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Manchester’s silky smooth synth-pop band Bad Love talk exclusively to Contact Music about their love of LANY, Lauv and Muna and how they are channeling the power of The Happy Mondays through Bez’s old rug! Andy, Tommy and Ben have had a busy eight months writing new songs and are itching to get out and play some live gigs and festivals in the new year. Taking inspiration from the likes of The Cure and Depeche Mode, among others, Bad love are quickly developing a reputation for sophisticated song writing. Their sound is one built firmly on hooks and melodies and blends a heady mix of vocals and synths to produce some premium pop that’s hard to resist. 

Bad Love

For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?

I’d say it sounds like a ’90’s coming of age movie, set in LA about a kid from Manchester. 

What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?

I think one of the hardest things for any new artist is just getting off the ground. The industry is so inundated with music that just getting people to listen to your music, getting blog coverage and playlists is incredibly hard. We’ve been really fortunate so far to get so much amazing support and coverage and as an artist it’s that kind of affirmation you need that says you’re doing the right thing.

How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?

Nigh on impossible ha ha! Let’s face it there’s so much amazing music around now, but I think as long as you’re making art with meaning and doing something you love you’ll find the way to carve out how you need to.

How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?

For me personally it’s essential. Bad Love is such a personal idea for me from the sonic and lyrics to the aesthetic and visual, so I always want to make sure I know where it’s going. After that though you’ve got to be surrounded by people whose creative opinions you value to create something that feels more than one dimensional. 

Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?

Whilst I’m in love with the sounds of artists like LANY, Lauv, Muna and Nightly – I feel like we all take inspiration from so much more than music. We’re all lovers of art and cinema too and I think it’s about trying to experience how the wider world makes you feel and gives you something to say.

If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?

On top of the artists I love above, I think Sasha Sloan, Julia Michaels and Conan Gray are some of the absolute best songwriters in pop right now so I’d love to do sessions with them!

Tell us a random, funny fact about you that not many people know. 

I’ve had a rug in our studio that used to belong to Bez and the Happy Mondays. I believe it to hold the power of Manchester within its fibres.

Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?

If music can do one thing for me I hope that it lets me see the world, I think that’s the same for all of us. Everyone wants a million quid and to play stadiums, but I’d love to get to create something I love, something that’s a little part of me, and that be the vehicle for me to go and live a life full of experience.

Where do you hope to be this time next year?

Anywhere that’s not inside my house like I’ve been for the past eight months! Everything’s so crazy right now so who knows. We’re spending the rest of this year, and the start of next, just finishing writing and production on a ton of songs we’ve had knocking around. So hopefully we’ll be in a place to release those, play a ton of killer shows and festivals and just get back to doing what we love. 

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Ben Affleck | Ben Affleck felt ‘enriched’ working with Matt Damon again on The Last Duel

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Ben Affleck felt “enriched” working with Matt Damon on ‘The Last Duel’.

The pair have been friends since childhood and rose to stardom together after both writing and starring in the Academy Award-winning movie ‘Good Will Hunting’ and Ben loved starring alongside Matt in Sir Ridley Scott‘s new historical drama.

During a joint Q&A for Affleck’s movie ‘The Way Back’, he told Matt: “Finishing up this movie for you, it’s so much more enriching to be working together, to be working with someone I know and love, and the fact I want to see and spend time with and hang out with (you).

“Realising that time goes by and how you spend your day defines what your life is going to be, and the quality of that time, is really important. And it contributes, I think, to the quality of your work.”

Ben explained that his most enjoyable projects have come when he has formed relationships on set as he discussed working with David Fincher on the film ‘Gone Girl’.

The 48-year-old actor said: “I felt like the movies that have meant something for me has been the experiences (and) people I’ve spent time with.

“Like getting to know David Fincher was a really important thing in my life. The guy, I find, is really funny and smart and compassionate, and a real artist. (He also has) kind of the mind of an engineer, and it was just a joy to know him and get to know him. As joyful, if not more joyful, than just being in the movie.”

Affleck also confessed that he laments the lack of drama films being released in cinemas.

The ‘Argo’ star said: “I’m nostalgic for a time when the industry was less IP driven. I know even before COVID there was a transition away from dramas, because that audience is now competing with such good work that’s on streamers.

“You could really stay home and watch something just as good if not better than the dramas you may have the opportunity to see in the theatres. So it’s very hard to get that audience to buy tickets on the weekend and be weekend driven. So I lament even after COVID when theatres reopen, there will definitely be fewer of those kind of movies released theatrically.”

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Hunter Schafer | Hunter Schafer loves seeing Euphoria fans recreating make-up looks from the show

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Hunter Schafer says it’s “really sweet” to see kids recreating make-up looks from ‘Euphoria’.

The 21-year-old actress – who made her acting debut portraying Jules in the hit HBO series in 2019 – had a hand in her alter ego’s whole look for the show and loves to see fans relating to the characters and expressing themselves through make-up.

She said: “It was my first time acting, like coming into Jules. So thankfully the team on ‘Euphoria’, from Sam [Levinson], the writer and creator of the show, to Donni [Davy], it’s been a massively collaborative experience. So I had a lot of hand in helping bring Jules to life. And, particularly with the make-up with Donni, we had so much fun just kind of brainstorming these abstract, colourful looks that reflect a certain scene or emotional energy. I think we try to be pretty mindful of how make-up can accentuate or contrast something that we’re trying to portray in a scene. So it’s a lot of fun to think about. We had a lot of fun just constantly trying to outdo ourselves with the design.”

The model and LGBTQ+ activist added that the make-up team for ‘Euphoria’ – which stars Zendaya as troubled teenager Rue – didn’t abide by any rules when creating the looks and wanted to inspire the young viewers to “have fun” and “do whatever they want”.

She told Vogue: “I still can’t believe it’s reached as far as it has. I mean, it’s really sweet to see kids seeing themselves in these characters and being able to try that on. I also just think, as a whole, ‘Euphoria’ approaches make-up with a creativity that I hope is encouraging of its audience to just do whatever they want, because that’s kind of all we did for the show. We were like, ‘Let’s do whatever, let’s have fun with it!'”

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Olivia Rodrigo | Drivers License hitmaker Olivia Rodrigo has made friends with Niall Horan

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Olivia Rodrigo is glad she’s made friends with fellow pop star Niall Horan, after her “crazy” success with her record-breaking debut single, ‘Drivers License’.

The 17-year-old US sensation currently has the hottest single in the world, which has topped the charts in the US and UK, and smashed multiple records, including gaining 10.9 million streams in a single week on Spotify.

The former Disney star has been endorsed by her idols, including Taylor Swift, Halsey and Lorde, while the One Direction star has reached out to offer his advice should she ever need it.

Olivia – who recently revealed she used to write One Direction fan fiction – said: “I’ve been talking to Niall Horan from One Direction, who’s such an icon, and he said really loved the song. He was like, ‘This is crazy, if you ever need any advice just let me know’. So yeah I’ve been chatting with him, but it’s been such a crazy rollercoaster ride and I’m definitely excited to have artist friends that know the ins and outs of the music industry.”

The ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ star admitted it’s “absolutely surreal” to have the artists she grew up listening to pay her compliments.

She added to “I mean, that is just everything. All the recognition the song has got is beyond my wildest dreams. Taylor Swift – is my songwriting idol and I wouldn’t be half of the woman and a songwriter I am today without her – reached out and was so supportive of the song. I just found out the other day that Lorde likes it, Halsey likes it, all of these people that I have grown up listening to are saying they’re liking the song. It’s absolutely surreal to me – as I put little bits and pieces of their songwriting into the songs I’ve written.”

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