Interview: Stevie Westwood – Bad Touch

Bad Touch are gearing up for the release of fourth album ‘Kiss The Sky’ by releasing their rather stonking new single; ‘Strut’. We interrupted vocalist Stevie Westwood making a nice risotto at home to get the lowdown on the album and single, and the tour with Piston which has now been rescheduled for later this year.

Bad TouchNo skirting around the issue of how much has gone to shit recently, but that’s the tour rescheduled for September now I believe?

We have been in contact with booking agents, venues, etc and the shows have been rescheduled for September, things are in motion and we will be back!

New single ‘Strut’ is out there infecting everyone with its groove-a-licious licks! That’s a cracking new track isn’t it?!

You like it yes? What are your feelings about it?

Love it! The opening riff is fantastic; it acts as a signal of intent, like when Slash plugged his guitar in for the first few seconds of ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’. I mean, you’re supposed to hear a guitar!

We’ve always been about the same thing; we are here, we’re loud and proud. There was a lot of talk about what the first single should be, and ‘Strut’ was such a good all-rounder, it’s like… boom! Here we are! I’m glad you like it.

Bad TouchIt’s instant, plus any song on which you can hear a Hammond organ is always going to get my vote!

That was our mate Bob…

Bob Fridzema yeah?

Yeah, he’s such a good chap. He flew all the way over from Copenhagen just to be on our record. He is a genuine brother of ours, and we extend our thanks to him.

The female backing vocals also add some atmosphere to ‘Strut’, or at least I hope that they are female backing vocals!

A significant proportion of the credit needs to go to our producer Nick Brine, he’s a good friend of ours and has done such an amazing job on the record. It was his good lady Kate who was doing the female vocals on ‘Strut’, but a lot of the vocals are me and George (George Drewry, Bad Touch drummer) doing some weird falsetto stuff! We give the impression of a choir when there isn’t one there!

Is ‘Strut’ a fair indication of how the new album ‘Kiss The Sky’ sounds?

I know that it sounds like such a cliché, but we have never been more excited about how an album sounds. We are so chuffed with how it has turned out, ‘Strut’ is a good all rounder, but the whole album sounds, in our humble opinion, fucking fantastic! To use a non-eloquent term!

Very descriptive!

Yeah! We just can’t wait to get the whole album in front of people. The tour would have been a great start, but there you go, absence makes the heart grow fonder!

Exactly! Everything is worth waiting for! ‘Kiss The Sky’ is your fourth album, does it get any easier?

No, not at all. We aren’t getting any younger, we are on our fourth album, and we are getting fed-up now: we want to make our mark. So this has been the most hard worked for, hard fought for, album that we’ve ever made. There’s been more hair-pulling and heated discussions than ever before, but we are so chuffed with how it sounds and, quite frankly, if this doesn’t do it, then nothing will. It’s so good.

How do you judge the success of an album? Once you’ve released it then to an extent it’s out of your hands.

It is hard to judge that. At the end of the day you can only go by how you feel, and we have not been as excited about an album as we are for this one. I know that’s a total cliché and I’m saying all the things that I’m supposed to say when trying to promote an album, but we have done our damndest and given all that we had to give. Like you said, it’s album number four and we’ve got to start making our mark.

It must have been special recording it at Rockfield Studios?

Oh mate definitely! It was completely awe inspiring, I sat at the piano that Freddie Mercury wrote ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ on, and not many people can say that! We had already gone in there with the attitude to do the absolute best that we could, and being in a place like that helps.

What do you feel that you did differently on this album compared to the others?

It’s not so much what we did differently, I like to think that having Nick producing helped. He helped us focus, and he kindly came over to our rehearsal studio in Norfolk and listened to the songs before we went into the studio. That got the initial talking bit out of the way before it started eating into our studio time. As a band, we made a concerted effort to make the songs the best that they could be before we even got into the studio. There’s been no stops pulled on this album. This is everything.

Bad TouchPre-orders are crucial, especially at this uncertain time..

