Q: Hi! So lovely to meet you, and happy to be interviewing you today! “There’s No Ghosts In This Town” has such a relaxed, nostalgic vibe to it. The upbeat instrumental and infectious melody makes the song so addicting. Can you walk me through the creative process of making this track?
NTGB: Hi! Nice to meet you too. Basically the song came along after a bit of a break from writing. I don’t like to force things along so tend just to grab a guitar and record rough ideas on my phone as and when they come along. This one did just that, and after a rough phone demo, I quickly got it to the PC and everything fell into place. Once demoed on the PC I sent it to Gaz, and he called over a few days later to record his vocal. The rest of it was done in a local studio after a couple of rehearsals to iron out drum and guitar parts etc.
Q: As I mentioned, I love the old-school feel of “There’s No Ghosts In This Town.” I’m curious who your biggest musical influences were growing up and today?
NTGB: My biggest influence has always been and always will be the Beatles. Other bands that got me into music were the likes of Simon and Garfunkle, The Stone Roses, The Kinks, The Charlatans, the Stones. I still continue to listen to these bands but obviously took on other influences along the way. I love shoegaze. I’ve been listening to Parks Squares and Alleys quite a bit lately…
Q: What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received about the music industry, and how has it helped you navigate it so far?
NTGB: I think that being advised to ditch my solid state amp and buy a valve amp was the most noticeable piece of advice I’ve received as a guitar player starting out. That and don’t drink any more than 3 pints before you go on stage. That definitely doesn’t bode well.
Q: Jumping off the last question, what advice would you give to other artists trying to get their name out there?
NTGB: Be yourself. Don’t try and be part of some click or scene or fit into a style because it’s what you think people want. Be yourself and do your thing. I spent too much time trying to be part of something that wasn’t a true reflection of who i am or what i want to do. Life’s too short to waste on stuff like that – make the most of it.
Q: Did any real-life events occur in your life that inspired the song?
NTGB: I think all of my songs are inspired by life – real events, real feelings etc. Not in any particular order, and not necessarily part of the same story. Moments that inspire lines that i can connect together into a song.
Q: Starting as a solo artist, I’m curious, Nick; How has having a full band changed the type of music you create, and the process in which you create it?
NTGB: I didn’t necessarily start as a solo artist – I always knew Gaz Brown would be doing the vocals on this and we pretty much took the NTGB name from the start. I didn’t however expect to get a full band together and it was only ever intended to be a few home recorded demos for something to do – i think. But its cool that we have blossomed into what we now are. We are still growing too, still taking form.
Q: Who would you most like to collaborate with, if it could be anyone?
NTGB: Difficult one to answer – as the whole NTGB thing so far has been mainly about myself and Gaz collaborating with other local musicians / friends to produce the music we are. I think if it were to be someone famous, erm.. not sure. Maybe something outrageous, like William Shatner. I’d like to hear him covering some of my music, it would give me a giggle – and be undeniably cool. Or maybe a DJ. Always liked that first Unkle album, would be cool to feature on something like that… Or maybe an instrumental album of my music played on the pan pipes. You can’t beat a good pan pipe album for those relaxing summer evenings sipping cocktails on the beach.
Q: Tell everyone what is next for you as a band! Are any projects and/or live shows in the works?
NTGB: No live shows yet, but we are not ruling that out. We enjoy doing this with a very laid back approach, so we will probably take it easy for a few weeks then get back into the studio to record something else. I want us to get an album ready as soon as we have enough recorded that we are happy with and flows nice. I think yes, safe to say an album will be next. But don’t rule anything out with us, we could roll past you in the street in a tin bath on wheels at 100mph dressed as chinchillas. Anything can happen. Expect the unexpected at all times…..
Interviewed by Melissa Cusano