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.”