Bad Touch deliver a whole load of satisfaction that is all sweet and in no way bitter!

Craig Bailey chats with Bad Touch frontman Stevie Westwood about the highly anticipated release of their 5th album 'Bittersweet Satisfaction'

At the time of speaking, frontman Stevie Westwood is a very busy man, but in a really good way. He and his fellow band members of Bad Touch are gearing up for the release of their highly anticipated new studio album, Bittersweet Satisfaction. So after the opening pleasantries and yours truly remembering to press record button on Zoom, we talk about the sense of excitement and anticipation around the album release. “You know what it’s like with new albums and stuff. It’s amazing. It’s thrilling. And like you say, exciting.” Stevie notes before adding, “It’s just the closer that date comes, the more stress there is. It’s just that ramp up now that gets steeper and steeper towards the end.”

This was Stevie’s forth interview of the week and so far from viewing the rounds of promo as a chore, it was clear that it was all being relished as he explained, “It is so nice to think that people are interested. You do sometimes wonder if anyone gives a crap but it’s lovely to know that some do.” As well as chatting to the media there is lots of other stuff to be done it would seem as Stevie explains, “We are organising teaser videos and other stuff. It all takes time doesn’t it? We don’t have any companies doing it for us so it’s just balancing it all with life in general. But hey, that’s all part and parcel of being in a band.”

Bittersweet Satisfaction will be the bands 5th studio album and I put it to Stevie that, in the context of the rock music scene, where many bands have to self finance or crowd fund album releases, this is quite an achievement. “Yeah, 5th album as you say. I’m not sure how we got her to be honest” Stevie reflects. “It only seems like yesterday that we were playing the market in Norwich.” Stevie considered the point for a further moment, before adding, “It’s been hard, I’m not going to lie but we wouldn’t change it for the world.”

We continued to expand on this theme as I wondered if the band, now being a decade or so old, considered themselves to be established to some degree. The reply was a really nice and open assessment of where the band are at. “The grass is always greener, there’s always another rung on the ladder to climb, but maybe established is not the word I would use. Maybe safe, I feel safe.” Stevie then provided the context to this; “The band all have each other and we are all the wrong side of 30 but we are all still loving this and wanting to do it.”

Bad Touch have had a long-standing deal with Marshall Records which goes all the way back to them winning their Ultimate Band Contest in 2013 and their debut, 2015 album, Half Way Home. In this age of bands needing to prove themselves overnight and sell big numbers from the off, it is testament to the band’s quality and label’s belief in them, that Bittersweet Satisfaction will see the relationship continue to grow in strength. Stevie is laughing as he says, “Working with Marshall certainly helps with the sex appeal,” before getting just a little bit more serious. “Ever since day one they have been on ‘Team Bad Touch’ and now there is the new million pound studio, how is that not an advantage.”

From there we moved onto the reason we both were chatting … the music. After being together for ten years, I was keen to understand how Stevie felt their music had grown and evolved over that time. “It’s weird because it has changed, but it hasn’t if you know what I mean,” Stevie offers before explaining, “We have only ever written the music that we want to write. We have never been a band that says shall we do this or that type of album. We just made the songs we wanted to make.” Of course, life shapes Bad Touch’s music as well and Stevie offer an insight to the new album. “A couple of us are married now with kids and we are more mature as people so the music reflects that, but we still are the same people inside with the same love, energy and respect for the music.” A final thought is provided as Stevie concludes, “The music is not quite so angry or adolescent but the fire is still in there.”

A lot has happened in the world since the release of Bad Touch’s last album Kiss The Sky in 2020 but the band have seemingly not allowed themselves to get bogged down by all the troubles in the world. They have maintained their mantra that they want to offer a little bit of catharses, an escape. As Stevie so wonderfully put it, “We are not Rage Against The Machine.”

If the intention of the band was to bring a little joy then they have hit the bullseye with the single Nothing Wrong With That. Stevie immediately picks up on my observation with enthusiasm. “That song is a four chord banger and was written from a very honest place during the lockdowns. It was a time when we having doom and gloom shoved down our throats and we wanted to say to people, have that large glass of red wine or whatever brings you happiness. It’s your right, you have earned it and there is nothing wrong in that.” More so than ever, it is a song that carries a relevant message.

“It only seems like yesterday that we were playing the market in Norwich”

Ahead of chatting with Stevie I had been forwarded Bittersweet Satisfaction to listen to and had really enjoyed the few days of getting to know the songs as I travelled the lanes of Warwickshire to and from work. As you can imagine, I was very keen to get some background and insights to some of the brilliant tracks. Stevie shared some of these in the manner of a proud parent talking about their son or daughter. “There are a lot of influences on this album from varying aspects of all our lives. Whilst I do write most of the lyrics I always feed off the flavour or emotion from whoever has written the riff or melody. There’s no bullet point list for how we write a Bad Touch song, it’s a melting pot, it’s chaos.” Stevie is clearly getting into his stride as he continues, “There is a bit more of a flow of emotion through the album. There are some that are more love songs and then some with a bit more bite and anger, but these are all emotions that people have every day and can relate to.”

Having listened to the album there are some songs which are definitely ‘relationship’ songs. For me, Dizzy is all about love and infatuation, but the title track is a wonderfully observed look back at the fleeting relationships you might have when you are younger. Stevie picks things up, “As with all art forms it is subjective and you take from it whatever you want but there was an element of that when I wrote the lyrics to Bittersweet Satisfaction.” There is a chuckle as he shares, “I am 32 now and sometimes I just want to feel a bit sexy. I wanted to write a sexy song.” For me, Stevie and the guys have nailed exactly that on this song.

In contrast, there is the latest single Spend My Days which has an altogether more reflective air about it. “It is a softer ‘what if’ song, a ‘I should have done better’ kind of song,” Stevie outlines before giving an insight into the lack of egos within the band. “I am only talking about the bits that I write and how I feel about a song. I would loath to be one of those singers who are all ‘it’s my band and this is what the songs are about’. If you speak to the other guys, you will probably get four different interpretations.”

To me the new album has the feel of an old school LP, fives tracks each side. “All killer and no filler,” Stevie laughs. “We wrote more than ten tracks but these are the tracks we felt were good enough to be on the album and we did take some time to think about the track order and how it would flow on vinyl.”

Last month, the band announced an extensive UK tour from February through to April taking in 20 dates and covering enough ground around the country that there should be show near to you. They have also been added to the line up for Call Of The Wild Festival in May and it is likely that there will be further festival dates to be added. After a recent short run of dates in France and Belgium, there is also a desire to get back over to Europe.

So with all of these live dates lined up for next year there was one big remaining question for Stevie … have you been putting your tailor to work? “Ahhh yes, my personal tailor Reginald, who I can definitely afford,” was the swift reply with a healthy dose of irony added. “Reg is knocking something up as we speak as I want to freshen up the look a bit.” So for those with their tickets for next year already there will be the all new sartorial delights to enjoy along with everything else that makes a Bad Touch show such a great night.

2024 feels like it will be a fantastic year for Bad Touch which will be no more than this honest, hard working and hugely talented band deserve.



Band Members

Stevie Westwood – Vocals
Rob Glendinning- Guitar
Daniel Seekings – Guitar
Michael Bailey – Bass
George Drewry – Drums

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping