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Bad Little Duck

Interview with: Thierry Lee (vocals)

Date: Saturday January 29th 2000

Where: At the annual Brainwave Festival, Bodegraven, The Netherlands

Other Bandmembers: Phil (drums), Yves FX (guitar), Roach (guitar), PeP (bass)

Band's Geographical Home: French Speaking Part Of Switzerland

Discography: Nice Trip (1994), Demo 96 (1996), Live In Bussigny (1997; Unplugged), Full Color Inside (1997)

Available Through: See website below

Band's Official Website: Bad Little Duck

Interview By: mpo

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As I understand it Bad little Duck started in 1992 first under the name The Messengers. Then it changed it's name to Bad Little Duck when you joined. Can you tell some about that early period?

Yeah. They were searching for a singer. So they tried a few guys but it wasn't working. At that time there was an American band. A jazz-band, a Christian jazz-band that was called The Messengers. So we decided to change the name also because it was a bit too serious. We wanted something funny. We sat around the table and put some words down on a paper and finally....Basically it was Ugly Duckling. You know, the story of the ugly duckling. That's why we call ourselves Bad Little Duck. We found that is was not so easy to pronounce (Ugly Duckling) especially in our French part of Switzerland. We decided then to call it Bad Little Duck

Because it sounds more funny and not as serious as The Messengers.

Yeah. You know, the story of this little Duck: He was born in a family. He was so different! He had a different color, a different way of speaking. And he grew up apart. We thought we were the same in the Christian world because we play hard rock, hard music. And in the world when we talk about Jesus guys are looking with big eyes. So, we felt that we were this kind of a little duck. At the end of the story the duck is finally a swan! He's all white and pure. That's what I think we're gonna be with Jesus in eternity.

I read in the pressbook of Bad Little Duck that you once were a deejay like me too. Where does that exactly fit in with the history of Bad Little Duck?

It was earlier. I was twenty. A friend of mine with whom I was deejaying at little disco parties with friends, started a local radio station in Switzerland. He called me to do a hard rock radioshow. So we started it as kind of a joke. Little by little I learned. At that time I met a guy who came with some Christian hard rock records with him: Bloodgood, Stryper, things like that. And that was for me the first connection with the Christian world. Actually, he's know the manager of the band. He was the bassplayer at the beginning. And his father is my pastor now. So, everything began with the radioshow.

And that bass-player you mentioned is Jean-Michel?

Yes, he is.

And the current bass-player is PeP?

Yeah, we changed the bass-player. He's the third one, PeP. Because Jean-Michel was also managing the band. At that time doing the managing and playing bass took a lot of time. He got married, got a little boy -a very nice boy- and it was too hard to do everything. So he decided with his wife to quite playing bass and he got more involved with management. So he created a record-company, Ugly Records, and we are working with him. And we have an other bass-player now.

Okay, I understand. Bad Little Duck is from Switzerland, like you said. I'm not familiar with Christian bands from Switzerland at all. Can you tell me more about the scene in Switzerland?

There are not many bands, especially on the metal scene. We're from the French part which is a little part of Switzerland. The German part is the biggest. And there are not so many bands. The Christian scene is moving now. There are a lot of little bands but there's not a big audience. I think it's a fight. Bands don't stay together long enough to do something.

You mean, to come with a CD?

Yeah, to make CD's, to go playing abroad and things like that. In general, there are so many bands in Switzerland and I think the guys are discouraged. But we're not!

Okay. Something else now. In 1998 you played a festival in Belgium alongside bands like Laberinto and Gorefest. Last year you did a gig with Mortification. With those concerts in mind, what do you see as the highlights in the history of Bad Little Duck?

The highlights in the history of Bad Little Duck. It's more in the breaks we did between those great concerts. To get closer between the members of the band and to get closer with God. You know, it was very hard with Mortification. There was a non-Christian band between us and Mortif. We fighted that night spiritually. It was very hard. It's not a good souvenir for me. We go and play around Europe and I'm happy for this to show the gospel. That's what's important. Not whether you play with this band or that band. It's fun.

You don't mention that festival. Why wasn't that festival in Belgium not a good experience then?

Well, it was a 30 minutes who in the middle of the afternoon. Very hot, very warm. The audience was about fifty persons maximum. No many people. We came by and played and that was all. The highlight was that we met two guys at the concert and they came for the headliners and they really enjoyed our music. One was from Belgium and the other was an American guy. He was there for one year. We gave these guys the other dates we had. And the next Friday we played near their home so they said: "Oh yeah! We're gonna come by, we're gonna see you again." In fact, they came and we took more with these guys. It was cool, you know.

You "took more with these guys". What do you mean with that?

