9 O’clock Nasty is a Leicester, UK based rocking trio, they released their latest short-punch in the face- single “Food on the Floor” on the 15th of April 2022 and now, we’re about to get to know them better.
- Well, I need to get this out of my system, what’s the story behind the band’s name 9 O’clock Nasty?
Our original name was 9 o’clock Horses. That is a local legend parents would tell their children. “Got to bed or the 9 o’clock Horses will take you away.” It’s too long a story to tell it here, but if anyone is interested the origins of it, and where the missing children went to is all explained in various articles. We also quite liked the name Nasty. So, 9 o’clock Nasty.
There are several other explanations, all of them true, but that’s the official one.
- How did you guys meet? What influenced each one of you to pick his instrument?
Sydd and Pete went to school together and played in a band called Sister Crow. Pete was a child-star in a band that played cover versions in working men’s clubs. Ted met them in Prague. He had been kicked out of his band on tour there and was sleeping on the sofa of a particularly insane Czech fanzine writer. They went to see Sydd and Pete’s band and ended up being the roadcrew for the rest of their tour in return for the lift home.
Sydd hit things from birth, so drumming was natural. Pete started as a guitarist, but after hearing the Stranglers switched to bass. Ted was a singer in a band whose bass-player walked out so he stepped in on the basis that it looked easy with only four strings.
So 9 o’clock Nasty have two bass players.
- Why do you like writing short straightforward songs? What’s the hardest thing about writing such songs?
We think that if a song can’t say what needs to be said in a few minutes, then it probably doesn’t have something worth saying. After all if you want more you can just play it twice. It is much easier to write a sing with a two-minute intro than it is to write a two-minute song.
To keep things tight and simple we delete a lot of ideas. You have to be prepared to say no to things. That’s a really healthy discipline, and if you don’t feel comfortable saying no to someone’s idea, you probably can’t be in a band with them.
- What’s the song off your catalog that describes your sound the most?
That’s a truly impossible question. There probably isn’t one. King Thing is the one that we’re probably the most proud of. Do Me Too is probably the most representative. The next couple of singles completely go off in new directions, Darker Star is very warm and analogue and BIG, Team Player is very hard and tight and digital.
Truth is, we don’t have “a sound.” We have some ways of recording and composing we use again and again which sort of give us a fingerprint, but if a song needs to be different, that’s what we do.
It is never about the band. It is always about the song. We have songs that we didn’t all play on. That is irrelevant, what the song needs, the song gets.
- How does your writing process usually go?
We live in each other’s pockets, so song ideas come together very organically. An idea will get played a few times and messed about with. A lyric will grow as a series of text messages. A late-night drinking session can end up with us recording a sketch. All of our phones are full of riffs and snippets. Once something has a basic shape it gets posted on the studio wall. We have Post Its with the names of songs in different places from Start, to Make, to Fix, to Mix. On a night when we’re going to record we just look at what’s on the wall and pick something to work on that we’re in the mood for. Right now, there are 19 cards on the wall.
Some songs fail. They get taken down and either we take ideas from them to recycle, or we give them a month or two and go back to them. One song, “No Garry, Your Ideas Are Too Extreme for 9 o’clock Nasty” was the first track we wrote, and it has been three times around and never reached completion. It will one day.
We’re very obsessive people. We love tiny details and nods to other songs and artists buried into things. Recording can take a lot longer than writing, but if a song has good bones, we can sometimes finish it in one night.
- Listening to “Food on the Floor” I wanted to know, honestly, has the dusty texture made it better? And what was your favorite food off the floor?
Pickled herring because the vinegar flavour cuts through the dust. Also any kind of sausage.
- Any future touring plans or live gigs for 9 O’clock Nasty?
Yes. We held back because we don’t want to waste a lot of time preparing for a live show that would be just the three of us playing the songs in a mediocre way. Touring, and doing a good live show, is a big commitment and takes away from the time we have to write and record, so it has to be worth it. We’ve worked out a way we can take our music live and really make it memorable. We want to play gigs people will remember. Really remember forever. In their gut.
The first dates will be warm ups and very low key. We haven’t finalised them yet. The first proper gig will be in mid-August in Brighton with the Qwarks. From there we’ll be touring into September.
They are not going to be your typical live shows.
- Which point of your career do you consider your career highlight so far?
9 o’clock Nasty is not a career; it is a compulsion. Every new song is the highlight, there is no past and no future. We have no plan to ever be more than what we are now, independent musicians doing what we like for people that like what we do. Without doubt the release day for Playboy Driver and the feedback we had for that was very special. The next single, Darker Star, is truly exceptional and will be another big splash.
- Before I go, what’s your wildest dream/plan for 9 O’clock Nasty’s future?
We’ve had a couple of genuinely exciting offers for collaborative work with other artists from entirely different ends of the musical spectrum that we’re hoping will result in some fresh madness later this year. Playing in the US, where we have our largest audience would be wonderful and we totally want to make that happen if we can make it at least cover our costs.
Plan isn’t a word for 9 o’clock Nasty. People have said about us that we have this masterplan and work weeks and months ahead, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. We’re instinctive in what we do, and we have almost no impulse control. So, we say we have plans but we don’t follow them. That is the joy of being truly indie. Doing what is right, when it feels right. About the only thing that is fixed is that when we commit to a date to play a gig, we’ll honour it, otherwise, everything is fluid. That’s how we like it.
Thanks for your time guys, wishing you the best of luck. Cheers!