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How to describe the appeal of the Lovely Bad Things? You kind of have to be there. Sure, the infectious tunes on their albums Shark Week and New Ghosts/Old Waves could earn them some fans, as can their lovely brand of surf rock, featuring male/female vocal duos, as well as fun songs with fun titles such as "Cocaine Werewolf" and "Kevin," named after band member Brayden Ward's cat.
But to get it, you really, really need to see them live. Raw, youthful energy runs through band and audience alike. It's not uncommon to see them bulldoze into the audience while continuing to play, as they pass their instruments (guitar, bass and drums) around like freshly packed bowls. As Camron Ward says of his band (which, in addition to brother Brayden, includes Tim Hatch and Lauren Curtius), "We take music seriously, but that's it."
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OC Weekly: What can someone new to your shows expect?
Tim Hatch: Vomit?
Camron Ward: We're a GG Allin cover band.
Hatch: We bring a lot of energy. We're very interactive with the crowd. You wouldn't be surprised to see us banter with the audience longer than we should.
Camron: At some point, you'll have that guy in the back of the audience yell, "Shut up!"
Hatch: There will be times—it usually happens to Lauren—when someone will fall or a mic will hit her in the face.
Lauren Curtius: I got a fat lip because Camron jumped off the stage, then jumped back up and hit me. I was singing, and I kept going, [but] I was crying.
Brayden Ward: At least you sustain injuries from other people—I just hurt myself. I hit myself with a drumstick. I had a black eye for two weeks; I looked like a bat.
Camron: Someone put Tim through the ceiling at the PB&J Gallery.
Hatch: I went out and played in the audience, and they picked me up for a crowd-surfing type of thing . . . and I was hitting the ceiling.
Curtius: The tiles were coming off.
Where did your name come from?
Camron: I was at Borders—rest in peace—and I walked over to the children's section. There were all these Halloween books out, and there was one called All the Lovely Bad Ones. It's about ghosts—we all really should read it at some point—and we were all sitting on the porch, and we were like, "We need to think of a name," and I said, "Well, I really liked this book. It might be a good band name." They were like, "Yeah, that's cool."
All of our old recordings were done on a video camera, and we just ripped the audio off the video. [When we uploaded the video], the folder on the computer was titled Lovely Bad Things.
Hatch: Our name came up as a typo.
What's the craziest thing that has happened at your shows?
Curtius: At the Halloween show, everybody ripped up a Bible and threw it at us. We were like, "What's going on?!" They were excited.
Camron: We thought it was just a book, but then come to find out it was a Bible. It was a gang of Minnie Mouses. My mom got all upset.
This column appeared in print as "Bad Things, Good Company."