LATEST NEWS … from The Love Detectives!- 16 Apr 2018 -
In this interview, we catch up with Nick Burnell from The Love Detectives about the recent release of the rock band’s debut EP Nothing to Say?
Image: Nick Burnell, songwriter, vocals and rhythm guitar for the Love Detectives
First of all, tell us about you. When were you first introduced to music?
I was lucky to come from a musical family. My mother studied at the Royal College of Music and became a principal soprano with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company but never pushed me towards music. So, I never got around to picking up a musical instrument, a guitar, until I was 17. I think if the urge is there it will always come out in the end.
Who has been the greatest influence on your sound?
It has to be The Beatles, for a number of particular reasons. The sheer variety of their material is stunning and it is illuminating to see the progress in their approach to composition that they made in such a short period of time. But you can’t overlook the outstanding contribution that George Martin made in producing their material. In writing music, I am happy to recognize that my own musical palette benefits from the broader experience of a good producer to unlock maximum potential.
And who are the Love Detectives? How and when did you all meet?
There are five of us in the band. Graham Elliott (keyboards) and Dickie Ford (drums) played with me nearly 30 years ago in a successful covers band, Gordon and The Gekkos, when we gigged at great venues like The Hard Rock Café and played live on TV chat shows. Ray Brash (bass) joined me about 16 years ago and Anna Tosh (lead guitar), who is a solo artist in her own right, started working with me in 2016.
When did you start work on this EP? How was the process?
The EP was kicked off by a rather sad catalyst. A successful musician friend of mine told me bluntly that I was “wasting my life” and should get on with my own music instead of playing other people’s songs at other people’s parties! He happened to say this at a moment of extreme sensitivity since I had only recently delivered the eulogy at the memorial service for my lifelong best friend and was in a major carpe diem frame of mind. So I decided simply to write, record and perform an album and see what happened. The Nothing to Say? EP was the result. I pulled the band together and initially started gigging my material acoustically in London clubs and bars with Anna throughout 2017 while rehearsing the full band. We recorded the EP in November 2017, released the EP in February 2018 and launched it at a sell-out gig at the iconic 100 Club in London. We now have a busy schedule of gigs through the spring and summer in well-known London venues.
What’s been the reception from listeners so far?
So far, so good! Fans who heard our music for the first time on Spotify came to see us at the 100 Club, and downloads and streams are building nicely. Promoters have spotted what is going on and are approaching us for gigs.
Can you sum up the album lyrically and musically?
I always enjoy lyrics where a little wit is at work and I have tried to make sure this is the case with mine. And I am certainly guilty of a retro approach in my attitude to rhyme and metre which I regard as the backbone of a good lyric. Musically, the EP is varied. The title track is a standard blues-rock track but brims with a lively repartee between keyboards and lead guitar. Eton Mess is perhaps the most original track that mixes up a few genres and brings out the best in all members of the band. Too Late is a strong ballad I wrote for my late best friend with a very powerful lead guitar solo from Anna Tosh that expresses the raw emotion of the song. The final track, Enemy of the Good, is a rollicking indie rock song for which our producer, Adrian Zagoritis, pulled out all the plugs.
How do you work on your lyrics? Do lyrics or the music come first?
All of the above! Sometimes a song starts with a musical phrase or a chord sequence that catches my ear and sometimes I have the idea for a title or think of an expression or saying that sets the ball rolling.
How did the EP title come about?
I wanted to use the title of one of the songs and Nothing to Say? seemed to be the most suitable as well as being a jolly good song! It also seemed to be an appropriate title for a debut album.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
Enemy of the Good is a cracking live song. There is a wonderful searing guitar riff, a driving bass line and catchy backing vocals. Something for everyone! We always end the main set with it.
What’s next for The Love Detectives?
Lots of live gigs, both acoustic and with the full band, introducing some new songs into the set and hopefully back into the recording studio later this year.
Spotify Artist Link: open.spotify.com/artist/2j1hvzvJzghjFRtyaCeErv?si=yT5o0kUlShya1qVUc6bQ0g