Home Music intervention Matthew Tavares on leaving BADBADNOTGOOD: “The environment was so negative”

Matthew Tavares on leaving BADBADNOTGOOD: “The environment was so negative”


“I can’t explain how frustrating it is to see the band carry on a narrative where I basically haven’t done anything.”

Posted on December 10, 2021

After interrupting his tour with BADBADNOTGOOD in 2017, keyboardist and band co-founder Matthew Tavares confirmed his departure from the Toronto band in 2019, sharing that the decision was not easy to make. Now, the artist has shared other feelings about her release and how the band and their team reacted to the news.

In a statement shared via Instagram, Tavares recalls how his since-deleted announcement of his 2019 departure – in which he explained how the fact that ‘the band comes first in my life’ led him to become unhappy – was written to be “balanced and harmless.” and gave an honest take on the difficulty of a decision. “

After writing in this 2019 announcement that he and the remaining members “are still on good terms,” ​​Tavares now claims that drummer Alexander Sowinski and the management of BADBADNOTGOOD “disagreed” on the nature of his position. , recalling how it wasn’t followed by the group’s Instagram account soon after, but “not without them commenting on an emoji heart on my post to make sure no one got it. and that everything was ‘good vibes’ “.

Tavares reiterates that he made the choice to leave BADBADNOTGOOD himself and understands how “a lot of people are going to roll their eyes thinking that this is motivated by meanness because I am no longer in the group”. He calls the aforementioned social media activity “a little microcosm of what it was like to be in BADBAD the 9 years I was in the band.”

As the co-founder of the group, Tavares first challenges a biography of the group written for the famous 2021 album by BADBADNOTGOOD. Talk Memory. The bio, included in the press material and available for reading via Bandcamp, tells how the group “passed between three and four members” during its formation in 2010 “before establishing its current formation in 2015”, without mentioning the name of Tavares.

“Their lack of recognition of my departure has become an insult,” writes Tavares, who shared the news of his departure in 2019 before any official announcement from the group. “When I was about to leave, the management told me to play with this narrative so that they didn’t sacrifice their [XL Recordings] recording contract, and I did, but the disc is out now and I can say that the story will not be rectified by them. I wasn’t just an interchangeable member of the group, as their bio suggests. “

Leaving the group in 2019, Tavares illustrated the different ways he had “invested every waking hour in this project since I was 20”. Now he deepens his contributions during the early days of the group.

He recalls his role in the filming and editing of BBNG’s first videos, funding their first studio with Frank Dukes “when the band had no money”, recording and mixing all of the band’s acclaimed LPs in 2016 IV, designing the artwork and packaging for their releases, launching the website and associated server that brought their first recordings to the world, being the only band member licensed to conduct before saxophonist Leland Whitty became a full time member , and more.

“You can call it narcissistic or selfish to report it all,” Tavares writes, “but I can’t explain how frustrating it is to see the group perpetuate a narrative where I basically haven’t done anything. of their own insecurity. Being not followed by the Instagram you created is a fun feeling. I have given every breath of my life for 9 years and every ounce of my ability to this group, to help create what it was. “

Tavares adds that when he made the decision to stop touring, “it was constantly over my head by [Sowinski]. Always mentioning it to other people, without of course mentioning the enormous amount of money he made when I was no longer taking my full share. “

Tavares then tells a shocking story of how his former bandmate and band director reacted to his intervention in a sexual assault he witnessed in South Africa. Following “screams coming from an alleyway” on his way home, Tavares ran past the group after stopping to see “a man literally holding a woman to the ground”.

In what he considers “one of the scariest times of my life”, the keyboardist “grabbed the guy and forced him down until the cops arrived.” Tavares claims that despite the seriousness of the incident, “the next day [Sowinski] said I should have “beat him more” monotonously, despite being 2 blocks away the entire game, and the manager said “no longer saving lives”.

“Of course, I can feel resentment and jealousy not to be on a big label anymore or to have the visibility of the group, I have my freedom and I have love and I am surrounded by people that I respect and respect me. It’s an incredible feeling, “concludes Tavares. “Don’t assume I’m writing this from an angry place. I really feel very grounded and happy, but I need to live honestly.”

You can read Tavares’ full post below.

Since leaving BADBADNOTGOOD, Tavares has continued to go out solo material alongside his work with other artists, including this year’s Danica. Most recently he delivered a compilation of 88 songs Arkive, which brings together “music that is too crazy / weird / vulnerable to be put on my previous releases”, recorded between 2008 and 2021.

Today, BADBADNOTGOOD delivered the new single “Break of Dawn” with Montreal upstart Skiifall. The group is currently on tour in Canada to end 2021.

Talk Memory was recently ranked as one of Exclaim’s best albums! from 2021.

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