Badger Scratch started as a two man show of brothers Luke McConnell as guitarist and singer, and Andre McConnell as dummer. Jasper Sizer and Madden Osherow then joined the brothers with their guitars, and singer Ava Smith came on board. They’re all students at Fox Lane High school.
They’re one of four bands competing this Saturday at Pound Ridge’s Battle of the Bands during Proud Day. The winner earns a spot in this fall’s Harvest Fest musical lineup. They gave us a few moments of their time to talk about their band.
Katonah Connect: How did you all meet?
Luke McConnell: Andre and I met in the womb as twin brothers.
Madden Osherow: We were all in rock band together at school and we went to Florida together for a class performance and we bonded. Luke and Andre already had Badger Scratch, so Jasper and I just tagged along.
Ava Smith: And then they needed a singer… Well, maybe I put myself in the band.
KC: Who writes the songs?
LM: Madden and I write the songs; Jasper and I have also been writing songs. In fact, Jasper and I recently started writing a new song together. It doesn’t have a name, it doesn’t have lyrics, but it’s a song and it’s pretty good so far.
KC: Do you have a songwriting process?
Jasper Sizer: I come up with the guitar first, then I listen to the melody of the guitar and add the lyrics.
MO: My main instrument is guitar so I first come up with the guitar parts, then I start writing the lyrics, then I add the drums and the bass.
LM: I write drums, I write bass, I write guitar, but there’s no process, really. I show Andre a lot of my demos and he’ll give me advice like, “This is the best one yet,” – that’s a common one. He’ll say that to basically every song.
KC: Which song is the best of the best?
Andre McConnell: My favorite song that Luke has written is probably Mayday ‘22. I like the drumbeat and I think it has a good pace; it’s just a catchy song.
KC: What’s one song you would love to cover?
JS: “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire. It’s a really upbeat song that makes me happy.
MO: “Starman” or “Moonage Daydream” by David Bowie.
LM: I would pick “Modern Love” by David Bowie.
AS: “Beggin’” or “Like a Stone”.
AM: I would like to cover “Runaway” by Kanye West. It would be hard to cover because it has so much autotune but it’s an interesting song and the drumbeats are really cool.
KC: If you could have one famous musician join your band, who would it be?
LM: John Lennon. I was watching the Beatles movie and he is just so funny at times. He’s an interesting guy and it would be cool to have him in our band because he just says the weirdest stuff sometimes. Not Paul McCartney, though, I don’t like his vibe.
JS: David Bowie
MO: I would probably want Jerry Garcia in our band; that would be awesome.
AM: Ariana Grande, she’s just very good at singing.
AS: Olivia Rodrigo. She’s also a really good singer who can hit high, clean notes
KC: Who would make the cut, Ariana Grande or Olivia Rodrigo?
AS: Ariana Grande is good, but every song of hers sounds very similar. Olivia Rodrigo’s range is crazy.
LM: I think Ariana Grande needs us for her career.
KC: Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
LM: My ritual is that I forget to bring a pick and then I have to ask someone else for one.
JS: I like to read over the song chart to make sure I’ve memorized the song and I get everything right.
AM: I used to play in School of Rock and before my concerts, I wouldn’t talk to anyone. Getting some space and playing the drumbeat on my thighs or practicing it on my own helped me.
KC: What motivated you to join the Battle of the Bands?
MO: It gives us an opportunity to be in the spotlight.
LM: Yeah, we’re all addicted to attention.