It doesn’t make sense.
Here’s this cover act, celebrating a band that lasted less than a decade itself. And yet, Badfish, A Tribute to Sublime not only continues to rock out around the country -- it’s celebrating its 10th anniversary. The band is still grossing seven figures a year and giving the members a notoriety they never thought they’d reach.
Badfish makes its semi-annual trip to the House of Blues on Friday. The band will essentially open for itself, using it’s split personality, Scotty Don’t, an avenue for the group’s original work. (Scotty Don’t released its latest album, Vacancy, was released in September, and the band has used the last seven months promoting that.)
Lead singer Pat Downes took time in advance of the band’s arrival to talk about not only the last 10 years, but what fans should expect in the future.
You guys recently celebrated a pretty big milestone. What did reaching 10 years of this act mean to you?
It means time flies. That’s what that means. It’s a big thing. It’s a lot of shows. It’s a lot of growth over the years, people we’ve met.
When did it hit you that you guys that you’ve lasted longer than Sublime?
You’re always very aware of how long you’ve been on the road. It’s hit that mark. It’s funny, because the people who come to the shows, they say “I remember when you were playing these small, tiny shows.” … But there’s a lot of people who are coming for the first time. We definitely have a lot of new faces. They heard from a friend that it’s a good concert.
Does anything still shock you about the reception you guys have gotten and still get performing Sublime songs? Is there an aspect of it that you never thought you’d hear/see when you guys started this?
Every night we step on stage still blows me away. I’m still floored. People still want to party down to the same music.
What’s been the hardest part of keeping this going?
Every hardship that you might encounter repays itself with everything good that happens on the road. I might miss home when I’m on the road. But then when I’m home I might want to jump back on the bus and get out and do what I love, which is to play music.
You’ve mentioned before that sometimes Scott Don’t suffers some because you spend so much time together doing Badfish gigs. Has that changed, or have you guys talked about putting more time into writing more original music?
I would say that’s definitely changed. That was when we were getting the whole thing started. We were struggling with the best way to present it. Now, it’s kind of hit its stride. Once you figure out the routine, you work out the kinks.
- WHAT: Badfish, A Tribute to Sublime
- WHEN: 9 p.m., Friday, March 11
- WHERE: House of Blues, North Myrtle Beach
- TICKETS: $15-$18
We’re playing 2 hours and 20 minutes five, six nights every week. It’ll take a toll on you. If we do any shows as just Badfish, it’s like a night off. But we’ve definitely hit our stride (with Scotty Don’t).
If you had a goal for Scotty Don’t for the next year or two, what would it be?
We’re definitely throttling full forward with making as much happen on all fronts. We’ll expand very hard with Scotty Don’t and let time tell. If there’s an overwhelming demand for one or the other, we’ll make it happen wherever it needs to happen.
Has there ever been serious talk of flipping the script on your shows and having Badfish open for Scotty Don’t? Would it black-hole everything you’ve done w/ Badfish?
We haven’t talked about it yet. I think the step we’d take with that would be a short-tour of doing just Scotty Don’t shows.
For now, I think the balance we have is really good. It gets the people in the door. They get a full chunk of Sublime tunes and a good bit of original stuff earlier in the night.
Toward the end of your Scotty Don’t set at HOB before, you’ve joked about how great the next act is. It gets a reaction from the people who don’t know you’re one in the same. Do you ever feel like a bit of a comedian up there?
I love hearing the reaction toward the end of the night. I’ve kind of been at the point now where we’re trying to promote the album (Vacancy). I’ll go out between sets. I’ll tell them on the spot, “I don’t know if you know this, but we’re both.” Some people expect it.
I kind of go back when we do the Badfish set and say how awesome the band before us was. It’s been more of a funny show in general lately. We can have a little bit more of a back-and-forth.
Has the love for Badfish faded at all?
My take on that usually is, not that I could care less what we’re playing, I’m just having so much fun playing music for people. I could see us doing this for a very long time.
It’s kind of like a home away from home, playing these tunes and playing these shows. It’s not like the boredom factor is high. There’s always ways to make it better.
What's your favorite HOB memory?
We bring this giant inflatable ball. I’ll get inside it and walk on the crowd and do a crowd-surfing thing. (Last time, in November) I was feeling a little under the weather, so I threw the keyboard player (Ben Schamp) in there. … I send this kid, he’s one of the smaller guys in the group, and he gets turned upside down. I was worried that he was going to fall on his head.