Dirty Dozen: The Nickajack Men

The Nickajack Men were formed towards the end of 2014 after Lewis and Jamie met Michael at a friends house party. There was a guitar and one thing led to another, Lewis got in touch with Matthew and suggested joining the 3 of us and just like that The Nickajack Men were formed.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
We play Alt-Country/Alternative Rock music and we are based in a small town called Falkirk in Central Scotland.

Starting off with a more mellow sound it quickly transpired that we had much more to give in terms of a fuller “band” sound. We have worked hard at writing songs and we are always trying to improve and develop as songwriters and musicians. Myself and Mikey share the songwriting duties usually starting of with  a slower acoustic country based song and taking it to the band to see where we end up with it. After just a few shows it quickly became clear this is exactly what we all want to do.

We started off just playing any sort of show we could to gain some live experience. Starting to get more and more people coming to our shows we got the chance to play King Tuts in Glasgow in November 2015 which was a stunning opportunity for us at the time. Again we continued to play shows and recorded our first single “Gordo”. It was released on 23rd July 2016, we also played a sold out show at King Tuts to celebrate the release on the same night. That was probably the best moment of being in a band so far, that was the first bit of music we released and got to play a sold out show along with it! We then released our second single “Hurricane” on 29th October and played a sold out show in Stereo, Glasgow. Again this was another unbelievable moment for us!

We have been away working on new material and recording for the last few months so we are looking forward to getting back out and playing some shows.

How would you describe your music?
I think the best way to describe it is somewhere in between Alt-Country and Alternative/Indie Rock N Roll. We  like to mix different genres in our tracks, I suppose that just cuts through from our influences and the music we grew up listening too.

Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?
As a band we have a range of influences but a few that we all definitely take influence from would be Band Of Horses, The War On Drugs,  Delta Spirit, The Districts, Jason Isbell, Nathaniel Rateliff, Alabama Shakes and Dawes. I personally listen to a lot of Alt-Country music from the States. Jason Isbell is a massive influence on myself in terms of songwriting, he is without doubt one of the greatest lyricists of our time. The way The War On Drugs merge so many different genres into one track really inspires us as well.  We also take influence from bands like Pixies and The Replacements in a heavier sense.

What are you currently promoting?
Our Debut EP “Wasting Away” which will be released 26th May 2017. We can’t wait to get it out for everyone to hear, there will be a video released with our next single from the EP as well. This time in the recording process we spent a lot of time trying to capture more of the energy from our live show in this release.. We can’t thank Paul McInally at 45 a-side studios, Glasgow enough for all his input on the record. We are real excited for it to be released!!

Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?
I would say the next song we are set to release “Running”. It captures pretty much everything we’re trying to do with our music. The sound we created in this track is definitely one we are trying to achieve, so to hear the final mixes sounding how they do we are over the moon with it! It will be released alongside our debut music video!

What are you currently listening to?
Right now I have been listening to a lot of Twin Peaks and Cage The Elephant. Those guys are unbelievable live. Also Warren Zevon and Old 97’s have been played recently.

And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?
This is a seriously hard question for me haha. I suppose it changes quite a lot with me, probably depends how i’m feeling that day. I’m going to go for “Ryan Adams – Gold” just pure and simply down to the volume of unbelievable songs on one album. It literally blew my mind how good every single song is.

What are your hopes for your future career?
We are all extremely ambitious and definitely want to get ourselves to the best place we can be to be making the music we want. For me getting out of Scotland and seeing the world via touring and playing shows for people would be the dream. Getting to the US and playing a session on KEXP would make me the happiest person alive haha!

If money were no object what would be your dream project?
We would absolutely love to make a record with Dave Cobb. He has produces a good amount of my favourite records ever. The ear he has for things is unbelievable, Sturgill Simpson’s “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth” is easily one of the best sounding albums i’ve ever heard.

What’s the best thing about being a musician?
Seeing people react on an emotional level as well as just enjoying your music for what it is always gives you that feeling of it was worthwhile. We are all best friends and get to have the time of our lives on stage together so it’s a pretty rewarding thing especially when other people are appreciating what we’re doing as well!

And the worst?
You probably get this a lot for people talking through shows. Not even necessarily our shows but just shows in general. Real rude.

Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?
Thanks a lot for checking out our music and this interview, we really appreciate it! Keep an eye on our social media pages for all news and info!

Author: Rudie Hayes

Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.

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