Bad Seed Rising vocalist Francheska Pastor is excited to talk about her band and the big things happening for them. They became Roadrunner Records’ youngest signing in the history of the company, but that hardly fazed her when they were writing their latest EP titled A Place Called Home.
“Personally for all of us really, we don’t get stressed out about that kind of shit. We just think its’ friggin awesome and we get to start playing and start our careers so young. It’s really more of a blessing than a curse than anything like that. Then again it has its downside. We don’t get stressed out from it but people do like to not take us seriously because of our age so it’s kind of hard. We have to win over their respect and their idea of us so people can take us seriously as a band,” she said, confident in her abilities, despite being mature beyond her 18 years in this world.
The Bad Seed Rising story began in 2012 when the members all met each other while in a performing arts school. Despite their young age, they quickly found a common love of music and began writing music together. They released an ep Charm City in 2013, which was produced by Scott Stevens.
“We all came together through this performance based music school called Let There Be Rock School here in Frederick [Maryland], and what you do there is take private lessons. You can also join a band and maybe just do covers. We just got along with each other really well. We wanted to make our own original band. We formed the band and they called me and said ‘do you want to be part of this band?’ I was like yeah,” she recalled.
“The first thing we did a bunch of covers. We played Pantera, Judas Priest…I think Judas Priest is one of the first covers we did together, which was cool because we just actually opened up for them. Not directly but through a festival and it’s was friggin awesome!”
She admitted that ‘Breakin The Law’ was the Judas Priest cover, and recalled her voice changing over the time she was in the band.
“Interesting enough, girls do go through that puberty thing where your voice drops. I did used to have a very high voice. I remember listening to Charm City, which we did that at Dave Grohl’s studio, 606 Studios. [That one] wasn’t released on Roadrunner or anything like that. My voice was so high pitched!,” she said, remembering the early days.
Much like Pastor, the rest of Bad Seed Rising is young in age but musically beyond their years. So far, she is the sole member to have graduated high school and is in the midst of searching for a university to attend.
“I just turned 18 [on] August 1st. I’m the oldest in the band. Following that Louey [Peraza, bass] just turned 17 [on] August 14th. Mason [Gainer, guitars] is turning 15. Aiden [Marceron, drums] is 13. Not only that, he is, in my opinion one of the best drummers I have ever worked with and he is like my brother. He is amazing. If you watch him live – go to a show, go to the side of the stage and just watch him. He is phenomenal. He will blow your mind – the rest of the boys too. Of course I’m not trying to downplay them or anything like that.”
In fact, Pastor shared what they had learned so far about the music business within the short time they have been working within in. Unlike many somewhat jaded musicians, their fresh outlook on their careers and their youthful energy has opened their eyes to new things each time they encounter it.
“Being a signed artist, I’ve learned that you get more help so you’re not stranded and when you don’t know what you’re not doing. It’s a lot easier when you’re a signed artist. I’m very grateful to be signed and having this opportunity. They will teach you everything you need to know. They flew us out to New York and LA, and they had us take social media classes. We learned what to do. This interview is to prep you…it’s not like they told me what to say but if I want to say something they told me how to say it right,” she said.
A Place Called Home is six hard rocking songs that capture the various emotions of Pastor and the band. While each of the songs shares her various life experiences, she left the songs open ended for listeners to tie in their own interpretations on each tune.
“It’s all pretty much about my personal experiences. Sometimes I guess when I talk about people I take it as if I’m talking to someone. I wouldn’t say who. I don’t want to be too descriptive because then it takes it away. Sometimes it’s better to be a little bit vague so people can relate to your song. Granted, people won’t probably be the same exact thing in relation to what I have, not just romantic relationships but standard relationships and all of that,” she said.
One of their harder driving songs is “ADHD,” which could easily be one relatable to many people. The song itself is somewhat self explanatory, but Pastor shares her emotional whirlwind dealing with the pressures of being a young female in modern times.
“I have mad ADHD and ADD, but it’s also talking about all of my mental struggles in general and all of the societal pressures people put on me as to progress myself as who I am and be someone that I’m not. I have a lot to take in and am a very extreme person. It’s hard to take me all at once, especially to know me. It just talks about ‘I’m not going to listen to you’ and ‘because you’re so confused’. The societal pressures of being a woman – I went all over the place but that’s what ADHD and ADD is about.”
“I always forget what my songs completely talk about because there’s so much thought that goes into the song. It also talks about drugs and medicine that I used to take like Ritalin, Aderol and all of that kind of stuff. I don’t take it any more. I might be taking it for school but I wouldn’t do it in the way I used to. I built a dependency on it and it wasn’t fun,” she said.
They had a song “Spy” included in the featured film of the same name as part of the closing credits of the movie. She shared how they were chosen to be in the film.
“Paul Feig, the director was doing production for it. When you do production and when you finish the movie, what you have to do is watch the movie and listen to the music and you figure out what music fits here and here. Then he was like ‘let’s see what fits in the end credits.’ Then he was about to leave the production room and walked by his desk for…I don’t remember why he walked by it. He told me about this in Las Vegas.”
“Our song was playing on the radio and he was like ‘oh my gosh! Where was this band? I’ve gotta figure this out!’ He did a bunch of searches and found out who we were. Then looked us up, got a hold of our management and then told us he wanted us to be in the movie. He plugged us in and then flew us out to Las Vegas to play for the movie premiere.”
Despite the excitement behind all of this, they did not get to meet Melissa McCarthy, the star of the film at the premiere screening. “That was real depressing. I wanted to meet Melissa McCarthy because she is literally my spirit.”
Lastly, Bad Seed Rising is currently in the midst of writing for their first full length release. Pastor gave an update on the progress.
”Actually at this very moment we are working on creating our EP into a full length. I actually jumped into the car and we’re going to the rehearsal place and go write some music. Then we’re going to fly out to LA in a couple of weeks to record it and send it to the label. Hopefully they will approve it and then put out a full length.”
“We wrote the songs in December, and it’s hard because from December to August, it’s such a big gap. We’re very young and I’m 18 years old and I’m learning a lot of things, especially in this day and age. Right now is a very prime time for me because I’m in all of these things. I’m becoming more self-aware so I understand life a little bit more than I did six months ago. But I do know that I was full of teenage angst, a lot of ‘you hate me’ and pushing other people’s buttons because they’ve been pushing mine. But now I still want to write something about that so we can work together, but I want it to be about pushing positive messages out there.”
“I have a song about understanding who you are and what you’re really worth. Everyone is worth everything a lot. Life is valuable. People get so worked up over the smallest little things and it talks about you need to understand how little you are in this universe. You also have to understand how important you are to yourself and the people around you.”