I must explain what a party is, you might have forgotten it thanks to these 2 years. It’s when people come together, dynamics don’t work out, they get drunk, have a disdain for the music playing and general mayhem is in order. Remember the thing you missed? 9 o’clock Nasty recover from their acute case of Sexyback and play a Party album for us.
You always know what to expect and get it wrong with 9 o’clock Nasty. They once again just enjoy what they do, so don’t bother with genre classification. If you like it, listen to it. To like it, you must listen but. You’ll probably definitely like it.
Track one: straight up fun
Opening with Preach Me Down, Nasty trick you with that 80’s synth sound that we all grew sick of. Thanks, Genesis. Then the sick funk is in order, with a Les Claypool style bassline and some smooth-gruff vocals. Syd, Ted & Pete never cease to excite us with their unusual sound and experimental approach to making music.
Well, songs are like babies and every child is different, unique and special. Preach Me Down had been a sort of feral, skeletal, unloved creature that always popped up every time we were due to record and never made it onto the list. Then Ted and Sydd were playing about with a slightly different approach to recording live drums and the groove just slotted together.
From there is was a pretty painful process of adding little pieces of muscle and skin to the skeleton and applying a fuck-ton of make up and a wig. The end result is something we’re really pleased with – the surge as it reaches the chorus in particular. Watch out for a number of songs next year that take the lessons we learned making this one and apply them to make songs that are somehow bigger. We don’t want to lose that garage band tight-coiled feeling, but we think we can add the a greater degree of power and still make it work as a 9 o’clock Nasty song.
Goddamn right boys. A 9 o’clock song is very specifically a 9 o’clock song. Sure, use the lonely hours you spent discovering music and say they sound like [insert obsolete but brilliant artist]. You’re still going to get a special brew of Irish coffee with these guys. Beware for micro doses of LSD though, they’re perfectly capable. That riff is now the ringtone to my trip dreams.
Track two: Into the not-so-deep blue
Hmm, let me do my best to describe As the Ship Goes Down. Imagine The Beatles’ controversial track, YellowSubmarine. Hate it or like it, nobody really gives a shit. Now imagine they got to make it as a dance track because Tommy Trash was moonlighting as a DJ then. Hope I didn’t screw the pooch with that terrible introduction. Anyways, what are words going to do for you. Take out a solid 1:12 seconds and get to dancing. Then loop the song and continue.
A sharp left turn with As the Ship Goes Down. Is the answer for “why a dance style track as the second?” as obvious as why the hell not?
Not at all. We work at pace and commit to each song in the way we feel it wants to come out. As The Ship Goes Down was written late at night around the kitchen table with a lot of beer. We rarely work that way because the results can be…. messy. Ted had watched every single film about the Titanic he could find that weekend and was obsessed with the orchestra playing as the waves rose up, and the opulence of the ship. Then we got started talking about “if you were on a ship with no lifeboats and had an hour before it sank what would you do?” Then Pete found his guitar in the chest freezer where we’d hidden it (long story).
So this one started as an extremely detuned acoustic guitar riff and some shouted vocals that we just captured on a couple of phones. Later we tried re-recording it in a more traditional way but the mad bastard refused to work properly, so instead we had to take the phone recordings and just tidy them up a bit and overlay some touches here and there. Next year we’ve got a similar mix of songs, some thunderous and muscular, some frothy and light, each song has to find it’s own way out. We do not, by the way, recommend freezing a guitar to get a particular sound. But it was very funny. If you listen to it carefully you can hear the thumping on the table and the rattling of cutlery. Our table is practically an instrument. We are practically furniture. The greatest luxury a band can have is freedom from a single-fit format. Once you settle on a single sound that defines you and just turn the handle to crank out more of the same, you lose so much freedom to improvise and swerve. Our aim is to keep swerving but to have a thread or identity that links everything together. We made As The Ship Goes Down at around the same time as Sexy Back, and although they are entirely different animals we think there is a connection between them.
