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The initial groundwork of Los Angeles-based Bad Rabbit was constructed in

the unlikeliest of locations and situations — at least for this unpretentious,

friendship-based Southern California rock outfit. The place: a limousine. The event:

a bachelor party with strippers dancing inside of the limo. Yet, what would’ve made

for the ideal setting for the creation of a Sunset Strip glam-metal band in the ‘80s

seemed like an absurdity to Bad Rabbit.

“Doug [Forsdick, vocals, guitar] and I were talking about starting this band

when we were at a friend’s bachelor party, in the limo, sitting between a bunch of

strippers,” says bassist Jon Spence. “The strippers were really lame, so he and I

started talking about music. They were just so idiotic that we ignored the whole


While the rest of the party were entertained by the scantily clad females in the

limo, Spence and Forsdick were quickly hatching plans and forming a musical

friendship that’s now lasted the better part of four years.

In fact, with the release of Bad Rabbit’s self-titled debut disc, the casual chat

amongst friendly musicians has turned into an outstandingly fresh musical

amalgamation of rock, dub, fusion, jazz and pop, metaphorically filed somewhere

between albums by The Police, Queens of the Stone Age, John Frusciante, Elvis

Costello and Miles Davis.

Initially created by Berklee music school graduate Forsdick in 2002, Bad

Rabbit began performing locally in the Santa Monica area, opting to cut its teeth at

any local bar up and down Lincoln Blvd., rather than to wedge its way into the

often fickle and crowded Los Angeles club scene.

“When the band first started, Doug and I were just sick of being in bands. We

just wanted to have some fun with it. We got really sick of the whole club scene

and wanted to play music just to play music,” says Spence.

Foregoing the big city grind felt good to Bad Rabbit, which shared bills with

acts like legendary bassist Mike Watt. Yet, although the band knew what it wanted

musically, it admittedly took some serious time to truly refine its sound.

“We started off more like a reggae band,” says Spence of the band’s infancy.

“But all of us worship The Police. Doug and Paul [Morris, drums] are into King

Crimson and fusion, so certain times you’ll hear a weird jazz chord or something

like that.”

On stage, Bad Rabbit simply aim to please, but generally offer a unique twist to

their standard fare. Though the quartet is schooled and inspired by improvisational

-based genres, Spence quickly notes that improvisation isn’t a part of the band’s


“I don’t like bands that will play the same song live as it is on the record,” he

says. “So we’ll do the bridge differently, or we have a saxophone player that comes

up to play with us every once in a while. We just try to stay away from the jam band

format, where they’ll stretch out a part for 20 minutes. We like to do our parts


With a few years of stage experience and virtuoso musician Chris Thom added

on guitar, Bad Rabbit decided to commit their unique tracks to disc. Armed with a

borrowed drum set for Morris (who still doesn’t have own his own kit) and

Forsdick’s background as a studio technician, the band didn’t have to look any

further than its own studio location to get things in gear for tracking its most solid


“He’s got a knack for getting the most out of the little of what we have,” says

Spence of Forsdick. “The disc was basically recorded in a 200 square-foot room.”

The results are rather astonishing — an incredibly varied mix of the

aforementioned styles encapsulates Bad Rabbit’s musical vision within a tidy, tight

seven-song offering.

Launching with the twisting accented riffs of “Back 2 One,” Bad Rabbit’s debut

quickly winds its way through the act’s trademark groove-oriented material.

“Pulling Strings,” one of Bad Rabbit’s older songs, features thick, intricate guitar

riffing, inspired by the guitar stylings of The Police’s Andy Sommers. “Blue Sky” is a

combustible cocktail of melancholy vocals and a towering, spiraling melody. The

dark, brooding “Easy To Tell” sports a steady eighth-note backing, breaking into

gorgeous arpeggiated guitar chords in the choruses.

With a recording wrapped and ready, Bad Rabbit is looking forward to

building the act into an established entity, breaking into larger markets with a new

confidence in tow. “We’ve kept it pretty mellow but now we’ve reignited the fire

under our asses,” says Spence, who reiterates that he’s still trying to keep the

project fun at the same time. “I don’t think any of us in the band have delusions of

being huge rock stars, but we could definitely tour steadily and make this our


Of course, the initial friendship that created Bad Rabbit in the first is of the

utmost importance — even if the act aims to pursue higher ventures.

“Everybody in the band truly are friends,” says Spence. “Being in bands for a

while, that’s a first for me. We actually look forward to going to practice. Now that

the band has established solid friendships, sitting around talking in between beers,

we’re just like, ‘Hey, let’s just play the game a little bit and see what happens.’”

by-Waleed Rashidi


Doug Forsdick – vocals, guitar

Paul Morris – drums

Jon Spence - bass

Chris Thom - guitar


more typos...........

Monday, July 24, 2006
New Music Industry Briefing For Friday July 24, 2006

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