I want to share with you this great interview I did with 9 O’clock Nasty. This band is crazy but as you are going to see from the answers they are deep guys who have a wide culture, you could already feel this from their songs that always hide something ingenious.
I am a fan of unconventional people who follow an original path and who rather than follow trends try to make them.
Who you are, and why you are what you are?
We are 9 O’clock Nasty. A band. A beat combo. A collective of obsessives. People that have studied the tiny twitches of punk rock for too long, and decided to do something about it. We seek attention. To take people’s attention from one thing, and have them give it to us. In return we just want to make them snarl or laugh or dance or fuck. We inhabit a pocket universe from which we preach stuff.
Where and how did you meet?
Brno, in what was then Czechoslovakia, and we think is now Slovakia. Ted was on tour with an indie band and had been sacked in a very spectacular fashion over what he says were musical differences. He was stranded with his bass and this big Ampeg rig and no idea whatsoever how to get home. He went to the local venue to get drunk. Pete and Sydd were playing in another band on tour and were soundchecking. We got very drunk and Ted became the world’s most cack-handed roadie all the way home to the UK. About a year later Pete and Ted rehearsed in a band that never gigged. It was fairly clear that the band would never work as it had a drummer, two bass players and a singer. But there was a rapport and one of the songs they thrashed out did get remembered and is in the 9 o’clock songbook (Sick Child).
Years later the pandemic happened and it was like the whole deck of life got reshuffled. All those conversations and ideas came back to life and 9 o’clock Nasty was born.
9 0’Clock Nasty why?
Why the name? Or why the band?
We exist because we wanted it. We wanted to record songs and we wanted people to listen. We’re attention seekers, and being in a band is the perfect vehicle for that.
The name is more difficult to explain. Originally we wanted to be called 9 o’clock Nazis. We thought the name was hilarious and it was about people that insist on 9 o’clock in the morning being a time to do anything productive. We told a few people the idea for a band name (and indeed recorded it in the first version of a song which will live forever in our “Draft” folder) and they all kind of did that thing real friends do. They slapped us to our senses. But Ted had already designed the button badges and ordered a ton of them with the 9 and the N on them. So we landed on Nasty.
Just to be clear, we’re most definitely in no way Nazis, We’re as Anti-Fa as you can get in a very British over-polite and slightly awkward way. Anyone knowing us would get the joke but as that is 0.00001% of the global population, it was probably wise not to hang that label around our neck.
There are a number of other versions of that story, all equally plausible. But we like you so we are telling you the true one.
Do you feel like someone’s re-incarnation?
Collectively as band no. The breadth of people we’ve been compared to gives us a lot of confidence that we are hard to categorise and have found an original voice.
Ted is the reincarnation of a poet from the Byron era. Probably one of the ones that was in the background going, “yeah you can totally swim to that island, have some more ouzo.” This accounts for Ted’s lyrical nature, lack of skill with the bass guitar and talent for making people do things they regret.
Pete believes himself to be the reincarnation of Robert de Niro. We have pointed out the practical difficulties of that idea, but he is insistent. He can do a credible impression of just about every pre-millenium de Niro character. As we understand it, it is impossible in some belief systems to reincarnate as someone that is still alive, but in our religion it is totally fine.
Sydd is the reincarnation of a spider. We know that may seem unconventional but he cannot pass a bucket of curds and whey without feeling a strange attraction..
What do you think of the world today?
We feel outside it. We all used to shout at the TV and get passionate about the news but it does seem that the last five years have brought in a whole new level of scum. Incompetent people with no passion, skills or purpose influencing the lives of billions as we slowly sail off a cliff. ‘When the Wild Calls’ described us as playing over the sunset of the world, and while that is of course pure nonsense (which means we love it to death) we do feel like we are in the sinking ship making sarcastic comments as everyone around us dies. We felt like outsiders when we were mere youths. We feel more like outsiders now.
That was a very bleak answer to your question. How about we just say “yeah it is the best time to be alive?”
We have a song, two unreleased songs actually that probably say what needs to be said. The lyrics go “We’re against all the shit they’re dreaming up, get into them and fuck them up.”
