All the way from Montreal, Canada are a group of strong women with a message about self belief and determination. Founding member, Singer and Rhythm guitarist Dope was on a mission to find other women to start a musical journey with and she succeeded. Aggy Gillon caught them ahead of their show where they discussed their new single debut at Rebellion featuring Rumkicks. These girls remember where they came from and come with a powerful message and a love of punk rock. This is a band to watch as we predict big things for Bad Skin.
How do you feel before your show tomorrow?
Dope: Omg we are so excited because Rebellion has been a festival we have been looking at for years. It’s been a dream for us for years, you know. It’s finally the day we are finally going to accomplish that goal for us! We are really really excited! A little pinch of maybe nervous.
Its healthy to be a bit nervous
Dope: Absolutely! Yes. We are confident and we are going to give it our all on the stage for everybody. We can’t wait to see everybody!
Of course this is your first Rebellion, you have known about it for a long time. We have touched on it but what does the festival mean to you?
CJ (guitar): It’s like a family in the punk scene. We don’t have that much of a big punk scene in Canada. So to be here it is like connecting with our family.
Dope: Also we appreciate the fact that they give space to Women also. This is not to throw shade but in Canada when you’re a girl band it’s either you do the opening or you do the after party you know what I mean. Here we have got a good spot, Saturday 8pm. We appreciate that. We have been seeing a lot of Women and front Women, a lot of diversity in the bands and we love that.
It’s something I have heard speaking to other bands with Women. I have heard Rebellion especially is at the forefront to make it inclusive and diverse and the rock and punk scene as a whole has gotten better. Is the opposite something you have come across in your career then?
Dope: Yes but the more you do it the more respect you get from the people. I feel like at Rebellion there hasn’t been one second I have felt uncomfortable or nothing. So I am really happy and proud of Rebellion festival because we really feel at home.
You guys formed in 2015 and you are the founding member is that right?
Dope: Yeah I always wanted to have a girl band. I tried to do bands with guys but nothing came of it. I just said you know what I want to do an all girl band and no one is going to try and fuck me…
Yeah, that’s absolutely understandable! It must be really nice, i’m assuming you all are really close friends
All: Absolutely yes!
Dope: We are like sisters
How did you all get together?
CJ: Well actually she (Dope) posted many posters in my school. I saw the poster and I texted her and I was like hey I play guitar and she told me to come to the audition. I tried out and it was like the perfect fit.
Dope: I had like nobody in my entourage into music. So I was like OK let me try to get people from Montreal and from the scene. I was hanging in the scene, hanging at the bars. I was like where do the punks hang. So I went to the schools with art programmes or music programmes. I was like OK let me put some flyers up. Back in the days social media was only starting. So I thought you know what let me do it old school. Just put some posters up and waited for a call.
CJ: And we called! *laughs*
Of course I have to bring it up, you guys did a cover of the Barbie girl song and its Barbie mania right now! *laughs* Can you tell me about that and how it came to be?
Dope: We did it first *laughs*
Yeah it was like 2020 you released it?
Dope: It was the second video we ever did and we did it before the Barbie Mania. It was actually our record company’s idea to do the song. Originally we didn’t want to do the song. We were like I don’t know…Then we said you know what…
CJ: Let’s try!
Dope: Yeah, let’s try. We are feeling this guy and this guy has created many hits. I always say you can learn from older people and I love that. I love to hang with older people because they can always teach you something. So this guy taught us that you can take something ridiculous and make it fun and your way
And bad ass!
Dope: And bad ass and punk. You know people are like ah ok Barbie girl. As we sing in that first few seconds of the song we sing super slow so people are going to sing it as the original. Then im like shut the fuck up lets go *laughs* We just do it punk and faster.
It’s absolutely amazing and everyone needs to hear it! *laughs* Can you tell me about the releases you have out at the minute?
