BAD OMENS' radio rock hit "Just Pretend" began as radio rock parody | Revolver

BAD OMENS' radio rock hit "Just Pretend" began as radio rock parody

Noah Sebastian wrote it as an "ironic butt-rock song"
Bad Omens full band 2023 mag 1600x900, Bryan Kirks
Bad Omens
photograph by Bryan Kirks

Bad Omens' alt-metal breakout "Just Pretend" got its initial boost as a viral TikTok song, but now, it's a bona fide radio rock hit. Back in March, the song from Bad Omens' 2022 LP, The Death of Peace of Mindwent to No. 1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Airplay chart, and it continues to have a tremendous presence on both SiriusXM stations and terrestrial rock radio. 

Ironically, the song was initially written as a literal parody of a radio rock hit. In a new interview with NME, Bad Omens vocalist-songwriter Noah Sebastian revealed that he wrote the chorus for "Just Pretend" in order to prove how easy it was to write a "butt-rock" style song. Ironically, he ended up loving the hook and decided to earnestly flesh it out for the record, and now, it's become exactly what Sebastian was poking fun at. 

"At the time I was frustrated with people in my ear talking about, 'Oh, you need to focus on the radio. And you need to do [SiriusXM station] Octane' and this and that," Sebastian said of his approach to writing "Just Pretend."

"Never having an ulterior motive when writing has always been a strict rule of ours. We just want to make music that we like and we're proud of. 

"So with 'Just Pretend' it started as this ironic butt-rock song. Even the way I was singing in the demo I was doing this exaggerated bravado. As silly as the vocal sounded I was like, 'This is actually a really great chorus.'

"I was kind of just freestyling. I had written some chords and I just started singing in the booth over it. And this melody came out, the lyrics came out really quickly.

"So last night we just realized that a song that was written to poke fun at how easy it is to make radio rock is now No. 1 on the radio rock charts. It's the most ironic full-circle moment this band will probably ever have."

Amazing. Watch Sebastian's interview snippet below and then listen to accidental butt-rock hit "Just Pretend."