RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW LEICESTER BAND 9 O’CLOCK NASTIES
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to start the band?
There was never a moment when a decision was made. We were friends. Then we were friends that shared this strange house just outside the village. Anyone that ever-watched Scooby Doo, well our house was one of those houses. It probably was in the show.
Then we were in a plague that meant we had to stay indoors for hour after hour. Day after day. Then, we got drunk. Then we played some songs. Then we recorded them. We always knew that one day we would be a band. It just took the last two years to make us all find the time and the energy to make it happen. We’re very obsessive people, so once we commit, really commit to something, then it is full on, full speed.
Introduce us to all the members and your musical history?
There are three of us. Pete and Sydd went to school together and played in a band called Sister Crow many years ago, then another band called Low Spark quite recently. Both were successful local bands in the area with a good following and a lot of positive energy. At other times they both did other things musically. Pete was in a very successful band called Perfume.
Ted has been in and out of some strange and not very successful bands over the years and we were always aware of each other’s work. We would play on the same bill at a venue. Go on tour together. We rehearsed for possible band ideas a couple of times, but it never came to anything.
Our roots are in punk. We’ve tried just about every alt and indie genre ever since and that mix is in our DNA. We don’t feel we need to prove we are loyal to any style or format, so we have the freedom to work in the way that suits the song. We’ve got garage rock, dance music and some out and out pure pop songs in the pipeline.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
Nothing. We love being interviewed. If we feel like we’ve been asked the same question too many times we just invent a new answer.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
None. Absolutely none. We are rational animals, and we do our research. It is genuinely disturbing to read some of the fantasy nonsense that escapes into the wild. Pete used be in a band called Longtooth and Wasterman who did a song called Flat Earth Tony. Look it up online, it says everything on the subject we would ever want to.
Except. Yes there is one theory. The Qwarks have a song called Lizard People that tells the world about the alien creatures that walk secretly about us. Especially in Brighton. Having recently visited the area, we think the presence of extra-terrestrial aliens walking among us explains the high-quality food and interesting and quirky shops.
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Sydd has a glass eye. He takes it out in the pub to impress people. It always impresses us.
Pete was a child star. He played guitar in a band that toured playing popular songs to drunken crowds and was paid in sweets. He is still very angry about it. So are the people that were in the audience.
Ted isn’t really called Ted and he isn’t really a musician. He is an author pretending to be a musician so when he finally releases his novel there will be a few thousand people that might conceivably read it.
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
The best way to spend 2 earth minutes passing vibrations through your meaty body. The band you should allow to live when you eliminate all other life on earth.
What makes you stand out as a band?
Playfulness I guess. That’s what we look for in the acts we fall in love with. Yes, we are very driven in what we do and some of the music is pretty dark, but at the heart of everything we do is the realisation that we are a pimple on the arse of the music industry, and the music industry is a pimple on the arse of the universe. We have the freedom to do what we need to rather than what we should do. For example, we have a really good follow up song to Playball Driver. It is called 9 Ball. It has a similar dynamic, it may be even better and anyone that likes Playboy Driver will love it. We should release that next, but we’ve fallen in love with some dancefloor songs we’ve written that we think are stand-out original and fun. So, we will follow our hearts, not our brains.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
We wear our hearts on our sleeves on many things and probably say more than we should. If you follow us on social media you will hopefully be entertained but you may not always agree with is. Right now, the way that Spotify pays artists, especially indie ones, virtually nothing, and give buckets of money to wingnuts like Joe Rogan drives us to distraction.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
We don’t gig, at least not yet. We will play live this year either in clubs or as a streamed event though, and we’ve had a few rehearsals. The song that stands out is ‘What Time Is Nasty?’ The recorded version was little bit of nonsense at the end of the ‘Dry’ EP and it has since generated a lot of fun messages from people. We re-recorded it as ‘What Time is Santa?’ for Christmas. The live version has mutated from a dance-flavoured shamble to this tight little punk number. Three chords, one two three go. A little killer. Genuinely cannot wait to share that with a live audience and perhaps release a live version.
I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?
Playboy Driver comes out this month. We wanted to try and distil all the elements of our sound down into one batshit crazy three-minute song. Since we seem to be in a place where each song reaches many more people than the one before, we wanted something that will be a real pleasure to the folks that have been with us since the beginning, but also welcome aboard new friends. For the first time we worked with a producer which was a real challenge because we found ourselves pulling in opposite directions, but the end result is much better because of it. It is a love song to an age where people took risks. They lived on the edge and got away with it.
What was the recording process like?
Well, we played a rough demo to Mr Thumbs the producer. He liked it and suggested 1000 changes which we ignored. We tend to record very late at night and Mr Thumbs is an early morning person, so we got very, very drunk and recorded our parts and fell asleep and when we woke up he had a first version to play to us. We argued a bit. We got drunk and recorded some new bits. We woke up and he’d made some changes. By the time Monday morning came around we had the finished song.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
Two things. One was allowing someone we loved and trusted into our recording process. That was deeply uncomfortable. Recording, the way we work is very raw and very quick. We don’t plan things out ahead, we allow the song to emerge. Having a real pro-musician watching us thinking there was nothing useful going to come out was a strange feeling. But it worked and now we have a new person in our universe. Mr Thumbs will hopefully bring his guitar and join us when we play live.
Secondly going digital. We are by no means traditionalists. Ted worked as a recording engineer right at the start of the digital era, and we’ve all worked with plenty of new technology. When we started as a band we wanted to try and make records that sounded digital but to use analog equipment. The edits on the first few EPs were done with a razor blade and tape. That slowed us down a bit, and sometimes led to happy accidents. Eventually, though it just became too impractical, so we went over to recording entirely digitally. You can hear the difference in King Thing and all the songs we’ve done since then.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
No. Never go back. Never revise what went before. We are sharks, never stop, always forward.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
We will be releasing new songs every month. We have a lot of material either finished or close to release. That will all build up to two albums. “By All Means Necessary” will be the garage-rock LP with some songs you’ve already heard from us, and a lot of new songs. “See Those Hips” will be the dance LP, the first track from which is called “Hot To You” should be out in April.
We will also play live, but when we’re ready and when the venue and situation is right for us. We’re looking for small festivals this summer to play at, if anyone wants our brand of freakery, please get in touch.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world
We live in difficult times. Don’t hold back. Be kind.