CJ: Yeah so we have a few albums out.We also have a new album on the way. We just dropped a single. Our French single it’s called ‘Je m’en fous’
Dope: It means I don’t care
Thank you, I have never been so good at French *laughs*
Dope: We try to do French songs too. English is fun and international
So is French your first language?
Dope: Yeah we are French Canadian. My first language is Spanish but I grew up in Quebec so we speak French.
CJ: So we have that and we have a new single coming out featuring special guests
When will that be released?
Dope: Actually people from Rebellion are so lucky because we are going to release a new song the day of the show! The new song is going to be called ‘We Are The Girls’. What we wanted to say and the meaning of the song is really like a girl anthem. You get girl anthems like The Runaways ‘Cherry Bomb’. I wanted to add another song to that list.
Oh I can not wait to hear that!
Dope: So it will be called ‘We Are The Girls’ and it’s going to feature an artist that is actually in the festival today. She was also here last year and they had a huge impact on the festival and everybody loved them. I always clicked and loved the vibes so I said let’s do something and I love to collab with people internationally. We spoke through messages and she was down and heard the demo. We cannot wait! Tomorrow we are gonna play it for the first time. It’s an honour for us to be here so we want to give a gift to the people and give them this song. (It went down a storm with all of the Rumkicks joining Bad Skin on stage – Ed)
I really love your passion. It’s so admirable. I also just love your style musically and aesthetically. I love everything about you guys. What was it you guys set out to achieve with starting Bad Skin and what is the story behind the name?
Dope: The story behind the name is that society sometimes puts so much pressure on people. Whether you’re a girl, boy or whatever you want to be. You always have pressure. When you’re young it’s the pimples and when you’re old it’s the wrinkles. You’re too fat, you’re too skinny. So Bad Skin is just standing up for the people who are not perfect. Nobody is perfect. I have a skin condition called eczema. I have always suffered with it. My skin is not perfect and nobody is perfect. We are just standing up against the norms and pressures put on in society.
I love that and think that is really powerful. It’s an important message even now to put out there to especially younger Women who will be listening to you guys.
CJ: Like she says we want to put out a positive message. We know as well that a lot of people suffer with mental health issues and trouble with self confidence. We just want to encourage people and say you know you can have this issue but if you stay strong and work everyday you can make it through. If you put your mind to it and have your vision you can do it.
Dope: Yeah you can accomplish stuff. We are a good example of that. We started from nothing. We used to rehearse in a shitty fucking lockhole in Montreal. Everything was broken and it was cold. We started from there and now we have a record company and we have been travelling all around the world. We have gone to Bulgaria, Toronto, Wisconsin and now we are in Blackpool for Rebellion. I always wanted to do Rebellion. So now I am like OK we are getting there!
Your dreams are coming true
Dope: Exactly! Everything Is possible you just have to put your heart and your energy into it and you just need to do it. That’s all.
Absolutely and that’s an important and an amazing message
Dope: We are really lucky. We are not rich but we live in Canada. Maybe If I was born in my original country maybe I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do what I do right now. I feel really lucky to have parents that support us, all of our parents are really supportive. Her Mum comes to every show. My Mum used to let us practise in the basement even when she hated it *laughs*.
It truly makes a huge difference if you have a supportive family especially if you are a creative because a lot of families are wanting you to go out and maybe do something what they deem is more ‘sensible’ or make you loads of money…
AZ: Like what’s going to be your real job?
Dope: You always have to have a back up though. My Dad always says you have to have a plan B a Plan C a Plan D…Always a back up plan. Even if your parents are not supportive or if you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend that doesn’t believe in you, maybe you have to change your environment a little bit and keep on pushing. Fuck everybody just do it.
Is there any message you would like to say to fans and new fans after your show tomorrow?
CJ: Thank you for following us *laughs*
Dope: Go follow our page! *laughs*. Nah, I’m kidding. No for real everything is possible guys just believe in yourself. Whatever your age you can accomplish anything it’s just inside your mind. If you push the love and share love you’re gonna receive love back.