• When did you decide that a career in music was for you?

Not sure I have yet!  I’ve been doing this since 1986 (with a 20 year break between 1994 & 2014) and it’s still really no more than an expensive hobby. I don’t think I would want to rely on music as my only source of income!

 

  • Who are your musical inspirations and why?

Gary Numan, obv; I think most people in the “scene” would cite GN as an influence.  I’ve always loved that cold, dissonant sound he had in the early years.  John Foxx for the same reason.  Alien Sex Fiend too for the pounding drums and big synths and general edginess. I like music with a bit of edge.

 

  • Can you tell me 3 things about yourself that people might not already know?

  1. I learnt to speak Russian to A level standard when I was a teenager

  2. I used to be programme editor at a professional football club

  3. I was the first person ever to have a vehicle stolen from the Albert Dock car park in Liverpool, when it first opened in the early 90s.

 

  • What song of yours best describes you and why?

That’s a tricky one because I’ve never written lyrics.  I don’t think any song describes me really for that reason. There are a few which typify ‘the’ NoW sound though I think.

 

  • What has been the best gig you have done to date and why?

Leipzig September 2019 is the one which stands out as being really enjoyable.  Great crowd in a packed venue and we were lucky enough to be last on, by which time Leg Puppy & Pink Diamond Revue had got the crowd really warmed up.  We played until midnight and then it turned into an all-out party until 6am.  The drive home the next day felt very long!

 

  • If you could perform a gig at any venue where would it be and why?

If you’d asked me just over a year ago I’d have said Electrowerkz and O2 Islington, but we’ve been fortunate enough to have played at both of these now.  Same can be said for The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton.  I’d probably have to say WGT in Leipzig or Amphi in Cologne, because they are possibly the pinnacle of the career of any band at our level, which has a dark edge to its sound.

 

  • What has been your best achievement to date and what would you like to achieve in the future?
    Releasing the Cyber Rendezvous album with CountessM in 2016 was a major milestone, as was the release of Modus with my best mate Andrew Stirling-Brown in 2019, both on the AnalogueTrash label from Manchester. The Reborn EP, written with another long-standing friend Sarah Bouchier (aka Lady B), was released on the German Echozone label, also in 2019. I’m also immensely proud of my collaboration with Claus Larsen of Leaether Strip fame earlier this year, when we wrote ‘A Heart So Divine’, which is dedicated to Claus’ husband Kurt, who sadly passed away a few months later.  I’d like to release at least another album’s worth of songs with a popular lyricist before the synths go into the attic and I’d like to play more shows in Germany, either with Nature of Wires or the other band I’m currently involved with, namely Deviant UK.

 

  • Tell me a story from backstage or after a gig?

I’m not particularly rock ‘n’ roll.  Post-gig activity usually involves packing the car up and making a long journey home, usually with a McDonalds stop along the way (I know where all the 24 hours McDonalds are in the UK).

 

  • What do you like best about being a musician and why?

I just get a buzz from people saying they like what I do.  It’s that simple really.

 

  • If you were not in the job you are now what would you be doing?

My job is actually in IT (I run a small consultancy business).  If I wasn’t doing this I’d probably still be a milkman’s assistant (which is still more lucrative financially than being a musician)

 

  • What has been the best gig you have been to as a fan and can you tell us about it?

Gary Numan’s gig at St David’s Hall in Cardiff with the Skaparis orchestra a couple of years ago stands out.  Despite the more ‘cultured’ atmosphere, the guys I was with were still shouting ‘Nuuuuuuumaaaaan’ all the way though it.  OMD in Liverpool, supported by my friends Tiny Magnetic Pets in either 2017 or 2018 was memorable, because I was tasked with delivering TMP’s merch to the venue and thus got a place on the guest list.  OMD and TMP were both brilliant on the night.

 

  • What would your ideal festival line up be and why?
    I’ve been lucky enough to make lots of friends since I got back into making music in 2014, so a line up including all of them would be great.  Might have to be at least a week-long festival though!

 

  • What would you say is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
    ‘Don’t give up the day job’ (many times)

 

  • What things make you happy and what things annoy you?
    Spending time and exchanging ideas and experienced with my musical buddies makes me happy, as does spending time at home with my wife Guen and our herd of cats.  Getting and learning how to use new musical toys too.  It’s very satisfying to finish a remix project or an original tune knowing that it’s a good one – most musicians know instinctively if it’s hit the sweet spot or not.  Not a lot annoys me – overly political people maybe and those who think they are the ‘gatekeepers’ of the scene.  Music is more subjective than the opinions of a few arseholes with over-inflated senses of self-importance.

