We caught up with musician Mike Nisbet following the release of his brilliant single ‘Cold Beers & Good Times’, enjoy!
Tell us about yourself?
I’m tall, ginger, music-making, songwriter from the west coast of Scotland. I typically write sad b*stard music. Love wearing black. Indifferent to sports. Undecided on soft shell crab.
What is your songwriting process?
In the past, I’ve spend month hunched over a guitar or piano chipping away very slowly writing what I thought was poetry and being very precious about it all. Since last year I’ve fully embraced production techniques as a great writing tool.
Typically now, i’ll have instrumentals I’m working on and parallel to that I’m writing lyrics, and experimenting with which of those are friends.
Tell us about your latest release, ‘Cold Beer & Good Times’?
It’s a classic sad b*stard song, I think. There’s a poor me, pour me another drink story. I know I’m not alone in have one two many libations from time to time. I think it’s a talking to myself, and encouraging myself to believe in a better self.
We see the single is taken from your upcoming album ‘I Was A Great Lake, Once’, can you tell us more about the album?
The new album is a collection of 8 songs I recorded in my home ‘studio’ when the first lockdown hit. So this record really kept me alive and kept me from going batsh*t. I’d been working out some new songs live for a coupes years, and this eight-track journey came together. I hope listeners can pick up on the arc of the album. While recording most of the songs morphed into new creatures under the light of an uncertain word.
Although there’s often dark sounds and sad lyrics, I tried to steer them to have a future-looking hopeful outlook by the end. Like ‘sh*t this is wild, but it’s gonna be ok right?’ The final and title track brings it all home I think, with the very last lyric being ‘let me love renew’.
The upcoming album is your third full release, does it follow on from your previous album?
It does in that it’s park of the overall arc of my jams, but it’s a stronger album with more intent, and I feel I’ve bust into something new. The 4th album is already in production. Maybe this is the start of a run that is more related to one another. A Pandemic Trilogy?
Who are your non-musical influences?
Recently I’ve been watching a ton of art documentaries, let them run in the background while writing and recording. Especially inspired by David Choe and Maggi Hambling at the moment.
I’ve get a lot of inspiration and fire from artist like them who are clearly masters and doesn’t give a fuck what you think. It’s Art or Die. I’m I should read way more than I do, but Donna Tartt and Henry Miller are heavy in my heart at the moment. Masters of the written word, I believe.
What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
There have been some real choice ones but what sticks in my mind right now was the last. I played at the Bedford in Sept 24th. First time on stage since before the bad times. The room was (spaciously) full of music lovers, and the energy was f*cking beautiful.
After months of no live music, you could tell that for everyone in the room, it was tasting sweet. If I ever needed confirmation on the power of music and its ability to raise our spirits in tough times, that was it!
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
For me, the biggest obstacle is me. Getting out of my own way and getting on with it! But once I break through that door, I think finding ways to meaningfully connect to fans in a digital world. I know I struggle to do so.
The digital world has brought incredible advantages without which I wouldn’t have been able to make my albums and share them. But getting the musical connection across on Instagram, for example, is like going on tinder, you see a picture, you get some words, but you’re not seeing how that person groves, how they walk across a room, the magic.
Music, I think is the same when you feel the actual vibrations in the room with other people.
What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?
Sh*t, so much. Think local would be a good one. The people in your town, the local venue, the person that runs it, the promoters that have been putting shows on for the last 20 years and heroes who shoulders you stand on. Make YouTube videos for sure, but get your ass inside independent venues and be a part of your local artistic community.
What are your hopes for the next two years?
Put out a couple more albums. Would love to collaborate with some visual artist on said future ventures (peeps, hit me up!) God willing, tour like there’s no tomorrow cause gigs are life. Oh and perfect my martini recipe, the true test of balance.
FV Music Blog November 2020
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