Our first solo artist on Band of the month or ‘Artist of this month’ as it is this time! I’ve seen Nic a few times and the power of his songs and his machine gun guitar strum always, always stuns me. An immensely talented chap. And if you saw the earlier post he also has a great sense of humour. Yes that was an April Fools!! His new LP is somewhat of a game changer and will be a pleasant surprise to his fanbase, one which will grow following the release.
I caught up with him at his recent Think Tank show supporting Rob Lynch for a chat…
For those who don’t already know can you give us an introduction – who are you, where are you based?
I’m Nic Wood, a singer/songwriter from the North East, but Sunderland is probably my musical home.
What got you started?
I remember it well, it was about two and a half years ago. I was still at university and was hungover at about midnight (which is pretty spectacular if you think about it) and I decided to play an open mic night at the now closed Plugged Inn in Sunderland. After I played Nod who ran the night gave me a couple of gigs to support his band 27 Side Effects (who everyone should check out) and that’s how I got my foot on the ladder in the North East music scene.
How would you describe your music to people?
Incredibly passionate, angry and thought provoking acoustic music. I suppose there is a lot more focus on actual song writing now within my music. At the start it was all about how loud I could scream whereas now I focus on how I can affect people within the song.
Who is the biggest influence for you?
There are a few, but what they all have in common is that they are all incredibly passionate performers. I would say at the moment it would be InMe, Brand New and Glen Hansard.
What was the pivotal thing that got you into music?
Well I was a typical teenager, struggling to get to grips with what it meant to be a person, what it is to feel, to live, to contribute; to be adequate. When I sang or wrote about it (usually, let’s face it the subject was about girls and how mean they are) everything made sense for those 3 minutes. Once you find that thing that gives life meaning it’s very rare that you can stop, you usually find it in your adolescence and it could be sport, art, photography or in my case music. Realising that writing/listening to music made a confusing world seem simple is the salient moment that made me realise that I would be doing this for a long time.
Do you release your own material or are you signed?
I haven’t actually released anything yet. My album has taken about 14 months to create with the help of a brilliant producer and musician Mike Blakey. It will be released this year and I’m incredibly excited for everyone to hear it and to really push it with tours and PR for as many people to hear it as possible.
You have played all over the Northeast, where is your favourite place to play and why?
Ohhhhh that’s a tough one, The Cluny 2 has provided some really special moments that have rendered packed rooms completely silent. Those kinds of goosebumps ‘everyone is in this together, everyone is feeling this, everyone realises that the world is a beautiful place and everything is going to be okay’ moments are why you do music and when the performer feels it as well then you know you’ve created a special moment. I supported one of my hero’s in Dave McPherson (InMe) there which is something I will never forget as when I was 15 years old I went to the hairdressers and showed her a picture of him so I could have my hair just like his! I also love Think Tank just because the whole team are great and I’ve had some really cool gigs including supporting William Control (Aiden).
If you could play anywhere with any support bands of your choice, what would be your ‘dream’ show?
You know what, this is really sad but I have thought about this. It would be in a theatre, maybe like The Sage and it would be an all acoustic gig the line up would be (in no particular order):
Glen Hansard, Dave McPherson, Jesse Lacey and me. And I would want to be on first because there is absolutely no way I’m following any of them!
Best gig memories? and biggest disaster?
I’ve played a few gigs with a band called Dead which have been amazing, We Are Knuckle Dragger was a brilliant gig and I got incredibly drunk afterwards! Playing the Boiler Shop was fantastic as well. Probably my biggest highlight to date was supporting William Control, I signed autographs and everything.
My biggest disaster by miles was supporting Gavin Butler (The Blackout). I’d just come back from a tour and had a brick of a phone at the time so I couldn’t check my emails. I’d seen I’d got the gig and had only 12 hours to promote one of the biggest gigs of my life… 4 people came. Not 4 people for me, I mean there were only 4 people at the gig, I was absolutely gutted. The Blackout have recently announced that they’re splitting up so to any fans of them all I can say is, I’m sorry, it was all my fault! Nowadays I can pull a hell of a lot more people than that to a gig thank God!
What are your plans for the immediate future and any long term goals?
To get this album done and gig like a man demented!
Who or what is your top tip for local music?
I played a gig the other day with a band called Black Atom Movement who were fantastic!
Where can people find out more?
Keep up to date over on my Facebook page – www.facebook.com/NicWoodMusic
Brand new track from the album and will also be the first single.
Nic featured on the Garage Live at their Newcastle Academy showcase. Who do some fantastic work promoting local talent.