This time on NAS 10 Questions we get to know Bad Scullianz, a four-piece female-fronted hard rock and heavy metal band based in Londrina PR Brazil, with influences ranging from Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Motorhead to name a few.
Note from Liz: Okay, you guys caught me, there was a lull for the first time in a long time on submissions so take this as a big fat hint to submit to 10 Questions if you haven't already and share your story with us at NAS!
The track "Pandora" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.
Link To New Artist Spotlight Playlists:
1. Tell us a little about where you are from and what you are currently doing.
Liz- We are based in Londrina, Parana Brazil first off. There's me, Liz James (frontwoman/rhythm guitar/ vocals/ composer...and pre-production) which you mostly already know, and yes, I'm the oddly British one of the group! Then there's my husband, Lucas Ambrogi, lead guitarist, epic solo master, and co-composer/producer. Andre Azevedo, our newest badass bass player, and Sandro Jr Oliveira, our hard-hitting drummer join us! Andre and Sandro just recently joined us on this project which we are super stoked about and we are having lots and lots of fun together! We said goodbye to Cae, and Neto last year, but they are still around and have contributed to many unreleased tracks so technically earned their lifetime badges!
We are currently recording an album.... yup, that's slowly happening! But mostly, we are rehearsing and FINALLY doing live shows in our State so plans continue to add more dates to shows and local festivals in 2024 and beyond. We just had Pandora out, thanks for the love on that BTW, and our next two singles are in the last stages of the recording process.
2. What inspired you to start playing and making music?
We started out together as Bad Scullianz back in 2019 with the sole aim of making our own brand of hard rock/heavy metal, though we initially started playing together in 2009 as Playdoll, a blues rock covers band. We always intended to do original music but it took a while to gel and mesh our ideas together into something cohesive and decide the direction we needed to take. We began home recording at that time also which really helped us in terms of defining ideas and transforming them into full songs.
Liz - For me, it was something I got into really early at the age of 8. My parents and grandparents were really big music heads, Vivaldi, Elvis, Tina Turner, The Moody Blues, The Who, The Beatles, Meatloaf, and many more were always playing in our home. Car trips were always sing-a-long sessions; specifically, the Max Bygraves track Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellen Bogen by the Sea was a family favorite! I had a few piano and cello lessons early on but that didn´t last! I think what started me off was a fundraising thing at school where we had to write a song to get donations for a new roof, and that was my first taste of it.
Lucas- Similar story, contact with music since an early age through my parents. My grandfather played guitar and taught me a few chords, then when I heard some certain songs, I wanted to reproduce that sound.
𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?
Liz - Iron Maiden, Ronnie James Dio, Black Sabbath, Annie Lennox, Ann Wilson, Heart, Joan Jett, Tori Amos, Halestorm, Amy Lee, Tina Turner, Cher.. wow so many!! I adore music but honestly, my biggest influence was a friend, Cat Chinn who first encouraged me to start performing live at open mic nights back when I was 19.
Lucas- Black Sabbath, Metallica, many blues styles and heavy styles like Sepultura and Pantera. guitarists who mostly inspired me are Zakk Wylde and Tony Iommi for their styles and creativity with their instruments.
4. What are your goals in the music industry?
Liz- For me, it´s all about the live performances. I love writing and recording but I hate being stuck on the PC or in the studio recording for hours on end. I love performing and the stage has always been my safe space. I was a dancer and did some theatre so it´s always been a huge part of my life. Music is when I´m in my absolute element so goals moving forward really are just to continue playing shows, releasing the best music we can, and who knows if someday we might even manage to do a North American tour or even make it to a show like Rock in Rio. That for me would be the pinnacle.
Lucas- I want to play and show what we do! Mostly for the pursuit of enjoying what we do and for people to have the chance to hear it and perhaps be inspired to make their own music too or awaken some creativity.
5. Tell us about your creative process when you make new music.
Liz- I write everything, usually starting as a melody and a certain lyrical line. I find that the chorus usually comes first or something closely resembling it. Then, I´ll flesh it out as I go with the guitar or keyboard. Sometimes I can start off with a riff, but mostly the melody and lyrics come together in a sort of synesthesia. I avoid forcing myself to write and prefer to just let it flow because I can almost always guarantee those songs will be the only ones worth the paper their written on! Sometimes, I´ll work from a concept when I know what I want to write but haven´t got the idea yet for a song, in those cases, I make notes, mull everything over in my head for a few days and wait for inspiration to strike. Once that´s done, I´ll put together a bare bones demo track of rhythm guitar, sometimes bass and a click track, occasionally some riffs and solo ideas, then give it all to Lucas to work his magic on lead guitar, then we work with the drummer and bass player to bring it all together. We are pretty in sync and Lucas and I can generally hear what the final should sound like in our heads so we are perhaps a little pedantic when it comes to sharing the creative process, preferring to take control of the process.
