The Meaning Behind Badflower’s “30”


Badflower is a rock band that has been around for more than a decade’s time. The earliest form of the band were the Cartunes, a collection of music school students who met at an apartment building in Hollywood, CA. They managed to produce an EP on their own. However, the Cartunes proceeded to lose both their bassist and their rhythm guitarist, with the result that the remaining band members reformed into Badflower before recruiting new band members to fill out the roster. This new version of the band caught the interest of Lance Bass, one-time member of NSYNC since turned satellite radio personality. After which, Badflower signed with Hundred Handed.

From that point in time, matters started picking up pace. This can be seen in how Badflower’s release of their debut single was followed by them flying out to the United Kingdom for the purpose of supporting the Veronicas. Something that provided them with a lot of exposure because of them playing at sold-out venues. Badflower built up more and more interest, which culminated in them starting up negotiations with Republic Records. Amusingly, this wasn’t fast enough for the band, so the band members started making an album in their own garage. Something that the decision-makers at Republic Records didn’t mind at all after the deal went through. Thanks to this, Badflower was able to release the album within a short period of time, seeing as how it was already near-completion. Moreover, it seems safe to say that they managed to get it out at a good time because the resulting EP Temper managed to get them a lot of positive attention from a lot of people. By 2017, Badflower were ready to reveal that they were in the process of making their debut album. It took them some time to complete it. Still, Badflower managed to release their debut album Ok, I’m Sick in February of 2019. Since then, they have continued making music, with an excellent example being the release of “30” on July 17 of 2020. Unsurprisingly, this coincided with the singer Josh Katz’s 30th birthday.

What Does Badflower’s “30” Mean?

The meaning of “30” isn’t very mysterious. After all, its lyrics aren’t exactly what most people would consider to be subtle. If anything, they might be too upfront for certain listeners. Still, there are a number of core considerations to take away from the song. For starters, the release of “30” on the singer’s 30th birthday should make it no surprise to learn that it is indeed focused on said occasion, which is often regarded as a major milestone in someone’s life. There are those who see it in a positive light. After all, most people have a much clearer idea of who they are as well as what they want to do when they are 30 than when they are 20, meaning that they have overcome the confusion that often characterizes much of the 20s. Simultaneously, people in their 30s are still relatively young. Moreover, they may or may not have picked up a lot of major responsibilities. Thanks to that, a lot of people see their 30th birthday as a good thing because their 30s are a time of personal enjoyment.

Of course, there are also people who see their 30th birthday in a much more negative light for various reasons. To name an example, the 20s are often a confusing time, but there is a widespread social expectation that the 20s will be a confusing name. As such, if people are struggling in their 20s, they can find some measure of comfort in the idea that this is an expected part of the process of them becoming who they want to be. That becomes much less true by their 30th birthday, which makes it very clear that they are no longer as young as they once were, meaning that there is a significant change in expectations. If people still haven’t figured out what who they are as well as what they want to be, chances are good that they are going to be hit by a sense of failure to some extent. Something that can be particularly true if they are extra-sensitive to the passage of time that has always been going on around them.

For those who are unfamiliar, “30” is very much not on the positive side of things. In fact, it can’t even be called a mixed response because it is pretty much negative through and through. This is true for the singer. After all, “30” goes into some detail about said individual’s fears. One example would be the singer’s fear that they won’t be able to hold on to the measure of success that they have managed to seize for themselves. Other examples would be the singer’s signs of physical aging as well as the singer’s desire for a time when everything seemed simpler. On top of this, “30” also goes into some detail about the less than wholesome habits that the singer engages in, which are often connected to their fears. These habits don’t exactly make for the most pleasant mental imagery. Still, their descriptions are quite good at communicating the mix of anger, fear, and self-loathing that seems to be the song’s intended message. To cap it off, “30” is also not happy about the state of the world that exists around the singer. The song goes to some lengths to ground itself in a specific time with specific practices, with an excellent example being Twitter stalking. This works because it makes it clear that it isn’t just the singer who has issues. Instead, their issues are very much connected with the issues of the world around them, which makes sense because barring a very limited number of individuals living under a very unusual set of circumstances, people are inevitably affected by the societies in which they live. Summed up, “30” can be considered a very negative reflection upon reaching a major milestone in one’s life. Such sentiments aren’t uncommon even for people who are generally satisfied with themselves. After all, we are complicated creatures, meaning that it is normal for us to have more than one opinion about the same concepts. Something that is particularly true when the concepts in question are something as big as aging.

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