Stevie Westwood Giving The Lowdown on Bad Touch
BD: I was delighted to have the opportunity to review your debut album Truth Be Told.
Before we talk about touring with the Planet Rock Roadstars and the album, Truth Be Told. For many Bluesdoodles readers, Bad Touch is a new band. They are interested what is happening behind the scenes of Bad Touch. Then dash to book tickets on the Roadstar Tour!
Before we start the talk the quintet of musicians are Bad Touch, Vocalist Stevie Westwood, who kindly took time out to chat with Liz from Bluesdoodles today. Harry Slater, Lead Guitar/Vocals, Daniel ‘Seeks’ Seekings, Guitar/Vocals, Michael Bailey, Bass and George Drewry, Drums/Vocals.
BD: What were your first musical influences growing up in Norwich more mustard and cathedral than Rock music?
SW: Well, lots more in Norwich than that we have strong music scene in pubs, clubs and venues. For myself, I grew up in a house full of music with Dad playing AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses and lots of Disco including Kool and The Gang. I then developed my own tastes with rock bands such as Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Southern Rock, Su and much more.
I played the guitar and found the guys from Bad Touch through a band forming website. Went for an audition and came away the singer as they already had two guitarists. This was after they asked me if I could sing, and my reply was not really! Must have been okay because still here singing for Bad Touch.
BD: How did you come up with the band name Bad Touch and the decision for the distinctive typeface.
SW: The band has always been called Bad Touch from the very beginning before I joined. For me, the name encapsulates the roots of the band with the power of Bad Company touched with all the influences of 70’s rock with the colouring of Southern Rock.
We want to add our Bad Touch to the music we love that mix of Blues, Southern Rock and classic rock we always describe ourselves as ‘Feelgood Rock’. It is not new we are deeply rooted in Rock with Blues. We want audiences to enjoy our music and feel good with Bad Touch.
We wanted a distinctive logo, there is no deep and meaningful back story. We needed a new logo, a friend was a graphic designer and did me a favour and the result is eye-catching.
BD: Tell us about the formation of the band while you were still at college and the roles you all play in developing the Bad Touch feel. Now with the new guitarist Harry Slater how has he fitted in and has it injected a new feel.
SW: The band formed when the guys were at college with Rob Glendinning our original guitarist who recently left the band. We all love the guy but he has chosen a different path and we wish him well. Now with Harry Slater, we will continue to ply the Bad Touch rock across the land. As with any change, it brings opportunities. Harry will inject a new feel of guitar power combined with his writing ability. At the moment he feels like he is stepping into Rob’s shoes, as learning songs already in the Bad Touch repertoire. With new songs, things will change and anything new is scary, with good performances under our belt the future of Bad Touch is looking exciting and bright. We have plans for a follow-up album to Truth Be Told, been a bit slow going with the switch over firstly, concentrating on getting the performance correct. We are going to nail the tour out on the road with Broken Witt Rebels then attention will turn to the next album.
SW: All of the band wrote the lyrics, the title, Truth Be Told, was an alliteration and sounded cool. The whole album has lots of feeling, a more mature sound than Halfway Home with a mix of anger and darker emotions plus some happy feelgood songs. For me, the album is an open book of truths and we want people who listen to take from the lyrics what they can.
BD: I have always been interested in the lyrics of a song. Where do you get your inspiration for your songwriting?
SW: We write together with royalties split equally. The writing process varies, can be from a riff that we play and then I add lyrics over the top and then turn into the words of the song. My preferred way is to write whole verse/chorus or even whole song. It is really satisfying five minds working together are better than one. We don’t always agree but that is all part of the fun of building our songs. We draw on life experiences, old sayings are often a starting point they stick in people’s minds when listening to Bad Touch music. It is important and really cool when people relate to the lyrics and music. The truth is we get inspiration from anything and a good example is Outlaw, from Truth Be Told, reflects that Seeks is really into cowboys. It is what we fancy at the time. You can over analyse the lyrics and then they can lose shape and feel so have to take the inspiration where it comes from however shallow that is.
BD: With you heading out on the road throughout March & April with Broken Witt Rebels. The Planetrock Roadstars are back for 2017. Two bands on the road that are causing a stir how will this tour build on the experience of opening for The Headhunters last year
Wow, this is so exciting we briefly caught up with BWR when they opened for Joanne Shaw Taylor at the Waterfront. It was really cool we also passed each other at the Stone Free Festival last year. We have got to raise our game, there is definitely going to be a gentlemanly rivalry between the bands, Bad Touch are out to get noticed, remembered we will be trying to blow BWR out of the water. We can’t wait to open in Leeds on the 16th March and bring the tour to a grand finale at The Borderline in London Saturday 8th April. We are looking forward to showcasing our brand of feelgood rock as we travel around the country, meeting fans and making lots of new friends of the band.
BD: What other plans and excitements have you and Bad Touch got in the 2017 pipeline?
SW: Lots of exciting stuff in the pipeline with lots of touring and new album taking shape. Keep in touch as soon as dates and festival slots are confirmed they will be shared through social media. We are on Facebook, Twitter and our dedicated web presence over at Bad Touch.co.uk.
BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have to play
SW: Thought I was coping well until this one so many to choose from ….
Let’s have a choir to start with!
Vocals: Chris Robinson, Paul Rogers, Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, Steve Marriot and guests
Drums: John Bonham
Bass: Michael Bailey
Backing Vocals & Mime Artists: The rest of Bad touch with inflatable instruments enjoying the explosion of rock.