Boston's Bad Rabbits Create Their Own "Post-R&B" Lane

Categories: Interview

Courtesy of Bad Rabbits
Salim Akram talks really, really fast. As the guitarist for Boston's Bad Rabbits, a five-piece self-proclaimed "post-R&B" act with a reputation for a boisterous live show, Akram has a lot to say about the medley of influences and the band's unique background, and rightfully so: Many music outlets aren't quite sure how to categorize them.

Currently touring behind their first full-length release, American Love, out now on Bad Records, Bad Rabbits possess cross-cultural appeal that places their sound somewhere in the midst of modern-day funk and R&B stylings juxtaposed against the weight of hardcore. It's not an easy balance to find.

"We came from a similar background, whether it's a first-generation family or working class," Akram says.

"How it lends to our diversity is that we all have very diverse musical backgrounds -- for instance, our drummer plays in a metal band called Irepress in Boston, I've played in a rock, metal-ish type band in high school, and our singer sung in a hardcore punk band, and our bass player played in a ska band."

With those influences lined up, Bad Rabbits begin to make a bit more sense. It takes a few more elements to understand the band -- something that's proved to be a struggle over Bad Rabbits' six years together. While they're able to play with acts from letlive. and Every Time I Die to a nationwide campus tour with Kendrick Lamar and Steve Aoki, reception to Bad Rabbits centers around their formidable stage presence.

"We've always tried to be performers, and we've always tried to put that first, especially if people want to give you their hard-earned money to come to a show and try to create an experience that they'll want to talk about and that's memorable, because that's kind of all the shows that we grew up with," Akram says.

But reaching that comfortable fulcrum between sheer musicianship and a strong touring act took time, self-doubt, and a willingness to forge their own path.

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