INTERVIEW: Nick Cody

Hi Nick, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Life is pretty good thanks, with a huge amount of recording, mixing, and mastering of over 42 tracks recorded during the last year. We also start rehearsing later this month for our first live outing on Oct 2nd at The Old Woolen Farsley West Yorkshire supporting Captain of The Lost Waves, my fellow Green Eyed Records bandmate. Covid 19 has meant having to do a total rethink about music promotion with all live events cancelled. This means a lot more emphasis on video and increasingly working in a more collaborative way with other artists across the globe.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Can’t Stop”?

Can’t stop is the first Nick Cody & The Heartache single, a new electric roots-based groove. The track has some terrific lead guitar from Michael Ross from Nashville and really swings. This is “Music to spark the brain and make you want to tap your feet.” After releasing a series of acoustic albums its new sonic territory playing some great electric guitar licks and rhythms. Rich Ferdi plays percussion and reminds me of Charlie Watts, Rich never misses a beat.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

The song was inspired from watching some great Daryl’s House episodes where his house band plays many old school classic songs with special guests. That show always highlighted the absolute joy that can ensue from a really well constructed 3 – 4 minute song with a great groove.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

Nick Bloomfield from Hastings did a brilliant job of securing the footage that really flows with the visuals on this track. We also decided to make all the footage for this project in black and white, which creates a great old school feel. Covid 19 massively limited our ability to film in the usual manner, so this again meant having to think outside the box and work differently. The key to creating a really effective video is to ensure that the music and the visuals really work well with a natural flow. We also create 15 and 30 sec clips for social media as increasingly the public’s attention span is limited. We’ve got a lot of video material “in the vault” for this ensemble and I can’t wait to reveal this to the greater public.

The single comes off your new album All Kinds of Crazy – what’s the story behind the title?

A lot of the tracks on the album are inspired by human life observations and experiences. During this last covid era where it feels like we have all found ourselves in some strange sci fi existence, this seemed to be the perfect title for the album. Other tracks like “She’s tough enough” and “Thinking in circles” were written with specific people in mind, although I am sworn to secrecy about who these are!

We’ll be releasing a number of singles from the album throughout 2021 via Kycker.

How was the recording and writing process?

“Can’t Stop” is one of 42 songs written and recorded in the last 13 months during covid 19. I started writing in my home studio and never stopped. I am lucky to have a great producer Carl Rosamond and a network of superb artists across the globe including Michael Ross from Nashville and Towse also from the USA.

We cooperated remotely on all tracks and I am delighted with the results. Typically, I would start with a guitar riff or a beat which would then inspire the lyrics. The guitar parts were recorded using a Zen Drive 2 unit favoured by world class guitarist Eric Johnson and we also used Austrian Audio and Ear Trumpet mics to get a great “old school sound.” One thing that has surprised me is the speed of how much material has appeared. I have a production meeting each week which has galvanised me into increasingly trying out new ideas and pulling out all manner of guitars and pedals that have been laying in wait in my studio for this exact opportunity.

How has Talking Heads and Hall and Oates influenced your writing?

I’ve always been a great fan of David Byrne’s work and especially the musical grooves that are central to many of The Talking Heads classic tracks. Lyrically the Heartache material is similarly observational and slightly leftfield which in my view is part of what makes a song memorable.

Daryl Hall is simply a great pop song writer and has created countless brilliant three and a half minute songs that are greatly loved by many across the planet. With this new electric roots-based ensemble we are really conscious of ensuring that all the material has great melodies and sharp lyrics to “spark the brain” I’m also very lucky to have access to many superb musicians who real bring out the very best in these songs, which are an absolute joy to play.

What role does UK play in your music?

I live in Yorkshire in the north of the UK where there is a thriving music scene. My long-term producer Carl Rosamond best know for working with many classic Britpop Indie bands lives just a few miles away and we also have access to some great venues for live work. Many of those involved in promoting my music including Kycker, and Kimwaves are just 30 miles away in Sheffield. My great friend and tutor Martin Simpson also lives in Sheffield and over the year’s he has been a terrific inspiration in getting me motivated in developing my own musical voice.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Inspiration comes in all kinds of ways and often in unexpected situations. In recent times I’ve found that the music tends to spark lyrics. Sometimes I’ll lay down a groove and then improvise a scratch vocal that is then refined into a final vocal. Sometimes a set of lyrics will just appear and it’s a scramble to get the idea down, so it doesn’t get lost. Some songs are inspired by current events of experiences.

I’m constantly fascinated by the whole songwriting process and its great to have a very well specked home studio set up for recording. I’ve had a tune appear from nowhere and an entire song written in 30 minutes before. The key is not to edit or analyze too soon and just let the muse guide you. I talked to my good friend Tim Booth lead singer for James a few years ago when he came to stay, and he gave me some great advice which I have used ever since.

What else is happening next in Nick Cody and The Heartache’s world?

We already have enough tracks for two full albums, but throughout 2021 we’ll focus on releasing singles. There is also a separate remix project under the project name Code E1 and we already have 32 tracks “in the vault” with a few available at www.code-e1.com. The Heartache material will be promoted via the maverick Green Eyed Records platform – www.greeneyedrecords.co.uk, label whose motto is “Creativity through collaboration”

Our first live outing in October will be the chance to play some of this new material for the first time. My core trio of myself, Fergus Quill and Rich Ferdi will be supplemented by additional musicians for what promises to be a terrific night out. I’m currently booking selected slots for 2022 for the band as well as organizing a timeline of single releases.

I’ll be giving regular updates from my main music page www.nickcody.co.uk as well as on FB.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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