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This article was originally published in issue #55
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Midlands based hard rock band, The Bad Flowers, released their debut studio album 'Starting Gun' earlier this month, the follow up to their critically acclaimed 2016’s self-titled EP. In this issue's Songwriters Spotlight, Jonathan Graham chats with the band's frontman and guitarist, Tom Leighton, about his progression of songwriting and musicianship over the past two years and the Bad Flower's plans for 2018.
'Starting Gun' was recorded at Vigo Studios, near the band’s hometown of Cannock. The band chose this studio because they wanted to make a record that sounded like their roots and had the chance to work with long-time friend of the band and producer Adam Beddow, who has recently helped produce Diamond Head’s most current work.
Following the September release of their recent single Thunder Child, The Bad Flowers were named as one of Planet Rock Radio’s “Ones To Watch”. Thunder Child, the first single taken from the Starting Gun, gained heavy airplay and was described by the station as “pure, dynamic, riff-heavy rock ‘n’ roll delivered with passion and prowess.”
On the creation of this album, Tom Leighton states;
"The whole process of recording this album has been a huge labour of love, it’s come at the right time in our progression, we initially wanted to record an album two years ago but shelved the idea at that point, and I glad we did! The last two years have seen us play some shows with some amazing artists, and we’ve all been though some ups and downs as everybody does, but I think it’s helped us to write some of our best songs."
"There’s all out songs with monster riffs and big chorus’ down to a song with just one acoustic guitar and vocals and plenty in between, I think this album will show that we have more than one trick up our sleeve and I’m really excited for people to hear what we have made."
"We plan on hitting the road as hard as possible in 2018 to get this music into everyone’s ears, we have a full UK tour the week after the album comes out, and a few festival appearances already in the diary and plenty more things in the pipeline!"
"This was the first single release from the album. We wanted to go all out with a huge riff and chorus and wanted to set the pace for the record. Lyrically this is about a mythical woman with powers over you."
"This is one of the first songs we wrote for the album. It’s about being brave and not being afraid to do what you want to do."
"It’s the last song we wrote together for the album. Most of the writing was actually done whilst we were in the studio. It actually replaced something else. We wrote the riff and sat back and all agreed that this had to be included on the album. It features lots of fuzz and octaves, just the kind of things that we like!"
"Rich man is about a man that has everything materialistic he could ever want but a cost. Just because this man has everything doesn’t mean he is rich in life or love."
"This was a real last minute edition, somewhat a personal song, I just sat down in the studio one evening with a guitar and sung."
"I wanted to write a song about life being short, about how we shouldn’t be afraid to go out and do the things we want to do, and not let anyone hold you back. The song was originally an acoustic track but we starting jamming with it one rehearsal and this is the result of that night. It’s an emotional song with a lot of grit, Karl captured the feel perfectly on the drums."
"With this we wanted to write a dirty groove filled rock blues songs, Dale brought the groove with his bass lines in this for sure! It’s one of our favourite live tracks, and features lots of energy."
"This has a stabbing groove and a fast tempo change with some big vocals."
"Hurricane is one of the heavier tracks on the record, we wrote it a long time ago, in fact it was one of the first songs we wrote as a band, this had to make its way to the album as it’s been a mainstay in the live set."
"We wanted to make something a little heavier with this. It’s full of riffs and a BIG chorus. It’s super-fast, and features one of my favourite guitar solos on the record."
"A longtime favourite of the band and fans alike, we wrote this song for out Ep last year but wanted to remix it and put it out on the album, it feels right. It was written when we were in Vienna two years ago. I think it was at the height of the refugee crisis and talks about how people want to get somewhere better but were being totally ignored."
To dovetail the release of the debut album, The Bad Flowers will be special guests along with Jared James Nichols on Stone Broken’s nationwide 12 date UK tour that kicked off on Thursday 22nd of February at The Haunt Brighton. The tour also includes an appearance at Planet Rock’s Winters End Festival.
FEBRUARY & MARCH 2018 UK TOUR
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
JARED JAMES NICHOLS AND THE BAD FLOWERS
22 - Brighton The Haunt
24 - London Islington Assembly Hall
25 - Manchester Club Academy
26 - Glasgow G2
28 - Newcastle Riverside
01 - Nottingham Rescue Rooms
02 - Pontypridd Muni Arts Centre
03 - Birmingham O2 Institute2
04 - Sheffield Corporation
06 - Chester Live Rooms
07 - Bristol The Fleece
Plus festival appeances at the following shows:
Teddy Rocks Festival
Sunday 6th May 2018
Stone Free Festival
Sunday 17th June 2018
Saturday 28th July 2018
Hard Rock Hell
Saturday 10th November 2018