Steve Westwood talking about Kiss The Sky and U.K. Tour
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule Stevie, with the forthcoming tour and new album release. Let us start off with the release of your fourth album, Kiss The Sky. Since the release of your last album, Shake A Leg in 2018, Bad Touch has been busy on the road. Yes, we don’t like staying off the road for very long. Fourth album, how did that happen and is really exciting.
BD: The album was recorded, mixed and produced by Nick Brine at the legendary Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales. Yes, indeed our friend Brino we got him involved What was the experience like for you and the band working on Kiss The Sky at some a legendary place? Oh, Liz, it was amazing you can’t put it into words because there are no words. To be in the same rooms as the likes of Queen, Oasis and people like that, sit in the same rooms and sing in the same rooms as a singer was amazing. We saw the weather vane were Freddie wrote the line ‘Anyway the wind blows’ and stuff like that. I sat at the piano he wrote Bohemian Rhapsody on. No, you can’t quantify feeling like that and as a performer and a singer, it was just awe-inspiring. BD: Do You feel their presence in the studio? I wouldn’t say presence so much, but certainly, you can feel the magic in the air, not that I am saying Freddie’s ghost was looking over me. BD: I didn’t mean that spooky element more than expectation and anticipation of playing in a place laden with music history. Definitely, I am not really one for all that. I like to think I make my own destiny, but I certainly felt inspired there and more so that I have done before. It was really amazing. It was really cool you don’t really appreciate how prolific the place is. The second day in of me doing some vocals, two coach load of Japanese tourists turned up, they had come all the way from Japan just to be at this place whereas we had only driven 4 or 5 hours to be there. It was amazing.
BD: The studio work, follows after you have done all the hard work. We would love to hear about the first stages of creating the 13 track album (12 Tracks on Vinyl) before you headed to the studio. I know it is a fairly clichéd thing to say but we really have put everything into this album. It’s been the hardest fought, hopefully, hardest won album to date. We have had more arguments and more hair pulling out than anything BD: and you have a lot of hair collectively to pull out! We do ‘laughing’ have a lot of hair to pull out. Hopefully, the songs stand alone and shine through. I have never felt so strongly about an album I love every bit of it. The ups, the downs all the tracks are very dear to all of us. We are just so chuffed about the way it has come out. I know another cliché but is our best album yet. BD: and you have strong albums to build on with your previous albums that your fans love. With Shake A Leg we only had a couple of songs, went into the studio and wrote as we went. It wasn’t that we didn’t like that, it was a different way of writing. This time we thought we are four albums in, we are not getting younger, and we really need to make a stand for ourselves. This is really all of those feelings in an album, ‘come on we are here!’ BD: Does someone in the band have the lead responsibility for the songwriting? Same as always, when you look at our royalty sheet it is 20% each way and that is a fairly realistic interpretation of how we write, everyone does chip in. I don’t necessarily write all the vocals as the guitarists don’t write all of the guitar parts. We all chip in to each other’s sections and I think that helps keep the music fresh. BD: So you get that cross-fertilization of ideas as you bounce off each other? Exactly! When I write I tend to write bits and bobs of everything. I give them to my mates and literally with them playing through for 30 seconds they have transformed it to something that was ten-thousand times better than what I came up with. It is just the power of extra four brains all with different ideas.
BD: You have released Strut the first single on 13th March. There you go Friday the 13th what a good day to release your first single from the album. Why did this track for you and the band stand out for release as the loud hailer for the forthcoming album? Funny one really. We are all five different people, and Marshall Records and people like that. There is a lot of people with a lot of opinions. But this song kinda sums us up as a band we are about strutting your stuff, having a good time, not really worrying about too much and this song – in fact, Liz, to be honest, they could have picked any song of this album I love the album so much. I didn’t really mind which one was the single but Strut is a good all-rounder as regards to representing the album. It is just in your face, feel good and is exactly what we want from the album and the up and coming tour.
BD: How have you managed to create an album that will stand out from the crowd of new releases and catch the attention of live audiences? It so hard Liz, there is so much good, better than good, great new music not only in our genre across the board there are so many talented people out there releasing music, cos it is more accessible nowadays. We just stand firm for what we believe, if you make people smile if you make people feel like family they will keep coming back and that is what we try and do. We try to make everyone feel welcome, try and have as big a party as we can in the hour and a half we are allowed on stage. BD: So is it a party album? There are ups and downs, bits are quite poignant tracks about how we feel. We are four albums in now and not getting any younger. It isn’t all happy go lucky stuff like when we were nineteen. We as a band always standby want when people come to our shows we want them to be able to forget about whatever crap is going on around them and be able to just switch off for an hour and a half and just enjoy listening to live music and enjoy this universal language which is music. Rock n’ Roll and stuff. BD: So you capture moods and all the shades and contours of life is there a sound that captures the tone of the album? It is BIG. We have pulled all the stops out on this album, as I was saying to you before we want this to be our crowning glory, we want this to really punch through like everything else. We have thrown everything at it, all of our cogitative capacity, all of our songwriting ability all of our music, there are loads of harmonies on there, loads of keys, we got our friend Bob Fridzema who plays with Joanne Shaw Taylor and used to be in King King and that he came all the way over from Copenhagen, flew over just to be on our album. We are forever thankful to our brother. There is nothing held back it is all out Bad Touch. We just hope people love it half as much as we do.
