By McCalee Cain
The origin story behind a band’s name can say a lot about the band itself. This is definitely the case for Seattle’s neo-funk outfit, Biddadat.
“There’s a couple stories with the name,” said Cameron Brownell, founding member of Biddadat. “What we tell folks to help it stick is that it’s like, ‘Gimme a little biddadat.’ Also, it can be looked at as a drum trill, like banging on a bunch of toms. But essentially, when I was in high school I needed a gamer tag for all of my video game accounts, and it ended up sticking.”
Biddadat consists of Cameron Brownell (guitars/vocals/electronic production), Kyle Miller (bass), and Remy Morritt (drums). Brownell and Miller are both Sandpoint locals, and have been making music together since they attended high school together in 2009.
After high school, Brownell moved to Seattle for an education in music production.
“Towards the end of my schooling, Kyle and I had still kept in contact pretty closely, and I was like, ‘Hey man, you should come out here so we can make some music together, like the good ol’ days,’ and he came out a couple times, and we jammed for a bit, and it worked out really well so he just decided to move out,” Brownell said.
When Kyle got to Seattle and the two began trying to figure out a band name, Biddadat was the one that stuck out from all of their different options.
Just as unorthodox as Biddadat’s name is its standout sound, which combines multiple genres for a distinct vibe unique to itself.
“The lamest term would be funky rock, but really, our sound is a blend of alternative rock, funk, electronic music, and some lighter indie rock influences. We call it neo-funk or alternative funk,” Brownell said.
Biddadat has put out three EPs: “Reaching for the Bright” was released in 2014 and “Ragtag Rhythm” followed in 2015. These projects have a different feel than the group’s most recent album “Misbehavin,” which was released in 2017. Where “Reaching for the Bright” and “Ragtag Rhythm” are heavy on the alternative rock, “Misbehavin” is funky and electronic.
“It kind of was one of those things that happened naturally,” Brownell said of the shift. “After those first projects, Kyle and I responded to positive feedback with the more funky songs we wrote, and began to kind of tailor our songwriting to fit more of a funk genre.”
Brownell and Miller draw inspiration from the music they listen to, which is diverse. The two listen to old-school funk, funky electronica and lots of blues.
These influences audibly bled into “Misbehavin,” which blended alternative rock riffs with funky electronic notes for a fresh blend.
“Our first two albums are great, but they aren’t who we are,” Brownell said. “We’d definitely consider “Misbehavin” to be who we are as a band.”
The project was long in the making. Many songs on the album had been written a year prior. “We took the songs that we had been developing over a long period of time, and decided that we had a good catalogue of music to throw onto an album,” Brownell said.
The album was put out completely independently, with the help of some contacts Brownell had developed through school. Because Miller and Brownell wanted the production to be as affordable as possible, they used a friend’s studio setup. All electronics and drums were samples collected over the years, and all synths were designed by Brownell on his computer at home.
Biddadat will be playing all of the favorite tunes from “Misbehavin” at their performance at the Festival at Sandpoint on Aug. 4, where they will open for the B-52s for the dance concert. In addition to their recorded tracks, the trio will also perform some new songs.
“We have a new song that actually doesn’t have a title yet, which is pretty roots-down funk with a lot of jazz and electronic influence,” Brownell said. “I’m most excited to play that new song because it’s super danceable.”
For Brownell, performing at the Festival will be an incredible “finale” to the recent successes of Biddadat.
“Not to sound lame, but this has definitely been a dream for both of us to play at the Festival. My dad has performed at the Festival, so watching him perform up there has really instilled that dream in me,” Brownell said. “We are so excited for the Festival that we can barely keep it together.”