Artist Interview: “Team Player” by 9 o’clock Nasty

Q: “Team Player” is such a fun and unique song! At some parts it gives off an ‘80s Beastie Boy’s vibe, and that other times it has such a hard rock feel! Who are your biggest influences?

9 O’CLOCK NASTY: That is a much harder question to answer than you might think. Honestly, we do not consciously try to emulate anything. We live almost 24/7 with music. Our studio, which is where we live, has music on day and night. Prog rock, punk, hip hop, techno. We’re by nature lovers of music. So sometimes a particular sound will just be – kerpow! Yes. Sometimes it’s the meter of the vocal – which is so distinctive with the Beastie Boys. We each have our own main influences probably, but as a band they aren’t the same. Our main influence changes day to day. We hope that we’re pretty original. We surprise ourselves. You just know that a song wants to sound a particular way, so you enable it.

Q: The production on “Team Player” is exceptional! Can you walk me a little through your production and writing process for making this track?

9 O’CLOCK NASTY: Every song is different. Genuinely. We never record the same way twice. We went all in on analogue with the last single, Darker Star. We spent hours positioning mics and editing multi-track tape. So, for Team Player we went all-in on digital. The first thing was probably the drum loops. We love to record Sydd when he is trying out ideas, he has a MIDI kit that we can just grab from. We found a beat that was really unusual, quite 1970s. Ted calls himself a bass-player but isn’t truly a musician at all. He came up with that bendy bass part and then Pete added guitar and we worked out a vocal line. That was the easy part. The hard part, and it is always the hardest part, was the arrangement. We cut and cut and cut. We stripped. Everything unnecessary was deleted. We went especially far this time, even deleted a minute or so of introduction to make the song come right in with a kick at the door. We’re finishing the next single at the moment, and the process was totally different, and involved a piano and beer.

Q: I just know this song was meant to be played live. Have you performed it in front of an audience yet?

9 O’CLOCK NASTY: No, we haven’t played any live dates yet. We started with the idea that we would never do live shows. All three of us have played a lot of gigs over the years and we wanted to focus on writing and promoting and not spend hours rehearsing and limiting songs to what three people can do live. But we miss that itch of live music. So we’ve arranged a few gigs and we’re rewriting some songs so that they will work live. It is a big commitment because we will not play live if we can’t do it well. So, to answer the question, we played it in rehearsal for the very first time last night, the 14th of June. We will work it and work it and work it and if we think it works well and if we can play it in a tidal wave of madness, which is what the live show will be like, then it will make the set list.

Q: If you could collaborate with any musician, who would it be?

9 O’CLOCK NASTY: We have. We have a few other artists we would love to collaborate with, but the two we have just done are a single with I Am The Unicorn Head called Existential Dread and a song with Golden Plates. They are both artists we really admired and got chatting to. There are a lot of others, we have a sort of side project with the Qwarks called “Regency Bastards” that may one day get released.

Q: What’s the music scene like in Leicester, UK?

9 O’CLOCK NASTY: First off, we don’t think of ourselves as a Leicester band. That is not to say anything against Leicester, which we love, but our audience is not geographical. We have far more listeners in the US than we do in the UK for example. We’re happy with that. We can find our people online and they can find us. Leicester has always been under the musical radar. There are some truly outstanding bands that have not been celebrated as they should be, two examples would be Produkty and Bud Longtooth. There are some good venues like the Soundhouse, the Donkey and Duffy’s. There is a very knowledgeable and kind audience. It is a good city to come from. No nonsense and full of love.

Q: I’m interested in your guys’ musical journey. Did you grow up musical? When did you all start creating music together?

9 O’CLOCK NASTY: Pete was a child musician. He was taken on the road playing clubs in a kids band by a wicked neighbour. He met Sydd at school and they played in a band together called Sister Crow and then they went their separate ways and played in several bands, sometimes together. Ted was on the same scene and after being dropped from a band on tour had to work as a roadie for Sydd and Pete to get back to England. So, a friendship based on music. Together? Well, we talked about being a band a lot. But nothing ever happened. Then we found a studio big enough for us to all live in, and we went into lockdown. We had a simple choice, form a band or murder each other. It was probably always going to happen in the end.

Q: What’s next for you guys?

9 O’CLOCK NASTY: Team Player for June. I’m Bent in July. In August there is Existential Dread with I Am The Unicorn Head and our first gig. From there, who knows? We have already written a Christmas single, so watch out.

Q: Parting words to your fans?

9 O’CLOCK NASTY: Get Into Them. Spread the Love.

Interviewed by Melissa Cusano


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