We could testimony and that was important to us. To share something more than just five guys playing loud music on stage. We wanted to share with these guys. For me the highlight of all the concerts we did in Belgium was an unplugged set we did in a prison. With 30 guys. No light show. You look them in the eyes. They guys came in to shake the hands of all the musicians, saying "hi". That was great because we shared something and not only music. That was the highlight for me.

Okay. I understand that you were once in prison too for some time. Is that right?

Yeah, before I was Christian. After I did the radioshow -because the radiostation was sold to another guy and I lost that job- I was very depressed. I was living with my family and my parents were upset that I didn't work and ate everything in the fridge, you know (laughs). Hanging out at night, drinking alcohol, smoke and all these things. So, I left home and I was in the streets in squads and things like that. We stole for drugs and alcohol and so I finished in prison. At that time one of my friends who became Christian bought me a Bible. And I started to read the Bible in prison. Jean-Michel came to see me. From all the friends that I had -if I can call them friends- no one came to see me. But this Christian guy came and that was a great testimony for me. And now when I look back it's a great experience because it helped me meet God.

Yeah. And did that experience contribute to that unplugged set you did in a prison? That you could relate to these people and share more with them?

Yeah! Sure! 'Cause my testimony was the same story: A divorced family; a stepfather who is beating me and things like that. It's everytime the same story. These guys have the same story. So, they meet someone who says: "I understand you because I lived these things". And after the show we talked with these guys and I did so with several of them and I could encourage them. "There's an open door, there's a solution, an answer to all the questions." It was very great! This was the first time I came in a prison (after my imprisonment) so when they closed the door I had to say to myself: "Hey, cool now guy, you're gonna get out now. Today. You're gonna get out this time. Stay cool." I was tripping inside (laughs) while buying souvenirs.

And how was the feedback of the prisoners to your testimony and to what the band had to say?

Uh, I think they were encouraged. We didn't have a lot of feedback later like guys writing us and things like that. But I remember, I saw lights in the eyes of these guys after the show. I think something happened. There were in fact two pastors who were working in that jail who made this concert possible. Two guys were converted in prison through the work of these pastors. For these guys, I think, it was very encouraging to have people from outside praying with them and things like that.

Over the years you did more that 80 concerts. During this period the music changed fast. In the early years of Bad Little Duck it was all metal/hard rock and now there's a lot alternative stuff. So, how do you look at that?

It's changed because the line-up changed. New guys, younger guys came and that became part of the new songs. At first I tried to sing like Bruce Dickinson or Jon Bon Jovi -for ten years- and one day I realized that I can't do that. I don't have their voices! So, I heard other guys like Rage Against The Machine. "Oh, rap! I don't have to scream so much." And, what we want is to talk to young people so we have to stay in musically. And also changing. Keep moving on. Don't do the same thing for 20 years, you know. And finally, we don't really say "we're gonna do this" or "we're gonna do that, one-two-three." No. We play and things happened and sometimes it sounds like rapcore and other times it sounds like worship. It depends on the mood. The musicians bring in different influences. So, a melting of all this is Bad Little Duck. I don't want to define our kind of music. It's Bad Little Duck!

Yeah, I hear that on Full Color Inside. There are all kinds of styles: Metal, hardcore, funkrock and that remix version of Like The 3 Monkeys is just an other style again. You're working on a new CD. How's that gonna develop? What kind of musical styles can we expect on that?

It's evolution from Full Color Inside. We have the same musicians except for the bass-player. Actually, we worked with a professional bass-player during the recording of Full Color Inside because Jean-Michel left the band for management. We didn't find a new bass-player at that time. Things changed. At that time, as it comes to lyrics, we were testifying a lot. Also we had an evolution in our spiritual lives. We're gonna do more worship-time lyrics. So, first we decided to put the different topics we need for a worship-time together and we work around this. So, the guys compose music and after that we listen to the mood, the ambience, and decide  what the music says and put the words on it. So, it's gonna be a bit different compared to Full Color Inside. It's gonna be the same patchwork of different styles. Perhaps more rapcore and more samples, machine-sounds. Because it's an evolution in music and we started to use them with Full Color Inside and we've learned to work with these machines now. So, perhaps, we're gonna have more machines.

When is that album coming out?

Well, I don't know. We're gonna record it in June, in Belgium, and perhaps in the Autumn it will come out. We can't give a date now.

And the title?

(whispering) It's a secret.

(joking) Cool title! It's A Secret!

It's not a title! The title is a secret! (laughs) It was a joke! Actually, I really don't know. I really don't know! The concept, the cover: I don't know. I'm not involved in these decisions. I have decided I have a different point of view in these things than the other guys. Once I found out my point of view was perhaps no the best. Our drummer is a good designer. So, I let him decide for all these things. But we don't have any ideas for the cover or the title. We have about 15 songs. Fifteen great new songs and let us see what happens.

I'm looking forward! Thank you for this interview.

Thank you.

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