By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Unafraid to tackle topics like self-harm, sex culture double standards and unrequited love, Brooklyn’s own Bad Static have stamped out their demands through sharp vocals, fuzzy distortion and relentless drums, all evident throughout their EP ‘Cherry Cyanide,’ released this past New Year’s Eve.
Inspired by ’90s Riot Grrrls acts, the female-fronted band was formed last year and off the strength of their single “Hear Me Calling,” were awarded Deli Magazine’s “Emerging Artist” winner for August 2021. They’ve since become a fixture at NYC venues like TV Eye, The Bowery Electric and Arlene’s Grocery.
Bad Static are lead singer/rhythm guitarist Nicol Maciejewska, bassist/backup vocalist Kelsie Williams, lead guitarist Mario DiSanto and drummer Demetrio Abikkaram-Ricardo.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to talk with the band about ‘Cherry Cyanide’ and more.
Music Bugle – How did you get to decide on the band name?
Nicol Maciejewska – We were playing around with a lot of things, but the night before we chose it, Mario and I watched “Frankenstein” and I really liked the idea of using “static” like Dr. Frankenstein used to reanimate the monster. Demetrio then suggested we add “Bad” in front of it.
Music Bugle – What was your goal for the single “Hear Me Calling”?
Nicol Maciejewska – My goal was just to have people who suffer with mental illness feel less alone. We came out with a music video for it that was directed by Keila Bido.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Nicol Maciejewska – I think social media helps a lot! I went to school for media and marketing and I’ve used a lot of what I learned there to help promote the band. So far, I feel like it’s been very successful.
Mario DiSanto – Social media can be a two-edged sword for musicians. On one hand, you’re able to reach listeners across the world at the blink of an eye, but on the other hand, you have to stick out among a vast pool of similar candidates.
Demetrio Ricardo-Abikkaram – It helps the hell out of us, but the algorithms make it feel like walking through a mine field.
Kelsie Williams – I think overall, it can really help if you don’t rely on it to do that. You can reach so many people and connect with so many other artists.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Brooklyn to someone who has never been there before?
Kelsie Williams – You can learn so much in Brooklyn. It’s a community of many cultures that unfortunately, is becoming more and more gentrified and pushing that out.
Demetrio Ricardo-Abikkaram – It’s basically the true meaning of “coexistence.”
Nicol Maciejewska – For me, it’s a place of acceptance.
Music Bugle – What was it like putting together ‘Cherry Cyanide’?
Nicol Maciejewska – Honestly, very stressful. Writing the songs was the fun part, but trying to get everyone to Mario’s home recording studio was challenging. It’s a three-song EP that ranges from themes of toxicity, paranoia and feeling haunted.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Nicol Maciejewska – Covid, as scary as it was in beginning, made me really dive deep into my art. I finally had the time to try things I’ve wanted to do for years. If it weren’t for Covid, I would’ve never started playing bass and guitar.
Demetrio Ricardo-Abikkaram – Covid made me learn how to survive on my own and I think what I learned will help me way down the line.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Nicol Maciejewska – I’m trying to listen to a lot of local girl bands like Sorry Mom and Froggy, but some bigger names include Destroy Boys, Mommy Long Legs and Aquadolls.
Kelsie Williams – Cage The Elephant, specifically, their ‘Thank You, Happy Birthday’ album and Glass Beach’s self-titled album.
Mario DiSanto – I’ve been listening to a lot of proto-punk lately. Bands like the Sonics, The Stooges and MC5 really put some lead into my pencil.
Demetrio Ricardo-Abikkaram – Flying Lotus, Racer X, Pink Floyd, Turnstile, Van Halen, Muse, Knxwledge and BADBADNOTGOOD.
Music Bugle – What’s something that people might be surprised to know about the band?
Kelsie Williams – Nicol and I actually work together!
Demetrio Ricardo-Abikkaram – We can beat anyone in beer pong.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Kelsie Williams – A place I call “elsewhere.”
Nicol Maciejewska – I lock myself away in my room, but then again, I do that most days.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Kelsie Williams – “I think you should go for it.”
Mario DiSanto – “No try, only do.”
Demetrio Ricardo-Abikkaram – “Without the rain, the sunshine wouldn’t feel so good.”