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South London riff lords Bad Sign are preparing to drop their debut album Live & Learn this week via Basick Records. In advance of its release, bassist and vocalist Joe Appleford sat us down with a pint to offer up five piece of advice that Bad Sign have learned over a good number of years playing riffs up and down the country and beyond.

Bad Sign 2017

Bad Sign on…the basics

“If you’re playing live and don’t own a tuner pedal, get one or you will sound like shit. You’d be surprised how many people don’t have one.”

Bad Sign on…touring

“Give your bandmates space on tour, especially long tours over 3-4 weeks. Touring can be intense, seeing the same faces every day. For everyone’s sanity, take a walk on your own or do something to detach for a bit.”

Bad Sign on…songwriting

“Write songs for yourselves first and foremost. Never write for an audience; you’ll always end up compromising on quality and not being happy with the results.”

Bad Sign on…networking

“Always make friends with bands you tour with/bands in your local “scene” (I fucking hate that word). It is so important, in an era where the music industry is choked with people who don’t care, that we keep a sense of community – and let’s face it making friends is lovely innit?!”

Bad Sign on…believing in yourself

“Always go with your gut as a band; stick to your guns and don’t get disheartened by a few music journalists who don’t get what you’re doing. Remember, there were even some who told The Beatles they would never amount to anything, so always trust in yourselves and believe wholeheartedly in what you do.”

Bad Sign - Live & Learn album art

Live & Learn drops tomorrow, Friday 14th July via Basick Records. You can grab a copy from the label here in the format of your choice.

Bad Sign play the Shoot Your Hoops stage at Amplified Festival in Gloucestershire next weekend, and then Y Not Festival in Derbyshire a week later. Keep your eyes peeled for future tours, because they are Dead Good; check out our running commentary of their exploits here!