Yes, pre-orders are up; check them out on our website or on facebook, all the details are there, you can’t miss it! We’re all about like muck in a field, as my Nan would say!

Nice one! Now more especially, social media and Facebook groups like New Wave Of Classic Rock are key to helping a band like Bad Touch survive.

Definitely. We are nothing without the people that support us, the people that follow us, that “like” us, that buy ticket after ticket even though it’s just us, and we never lose sight of the fact that every time they help us they are doing us a great service. We are nothing without them.

That must be quite humbling as well?

Oh it’s brilliant, and the amount of support that we’ve had in the wake of all this crap that’s going on, from the fans to the booking agents, has been incredible. We hope that once the shows go ahead that we can all have a good time together.

On the subject of all this crap going on, what member of Bad Touch would you least like to isolate with for fourteen days?

Haha! Brilliant, I love that one! What member of the band would I not want to be isolated with?… The honest answer is that we all bloody do it anyway! We all live in a tin can together when we are on tour, we’re living in the back of a transit, or a sprinter, so taking a diplomatic stance.. there’s not one member of my brotherhood that I would not wish to be quarantined with… because quite honestly I’ve done it already! I know exactly what hand they use to wipe their arse!

Very diplomatic and very graphic! Now, what’s your biggest frustration about the music industry today?

Oh wow! I don’t know man? It’s so bonkers at the minute anyway, when all this stuff came out I was gutted, but we’re all in the same boat at the minute and we’ve got to all pull together. Any kind of minor frustrations that I have about the music industry have been washed away under a torrent of Coronavirus! I think my biggest bugbear is probably people shitting on each other. We have always been a band that supports each other; there’s always someone above you on the ladder, and someone below you on the ladder, but we’re all on the same ladder. If someone is doing well you cheer them on, if someone is not doing so well then you pick them up.

Bad TouchWhat major band, currently still going, do you feel are the perfect match for Bad Touch? The band that you think… if only we could open for them…

Well I’ve learned a lot of things in the nine or ten years that Bad Touch have been going, and that’s… whatever we think tends to be wrong! We’ve always said that we’d play with anyone, from AC/DC to Taylor Swift! Everything is an experience, but Rival Sons would be huge, Black Stone Cherry are a major influence; those kinds of bands are reminiscent of not only where we came from but where we want to be, which is contemporary and in your face.

And loud?!

Yes! Loud, contemporary and in your face!

Taylor Swift might be a good mix!

Haha! Can we go more with Black Stone Cherry?!

What does being on a label like Marshall Records bring?

They are such lovely people, obviously there’s the equipment side of things, not so much for me as I’m just the singer!

Less for you to carry then!

That’s it yes! But Marshall are great people and it’s a real family situation, they’ve always been really good to us, not only in a business sense, but as people. They look after us, and that means a lot. It’s a real honour to be part of the family.

Marshall and rock ‘n’ roll go hand in hand really..

We are a loud rock band, what other amp would we use?

 

Catch Stevie and the rest of Bad Touch doing what they do best; being a loud rock band, on the following dates –

BAD TOUCH – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020 UK TOUR
WITH SPECIAL GUEST PISTON

TICKETS: here

Norwich, The Waterfront Studio Friday 18 September

Nottingham, The Bodega Sunday 20 September

Manchester, The Bread Shed Monday 21 September

Leeds, The Key Club Tuesday 22 September

Wolverhampton, KK’s Steel Mill Wednesday 23 September

Glasgow, King Tut’s Friday 25 September

Dundee, Beat Generator Sunday 27 September NEW DATE ADDED

Newcastle, The Cluny 2 Monday 28 September

London, O2 Academy Islington 2 Tuesday 29 September

Southampton, The Joiners Wednesday 30 September

Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach Thursday 1 October

Saltash, Livewire Youth Project Friday 2 October

Buckley, The Tivoli Friday 11 December

 

Image on header – Joby Sessions

Stevie image – © Zoran Veselinovic

George Drewry image – Dave Jamieson

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