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  INTERVIEW: TOM LEIGHTON OF THE BAD FLOWERS
The Bad Flowers plant petal to the Metal to deliver a blooming great debut album...


andy rawll
Words: Andy Rawll
16th January 2018



the bad flowers

MetalTalk proves that it's not only members of the Royal Family that can talk to flowers, with senior writer Andy of the Rawll Family digging in the dirt with Bad Flowers' singer/guitarist Tom Leighton:

I'd love to know how the band got its name?
The name was always a working title – we used a lyric from a song that Dale and I wrote in a previous band but once we got a set together when Karl joined, we had a gig within a week so after that, the name stuck.

With the Stone Broken/Bad Flowers tour next year do you consider yourselves to be part of the New Wave of Black Country Metal?
I'd say so, yeah, there's some really great bands coming out of the Midlands at the minute, which is good for everyone as we all have to up our game to compete!

The new album sounds great, how did you get to work with Adam Beddow?
Adam's been a good friend of the band for a number of years, so it was really comfortable for us to work with him. Ad's a great producer, too, and really did help us get the best out of the record.

How would you describe your sound and the new album to someone that's never seen or heard you before?
This is a question I sometimes struggle to answer as we just play the music that we love. I'd definitely say we have a classic rock/blues rock sound but we add our own modern hard rock edge to things. It's loud, in your face high pace rock and roll, but on the album, we've tried to show our versatility, too, with some slower stuff.

At your recent shows (e.g. Lexington 16/10) you still include older songs of your earlier EPs, like 'Can You Feel It' and 'Big Country'. On the next tour will you only focus on songs from the album, once the Starting Gun is fired?
Yeah, we've been working on the set for the Feb/March tour already. I don't want to give anything away but all of the songs in the set feature on the album. We still love playing the songs from the EP though and I think when we get longer sets we'll definitely go back to them, maybe rework them a little.

Why was 'Hurricane' the only song from your first two EPs that made it to the new album, I really like the Cultish Goth stoner vibe?
We decided to re-record it as it's stuck around in the live set. It's a song that people really seem to respond to, it's got that heavier feel to it as well and we wanted a song like that on the record. This version is completely new though, we re-recorded the whole thing so the overall quality is better.

This album has been a long time coming, do you think the delay has been beneficial? How did existing songs like 'City Lights' and 'Thunder Child' change during this period?
It has! But I'd say it does benefit from the wait as we've had time to learn and to develop a little more as a band to a point when we thought, "Right, the time is now!" We had the right bunch of songs and the right amount of momentum out on the road for this to work. 'City Lights' has been re-mastered for the record and it's become a fan favourite in the live set. We change it up a lot live to keep people on their toes!

the bad flowers

What I really like is that the band's sound is not out and out Metal, alongside the archetypally blunt Sabbath grooves, there's a sharp indie element to the songs and Tom's voice. Apart from your obvious Black Country heroes, any musical inspirations or influences that might surprise people?
We've got quite a wide range of influences, I think, and if anyone follows our playlist on Spotify I think they'll see that. There's everything from country ballads to full on Metal on there. Dale and I like a lot of funk and Motown, too, which I think adds to getting the groove in some tracks.

The bass (and octaved guitar) have a very prominent role in many of your songs. Is this an indicator that songs start as monster grooves and riffs, rather than melodies on delicately strummed acoustic guitar?
It's a bit of both actually, we sometimes go into the rehearsal room and have riff ideas that we'll hash out and jam with until we mould it into a song, but some of the songs do come from ideas on the acoustic guitar. Actually, 'Hurricane' which is one of the heavier songs on the album, originally came from an acoustic idea I had.

The ballad 'I Hope' and the slow burn 'Let's Misbehave' are surprise inclusions on such an upfront, heavy record, but work really well. The vocals reminded me of a little and large combination of Richard Ashcroft and Meatloaf. What do you think?
That's a comparison I've never had before! But thank you, they're two great vocalists! Honestly though, I have never tried to base myself on anybody. I just like to go out and sing my thing, these two particular songs were really songs from the heart more than anything and done in one or two takes at max to try and keep that emotion in there. I think it worked really well.

Once you wrap-up the UK tour with JJN and Stone Broken in March, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
Our plans for 2018 is to get out there and promote this album as much as we can. We're working on a few smaller headline shows and we have a few summer festivals coming up. The first that's been announced is Steelhouse in Wales which we're really looking forward to!

Is there any artist/band that you admire that you'd really like to work with, in the future?
We've been really lucky the past year or so and managed to work with some amazing bands and artist out on the road. I'm a huge Foo Fighters fan though and if there was ever a chance to work with Dave Grohl, I think I'd give anything for that!

the bad flowers

The Bad Flowers' debut album 'Starting Gun' is released on Friday 16th February 2018. The review and three tracks from the album feature in this week's You Spin Me Round on MetalTalk Radio and can be heard on demand here.

They tour the UK with Stone Broken and Jared James Nichols from Thursday 22nd February, and have added their own headline warm-up show in Birmingham. In addition, their first confirmed festival appearance is at Steelhouse, with further announcements expected.

Feb 17 - The Asylum 2 – Birmingham

Feb 22 - The Haunt - Brighton
Feb 23 - Planet Rock Winters End Festival - Poole
Feb 24 - Islington Assembly Hall - London, United Kingdom
Feb 25 - Club Academy - Manchester
Feb 26 - G2 - Glasgow
Feb 28 - Riverside - Newcastle Upon Tyne
Mar 01 - Rescue Rooms - Nottingham
Mar 02 - The Muni Arts Centre – Pontypridd
Mar 03 - O2 Institute2 - Birmingham
Mar 04 - Corporation - Sheffield
Mar 06 – The Live Rooms – Chester
Mar 07 - The Fleece – Bristol

Jul 28 – Steelhouse Festival – Ebbw Vale











 


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