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24 September 2014
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Black Nielson
Black Nielson

Black Nielson Interview

Indy Almroth-Wright
Described as one of Hampshire's best kept secrets, the off-kilter rock outfit are about to release their third album and jet off to Australia - BBC Hampshire's Indy Almroth-Wright met up with Andy, Will and Mike to get the lowdown on the band...


Black Nielson are:

  • Michael (vocals)
  • William (guitar)
  • Andrew (bass)
  • Christopher (keyboards / programming)
  • Tom (drummer)

Let's start at the beginning if that's OK?
Black Nielson started out as just Michael...
Mike: Well, we were a band but then we split up and I just started writing songs by myself. Then we had a gig at the Truck Festival so I had to get someone to play and I chose these losers! Then we got offered a deal after the festival so we just formed into a band slowly from that.

How do you know each other?
Will: From college really.
Andy: I didn't actually know any of you at college but we were at college together and we just knew each other from being in different bands.

How did you get the name Black Nielson?
Andy: We knew you were going to ask that! We can't answer that. It just sounded like a band name straight away, no one else is called anything like it.
Will: Well except maybe Black Sabbath, The Black Crowes, Black Grape...

Is Black Nielson a full-time thing or do you have day jobs?
Andy: No, we still have to work unfortunately.
Will: Andy and I are basically the entire workforce of an electronics company in Winchester.
Andy: We make helmets!
Will: They're helmets with headsets in for microlight pilots.
Mike: And I'm unemployed at the moment.

Where do you live at the moment?
Andy: We all live in Winchester.
Will: We have a big communal Black Nielson house in a little village out in the sticks which suits our needs as we don't have to worry about the neighbours.

How would you describe your sound?
Will: I wouldn't personally.
Mike: We try not to, but people always ask us that - but there isn't a straightforward answer.
Will: I always just give the Beach Boys answer, we're a Lo-Fi Beach Boys!
Andy: We're all into very different music but out of all the stuff we're into there's one similar thing that just melts together.

Black Nielson
Black Nielson

What kind of things are your songs about?
Mike: Well, they're mostly about love really, one album was basically about one girl and the other two were basically about two different girls - they [the girls] were fantasy's of mine.

How do you get a song together?
Mike: It all starts from me coming up with a melody on the guitar and then I take it to the rest of the guys and we sit down and see what happens. The general plan is once I've done something on the guitar and come up with the melody you get the picture of the song in your head so you generally know what you're going with the song from there.

You holed up in Cornwall to write your latest album how did that come about?
Andy: We just chucked all the gear we had together and headed down to Cornwall. It was amazing, the other two albums have been recorded in a studio, but this time we knew what we wanted to do. It was really nice to have complete control and we were able to do it in our own time working from 2am to 7am and sleep the rest of the time, we're nocturnal when we're recording.
Will: It was really inspirational because we had a place right on the edge of a cliff with brilliant views of the sea and we just sat about and made music.

What plans do you have for the summer?
Andy: We've got some gig dates scattered about until mid May and then we licence the album in Australia where it's coming out in April, so then we're going over there for the last couple of weeks in May to tour - then we'll be back in the UK to do the Truck Festival in July and hopefully release the album over here.

last updated: 04/01/06
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