What’s on today’s schedule, work or play?
Today I'm travelling through France from Lyon to Marseille, from one gig to another. I'm lucky to do what I love for a living so most days are a balance somewhere between work and play.
With such a busy schedule, when do you get the time to listen to music? What are you listening to at the moment?
There's always time to listen to music when we're travelling. At the moment my listening habits are kind of exceptional- I've been lucky enough to be asked to be a judge on this year's Mercury Prize so I have an iPod with 300 British albums on it that I'm working my way through. I've never listened to so much music in my life! I don't know at this stage if I can tell you what stands out to me- coz that might give the game away- but suffice to say, within the 300 records there's a huge range of style and quality so it's keeping me busy...
"I'm lucky to do what I love for a living so most days are a balance somewhere between work and play."
Why music? Why not rock climber, maths teacher or famous sculptor?
Playing and creating music continues, thankfully, to be a 'choiceless decision' for me. Ever since I've been about 16 I've jumped wholeheartedly into the latest musical opportunity put in front of me- be that a gig, or a collaboration, or a trip somewhere- and so it goes, onwards Inch’Allah.
What’s been your favourite live gig you’ve played and why?
This summer was a great run for me- every show seemed to top the last as my favourite. The vibe amongst the band onstage and offstage was strong and supportive but really playful too. The final full-band show, Wilderness Festival, was pretty special. It was a beautiful culmination of all the hard work.
If you could make a completely different type of music, what would it be?
I'm sure I'd love the release of playing something really heavy and aggressive. Have you heard the band Health? Some days I feel like making those noises!
"Playing and creating music continues to be a 'choiceless decision' for me."
What are your thoughts around the way in which people listen to music these days; Streaming services, compressed MP3s, hi – res music etc…
Music has always been at the forefront of cultural change - it's such an essential thing to all of us and yet so adaptable that it's usually a good forecaster for how greater cultural and economic shifts will pan out. Soon 3D printing may do for all commodity based industries what MP3s and streaming have done for the music industry. Life marches on, going somewhere going nowhere. I'm sure some people lamented the decline of the symphony form when shorter, more popular forms came along. Life's too short to fear change.
What’s currently your favourite track to perform?
Over this whole first album tour it's probably been Fever To The Form but now I'm starting to slip new songs into my live shows. Currently that's the most exciting part of the set for me. I'm not going to give away any titles yet though!
When you come off stage after a gig, what’s the first thing you want to do?
A) Have a rum and coke
B) Sit in a silent room and think deep thoughts
C) Run back on stage for JUST ONE MORE song
Thanks Nick, have a great tour and enjoy France!
If you haven’t had a listen yet, check out Nick’s new album ‘First Mind’ on his website and just bliss out…