Where are you currently based?
How did you first start playing music?
Picked up a bass at age 16 after listening to (and being blown away) by Steve Harris, the bass player for Iron Maiden. Haven’t been into metal for a while, but that’s how it all started.
How has your approach t0 creating music changed over the years?
I’ve been in an indie rock band for many years, and for most of that time, our approach to music involved jamming out complete songs. Lately, we’ve been more into splicing parts together on a DAW. And for my solo work, I write beats, jam out a live bassline over them, and add on keyboard parts on that.
What’s been happening recently and how has your Covid experience been so far?
I’ve been lucky: COVID hasn’t impacted me that much. Musically and otherwise, things have been relatively normal.
Your new single ‘Teacups’ is out now, what influenced the sound and songwriting?
The feel and mood of the song was inspired by Yves Tumour’s album Serpent Music. Amazing album, by the way. I love the field recordings in the album and just the feeling of mystery.
How did you go about writing Teacups?
Teacups started with a beat I tapped out on my knuckles, and then recorded. I then added a reverb effect and some drums, and the bassline. I put a melody over it all using a keyboard patch. Lastly, I put some field recordings of my daughter playing with a small porcelain tea set and talking, and saturated with reverb.
Where and when did you record/produce/master and who did you work with?
My first LP – called The Gamins – was recorded at my home studio. I did the mixing myself, and mastered it online. In my band we’ve used other people to mix our stuff quite a bit – but for Nimrawd I felt it made more sense for me to do it myself. My music is very lo-fi and intense – so the album was forgiving of my possibly inexperienced mixing technique.
How did you approach the recording process?
I start by tapping out a drum line on my iPhone, more often than not. Next, I put a live bassline down. I feel that live bass is key to my music. There’s something about the analog nature of it that really just lets the rhythm breathe and open up. I then add other instrumentation on top. The actual “recording” process will typically happen over sessions that last a few hours. Then the arranging and tinkering happens. I’ll do that over a period of months, in short bursts – sometimes of just a few minutes.
What programs/instruments/equipment did you use?
iPhone for beats. Sometimes an iPad, sometimes a drum pad. I used a Warwick fretless 4-string bass for all the basslines. Everything was recorded on Logic Pro and using MIDI patches.
How did the concept for the Teacups video come about?
I felt the song had a movement to it, and one day the idea of doing a ballet-type of video came into my head. It just felt right.
Where and when did you film/produce and who did you work with?
I hired a dancer on Fiverr to do it. It’s crazy what you can do online these days. I sent her the song, the words my daughter says in the music, and she took it from there. I gave her full artistic freedom to do what she felt was right, and I think she did a great job.
You have an LP to be released later in 2021, how has the progress been so far?
The progress has been great. In fact the album is mostly done – but with a big asterisk. I have a series of songs, but I need to make sure they work as a whole. I also need to see if I need to add a new song to make sure I’m covering all the styles I’d like to have on the LP. And, of course, there might be some situations where I have to cut a song I like because it doesn’t fit with the others.
How are you approaching the creation of the LP?
I would say the songs on this new LP are a bit more electronic foused, and less “beat tape” focused. I’m also experimenting with shorter “ditties” which push the music a bit more in terms of experimentality.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Ras G, Madlib, Mike Ladd, Actress, Brian Eno, Dakim, Inga Copeland, The Beach Boys.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2021?
Complete the album, and start the next one. I’m in a bit of a netherzone right now. Once I’m nearly done with an album I find it hard to really get into new songs. I’ve started experimenting with some texture ideas, but the next step is really to release my second LP.