“badXchannels comes from the idea that there is potential for the understanding of beauty and art in unordinary and strange places, unfiltered by the flaws of humanity,” explains CRAIG OWENS about the meaning of his latest project’s moniker. “badXchannels represent the static stations on your television, the one’s coming into your living room without a network or a sales pitch attached… basically pre-homogenization.”
With a healthy output of material released primarily undercover and without any promotional fanfare, badXchannels has been able to germinate and take root in a way that might not have been possible had he been under careful scrutiny of his many legions of fans and critics for nearly two decades. As badXchannels’ mastermind CRAIG OWENS continues his musical metamorphosis of the more experimental side of rhythm-based alternative music, he has tapped friend and fellow musician TRENT CLARK of alt-rock band RadioDriveBy to join in the evolution. “Trent’s a close friend, who’s been on a similar path in life,” explains Craig. “We spend our days trying to make sense of it all, and when making music it kind of all becomes one thing. The collaboration allows for a focus of purity and expression when creating. It’s nice to be able to let go of control, it’s exciting, and makes me want to make music again.”
Adds Trent: “The meeting of our minds was such an organic experience, and I think that lends itself to the music we’ve been making. I had played a show with Craig awhile back, and he asked if I’d ever be interested in doing some writing together. From there we just started jamming out on a pretty consistent basis, and then *boom* here we are now! It’s been a great ride so far. The universe has a funny way of putting you in the right place, at the right times.”
The mastermind behind such seminal alternative bands Chiodos, Cinematic Sunrise, The Sound of Animals Fighting, and Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows, Owens took some time off after the final breakup of Chiodos in early 2015 to re-find his muse. In the two years since, he has moved back home to Detroit after a brief stint in Los Angeles and gotten back to what drew him to music in the first place – the desire to create and shape the music within his soul. Keeping a low profile and recording music as badXchannels, Owens explored the more experimental side of rhythm-based alternative music, drawing inspiration from a broad swath of music that includes film soundtracks and scores, Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean. Having collaborated with such luminaries as Dr. Dre, D12, Fifty Grand (of TeamSesh) and gotten support from underground superstar Bones, Owens leaves no stone unturned, creating music from inspiration rather than record label demands.
“I’ve always sympathized with what is direct, serious, and heartfelt in any art I revel in,” he explains. “As I continue to grow, so does the music I make and the genuine self-expression within it.” While on the surface, the avant garde flourishes that color badXchannels’ music may seem a far cry from the ferocious and abrasive rock of Chiodos, embryonic bursts of these artistic bubbles can be heard popping throughout his catalog of work. “There are similar colors, shapes and shades consistently throughout all of the music that I’ve been a part of,” he adds.
Without the constraints of a record label (Owens is self-releasing ), this gives him the freedom to create and follow his muse. What he manages to drum up will be the product of his own creative process. “I’ll be consistently working in the studio releasing new music, playing random tour stops from now through the Summer and continuing to share more of my journey as it continues to unfold,” he says. “My goal moving forward is the communication of genuine ideas, and to persist on the exclusion of what’s conventional and self-parading in anything that I write. Honestly, I’m just happy to be making music and moving forward with my life, in a way I can genuinely build on, and be proud of.”
With more music on the horizon and more surprises in store, Craig and his new cohort Trent are planning on experimenting and writing new material. “We’re going to continue releasing single after single over the next few months, begin touring, and continue on the journey that seems to be just getting started with badXchannels,” he concludes. “The goal is to continue releasing quality content and leave a legacy in the strength, and entirety of our musical catalog – to communicate with the world and hopefully leave an indentation for those who feel the same way about life as we do.”