London’s psych pop/shoegaze five-piece collective Bonfire Nights – comprised of Ruth Nitkiewicz, Stephen Foster, James Boyd, Suzie Creevey, and Leon Ferbrache – has been hard at work on their debut album Ectopica Phenomica. It might not be out until October 21st, but we have the exclusive premiere of their track “Heart’s to Blame”. In addition to this heart-throbbing, crooning, gorgeous monster of a track, we got to interview the band a bit about life, music, and their upcoming release.
If you could introduce yourselves to our readers in any way, with money not being a factor, how would you do so?
I think we’d keep it simple because I’m afraid that if I overdid it and attempted some grand display, I’d just have a Spinal Tap ‘Stonehenge’ moment. It might be cool to bust out of a coffin on stage, but it’s been done.
What’s the first album or song you remember hearing, and who played it for you?
I think I was permanently scarred by my older sister and cousin playing Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” to me when I was about three years old. They thought it was hilarious to lock me in a room and turn the stereo up in the breakdown bit of the song – apparently I freaked out, screaming, which probably explains my current state of mind.
What made you decide to pursue music? Did you have an “a-ha!”moment?
No not really, I didn’t wake up and have an epiphany one day that I wanted to pursue music. It was an evolution. I got my first guitar in high-school and I just wanted to jam with my friends. It progressed from there; learning new instruments and playing in different bands.
What is the official origin story of Bonfire Nights?
Steve and I were living in Brisbane, Australia, and we wanted to start writing our own songs together. We needed a drummer, so I toyed with the idea of using a drum machine but it was easier to play my ideas on this old, beat up drum kit we had in the garage. We recorded some songs on a four-track tape machine with our friend Matt Redlich, then our other friend Nicole joined the band on keys. We played some gigs, toured Australia and New Zealand and then decided to move to London in 2011 because I couldn’t face another Brisbane summer rehearsing in our bedroom.
How would you describe your sound, specifically?
It’s a bit of a mix: a bit shoegaze, garage and psych. It’s not a conscious thing, we’re just musical magpies.
What was the inspiration behind your single “Easy Touch”?
Steve and I wrote the song when Nicole left London. It was just us two again, like in the early days. Steve was listening a lot to Air at the time, which I think inspired the feeling of the track. We stripped it back, played some simple, down-tempo grooves, then layered the recording with heaps of reverb and some synths.
How do you imagine people listening to “Easy Touch”?
Floating in an isolation tank in complete darkness, experiencing visual hallucinations and an altered state of mind…but who am I kidding, they are probably listening to it on a computer in a bedroom of their parent’s house.
What do you love about making music in London?
Sometimes it’s tough being in London – you never have any money because you spent it all on rent, it’s crowded and there’s a million other bands doing what you do. But it’s an epicentre – there are bands making great music here, or there are bands from all over the world coming here to play. That’s why we can’t leave yet, its sheer gravitational force is so strong and enduring, and the opportunities are boundless.
What makes you laugh so hard you cry?
I cry a lot, without the need of laughter. But one of my favourite films, Young Frankenstein, never fails to crack me up. The humour is ridiculous, almost childish. It comes to mind as Gene Wilder passed away recently, God bless his soul.
October 22nd, 2016 – ‘Entopica Phenomica’ album launch @ The Waiting Room
November 18th, 2016 – L.A. WITCH support @ The Shacklewell Arms
Entopica Phenomica is due out October 21st.