Bad Sex are Portland, Oregon’s answer to power pop. They are Quinn Walls, Nick Kruse, Jerry Fowler and Charles Olsen. Since forming in 2016, Bad Sex have relentlessly jumped to the occasion to make music. They have shared the stage with numerous acts including Giuda, The Dickies, The Queers and Koffin Cats. Their tight catchy melodies nod toward the high energy of 1970s punk rock with the swagger of glam derived rock n’ roll. It’s is a style reminiscent of Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers, Protex, or The Beat, all the while twisting to the contemporary flair found in The Exploding Hearts.
Most the world shut down in 2020. However, Bad Sex wasted little time by continuing to write and rehearse. They even made a music video for the track “Miranda.” This hard work paid off with the release of the Miranda/Devil Doll 7” on July 2, 2021. Bad Sex also performed the RKR MTN Rendezvous. This was an all dayer concert that was in conjunction with the RKR MTN Ripper Festival, in Denver, Colorado.
2022 appears to a promising year for Bad Sex. In March, they did a brief west coast tour which included Salt Lake City, Utah on March 13. After the tour, Bad Sex landed in the studio to record an EP set to release later in 2022. In July they will open for TSOL on July 28, and in September embark on 20-day tour, including playing the RKR MTN Ripper Festival. Finally in November, they will open for The Dead Boys, The Briefs and Suzi Moon.
On the way to Denver for RKR MTN Ripper Festival, Bad Sex will grace Salt Lake City at The International on September 7th. Salt Lake City locals Shecock and The Pseudos are set to open. To learn I caught up with Bad Sex and they were kind enough to fill me in on their plans for the remainder of 2022.
NixBeat: Bad Sex formed in 2016. What prompted you to form Bad Sex?
Walls: Everyone I knew was in a band, I wanted to start one too.
Kruse: My band had a space and I figured I could figure out how to play drums so my best friend could be in a band.
Olsen: I saw them play with my band at a house show and thought the songs were good, and if all my friends were in a band, I want in.
Fowler: Quinn and Nick had a new band going, and needed a bassist. So, I learned how to play bass.
NixBeat: Described as a raunchy power pop and degenerate party punk, what influences do draw from for Bad Sex’s sound?
Walls: well that’s an older description, I’d say we’re much more 70’s power pop & rock ‘n’ roll nowadays. Or influences range greatly from person to person. I draw influence from The Exploding Hearts, Rubinoos, Elvis Costello, and The Ramones mostly.
Kruse: I love Ramones, Cheap Trick, The Who (especially the 60’s stuff). My favorite drummers are Tommy Ramone, Marky Ramone, Ritchie Ramone, and Elvis Ramone.
Fowler: I grew up listening to a lot of Alkaline Trio and Rancid. Like mall-punk type stuff. I honestly learned about power-pop upon joining Bad Sex. Dan Andriano from Alkaline is definitely my main influence as far a bass playing goes.
Olsen: Blink-182 is probably my favorite band ever ,along with AC/DC and KISS. The first album I ever bought was Ever Passing Moment by MxPx, and I still listen to that record today.
NixBeat: In January 2019, Bad Sex flew out to Atlanta, Georgia to record your debut album Waste Of Time with Joe Queer and Tuk Smith. What was that process like?
Bad Sex: The first big show we played was with The Dickies and The Queers. After the show, Joe Queer pulled us aside and asked if we wanted to come to Atlanta and record with him at Scabby Road Studio. Quinn had mentioned liking the band Biters, so Joe asked if we wanted Tuk Smith to come into the studio. Tuk had brought along producer Dan Dixon, who helped write harmonies and sing on the ‘Waste of Time’ record.
NixBeat: On September 17th and 18th 2019, Bad Sex opened for Giuda along with The Sadists (in PDX) and with Die Nasty (in Seattle). What was it like to open for Giuda during their North West portion of their tour?
Bad Sex: In two words: Absolutely thrilling. They are so nice, so talented and really fun. We hit it off, talked gear, talked music and played pinball.
NixBeat: On February 28, 2020 Bad Sex opened for The Hollywood Stars alongside The Crazy Squeeze and Nico Bones, with DJ Power Pop Jeff. How did you get involved with this show and what was it like to open for The Hollywood Stars?
