Bad Touch talk classic tones to move your bones

Posted: 19 June 2020

We sat down with Seeks and Rob from Bad Touch who shared their favourite rigs and what they used on their latest album ‘Kiss The Sky’.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE BAD TOUCH TO SOMEONE THAT HAS NEVER HEARD YOU GUYS BEFORE?

SEEKS: I would say it’s feel good rock and roll. It’s all about having a good time and enjoying yourself. We get compared to bands like The Black Crowes which is great because they are amazing.

ROB: I don’t think we try and aim to sound like anything, it’s just we’re lucky enough that we’ve been able to do what we want to so far.

SEEKS: That’s the funny thing, quite often reviews say we sound similar but I wouldn’t have said we sound anything like them.

IN TERMS OF YOUR GUITAR SOUND, IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR THAT YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE?  

ROB: It’s an amalgamation of what you listen to. When I was younger one of my favourite bands were Guns N’ Roses and a very famous Marshall user is Slash, then more recently there’s Bonamassa, and my favourite sound of his is Marshall Silver Jubilee, crank that up and it’s great! Then you’ve got Eric Clapton, so everything that I like and everyone that I listen to has at some point used Marshalls. Even Rich from The Black Crowes has used a Jubilee in the past. You just borrow from your influences.

DO YOU WANT TO TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR RIGS THAT YOU’RE CURRENTLY USING?

SEEKS: I use a Marshall JCM 900 as it comes. I don’t use many pedals, just straight through to the amp. They sound amazing!

ROB: At the moment I’m using a Silver Jubilee.

SEEKS: And tomorrow it’ll be a JCM 800 and the day after that it’ll be a Plexi…

ROB: Well I was thinking of bringing the Plexi out of retirement actually! Also a JTM 45 is tickling my pickle as well! At the moment it’s a Jubilee and I run a boost, a reverb and delay through the effects loop and then straight into whatever guitar I’m using. It’s fairly simple.

HOW WAS IT RECORDING IN ROCKFIELD?

ROB: Ah man that was incredible! So many stories as well!

SEEKS: It’s the same guy who ran it right at the beginning, him and his brother are still there.

ROB: Nick, who we’ve been working with, has been working there for many, many years and done many sessions there either as an engineer or producing records. He knows the family there really well so has lots of stories and he’s a good laugh.

SEEKS: Have you seen the Bohemian Rhapsody film? You know when they turn up at Rockfield there? That’s literally what it’s like. It’s a run-down farm, you literally get out and think ‘is this the right place?’.

ROB: Some studios you go to now are really posh, but it’s not like that. The studios themselves are amazing but when you pull up outside you just don’t expect that, especially when you think about everyone who’s been there too.

SEEKS:
Yeah it’s crazy! It’s a working farm and there’s animals and everything else but then you walk inside and it’s these incredible studios with amazing gear and history.

ROB: I think it works in our favour because for me, it didn’t feel far from home. That’s sort of what we’re used to. When you walk in to some places and they are all glitzy you don’t want to get stuck into the equipment and to try stuff because you feel like ‘oh I better not touch that’.

SEEKS: Rockfields is homely. The people that run it are really, really nice, they make you feel so comfortable.

ROB: It’s important to have that in a studio, to get a good performance you’ve got to feel comfortable where you are. That’s probably why so much great stuff comes out of there.

SO SEEKS, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH A MARSHALL AMP?

SEEKS: I also was a massive Guns N’ Roses fan, that’s the band that got me into rock music so that’s probably where it started, but most bands that I liked played Marshalls. It’s an iconic piece. When you look at music videos back in the day they’ve all got the Marshall stacks, so I think that started it off for me. Then when I first started going to live gigs as an early teenager, again it was all Marshalls.

WHAT ABOUT YOU ROB?

ROB: Music videos! When I was younger, my brother always used to have Kerrang, MTV Rocks and Scuzz on so I saw them there. My first proper amp was a 60 watt DSL combo which my dad bought me for Christmas one year. From there I don’t think I ever bought another amp that wasn’t Marshall.

DID THAT DSL GET USED IN YOUR EARLY GIGS?

ROB: Yeah the combo did and then our manager went off and bought a 100 watt DSL head with a cab. He presented me with it and said ‘I’ve got you this and you can pay it off as and when’ because we were quite young at the time so we didn’t really have any money. He then went out and got himself one too so went from a 60 watt combo to a 100 watt head and then I had a JCM 800 after that, and I’ve just sort of collected stuff since then really.

