Willie J & The Bad Books Flexes Its Blues & Psychedelic Grooves On New Single

Come and surrender your soul to the blues and grooving magic of the debut single from Willie J & The Bad Books, with Backdoor Man officially out in the world now. An energetic and passionate tune revelling in blues rock with an Australian flavour, Backdoor Man is accompanied by a black-and white clip shot in a tram and showcasing the entire band doing what they do best. With the band set to imminently head into the studio to record their debut album, Backdoor Man is a sweltering introduction to the Melbourne amalgamation of Motorhead, Jimi Hendrix and Robert Johnson if they hung out in an Aussie pub. Having recently busted out onstage alongside Dallas Frasca in Fitzroy, the band also have a series of shows lined up in December and January, including an official single launch for Backdoor Man locked and loaded for Friday January 6 at the Northcote Social Club.

An energy-fuelled tune paying loving homage to the blues, Backdoor Man flexes its blues and psychedelic grooves alongside raw riffs and nods to the likes of Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Marcus King, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Recorded and produced at guitarist Rick Steward’s home studio, Backdoor Man also lends its authentic charm to the track ultimately being captured in one take. The music video for Backdoor Man brings the boogie-inducing musical stylings of Willie J & The Bad Books perfectly to life, with the energetic clip providing a visual introduction for many to the band via their debut outing, while also capturing the high-octane performance on offer from the quintet in a live setting. The band answer some questions about the new single.

How has the build-up been leading up to the release of the single Backdoor Man?
It’s been great, we are stoked to release this into the world. This is only the beginning, we can’t wait to show you more of what we’ve been doing. Our new year is starting off with a bang!

Was the process of making your single as challenging as you thought?
Not at all, we are lucky to have access to the majority of the things that we need. All the equipment you’d need to track a song, software and hardware were at our fingertips. We couldn’t have done it without our man, Slick Rick.

Sonically, how would you describe your music?
Ass-kicking blues rock, thrill seeking fun. Prepare to boogie!

Who would you consider to be the biggest influence on your music and why?
My parents are my biggest influences. I was raised on the blues and now I play the blues. A big part of what I do can be traced back to my dad being “Bluesman Baz.” My parents have always had a great taste in music, going to shows with them from a young age has really shaped who I wanted to be.

Best piece of advice you have been given?
No drinking before a show!

How did the band get together?
I was playing a solo gig on Brunswick Street when I met our drummer, Fru. I have been mates with Forgey (bassist) for a while and I had mentioned to him that I wanted to start a blues band. Forgey and Rick lived together at the time, and sat in on a jam session. Rick, Eileen and Forgey all work together at Echo Tone and the rest is history!

Are you looking to tour more broadly?
Absolutely. We’d love to get on board the festival circuit. An Australian tour, then the world!

What’s next for Willie J & The Bad Books?
Our single launch for Backdoor Man is on the 6th of January 2023! Then we’ve got The Blues Train, Pistol Pete’s, Lettuce Fest… Our calendar is filling up already, and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got.

Interview By Rob Lyon

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