Bad Sex: Our friend Nico Bones hit us up out of the blue, and we jumped at the opportunity. We’re more of a west coast band, than a Portland band, so we went for it. Then a month later everything shut down.
NixBeat: In March of 2020, Bad Sex (along with numerous groups around the world) were affected by onset of the Coronavirus. This included gig postponed and job loss. How did you get through the Pandemic?
Bad Sex: We wrote, recorded and made a video. A venue in town, The Goodfoot, let us rehearse in their basement. We kept meeting up several times a week and just didn’t stop.
NixBeat: On July 2, 2021 Bad Sex released the Miranda/Devil Doll 7” visa Crash Assailant Records. What were you drawing from for the track “Miranda?”
Olsen: “Miranda” is all about my first love. we were together for three years and broke up right around the time Bad Sex was taking things more seriously. I’m a big fan of Pete Shelley and love how a lot of his songs were autobiographical. Needless to say, I was pretty hurt at the time. “Miranda” was really the first time I was able to put my feelings into words ,and was in a band that played music that made sense to how I felt at that time.
NixBeat: What inspired the track “Devil Doll?”
Walls: “Devil Doll” was written at the end of a relationship, reflecting on how different feelings are at the beginning and end of relationships. Inspired mostly by The Nerves and Paul Collins Beat.
NixBeat: On September 10th, 2021 Bad Sex played the RKR MTN Rendezvous— which is apart of the RKR MTN Ripper Festival, in Denver, Colorado. How did you get involved with this festival and what was it like to perform again after the Covid hiatus?
Walls: I had talked to Micah from Fast Eddy about us wanting to play that fest and he put us on the bill right away.
Fowler: It was nice to be back playing music, especially in a new city with some of our favorite bands. The whole fest was just what we all needed after a year of fuckin’ nothing.
NixBeat: In March 2022, Bad Sex embarked on a tour that started off in Salt Lake City, Utah. There you played at Quarters DLC with Slick Velveteens with DJ Retrograde and I behind the decks. What was it like for you to play Salt Lake City?
Walls: SLC was so much more beautiful than I had imagined and the venue was so fun, reminded me of when I worked at an arcade.
Olsen: I had a blast. Jerry, Nick and I’s old band GUN used to come to SLC all the time, and play Beehive Social and Dis House. Shout out to Sam and Conrad. Getting to go to Raunch was also super cool and selling some singles there was a dream come true.
NixBeat: This tour also saw Bad Sex support Koffin Kats during several dates in Washington and Oregon. This isn’t the first time Bad Sex has played with Koffin Kats. However, what was it like to pay with them during this tour?
Fowler: It was a goddamn blast. They’re incredible musicians and just all-around nice guys.
Olsen: I feel like we’re cut from the same cloth. Getting to tour with a band like Koffin Kats ,who have done it for so long, taught us so much; I really can’t say enough nice things about those guys. You can expect to see us together more in the future.
NixBeat: During the weekend of September 9th through 11th, Bad Sex will be playing the RKR MTN RIPPER III festival in Denver, Colorado. Other acts include RMBLR, Ravagers, Fast Eddy and more. How did you get involved with this festival and what can readers expect from your performance?
Walls: When we played last year, Micah saw us and immediately wanted us to play the main stage the next year.
Fowler: you can expect a lot of new stuff. We’ve been utilizing our down time with really honing our craft and expanding our horizons.
NixBeat: On the way to Denver Bad Sex will be playing the International Bar in Salt Lake City on September 7th. This time with Shecock and The Pseudos opening. What can Salt Lake City look forward from Bad Sex gracing this city again?
Bad Sex: A damn good time with us, The Pseudos and Shecock.
NixBeat: What does the future hold for Bad Sex?
Olsen: New songs, new merch and more shows. July 28th we’re playing in Portland with T.S.O.L. and playing a couple shows with Dead Boys and The Briefs shortly after that.
Walls: We’ve got a 20-day tour in September that will be announced shortly and there’s another tour in January hitting parts of the country we haven’t played yet. We’ve got lots of stuff on the horizon. It’s hard to keep up!
Fowler: We just finished up the studio. We recorded an EP, and another song for a comp. Both should be out before the end of the year.