Pardon Ms. Arden’s lead singer has a new musical project, and it’s all rather different to his past stuff. Nick & The Roundabouts release Buffalo Church Choir in March – and I caught up with Nick to chat about the new change in direction and what we can expect from the musician in 2013.
Talk us through the title behind your first solo album “Buffalo Church Choir”…
The title is a reference to an American book of the same name. It’s about a soldier from Buffalo finding his way back into life after the Civil War, in which he was severely injured and traumatised. First of all, I just liked the sound of “Buffalo Church Choir”. But then it is also a good symbol for what I’ve been through over the last couple of months. I mean, I wasn’t injured phsyically, but there were things going on that almost forced me to write these songs that you can hear on the album now.
It’s a melancholy album, very different from the more energetic stuff we’re used to from Pardon Ms. Arden, was it nice to change the pace and write something more mellow?
I’ve been writing this kind of music for a few years now, just for fun. I don’t like limiting myself to what we do as a band when I write songs. There are still many tunes that I love that suit Pardon Ms. Arden very well. But anyway, if it were the same style of music, there’s be no point in making a solo album. It just had to be different.
The album’s very bluesy – a change from your Britpop stuff with Pardon Ms. Arden. Is there a reason for the change?
Not really, no. This is just what came out of my mind when I picked up the guitar in September.
What were your influences when making the EP?
I’ve started listening to a lot of alternative country and singer/songwriter stuff. People like Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Springsteen’s early stuff. I think you can hear it on the record.
In March you’re touring for the first time without your band, supporting Stu Larsen. Are you nervous?
Well, yeah. I have never done solo shows before, and the first night in Cologne will be my first real solo show. I’m not the kind of musician to put on an impressive show. All I’ve got is my guitar, maybe a harmonica and a glass of red wine. And the songs, of course. I hope that’ll do.
Who are The Roundabouts and why the name?
When I started thinking about a stage name I didn’t like the idea of just picking my own name. I always refer to the roundabouts as thoughts in my head that just won’t go away. It feels like you’re in your car in a roundabout, and you don’t know which exit to take. In the end, you’ll end up going round and round forever. So, if you like, the roundabouts in my head help me with the songwriting.
What’s up next?
After the tour with Stu Larsen, there’ll definitely be a new Pardon Ms. Arden album and tour. So my solo project will be put on hold for a few months, which is fine with me because I am really looking forward to getting the band back into the studio and on the road just as much as I like doing the Roundabouts thing. However, I am thinking about a second album in early 2014 and maybe playing a few festivals this summer.
And we hope this means Pardon Ms. Arden aren’t over?
No, of course not. We are like brothers, and our musical connection is still very strong. We ve been a band for the last seven years now, it’s part of all our lives, and there’s still a lot of music to be made. 2013 will be a busy year for me, running two musical projects. I’ll be fine, though, both projects are dead exciting for me.
From March, you’ll be able to buy Nick’s EP from Amazon, here.