The hip-hop, blues and jazz-infused band, Bad Tenants, drew a standing, dancing, and full-house crowd to a typically relaxing environment Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Underground Coffeehouse in Bellingham, Wash.
Bad Tenants combines hip-hop beats with jazz instruments such as saxophone and trombone to engineer a lyrically intricate sound that amps up a crowd.
Bad Tenants are a Bellingham band and their sound is reflective of that, said vocals and tromobone player Casey Gainor.
“It’s a northwest feel of being comfortable in your own shoes and your own skin,” Gainor said.
The specific northwest vibe is a catalyst for creativity and promotes openness, he said, and it pushes experimentation in the fields of art and music.
All three members of the band went to high school in Bellingham. Gainor is a graduate of the journalism program at Western Washington University.
The process a song undergoes when it is being written is both natural and organic, vocals and saxophone player, Matthew Goodwin, said. At the beginning of the band’s career, they wrote and recorded songs all in one session, Goodwin said.
Bad Tenants walks a fine line of writing lyrics that have to do with relatable aspects of everyday life and incorporating “a side of us that loves to be crazy, fun and outrageous,” Gainor said.
Band member Gabriel Ghirardini said the Bad Tenants’ song structure manages to come out naturally, rather than being forced.
The band’s songs promote a lively feel-good vibe to fans, but also allow for deeper connection.
“A guy we had never met in a city far from me told me that our song “Even a Hustler” helped him get through his separation with his wife,” Gainor said.
The Bad Tenants agreed this was more meaningful someone merely complimenting their music.
“That’s the best comment you can get,” Goodwin said.
Ghirardini said the Bad Tenants like to rap about unusual subjects.
“We don’t rap about typical rich people rap,” Ghirardini said. “I don’t like to rap about materialistic things.”
Instead, Bad Tenants cover a range of themes including partying and celebration as well as the reality-based theme of your rent check bouncing, Gainor said.
Bad Tenants hopes to tour as much as possible in the coming years, but it is a challenge to balance a music career with working another job to keep financial stability, Gainor said.