What do you think about the music scene nowadays?
We have mixed feelings.
Back in the day there was such a healthy scene in terms of the number of indie bands and the network of venues to play in, so when you started out you could earn your chops in front of small audiences, get some support slots and build up from there. You got to meet the same musicians on the circuit and felt part of something. Of course though, that doesn’t capture all the nights stuck on the side of the road with a broken down van, the empty pubs with one heckler giving you shit and the various promoters that sucked the life out of you. There are still some venues surviving and they tend to be run by people who are genuine and positive about music, so although there is a smaller scene it is probably a healthier but less financially secure one.
The revelation is social media. Now an indie band can reach an audience without signing some dodgy contract in a West End club. Whilst we can’t pretend to understand how Tik Tok works, truth is you can reach a fuck-ton of people that way.
Streaming is a bit of a cancer. The economics are totally screwed, and it will, sadly, prevent many talented musicians from actually making a living. But we love having access to all that music on demand.
As we’ve spread our wings a bit and been together with some other bands on playlists and blogs we’ve started to listen to some new acts and there is still a lot of seriously good alt-music out there, from dance to rock and every shade in between. The question is how can they make the jump from small scale success to big success. We promise after we’ve made the switch we’ll share the secret!
If your girlfriend finds you in front of Youporn what excuse would you use to justify yourself?
The answer depends on the member of the band and their partner. Generally we’d always use our girlfriend’s laptop for porn as they have better internet and we wouldn’t want that stuff in our internet history. So when challenged we’d be able to say “well we were looking through your stuff and we found that you’ve been checking out YouPorn.”
The true answer is of course, as English gentlemen we would first wonder how we got ourselves into this strange situation, apologise profusely and then change the subject.
If you are still alive after the Youporn thing what are the future projects of the band?
Writing songs and rehearsing. Always writing. We focus most of our energy on both rapidly recording ideas and then either relentlessly cutting them to the bone to try and find what the song wants to be, or in some cases just leaving them as they are. We’ve gone through quite a dark phase in the past couple of months, which maybe comes over in Sexy Back and on a couple of the songs on the next EP (entitled ‘Party’, out for Christmas), but there is a song on that EP (“When the Ship Goes Down”) that points in a far more upbeat and simple direction. Well it is a really positive and loving song about dying in a shipwreck. There is much more of the guitar-led upbeat feel to next year’s releases.
Rehearsing so we can gig. It’s an itch we have to scratch. We’re having to go back to the multi-track tapes to teach ourselves some of the more complex parts, and we’ve got a little rehearsal room at the studio. We don’t intend to do a lot of gigs, that would essentially be a waste of time, and the nature of our audience, as it grew online, is that it is very widely spread. So we will probably work up to some live dates that are done to record some material we can release online, and next summer we are looking to book onto festivals in the UK and further afield. We always say this when asked, if anyone knows of small venues and festivals where true freaks congregate, get in touch, we would love to bring our broken cabaret to you. We will be a very strange live act and we are rather excited by the idea.
Dekket and Sexy Back are your new songs out now, the important question is…whose sexy back do you prefer?
This is a trick question. You’ve already broken our relationships with the YouPorn question. So as the real people we’d say the backs of the women we love. Not each other’s girlfriends, just to be clear. We’re not into that. We each think our own girlfriends have the sexiest backs. As our band personas, it would have to be either that golden woman in that perfume advert that sort of shimmies out of the golden pool with those angels shouting in the background, she gives good back, or it would be Justin Timberlake himself.
Share Your favorite quote
We are Leicester boys and so we would suggest three, all by Joe Orton. Joe owed Leicester fuck all, he gained success in London, but we still feel like we own him in a weird kind of way that would probably annoy him if he wasn’t dead. Actually Ted would like to change his answer to the reincarnation question and pick Joe Orton, is it too late?
So here are three from Joe that we feel touch on the music and madness we make a little.
“The humble and meek are thirsting for blood.”
“Cleanse my heart… Give me the ability to rage correctly”
“With madness, as with vomit, it’s the passerby who receives the inconvenience.”
Thank you guys as always has been a pleasure listening to your stories.