have a lot of story left. And a lot can happen between now and then. I will, however, tell you what I would like to do. I want to sleep again. Go places. Do normal things with people. Watch a baseball game at Wrigley. Go with a group of friends to a bar and get hammered. I would like to do normal things. Not what I do now. God forbid I meet Mrs. Bubble. It may be a little late for that. I’m perhaps too far gone. I don’t know. But at this point, all of that seems just so far away. Light years in fact. But I can try. Seems like a simple thing, doesn’t it? I assure you, it is not…
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