BAD CHECKS on NPR's Morning Edition w/ Clif Mann and Hunter Landen. Interview by: David Brower on 8-29-03
David Brower: "This is Morning Edition on 91.5, WUNC, I'm David Brower. One of the bands that led the early days of North Carolina's punk-rock scene is back on stage this week-end, Raleigh's the Bad Checks have been playing loud, fast rock and roll for more than two decades. In recent years the band slowed down a little, largely because of day jobs, singer Hunter Landen is a plumber and bass player Clif Mann is a screenprinter who also works for Demonbeach Records, but both Landen and Mann say it's likely they'll never give up the band, it's just too much fun."
Clif Mann: "I still really enjoy it, when I listen back there's an energy, at a Bad Checks live show, that I think has always been there and we still capture it sometimes..."
Hunter Landen: "Well, Yeah, that's true, I mean that's why I still do it because I love playing live, ultimately, we always have fun and I try to play every show pretty much like it's my last if I can, and you know, sure we'd love to make the big bucks but we just enjoy doing it and really that's what being a musician is."
(clip of "Darkness, Darkness")
Mann: "When we started the Bad Checks, we wanted to try to keep it simple, drums, bass, guitar and vocals, it was after a bad time in music, after the seventies there (chuckles), anytime music gets kinda bad, people resort back to the basics, so we wanted to keep it kinda raw."
(clip of "Johnny, why don't you bring your girlfriend home?")
Brower: "So, Hunter, has anyone ever desribed some of the songs that you sing as being a little creepy?"
Landen: "I guess so, they are a little creepy, but I don't know that that's neccessarily a bad thing. It depends on how you look at it, I mean the songs are dealing with darker images."
(clip of "Graveyard Tramp")
Brower: "What you guys do on stage when you're playing these songs has always been a big part of the Bad Checks, I mean, Hunter, you go pretty nuts when you're singing."
Landen: "Oh yeah, it's what I do, it's how I express myself (laughs) or whatever kind of jargon you what to use and I just do what i want to do. That's what I like about playing with the Checks, especially playing for so many years, they know I'm gonna do my thing and they go "alright" but we work off each other."
Mann: "Hunter's been referred to as a sha-man, he's a little different on stage than in regular life."
Brower: "Describe that Clif, I mean, here we have a mild-mannered plummer sitting beside us."
Mann: "Well, you just have to see it to believe it. All the demons start coming out. He's pretty much a wild man on stage."
Landen: "It's my dark side, I guess."
(clip of "Tear It Up")
Brower: "Can I ask how old you guys are?"
Landen: "Yeah, I'm 37."
Mann: "I'm a little older than that." (Landen laughs)
Brower: "Do you think you'll ever get too old for rock and roll?"
Landen: "As long as the Rolling Stones are doing it I ain't got nothin' to worry about."
Mann: "Good answer, Hunter. I don't think I'll ever be too old to play music, unless my fingers quit working or something. I play music everyday at home, I pick up my guitar and play and as long as these guys want to get together and play, we can play on a front porch, it wouldn't matter, we'd still have fun doing it."
Landen: "Actually, I mean, that's some of the best times we have as the Bad Checks 'cause when you play with somebody for so many years you kinda transcend the tension of like, 'are we gonna have a great show and is it all going to be perfect and is this going to work out...' we're just out there to have fun and not worry about it."
Mann: "That's true, we're never lost on stage. Just one look at Hunter and I know where he's going"
(clip of "Who's got my money?")
Brower: "Clif Mann and Hunter Landen are with the Bad Checks and they're performing this Saturday night at the Cat's Cradle as part of the Demonbeach Records showcase, Clif Mann's record label. Clif, Hunter, thanks for coming in."