The Vans Warped Tour Interviews – Stacey Dee of Bad Cop / Bad Cop
There were so many fantastic girl punk rock and roll bands to discovery on this year’s edition of the Vans Warped Tour – this would include Barb Wire Dolls, War On Women and the almighty Bad Cop / Bad Cop. Signed with the legendary Fat Wreck Chords, Bad Cop / Bad Cop spent the summer of 2017 on the highways of America as a participant on the entire Vans Warped Tour extravaganza! Their recent album of punk rock rage is entitled Warriors, and it’s sure to inspire all music fans with its compelling lyrics and wickedly infectious melodies. We caught up with Bad Cop / Bad Cop member Stacey Dee at the San Diego date of the Vans Warped Tour to find out more about this exhilarating punk rock collective whose dynamic music could truly change the world. Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Bad Cop / Bad Cop.
My name is Stacey Dee, and I sing and play guitar.
How has this Warped Tour going for you guys, and what have been some of the highlights?
Ah man, the highlights have been playing the Shoreline Amphitheater when I’m from San Francisco. And the Amphitheater stage, like I’ve seen Madonna there, you know? That was one of the best shows of the whole tour for me. Also, the friendships that we’ve made with all the other bands on this tour. On our stage it’s like, we’ve been to war together, you know? Those are our brothers.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the current album title “Warriors?”
Well, what it means to me is– after I changed my life, my band really changed their lives as well, and we went from being people who were kind of egotistical, individualistic, jealous, weird people towards each other. And when you’re four women trying to make something successful, it’s difficult to have those attributes. So, when I got better, I came back and I said “hey guys, I’m not interested in any of this bullshit anymore. I want to be open and honest, and I want your success as much as I want my own, and I want to fucking go for it. I don’t want to be jealous. I don’t want to be weird. If you have a song, show me dude, let’s fucking play it.” You know what I mean?”
And they just really adopted that same thing. So, we just started going forward with equality and honesty and justice and, you know, for the underdog, because we want things to be fucking good on this planet. So that’s the kind of warrior that we are, you know? We have hearts of lions. (laughing) And we want to go out and change the fucking world. We want to make people find that positivity and happiness are not hard to achieve, it’s just a choice, and once you start realizing that and working towards it, anything is fucking possible. So, Linh wrote the song Warriors on the record, and when we were coming up for names of the record I said “Warriors would be really good.”
We were having a problem with the cover art for a while, and then Jennie and I got into the van together and she was like “let’s talk about this cover art.” We were talking about Tarot cards and we talked about the Lady Justice and I was like “no shit, that’s exactly it.” It’s like a connection between the material and spiritual world. It’s a connection between us and the universe and other people. And it’s all about equality and fairness and having big hearts to fight the good fight to keep people happy and positive. That’s really what it’s about.
“Victoria,” tell me a little bit about that song.
When I was first starting in music, I had a friend who had a little girl, and her name was Victoria and she was the cutest little thing. He was a single dad who raised her as best he could up. And she, at thirteen, decided to take her own life, like straight up hung herself in a park. And not the park she normally goes to, she went to some other one. I don’t know, it just affected me so much. The only way that I can process anything that’s painful is to write about it. So, that song came to me a while ago because she passed a few years ago, and I had that song. So when we were putting the record together I brought the song out and I was like “what about Victoria?” That’s a good song and I’d like it to help other people. If I could, you know, use her spirit to help talk about this stuff in public and in song. Because the song is so catchy, but it’s so dark, you know what I mean? It’s like, I love playing with that. So I went in when we were writing the record and Fat Mike really helped me to form some changes to that one and I came out swinging, and that’s Victoria. So I like to talk about it on stage and I like to celebrate her life as much as possible because she was a family friend. It’s one of my favorites on the record. It’s like the perfect little pop-punk song, you know?
So, going into this record, we had a producer that asked us — Because we were on tour with the Interrupters when the election happened, and we were in Atlanta, Georgia and we felt helpless. It was a red state. We had been on the road for like five weeks, we had two more weeks to go, and it was all red states, and we were all like “what just happened?” Like we travelled through America and saw Trump signs fucking everywhere. Did not see Hillary signs anywhere but the coasts. You know? So that was a real eye-opening kind of thing. Like, America wasn’t buying — wanted something so different, so badly that they’re willing to go so far. So when we were on the road our producer called us and said, what are some of the things politically you want to talk about? We have so many friends who are gay, bisexual, transgender, everything across the board. Gender just doesn’t matter anymore, it just doesn’t matter. So Linh wrote that song about women and anybody that has ever felt held back or stepped on or hasn’t been able to step up and have a seat at the table needs to be fought for. That’s really what we are. I think that that’s where she came up with all that stuff.
Really nice to have bands like you and Barb Wire Dolls on the Warped Tour who are really encouraging young people to be themselves.
It’s really important. Being a label is not going to get anyone anywhere. It’s only going to cause people to want to buy more shit to fill up their houses to try and relate to something instead of looking inside themselves and being like, who do I really do on my block that I could have a really great time experiencing life with? Life is – people have it wrong. Life is magical! It’s awesome! It’s fantastic when you want to let it be. It’s hard to let it be and it’s hard when road bumps and things get in your way but if you’re happy and positive, it doesn’t seem as hard.
What goes through your mind seeing The Warped Tour suddenly about to come to an end?
I don’t know if it’s suddenly going to come to an end. I don’t want it to end, but I don’t want to stay out there. I woke up this morning and I was pretty bummed out and I didn’t know why. I wasn’t sure if it was because this was ending, but what I’m trying to do now is to go around to everyone that’s affected me in a positive way on this tour and just want to tell them how grateful I am that they’ve come into my life and how I’ve had such a rad summer with them and have just loved their music and loved their personalities. Just feel really grateful, but I do want to go home and see my boyfriend and my dog and my cats, and my fish.
Since you mentioned Madonna earlier on in the interview, if you could cover any one of her songs, what would it be and why?
Shit, that’s a good question. She has so many songs. Selfishly I’d probably want to cover “True Blue,” because that was always one of my favorite songs as a child. I had little singing groups in my neighborhood and I had “Papa Don’t Preach,” which seems very fitting for me to do now but not when I was like, nine. [laughs] My dad is like, sweetie you’re nailing it but can you pick a different song? [laughs] “La Isla Bonita” because I love an island feel. I don’t know. She was pretty risque, and she still pushes the edge. I don’t know what she’s done recently, so, I don’t know. “Vogue“? Something with as many harmonies as possible. Take it back to “Borderline” or one of the early songs, just rocking out punk rock with three part harmonies. That’s what we do.
What’s up next for Bad Cop / Bad Cop?
We are really stoked. We’ve got asked to be part of the Punk in Drublic Festival with NOFX, Bad Religion, Less Than Jake, Goldfinger and Flogging Molly and us. I’m really excited. We’re doing four dates and then we’re doing our own tour with three bad ass lady comedians from Los Angeles and we’re going out to The Fest in Florida to headline it on our own and then we’re doing tour with Propagandhi and RVIVR. I’m stoked. We’re busy!
Bad Cop / Bad Cop is:
Stacey Dee – Vocals/Guitar
Jennie Cotterill – Vocals/Guitar
Myra Gallarza – Drums
Linh Le – Bass/Vocals
(Interview and Candid Photo by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)
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