Our very own Alistair Geear sent over some questions to Ed Nash (Bombay Bicycle Club) to find out about his new solo project, Toothless. Here’s what Ed had to say.
When did you decide to form Toothless?
I started Toothless about two yeas ago when we finished touring So long, see you tomorrow. It’s something I had been meaning to do for years but never had the time to due to my commitment to Bombay.
Do you wish you had gone solo sooner?
Not at all, I had a great time playing in Bombay and wouldn’t change that for anything. I’ve still got a bunch of time to do Toothless… The rest of my life in fact.
“Hopefully people can listen to it with an open mind”
How much did you want to differentiate the sound of Toothless from Bombay Bicycle Club?
I didn’t really think about it too much, I just wrote the songs I wrote. There are certainly some similarities to Bombay’s music in there which I think is to be expected after playing in a band for ten years. There also a lot of songs that I think are quite different. Hopefully people can listen to it with an open mind.
Do you still get nervous when you go on stage? If so, how do you deal with it?
I don’t at all. It would probably be better if I had a bit of nerves, I keep on making stupid mistakes because I think I have got it all worked out… Idiot.
What do you like best about The Pace of Passing?
I love The Staves feature on The Sirens. I still can’t believe everything worked out! Their performance is fantastic and the fact that it’s The Staves really takes the theme of the song to a whole new level.
With themes of the scale of the universe and age, it makes one wonder, do you believe in an afterlife?
No I don’t at all! I kind of wish I did, it would make the whole idea of death easier if I thought I would spend the rest of my days in a better place.
What would you have done if you’d not become a musician?
I had a place to study architecture at Manchester so I would be an architect by now. I’m so glad that I pursued music, architecture would have been the wrong thing for me.
Where’s your favourite place to be alone?
In my studio which is in my back garden. I built it last year in a preexisting breeze block structure, It’s where I spend most of my day now working on new music. I recorded all of Sisyphus in there for this album.
“I found using stories and metaphors a great way into writing songs”
What’s your favourite book?
Slaughterhouse 5, I love the way Kurt Vonnegut writes, super childish and simple about the darkest and most horrendous things.
What was the first gig you went to?
I went to see S Club 7 at at Wembley Arena in 2000 and it was fantastic. They had a song where they made it snow! My nine year old brain was blown.
What have you been listening to this past year?
I got into podcasts in a big way last year, I don’t know why but they had never appealed to me before. I spent a lot of last year catching up on the classics like Serial and No Such Thing as a Fish. Its such a fantastic format for getting information across.
Who inspired you earlier in your career? Who inspires you right now?
When I started playing guitar I was really into classic rock and guitar solos, I spent all my time learning songs note for note and its probably how I learn to play guitar.
You’ve mentioned you struggled with song writing, what was the process you adopted?
I certainly struggled with lyric writing at first, I found it very hard to write about my life as there wasn’t very much to write about. I found using stories and metaphors a great way into writing songs as you can use a preexisting framework to get across your own ideas. Its why there are lots of astronomy and myth references throughout the album.
What’s next for you? What’s next for Toothless?
I’m heading out on tour around the UK later this month and plan to play as many shows as possible this year. I’ve also started work on the next record which I hope to get out as soon as possible. No time to waste!
Toothless’ UK tour begins in Glasgow on 27th February.