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Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Introducing... Baddies

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

The Essex pop-rockers aren't chasing Dave Grohl's 'nicest man in rock' title. They're too busy answering IT inquiries, plotting world domination and watching Ghostbusters...


Baddies - Battleships video

2008: A good year for bad people. If it wasn't The Joker charming with his callousness, it was Hellboy unceremoniously batting Nazis like a swing-ball.

Harsh but lovable folks, it appears, are our favourites. Now, it's not about being good, it's about being good at being bad.

Southend mobsters Baddies know this more than most.

"Dick Dastardly!" shrieks lead singer Michael on our arrival. "He's a great baddie."

"Wiley Coyote….The Terminator was a baddie in one of them wasn't he? Arnie's pretty cool. Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters?"

Despite their love for life's darker characters, essentially everything about these neat rockers is good.

Their look (immaculate hair and buttoned-up shirts), their tunes (Queens Of The Stone Age wrestling The Hives atop a runaway locomotive) and their unashamed thirst for success.

"You've got to have a bit of an edge haven't you?" laughs guitarist Simon joining in. "Goodies are always a bit, well, dull."

Baddies, the facts
WHAT: Heroic pop-rock from Essex
FOR FANS OF: Queens Of The Stone Age, The Wombats, Kaiser Chiefs, The Young Knives, Foo Fighters
DOWNLOAD: Battleships
LIVE: Visiting London, Leeds and Leigh On Sea in December

In the beginning

First though, back to the source.

"Jim (drums) and I are twins so we met in the womb," says Michael. "I met Simon (guitarist) on the way through university. I met Danny (bass) winkle-picking."

Recent times though have been spent slugging away in an Essex call centre alongside fellow new disco-newcomers Magistrates - funding the Baddies master plan.

"Forty hours of our week is spent doing something that we do not care about at all," sighs Simon. "Hopefully some tooth fairy will come along and leave some good luck underneath our pillow."

Before Baddies

Fairy visit or not, they've reason to be optimistic, as they've been here - by here, we mean on the cusp of mass popularity - before.

"We all did different things before Baddies," explains Simon. "Mike was in a band [heavy-rockers Engerica] that did pretty well they got an album out and toured. The other three of us had been flogging a dead horse for a lot of years. Danny was in a band called The Devil Rides Backwards On A Horse Called Maybe..."

"At the time you think the band that you were in was the best band in the world," recalls Michael. "Baddies have come out and now I feel that this band is the best band in the world."

And it's not an opinion only he holds. The 'industry' - swarms of A&R people at a time - of course have been coat-tailing the band like lost toddlers since the release of their fantastic debut single Battleships in October.

The band are dubious about their new found 'friends'. Now in their mid-20s, the foursome have seen it all before.

"I question whether they actually care about music that much," fumes Michael. "And whether they should actually be A&R guys if they're not willing to take a chance on a band that they think that's good. Because you obviously don't think that they're that good if you're not willing to put your job on the line for them." Ouch.

Baddies have come out and now I feel that this band is the best band in the world
Michael, Baddies

Not that that scepticism is affecting their future aspirations for global domination.

"There are two ways of looking at it. The sensible answer is taking this [the band] step-by-step and getting to position where we can do this full time and sustain ourselves."

"But then what we want is to be rich and famous - the same as everybody else does," smiles Simon.

"We're sensible enough to know it's not going to come straight away. We've got to put the hard work in and we're willing to do that. But if you say where you do want to be in ten years time? Then that's a whole other question…

Okay, a whole other question: where would you like to be in ten years time?

"Recovering from 10 years of a fantastic rock 'n' roll lifestyle. That's what everyone wants and if they say they don't they're lying."

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