Mean Streaks is the moniker of Canadian songwriter Omar Saab. His “Bad Behaviour” EP is a collection of homemade garage rock and synth pop singles, written and recorded during 2020 and early 2021.
Omar told Sweet Sweet Music how Bad Behaviour came about.
Cassettes are back. Which 5 five songs would make your first mixtape?
Considering the time of year, I’m going with a summer mixtape:
Rockaway Beach – The Ramones
Burning Love – Elvis Presley
Ridin’ in My Car – NRBQ
Too Late to Turn Back Now – Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose
Telstar – Tornados
I Love L.A. – Randy Newman
How did this record come together?
We all know the gigging situation and suddenly it was all taken away. I was about to go into a studio to work on an EP one before all the madness happened. After lots of self-doubt and uncertainty, I wrote a bunch of new songs and decided to record them from home. Once I finished the first song I kept going and fortunately there was some continuity between those songs. Hopefully, for the next record, I can get in a studio and not just rely on myself.
You can pick 3 co-writers to write new songs with. Who? … and Why?
Partnerships count as one, right?
Bjorn & Benny from ABBA – so I can learn all their tricks.
Debbie Harry & Chris Stein from Blondie – they are the perfect blend of garage rock, pop, surf, and disco. One of my favorite bands.
Rodrigo Amarante – I’m obsessed with his solo work as well as his old group, Los Hermanos.
When was the last time you thought ‘I just wrote a hit!’?
I can tell I’m on to something strong if I get excited by the initial voice memo on my phone; it’s either chords on guitar or keyboard and a mumbled melody. For example, on “I Always Knew” I came up with the chorus in a grocery store and I had to rush home to get it down in some way (and I still managed to buy the groceries).
What’s the gig you will always remember? And why?
I had played a club show on a Friday in Toronto which happened to be on my birthday so there were a few drinks involved. We played until the club closed and we had booked a morning gig the next day that required a very early call time. Turns out the show was like a car wash for something (it paid the bills). It was in a big mechanic garage, there were children screaming and there was a clown at the side of the stage making balloon animals and dancing to our songs. I can’t describe how that felt and I don’t have time to unpack that visual.
Fortunately, it was such an absurd situation that we laughed through the majority of the performance. Not the best gig we ever played, but I definitely can’t forget this show…and I’ve tried.
They expect ‘the roaring 20s v2.0’. What kind of party are you looking for?
I really hope so! I want to be a part of someone’s night and hopefully provide some memories for the crowd and for myself. The feeling of seeing sweaty crowds dancing and singing along is such a privilege and you only value it more when it all disappears. I want the rowdy, sweaty dance parties – and since my songs haven’t been performed live yet, I’m hoping to provide a soundtrack to one or two of those nights.