Lucas- First I listen to the guide and try to understand the melodic part, no theory or anything, more analysis, improvise on top of the guide until I find something that speaks to my heart. When that happens, I don´t need to think so much about it, just feel it. The structure and riff has to really resonate and I know I want to hear it again, then it goes into the song! I try to construct something that people will enjoy listening to and want to play again based on my experience and taste in music. With Bad Scullianz, it´s easier as I am more inspired by Liz´s melodies and rhythm. One pulls the other in.
6. What is your all-time favorite song?
Liz- I have a lot of favorites that change daily, but today it is Separate Ways by Journey as it's been stuck in my head for weeks and I´m actually listening to the Eva Under Fire cover of it which is awesome! Just hits harder for me, check it out!
Lucas- So many too but I will say today, it´s War Pigs by Black Sabbath. I love Zakk Wylde's live version of this song particularly. I like listening to lots of local bands too on the local scene and appreciate their music.
7. What is the best advice you have either given or received in terms of music?
Liz- Someone used to tell me "Three covers, one of your own," back at the beginning of being a gigging artist. It was good advice back then to get started and get confidence up at open mic nights and local bars. Nowadays, I´d advise this: Have images and videos, up-to-date social profiles, and valid links to your music on all of them! I´m serious! You wouldn´t believe how many artists have sent these 10 Questions through without any artwork, invalid links, and zero searchability on Google! If I can´t find you, imagine how hard a producer/fan/potential listener is going to have to search for you, and let's be honest, they aren´t going to bother going to the trouble, so do the work for them and make it easier!
Lucas- Work with friends because you will build something together. To be with friends is to have patience to understand the limits of each other, and have support to grow together. This is what makes a band last a long time, and goes farther than just the business side. Sharing your life and joy to be together will make the band stronger, but this can also be good advice for solo artists, to be nice to those you want to/have to work with.
Liz- Yeah great point! A good attitude and friendly demeanor is always beneficial. You never know who you´re gonna work with who might open a door or window! One of the worst things, especially for gigging and touring bands, is when people get a poor attitude or treat other acts like crap. Hard to work with someone if they have a huge ego and you´re shooting yourself in the foot if you get a rep as awkward or difficult with booking agents, other bands and venues. Support others and be respectful.
"A good attitude and friendly demeanor is always beneficial. You never know who you´re gonna work with who might open a door or window!"
8. Proudest accomplishment?
Liz- For me, our last show with the new members was spectacular. There was a moment that caught me so off guard I thought I was going to cry! We were performing Not Immortal and half the attendees started singing along on the chorus! It was a special, heart-warming moment for me that made me realize how far we have come and that is the pinnacle of why we do what we do- to reach others. Obviously, a lot of those in the crowd were friends and family who have supported us the entire journey, but some were new fans who have become friends through our love of music, going to other band´s shows, and finding us online. I´m unbelievably grateful for them and their support.
Lucas- The track Stonewall was a big proud moment for me. I think I did a good job on that riff!
Liz- (I think you did too, amor!)
9. Just for fun! What's been your most embarrassing moment so far?
Liz - Oh wow, yeah!! Haha, this last show was that one! Before we left for the gig, I was prepping salad for Jack, (my son), and I managed to slice through my right thumb. It bled so badly for a few hours so I just had to keep putting pressure on it. I put a band-aid on and the bleeding pretty much stopped, but I couldn´t hold the pick with it, so I took it off only it started bleeding again as soon as I started playing our intro. We got to the chorus of Fake News and the pick flew out of my bloodied hand! I carried on playing with my busted thumb but had to sneakily pick it up and try not to miss a beat! Didn´t quite pull it off and if you look closely at one of our shorts on YouTube, you can see exactly how it went down!
Lucas- I got really nervous for a test in another band years ago for a baile/swing project around 2003. we spent five hours practicing one song and the other guy in the band was so rigorous and impatient with Neto and I, (we went to try out together) we were sure he wouldn´t hire us, but he did and so we went we were not that great back then, so it didn't last long! We are better at rock and metal for sure!
One time, we went with Mortualha to play a show in Maringa. We were in the van back home waiting to leave and one of the guys (You know who you are!) vomited all over the equipment in the van. Then the van got a flat tire on the drive back but there was a huge storm so we couldn´t get out and had to sit inside that stinky van for two more hours! Not embarrassing so much, but pretty awkward!
𝟭0. Tell us about your lowest and highest points in music so far.
Liz- Lowest would have to be when Neto and Cae left us last year. I was certain that was the end of the band, but thankfully, we met André and Sandro and hit it off with them!
The highest is right now! Doing this every day with people I adore, releasing music we love, playing shows we love, and being up on that stage sweating our asses off under those lights!
Lucas- The lowest for me was when we were playing acoustic covers regularly for money. It wasn´t a fun experience to be treated so badly and we were often exploited by bars and restaurants trying to make a living. Not something I would do again personally. Only original music now for the love of it. I have a lot of respect for those musicians out there doing that every day to make a living. It´s a tough business and made me feel very unfulfilled and unappreciated.
Highest - For me, playing with great names of metal in Brasil like Dominus Praeli, Infernal, Vultor and many more. I´m looking forward to playing shows with more great bands in the future with both Bad Scullianz and Mortualha.
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