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RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW 9 O’CLOCK NASTY 

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

Music decided it was the thing for us. We have no choice. It’s a compulsion. If you talk to any indie musician, they didn’t choose it, it happened. You talk to people, you get ideas for songs. You spend time alone, you get ideas.

Introduce us to all to the members and your musical history.

First, there was a band called Sister Crow that Sydd and Pete played in. Now there is a band called 9 o’clock Nasty that Ted, Sydd and Pete played in. In between there were probably 20 or 30 other bands and 30 or 40 musicians who we were proud and happy to be onstage with. And a few idiots we’d rather forget. A lot of broken strings. A lot of broken dreams.

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?

It does depend on what you mean by progress. 

If progress is making money, then terribly. We make far more money selling t-shirts than we do from royalties. 

If progress is reaching an audience then we’re content. In December 2021 we were happy to get 500 listeners to a song. Now we would expect to have something around 80,000 listeners to a new song in the first month or so. We know what it is like to play 20 gigs a month and reach only 1000 people. So compared to that, this is brilliant and we expect it to keep growing until it reaches its natural level.

If progress is about writing the music you want and not compromising, then we’re doing great. I don’t think any of us have ever felt prouder of anything we’ve done musically than we feel about the new series of singles we have coming out.

How have your songwriting skills developed over time?

We’ve probably changed from having a sound and trying to make songs fit it, to allowing songs to breathe and find their own way. We’re less likely to try and pin a song down and finish it in a hurry. 

Also, in all our other bands, we’ve written in the rehearsal room and we’ve written songs to play live. 9 o’clock Nasty has very rarely stepped into a rehearsal room. We write at the kitchen table, in the bar or at the mixing desk.

I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?

A venue is only part of the story. Women, rightly, can point out that music gigs are just one place they may not feel safe and a police and justice system that works to educate, protect and respond is kind of the heart of things. Venues have a responsibility, and that means appropriate show security, trained and professionalism. It means ways to report a problem and to know it will be dealt with. But in a world where women are told they can’t decide what happens in their uterus by entitled grey men and their apologists, a whole raft of bad things happen. So step 1 is have governments that care that women feel safe. By all means necessary.



As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?

Overwhelmingly from reviews on music sites like yours. We probably read ten or fifteen articles each day and listen to music there, and we have a super secret playlist we share of ones we like. The songs that we agree on and stay we sometimes put out as shared playlists and give shoutouts on social media. There is so much good music out at the moment. This is a very good era to be into music if you pay attention. Other than your site we’d probably especially recommend Mango Wave, Dark Strudel, and Less Than 1000 Followers are solid places you will pick up a good song every day if you want.

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

No, no, and yes.

What’s your thought on Spotify monopoly on the music industry?

Technology is an enabler. It brings the audience closer and it removes a layer of mediation from the music business. But the company themselves are toxic. They exploit artists and they do not reinvest in talent. The music industry has never been fair and it has always exploited artists. Spotify are just the latest flavour of greed we have to live with.

Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?

This is going to be a serious answer. No.

We would have been the number 1 conspiracy nut a few years ago, but in recent years conspiracy theories have become weaponised as the province of right-wing nut jobs that are actually harmful. 

So, the world is round, science is real, things are true when they are proven, and if you don’t like it them tough. Opinions are not proof. Vaccines are a proven way to fight disease and social responsibility. 

That’s probably annoyed everyone who has read this but hey, maybe we are the running dogs of the imperialist super-state.

Did you buy anything you dont need during the pandemic?

We build our studio during the pandemic. Well, we rebuilt it. So we bought a lot of equipment online from eBay and suchlike and Ted ended up with about five soldering irons. So soldering irons is the answer. And doll shoes. But that is another story.

What was the worst experience on stage?

We’ve only played live once as 9 o’clock Nasty. Well only once with the songs we have now. 

Before that, we played our first gig in Germany when we only had two songs and it was a brilliant disaster. I think my worst experience from that was turning around to see two people climbing on stage and seeing Pete about to mash his guitar over their heads. I realised that they were friends and were trying to put back a speaker Pete had kicked over earlier in the song but before I could do anything Sydd jumped from behind the drum kit and pushed Pete over and landed on them and that was the end of the show.

That was the end of the gig, but it was a relief as we had actually nearly finished our second song and we didn’t really have a plan for what we would do next.

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

All artists stand out in their own way, we probably have a little secret sauce that sets us apart because we’re perhaps more impetuous and ready to take risks than many. We don’t dream of success, what we do now, every day is a success. We don’t need thousands of listeners to scratch this itch. So that gives us the freedom to punch that little bit harder.

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

The new single is called Rise Up. It is our first song as a Boy Band. It is not a natural role for us but there is a global shortage of Boy Bands, so we had to step up and support the genre. We have the melody, the sex appeal, and the dance moves, so it is just another day at the office really. Rise Up is a great example of a song that decides how it will sound and you just need to let it form its own shape and carry you along. It is a bittersweet protest song, as strangely although it is about overthrowing the system it is actually quite mellow and gentle.

Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.

We work in a range of different ways. One of the most productive is when we sit around the table and just drop ideas and let the others join in. On one evening in the summer we wrote and recorded demo versions of four songs. I’m Bent came from the same session. Pete started with the guitar line and the chorus and we joined in and it took shape. The finished song is not a million miles away from that original demo.

What was the recording process like?

This one was Pete’s baby. He sweated every tiny detail, recreating the original demo a small piece at a time. For Sydd and Ted, it was a case of dropping in every day and helping to shape it and then adding chunks of bass or percussion and finally vocals. It was probably the most fun and the least argument we’ve ever had with a song. We all knew what it had to sound like, so we just had to make it happen.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

We’re learning all the time. With every song you pick up a technique or an idea, whether it be blending vocal harmonies or editing something to make it really pop. Now that we don’t literally live in the studio, we’re having to get better at working alone and then bringing ideas together. It means songs become more intricate and evolved so we need to keep smashing them back into shape again and again.

Would you change anything now its finished?

You’ve asked us this before and the answer is the same. Nothing. 

We fight to the death over every tiny detail until the song is recorded, the arrangement complete and the mix is done. Then it is onto the next one, there are always three or four more waiting to get out. When we were doing Rise Up we had Too Cool, Disco Investors, and Low Fat Jesus all fighting to have their chance, so the second we agree a song is done, that is it. No reworking, no returns.

The exception is when we collaborate with another artist. We had a successful collaboration with I Am The Unicorn Head in the summer called Existential Dread, and we’re working on a follow-up. 

When another band is involved and there are periods between working when the other team is adding their part, there is certainly a lot more opportunity to rethink and for that to be fun.