A Q&A with Bad Touch

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Good time rock ‘n’ roll in difficult times – here’s Stevie Westwood from Norfolk’s Bad Touch…

How did you get the title of your latest album, and what does it mean to you?
Kiss the Sky is our battle cry. We’re not messing around. This is what we aim to do. This album is 110% just that; this is a dancing round your bedroom, annoying your neighbours album, that we hope people will love any bit as much as we do.

What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
For us as a band, honestly, we enjoy every part of it. Obviously, there’s ups-and-downs, headaches and fallouts, but they all come from a good place, and we’re very aware that we’re lucky to be doing this. I’d say for us the hardest thing is letting go and trusting other people with our baby. We’ve always been in control of what goes on within Bad Touch, but to move forward, at some point, more people have to join the circle, and you have to trust them to fight in your best interest. Fortunately, we have an amazing team.

Who produced the release – what did they bring to it?
We were very lucky to record at the infamous Rockfield Studios in Monmouth. We are so privileged as a group of friends to have recorded in a place with such musical gravitas. It really did kick us up a notch as musicians, and just felt so right. I got to sit at Freddie’s piano, the one he wrote ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ on – it doesn’t get much cooler than that. Plus, every one of the Rockfield team was brilliant, especially our producer, (who later became our friend), Nick “Brino” Brine… He deserves a serious pat on the back. Through many tireless hours, he managed to capture and refine that raw energy that we’ve always had, but always struggled to get down on recordings up until Kiss the Sky, so to him we owe tremendous thanks.

What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
Our never-ending mission is to give you the night you’ll never forget; a break away from the monotony and tyranny of life, more so now than ever, and to leave anybody who is awesome enough to check our stuff out, smiling from ear to ear. That’s our mantra. We want people to have as much fun with this album as we had recording it (hopefully without the headaches! Though if you crank it to 11, we can’t promise!).

How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
Not much has changed since the early days – we still write and rehearse in the same space we have since day one. We just write about emotions and situations we all feel and have experienced, in a hope that someone else feels the same way and can connect to our music. Our attitude towards writing remains true as well. We’re a melting pot of influences and ideas from every member, not bound by role. Quite often, George (drums) will have a vocal line or guitar riff, just as often as I’ll have an idea for a drum beat… it keeps things fresh.

What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
Bands that are influencing Bad Touch right here and now include, Rival Sons, Blackberry Smoke, Led Zeppelin, Black Stone Cherry, The Temperance Movement, Black Crowes plus so many more. Some personal inspirations/influences? There are the obvious contenders, people like Robert Plant, Paul Rogers, Chris Robinson, Ronnie Van Zant, Freddie Mercury, and so many of the vintage hall-of-fame. Plus, more modern people like Charlie Starr, Cormac Neeson, Chris Roberston and Chris Cornell, to name just a few.

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When the world is back to normal where would like to tour, and why?
Anybody who knows Bad Touch knows that we live to play live and to be on the road. They’d also tell you that we want to play anywhere and everywhere that are brave enough to have us! You only get one go at this and we want to make sure our experience is as colourful and broad as possible.

If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
We like to think we have ‘our’ sound but there’s a Bad Touch track for everyone. We always like to push ourselves to go beyond what people expect from us. If you want to hear what our latest release Kiss the Sky is all about, then check out the title track, funnily enough it’s called, ‘Kiss the Sky’, haha!

What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
We’ve been a team now for over a decade; there’s nothing we don’t know about each other, and I like to think, by now, we’re all on the same page. We all still share the dream, but we don’t want for much. If we can keep playing the music we love with the people we love, whilst keeping the wolves from the door, then that’s good enough for us.

Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
I always thank our crowd because we know that we are nothing without their support. But the last word I say every night before I walk off stage is always a simple but nevertheless important one… “Peace!”

The new album from Bad Touch, ‘Kiss the Sky’ is out now
For more info visit: facebook.com/badtouchrocks

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