 

  • What things do you like to do when you are away from music?
    Travel, although I’ve not been able to do much of that this year.  I intend to make up for lost time by visiting as many European countries as possible when I can.

  • Do you think social media and the internet are a good thing in the music industry?

Generally yes.  It has allowed artists like me to get our music in front of many more people.  Downside of that is that everyone is doing it and so the sea in which we swim is now a vast ocean, so it’s as difficult as ever to get noticed, but for different reasons than when social media and t’internet weren’t such big things.

 

  • How important do you think you look and image is when it comes to being in the music industry?
    Very and it’s something I’ve really struggled with.  Even after all this time I have no idea what Nature of Wires is supposed to look like.  It would be wrong to try to use a strong image to make up for a lack of musical talent though; most people should be able to see right through this, although plenty of artists seem to have got away with it over the years.

 

  • Can you tell us about any tattoos you have and the significance of them to you?

I don’t have any (yet).

 

  • If you run the country for a day what would you change about it and why?

I would try to spread the wealth more evenly within the music and football industries.  99% of the money and influence is held by about 1% in both and that just doesn’t seem right to me.  I’d also try to stop stupid people from becoming famous.

 

  • What would your ideal day consist of?

A slow start, a musically productive middle and a hot curry to finish with.

 

  • What has been your experience during the Covid 19 situations. Can you tell us how this has affected you personally, how it has affected you professionally and maybe a story from this time or a message for people out there?
    To be honest, I’ve been really lucky.  It hasn’t affected me directly personally, as I’ve always spent most of my time on my own anyway and nobody close to me has caught the disease.  Professionally I’ve been busier than ever, as more people want to be set up to work from home and companies are using the downtime to upgrade IT infrastructure.  Musically, although we’ve not played live since we supported Toyah in Wolverhampton in January, I’ve been very busy on the remix and production fronts, as more new music is being made than ever, because a lot of people have suddenly been given more time in which to make it.

 

  • If you could say one thing to your fans what would it be and why?
    ‘Let’s engage more’. I love getting personal messages from people who like what I do.

 

  • How would you answer the question ..... What is Nature of Wires and what are the differences between you as a music artist and you away from music?
    In the studio Nature of Wires in 2020 is effectively my solo project, with a number of lyrical collaborators on original work and remixes.  Publicly NoW is me, Andrew, Sarah and Tim (drummer), although no more than any three of us at any one time for various logistical reasons. I don’t think there are any major differences between me as a musician and me away from music.  I try to be professional in everything I do and I try to be a nice guy too.  Always happy to help where I can, be it with an IT issue, musical advice, or helping my nearest and dearest with pretty much anything.

 

  • What was the first record or song you purchased and why?
    Probably an Abba album in the 70s, simply because I loved everything they did.

 

  • What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a musician and getting into the music industry?
    Don’t expect close friends and family to think that its as cool as you think it is and don’t expect to make quick money at it.  Unless you get very lucky it takes time to grow a fanbase, especially a properly engaged one.  Make music that YOU like. Also, nobody can market your music as well as you can.

 

  • If you could collaborate with any other band/singer or musician who would you choose and why?
    I’d really like to help my mate Jay Smith from Deviant UK to finish his next album and it would be great to do more with Leaether Strip.  I think both of these are fairly realistic.  It would probably be too predictable to say Gary Numan, but obviously…..

 

  • If you could have written one song from history which would it have been and why?
    Fade to Grey by Visage.  It’s my favourite song of all time.

 

  • What things make you uncomfortable?
    Feeling as though I’ve let someone down. Conflict.

 

  • If you wrote a book about yourself what would it have in it?
    I don’t think I’m remotely interesting enough to even think about writing an autobiography.  I do have diaries running from the late 80s to early 90s, but flicking back through these just reinforces my opinion that my life isn’t particularly spectacular.  I’ve worked in the IT industry, the football industry and the music industry, which are probably the three industries which attract the most pretentious people (maybe that says more about me than about anyone else!), so any book would be about how I ended up working in these areas.

 

  • What has the rest of the year got in store for you?
    Couple of remixes which I’ve already done will be released on December 18th and I’ve got a couple of new remix projects to finish.  Let’s hope for a better 2021!