Artist Interview: Bad Habits
Tell us about yourself and your music
At 10yo I was on holiday on the Isle of Wight when my father took me to a field & I saw Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Free&Rory Gallagher&I was bitten by the guitar bug. I then started playing professionally at 13yo in my cousins’ band Gypsy supporting the Eagles USA tour. Coming back to UK I was in the Onslow pub (Southampton) and met the legendary Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac who jammed with me as I was in the local blues band. At one point in my life I stayed in a flat in Darby Road in Southampton where I wrote the song “Anny” the true song of a prostitute&her demise which I took&played live with only voice&acoustic guitar to Richard Branson at Virgin Records was then declared me to be “discovered” as”the new Cat Stevens/ Bob Dylan” but I did not want to be just an acoustic artist at this point in my life. I moved up to London to play in Speakeasy & through my friend Scotty English (“Bend Me, Shape Me”) I got to jam with Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour & Jimmy Page as well as Ian Carr (trumpet player) & BB King. &at Ronnie Scotts I landed a short 6 week stint with Ella Fitgerald & a few gigs as 2nd guitarist to Chuck Berry. I then went on to play with his own band Bad Habits/Red Butane (late 70s early 80s) producing songs which ended up inlace like Sniff N Rock Magazine & Sounds. I was signed to Don Arden’s Jett Records as Red Butane where I met&jammed with Gary Moore&was tipped to be replacement guitarist in Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake & Ozzy Osborne and set to tour with Van Halen but unfortunately I broke my arm because of martial arts accident. Then when I recovered on TowerBell Records I made an album with Snowy White (playing rhythm guitar), Ted McKenna (on drums) & Kumar Harada (on bass). (This album will be re-released at some point in the future). A production deal followed with Tony Clark (producer of Sky) which had classical guitarist John Williams&renowned classical guitarist Jullien Bream on the production company. I toured with Survivor (where I first saw Glo, a minor at the time) filling in on guitar & backing vocals & also with Brian Connolley’s Sweet. I became a regular appearance at the Marquee & the Marquee Cafe with Gypsy and Bad Habits which band name I have trademarked (worldwide, band names used for over 35 years) and continue releasing music under up till today. When I first started working with Glo music industry people were very ageist and made harsh judgements about our age difference and how I should wear makeup to make it less obvious so the image became a bit of a gimmick nonetheless these advisors did not help us although we did get Snickers Crisper Commercial as their Metal band because of our image. I have always written hard hitting lyrics opposite to the image so we just took this DIY attitude we’ve always had and have done it ourselves and although our videos may have an element of fantasy and escapism in them we have gone back to reality and no makeup.
Talk to us more about your latest release
I prefer my current 3 piece Bad Habits, hard rockin’ blues with acoustic subtleties band singing hard bitten lyrics of life with Glo (whom I eventually married) playing bass and singing backing vocals (and sometimes lead interchangeably) and Danimal on drums as I love to play rhythm&lead at the same time.
We found our great drummer, Danimal, who was busking on Oxford Street in London. He plays keyboards and does backing vocals. and had a studio in a dingy basement in Shoreditch where we recorded at the time. We certainly rocked those rats and lived on curry and beer with whisky chaser although Glo likes the Red wine.
“Its been a hard life to bear but the guitar has seen me through, my ever constant friend.”
New Album “On The Rocks” soon to be released on my label Night Breed Limited distributed by Orchard/Sony
What inspired you to write this release?
Traveling especially North America and the world of a hard working man’s tough life. Its a “Road Trip Album” without the glossy frills that everybody seems to make music sound like today. “Its not Hollywood its Hardwood and I hope the lyrics are self explanatory. Some tracks based on my own personal life experiences like “Last Bus to Heaven” as well of those people whom I have been blessed to meet. As I believe there is a glint of gold in every dirty pocket. Some of these people were ex-cons, soldiers, as well as truckers, bikers, etc. all with a story to tell. I’m just the guy who puts the message out there and tries my best to tell the story for how it is. We played wherever they would put us up even fetish clubs and strip joints and only got paid food and a little bit of fuel money but life experiences we gained from it were immeasurable. The album title was inspired by the unfortunate state of America’s great divide, a first world country with a third world attitude.
Any plans to release a video?
Yes “This Old Town” it is ready to release any day now as soon as the “On The Rocks” album is live from our aggregate.
Any plans to hit the road?
We are currently in the process of putting together a world tour and we take gigs as and when they come in so it could be i.e. Brazil for the weekend as flyby gigs are quite common nowadays.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
We have used our logo, skull head with hat and band name cross, all over the world for a long time on our merchandise (CDs, t-shirts, pins, jackets, posters, etc.). We have even seen it pirated or homemade by our fans on tattoos and stenciled on back of jackets etc. Although we allow a stencil to be available to our fans we have trademarked it along with our image.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Johnny Cash, Black Sabbath, Gary Moore, Bob Dylan, Chris Rea, Green Day… but when I write I do not listen to anybody.
Tell us about your passions
Martial Arts I’ve been practicing Karate since I was 4 years old and I also do Wing Chun Kung Fu. Writing Music and Film Scripts using my Dragon software and languages. Also my year old son who is very musical and inquisitive.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Red!