The Nice Nice (Tim Sullivan & Tom Appel ) are simply a delight to listen to - both their original songs and the tasteful covers they did on Chris Rae's music or Alessi Brothers' all time classic "Seabird". After releasing the groovy ear-worm "Pleasure Leisure" , the duo heads on their Japanese tour and puts final works on their debut EP I scheduled for release in late January 2019.
Interview with The Nice Nice (Tim Sullivan)
How are you Tim, I guess you are still in Japan? I understand you and Tom share a love for Chris Rea and Chris Isaak but what else could you say about your musical experience/training prior forming The Nice Nice and the visions you have for what sounds good? What brought you together?
Since my early teens I’ve been playing in bands. I’ve touched base in a lot of genres too. It’s never been a straight line of what style of music I “should” play. It’s always been based on what I felt when I was playing it. I think that’s why Tom & I worked together so well and wrote our début album so quickly. We both had no rules with the approach to writing. It was never a plan to write something that “sounds good”, it was more what “felt right”. Luckily for us what felt good turned out sounding ok too. I had recently moved to Munich and I didn’t know many people at all. I was searching for someone to sing on some songs I had written and I was introduced to Tom. After a few emails and meeting up and chatting about music and drinking a lot of coffee we decided to try and write something together.
How does your creative process look like and who is responsible for what? Do you divide music and lyrics between you or simultaneously come up with ideas?
The process for writing for sure 50/50. We tend to brain storm lyrical ideas too. It usually starts with a drum machine beat or a melody that was recorded into the phone.
It seems like you have everything really balanced out (which I love) - the rock'n'roll guitars, the delicate pianos and beaming melody, as well as strong, deep vocals. Are you evening out each others' different characters/talents in your music or you are quite alike and just harmonise those traits while you play?
I think the sound of The Nice Nice is just everything that influences us, regardless of “genre”. We both come from very different musical backgrounds but we can defiantly meet in the middle and agree on what works and that Leonard Cohen is a genius. That is probably why you can list all the above elements to our music. There is a wide range of arrangements on the album but they are (to my ears) all very synced.
You are recording in Munich, Germany but have also worked on your singles in Austria, Belgium and France. Who do you collaborate with and how does this network support your aspirations as a band?
Tom & I drove his VW Wagon to a house in Vils (a small town surrounding by mountains in Austria). The house is owned by a friend of mine and I had visited there a few months earlier. The house had such a relaxed vibe and I thought to myself it would be a perfect place to do music one day. Recording the record in 6 days was an intense venture but it all worked out. We were even lucky enough to have two brothers from Vils that played in the local brass band record horns on a few songs. We went to Paris to mix the album with my good old pal, Julien Hulard. We had worked together in the past and I always trusted his sound judgement. Seemed only natural to get him on board for this part of the project.
Tom, you are from Munich, so I'd like to ask Tim: Why did you relocate all the way from Australia? Were you drawn by something particular in the European music industry or it was an exploratory journey?
I haven’t lived in Australia for a long time. I’ve always been somewhat nomadic. Seeing places and experiencing new things was always more important to me than being comfortable. I was offered a job in Berlin in 2013 and that’s when I moved to Germany.
As we speak, you both are in Japan and plan to release a limited Japanese Edition CD featuring some bonus live tracks. Why a CD? How was your first gig there? What do you like about the audience and would you say it is a big potential for you?
Also - cassette tapes. As far as I know audio tapes are the best format to record music on in terms of the quality. Most people think they were just part of the 90s but i guess only the Walkman itself stayed in the past.
Japan was amazing. It’s a real special place and their love for music has always been super strong. We wanted to do a physical version of “EP I”. CDs still sell quite well in Japan and it will be a limited release. The CD will be released in Japan alongside a small collection (Socks, T-shirt, Sweatshirt, Enamel Pins & Scarf) with the Japanese clothing brand, Bedwin & The Heartbreakers.
Your debut EP I, due to release in late January 2019, consists of 4 tracks including the striking songs "Beached" and "Pleasure Leisure". What should we expect as an overall mood and could you describe the signature sound you are cultivating with it?
I was pretty surprised when the small run of cassette we made sold out. We made the cassette tapes for nostalgia reasons but I guess people connected with that. We are also planning the release of Cassette Covers #2 for 2019 too.
Any other big announcements and wishes for 2019?
EP I is the first of three parts of our début album. This is our first release and we hope it gives you the taste of what’s the come with the next two EPs. We wrote and recorded the album during summertime, so it has that kind of mood to me. I always have so much trouble describing the “sound" of the music I write. Let’s just say it’s the “Nice (nice)” sound.
We will be playing out "EP I Launch Show” at Milla Club in Munich on February 23rd with support from the amazingly talented, Luke Noa. We will also be releasing three EPs in 2019. 4 tracks on each. Those 12 tracks make up our début album which is set for release late 2019. As well as playing as many shows as we can. Hopefully see you all sooner than later a show near by!