“Strut” will be available to purchase digitally HERE from Friday 13th March. The single will also be available as an instant grat track with all pre-orders of the new album. “Kiss The Sky”
BD: Bad Touch are back on the road – We are – kicking up your headline tour at the Waterfront, Norwich on 30th March. Yes, Norwich our home City so that is looking like quite a spectacular night. Because this has been one of the longest stints we have done without playing a show. We haven’t done a show since the start of December. So we have got some serious beans are canned up that need to be letting out fairly immediately. BD: Will the setlist be full of new tracks and everyone will be hoping the old favourites still have a place when you are playing live. We were torn when writing the setlist, you know what we are like, what’s the word – vague but are pretty sure we have the setlist down. We were torn do we go out and give everyone a load of new stuff or do we try and keep a load of older stuff. Then we just realised let’s do what we do which is play for the people and make it in our humble opinion the best set it can be. Whether it be new or old stuff so yes there will be new and old stuff so off course there will be the favourites that you want to hear. We want people to be talking about this tour for the rest of the year even into next year we want this to be one of the best tours of 2020. To do that we have to pull out all the stops and really try to make it really special. BD: Sadly, when we talk about tours at the moment the elephant in the room cannot be ignored, Coronavirus. With so many events being cancelled/postponed, are you in talks postponing the tour? No, not at all. I have been in two minds whether to do a Facebook video. Things may change, I hope all our fans can hear us play the music we love to play live. We will understand and empathise with any of our fans who decide not to attend on health grounds. Bad Touch look forward to seeing you in the audience very soon. Stay safe, keep the faith and enjoy the music.
BD: Do you have a favourite track on the album? It is like picking our favourite child. But I do have a couple. Strut is up there I love the track. Oh, there are so many – Yea just going to go with Strut can’t really think. Also, Something about Your Kiss is one of my favourites slightly different one on there which is on the CD and not the vinyl; that is a good one. I love genuinely I know it sounds just a cope out, but I do genuinely I love all of them. Laughing oh and Before I Die, I was trying to think of the title. BD: Oh that is a really short track. Yes, that is just what I mean I like some of these that are in your face for two and half minutes then that is it, next track. BD: The vinyl has twelve tracks one has been cut. We had to cut one as it didn’t fit on the album which is sad but there you go. BD: The one being lost is a favourite of yours Something About Your Kiss, the last track on the CD. It has a slightly different vibe a bit more chilled out, ethereal but I really like it.
BD: Piston is the band that are supporting you, how did you decide on this young rock band. We have known Rob the singer for lots of years now, he is one of our dearest friends and we have known Piston for quite a few years now. So they are all really good buddies of ours and we are looking forward to going on the road with them. Also, they are very, very good and will give us a run for our money. It is nice to have a band with you every night that gets you fired up and makes you play your very best, which we are in the business of doing. There is no messing about on this tour we want to be as good as we can be. Piston are the guys to gee us up to do so. We are really chuffed that they agreed to come on tour with us and will be a strong contender to make people come and venture out into the dangerous world and see the shows. Really looking forward to it great guys, great sound. Can’t wait. BD: Opening the night you have decided on a different local for each city and town Bad Touch will be playing in. Yep, It was for a lot of reasons. Obvious reason number one is they are local and should bring a few people. The second one is before we could do our own tours that is where we were. So it is the great circle of Rock n’ Roll. It is lovely to have different bands I always say everything is an influence whether you like or don’t like a band I love seeing people play music. You think crikey that is quite cool I never thought off that or crikey I don’t really want to do that, there are lots of ways to look at it. Just a cool thing to have.
BD: Final question, You are told that you can only save three albums from your collection what would they be? You will obviously keep your complete Bad Touch collection.
For the first one I am going to throw in a curve ball a Greatest hit album. Croweology – The Black Crowes acoustic album live from jam sessions full of fiddles and more. If you haven’t listened to it Do…. It is a music masterclass
The second, Led Zepplin II a favourite album in fact it has been in the car player for ages.
The Third is the hardest will be Folklore and Superstition from Black Stone Cherry.
New Wave of Classic Rock favourites Bad Touch are pleased to announce the release of their new studio album “Kiss The Sky” released by Marshall Records on Friday 19th June 2020. To celebrate, the band release their new single “Strut” on Friday 13th March. The same day will also see the new album available for pre-order. Fans can sign up to Bad Touch’s mailing list to be notified about the pre-order. The new album will be released on CD, white vinyl and digital download.