Well, I do remember the beer story, so seems to be the same night. Or a different. Either they or I have a very wild lifestyle.
Track three: how could it be?
Hey remember that beat from 2-Pac’s California Love? Ok that’s just rude. What do you mean I’m old? Alright this is redundant, and no don’t say OK boomer to me. These kids I tell you. Where was I? Oh yeah, the next track, What Time is Santa? Sick beat, with some nice jingling and distorted bass that makes you want to groove right in that beige sofa. 9 o’clock is when Santa is, just remember when they ask you this. A great track that can go on forever. With Omicron making its landing, might as well prepare…
What Time Is Santa? began life as one of Ted’s experimental dance things. Most of them we drown in the bath but this one learned to swim. We wanted a Christmas single, so this became it. We could only release it in December really, although we did seriously consider doing it in January, but then we’d have been explaining the joke over and over and that can be tiresome. All of our EPs so far have been what might be called an eclectic mix. If someone wanted to listen to just “a selection of heavy 9 o’clock Nasty songs” then they can make their own playlist.
We are always prepared for 9 o’clock’s music, but never prepared. You know what I’m saying? They’ve had such exciting, different music over the last year that it’s hard to keep track. This innovation must be exhausting I thought. After thinking this, I asked them:
The toughest is without doubt one of the songs we haven’t released yet. We have a whiteboard in the studio with songs we are working on and a few names just stay and stay and never find an escape. Our first song, “No Gary Your Views Are Too Extreme for 9 o’clock Nasty” (which is truly where got the name for the band from), has had two attempts but never gets to the right place. It is a real glam rock stomper and a song like that can be hard to do well enough to release.
Another song we love but haven’t nailed down is “You’re a Line Drawing Pussy-Whipped Bitch” which is without doubt the most vicious and mean piece of music on planet earth, but taking something to an extreme and still having it sound good is hard work. Both those we will go back and have another go at.
The most enjoyable is a really hard question. Somehow it feels cruel to pick a favourite, and we would each have our own choice. The first time we played Monstruosa to friends was a real high, and Sexy Back was an absolute ton of fun. Recording videos is probably the most enjoyable thing we’ve done so far, and rehearsing to play live.
They’re working on new material always, like I said. It’s something of a rat race without the capitalist desire overturning your dreams. Passion, you know. I asked them if there’s a composition they have wanted to pin down but haven’t done it yet. Follow close for an interesting tale:
A tale of one city
We are generally pretty good at getting a song to where we want it, but we haven’t explored all the areas we want to by any means. We’ve recently started working with a neighbour. Actually we should rewind that a bit. The odds of three musicians ending up living in a house with an old recording studio at the start of a global pandemic are pretty long right? I mean, it’s far-fetched but it happened. Imagine then the odds that one of the nearest houses to the studio being the home of another musician and music producer who saw 9 o’clock Nasty dressed as racoons for a video and came out to say hello.
Well that happened too. So we have a new friend, who in our universe is called Brynn Chipps. He has added some scorching guitar solos to a couple of songs we’re putting out next year and added a whole new dimension. He also took some of our tapes and digitized them and worked some magic as he remixed them. Took entirely different approaches to them. While we’ve got good at a few things, one thing we haven’t mastered is to create something haunting. Brynn has done a new mix of Monstruosa that feels like something out of a horror film. It has this eerie and unnerving sound, but retains the real punch of the original.
Another sound we love but haven’t developed much is some of the music of our home City, Leicester. We would love to do a Bhangra crossover and we do have an invite to collaborate, so that may escape the nest next year. We also had a go at making something smooth enough for a cocktail bar with Last Chance, it would be good to revisit and refine that further.
On reflection, we’re always chasing. Everything could be better. That’s the joy of what we do, stretching.
And their passion for chasing fumes that bring all the joy in the world will never cease to surprise me. Nor should it surprise you: