RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW LEICESTER BAND 9 O’CLOCK NASTY
Hi lads thanks for joining us! What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
I don’t think there are any really. We always have the freedom to answer the question differently, well except under oath. We don’t like being asked for our bank details much.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
Most of our answers in this, or any interview may be nonsense. Hopefully slightly knowing and amusing but rarely fully serious, but this one needs a straight answer. We are living in a very dangerous truth-free era where things that should be questioned are accepted and things that are solid facts are being called into doubt. So, cards on the table… We believe that science is real. We believe that vaccines are not a conspiracy. We believe that there was indeed a landing on the moon and there is not a worldwide secret cult. The idea of counter-culture and questioning the orthodox set of values is being perverted by people with an agenda. Do not be fooled. However, it must also be said that if you accept the news on face value, if you do not question what you are told, then you are part of the problem. Evidence. Evidence.
So we know the earth is flat, the election was stolen, Q is a penguin, Bill Gates is probably up to something.
Actually, good example. People say some weird stuff about Bill Gates. Look away from that. Is his support for vaccination a sinister plot? No, it isn’t. Is his impact on the US education system by targeted financial support for a particular ideological view of how schools should run toxic? Yes it is.
Right, that is the end of the serious bit. Rest easy pop pickers.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
A second drum kit. A third guitar. A set of five strings for a four-string bass. A counterfeit Shure microphone that makes you sound like you are singing into a banana. A huge bubble making machine.
Actually, that last one is cool. We’re keeping that.
What useless party trick do you have?
All party tricks are useful. We are practicing dancing like space invaders. It will come in handy.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
The most fun? August 19th in Brighton UK. Brunswick Cellar Bar. That will be the most fun. We are really looking forward to stretching ourselves across a stage and causing monumental havoc. Historically, Pete once caught a moth in his mouth in mid song whilst playing bass for a band called the Moth Eaters. To be clear, he did then open his mouth and release it and was the most popular man in Northern England for the rest of that summer. Ted once fell off stage and landed on Bob Geldof’s manager. No moths were involved in the second story.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Sydd once played in a thrash metal band and in his over enthusiasm the guitarist climbed up onto the bass drum prepared to do a spectacular jump. Sadly he mistimed it and landed on his back and nearly passed out. Sydd was fine. No moths were harmed.
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Ted is really an author pretending to be a bass player. Pete is really a bass player pretending to be a guitarist. Sydd is really a drummer, entirely a drummer and in every aspect of every cell of his being is keeping a relentless rhythm. I’ve been to see two gigs with Sydd so far this year and both times he has ended up playing with the band.
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
We would grab the alien, wrap them in clingfilm, leaving any external holes uncovered as we wouldn’t know which ones served which purpose. We would put them on a nice comfortable cushion and offer them snacks. We would then record a collaboration song with them. We would describe ourselves as “essential” to them. We’d say it with a really serious face so they knew we intended them to believe us absolutely and without question.
What makes you stand out as a band?
That is hard because we wouldn’t want to denigrate anyone else’s work. It is pretty tough being an indie artists in 2022. You can reach a global audience online but you can’t make any money back to cover your costs and you need to grab attention.
In some ways we’re old-fashioned. Our music is not intended to please. We genuinely do not ever play a note to make something “accessible” or marketable. If you like our stuff you will probably love it. If you don’t you will probably hate it. That is what we want. We’re probably funnier than many acts, but that is NOT because we are not deadly serious about what we do. We cope with tragedy and evil with laughter, and the world is full of both, so we keep chuckling.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
Everything and nothing. The world was getting better every year. There were huge problems but we had faith they would get solved. Now we are sliding back into a mean-spirited, jealous and unkind version of the world and not enough people are standing up to be counted.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
We’re in rehearsals right now, and it varies from night to night. Probably Darker Star because it just feels so huge when you play it. Almost an out of body experience. It will be a great song for people to sing along to. On the other side of the coin there is What Time Is Nasty? which is a total ramshackle mess and largely improvised. We will have to decide whether to play it or not at each gig, because you really have to be in the mood to bring strange at that level.
I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?
The new single is called Team Player. It is a deliberate attempt to do something very different from Darker Star, which has been a success for us. We love Darker Star and we’re really pleased with the success. But we need to test ourselves. So, Team Player is very bare, very clean. All the layers are stripped away. There is no hiding place. Big choruses are becoming a bit of a trademark for us, and it does have a huge singalong chorus, but it is much darker and harder edged than anything we’ve tried before.
Talk me through the thought process of the single?
It is never the same process twice. Team Player began as one of Sydd’s drum loops. We record him at work and sometimes something will drop out as being an idea we can really use. In this case it was a steady but slightly slippy drum pattern. Ted dropped that booming, bending bass on top. Pete kicked it into shape and added guitar and then we worked the vocals and the chorus from there as a group. Often there is a funny story behind a lyric, but Team Player is just a set of management-speak nonsense put to music. We were also reading a lot about failed polar expeditions at the time and some imagery from that grandiosely stupid adventuring probably sneaked in.
What was the recording process like?
Periods of frantic activity, recording and improvising. Periods where we aren’t doing anything, just listening, and talking and reflecting. Editing – deleting, trimming, layering. Finally taking all the components and building an arrangement that is tight and doesn’t overstay its welcome. Team Player comes right in with the first word of the first verse before anything else. Initially we had about a minute of pretty cool build-up before that, but we felt it needed to feel like a smack in the face. We felt that the song wanted to start with a smack in the face. So we cut the intro out and make it drop hard and loud.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
We keep swapping from a very analogue and organic approach to recording to using technology and keeping almost everything digital. Most of Darker Star was very rough and ready. We were editing the 16-track tape with a razor blade, which is not an approach we would recommend to the faint-hearted. Team Player was almost entirely clean and captured in the computer. Many of the sounds are synthetic. Then for a few moments, we had to go old—school and set up Pete with an amp in a state of total feedback in a very small room. If you can listen carefully, you can hear him begging to be let out. We always end up frustrated we can’t make something sound exactly like we want it, so we keep improvising and learning.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
No. Never go back. When it is done, it is done. The day a song is agreed and done we move on. There are always new songs to go to. Right now, we have 19 on our corkboard. Probably half will never get finished. Always forward.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Singles. One a month. We also have a couple of really strong collaborations with other new-indie artists coming out this year which will be exciting. We’re also going to do live shows and use them to create more content we can share online. So, you may not get to be at one of our shows in person, but if you keep looking it will touch your life at some point.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to Pete Brock. He knows why. I’m sorry.
We feel sorry for poor Peter 🙂 Thanks guys good luck with the release.