With their debut album, The Starting Gun, due to drop next month, and a full UK tour due in the spring, we catch up with The Bad Flowers lead singer Tom Leighton to discuss it all.
So Tom, here we are with the album about to drop – what are your emotions at this point? Excitement, trepidation?
Excited, for sure! I think a bit nervous, too! It’s our first album and we want to make a statement with it, a lot of the songs are brand new and we’ve not played them much live so it just adds to that nervous feeling.
I know you first planned to record the album a couple of years ago, why did you choose to shelve those plans originally?
We just weren’t ready, I think we got a bit carried away back then, I’m really glad we waited and wrote more songs and got out on the road as we picked up a lot of advice from the people we met and the bands we’ve played with that have done this before us.
You’ve always seemed like the type of group that has known what you wanted to achieve, is that why you co-produced the album?
Oh Yeah, we’ve always had this tunnel vision of where we want to get to and how we want to do it, I think that’s why we’ve been kind of hell bent on releasing this album ourselves. We just wanted the album done our way so this really helped.
If we take a song like “City Lights” say, obviously it’s a favourite with the fans. How has that – and songs like it – evolved over time?
Well live it’s a very different beast, there’s lots of parts in it that we add to spice it up and keep it interesting for everybody. We work hard on the live set so the songs are always changing and evolving in the rehearsal room.
“Thunder Child”, the first single from “Starting Gun” has obviously been picked up by Planet Rock that must have been a thrill?
Yeah it was pretty crazy when we got the news, I was sitting at my desk at my day job when it came on the radio and I was that excited I was shaking haha! We’ve listened to that station for years and discovered so much great music from them it was a little surreal to be on there! But saying that, this is what we’ve worked towards.
And now you’re on at Winter’s End and Steelhouse? Exciting times!
Steelhouse will be our first big summer festival so we’re stoked for that! Really looking forward to blasting these songs out on that mountain! And with Winters End, again we’re so grateful to the guys at Planet Rock to invite us to that, we’re seriously looking forward to it!
The forthcoming tour with Jared James Nichols and Stone Broken: I guess it must feel like the Midlands invasion with you and the Broken guys?!
It really does, we know the dudes from Stone Broken and have already toured with Jared so are good friends so we’re thinking this tour is going to be a lot of fun! But it definitely feels as though there’s plenty of awesome bands coming out of the midlands at the minute.
Personally I’ve seen you guys play numerous times, and with diverse groups, such as Crobot, The Picturebooks, and The Sheepdogs, was that always a plan to get out with as many different bands as you can?
Yeah it was always the plan to get out there with as many as possible, we just wanted to get in front of people and playing with bands like the ones you listed above has really helped us and we’ve learned a lot form those guys to, so we’re really grateful we had the opportunities.
What advice would you give to a local band who is looking to make a breakthrough? What have you learned that you could pass on to others?
Honestly, just keep playing and getting out there in front of people and giving it your all every time you’re on stage, that’s what we did for 2 years before we got the chance to open for the bands you mentioned above. Its persistence that pays off.
If you could play with any band, who would it be?
I think at the minute it would be Rival Sons, those guys have been real trail blazers in this type of music in the last few years so would be great to share a stage with them. I’ve got to say though, I’d love to do more shows with Blues Pills those guys are awesome! We did an acoustic set to open for them recently and they blew me away.
And, say we do this in a years’ time, what do you want to be looking back on?
Hopefully a successful album launch and a few tours and festivals under our belt, but one thing about us as a band, we don’t spend too much time looking back we’ll be pushing on to the next step for sure!
The Bad Flowers’ debut album “Starting Gun” is released on Friday 16th February.
They tour the UK with Stone Broken and Jared James Nichols from Thursday 22nd February. www.thebadflowers.uk