SEEKS: I went through a phase in the early days of trying quite a few different amps but after a bit you find your feet.

ON THE NEW ALBUM (KISS THE SKY, RELEASED 19 JUNE), DID YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENT AMP-WISE?

ROB: On the new album I think it was a lot more simplistic.

SEEKS: We stuck to a great sound that we’d found rather than playing around with it.

ROB: On the previous record “Shake a Leg” we did a lot of stereo set ups, so 2 amps at once and blending a 6L6 tone with an EL34 tone to get a bigger sound. At that point we usually leave it in the hands of the people that are going to mix it, whereas on “Kiss The Sky” we were like ‘no this is what we use live so this is what we are going to use on record.’ I just put the jubilee on there and Nick was like ‘yeah this sounds great!’

SEEKS: The only thing we did was slightly change the EQs for different songs on the album.

WHEN IT COMES TO WRITING A BAD TOUCH RIFF, HOW DO YOU START THAT PROCESS?

ROB: Every single person in the band plays guitar, so we all write. We tend to write the music first so someone will come up with the main hook or riff of the song and then we go from there. Because you’ve got 5 people you have a larger array of different ideas.

SEEKS: Also, someone might have a part of a bit of a riff and they’ll work with someone else. I remember I had a part of a riff and when we were in Germany then me and Rob sat there and wrote ‘Come a Little Closer’. It’s always different. Sometimes one of us will come up with a riff, occasionally Steve might have a chorus with the music and a vocal and the rest of the band will then add parts to it. Every song is written slightly different, I don’t think we have a set way of writing.

ROB: We definitely don’t sit there and go ‘right we’re going to write a song’

SEEKS: Often we’ll be in the practice room or at sound check and Rob might play something, a riff and someone will go ‘Ah god! That was good! Who was that?’ and we’ll be like ‘uhhh I don’t know, made it up’ and normally if it’s me, I can’t remember it!

IT TERMS OF THE NEW ALBUM, WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM IT?

ROB: Classic us really.

SEEKS: This is my favourite album by far. I know everyone probably says that about their forthcoming album, but its just got such a good vibe about it. It’s uplifting, it’s feel good and I think the songs are really great, I think they are well written songs and I think it’s been recorded really well. It’s got a great sound and everything just felt right.

Like I said at the beginning, it’s feel good rock n’ roll. When I put it on I’m like ‘this is great’, you’re nodding your head to it, and it gets you going. We worked hard on it without working hard, if that makes sense. We didn’t think ‘right we have to make this particular album, and it has to be like this or like that’. We just wrote as we felt at the time. It came a lot more naturally and felt more relaxed.

ROB: In the past I feel that sometimes we’ve been a little bit caught up in trying to make something sound a certain way or make it more modern or more radio friendly, whereas for this one we just wrote what we wanted to write.

SEEKS: I think the other thing is working with Nick was great as well because we got a more natural sound. He really captured us as us rather than trying to be something else.

HAVE YOU PLAYED MANY TRACKS FROM KISS THE SKY LIVE YET?

SEEKS: We’ve only played a couple live, but we can’t wait to get out there and start playing them. I really want to know what people think and see how they go down live.


SO WHO DO YOU GUYS LISTEN TO AT THE MOMENT? WHAT KIND OF OTHER MUSIC?

ROB: You know what I’ve been listening to a lot of John Mayer at the moment. I’m loving him at the moment and Chris Stapleton, a lot of mellow stuff now I’m thinking about it.


DOES WHAT YOU’RE LISTENING TO END UP INFLUENCING THE SONGS THAT YOU WRITE?

ROB: Oh yeah definitely.

SEEKS: You can tell what you’ve been listening to by what riff you come up with.

ROB: It’s not always the best move but it definitely has an influence!


HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN DOING ANY LIVE PERFORMANCES FOR YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA THROUGHOUT LOCKDOWN?

SEEKS: Stevie, bless him, he’s been working hard and putting up a song a day acoustically. They’ve been really popular. Also as a band we have recorded a bunch of songs over the last few weeks by all going into the studio separately to record.

 

Kiss The Sky is available now.

Listen on Spotify and Apple Music or purchase the physical version.