A trio by way of London, Osaka and Guildford, Nedry stands apart from the constantly growing flow of recycling and unoriginal bands. Its cunning blend of electronica, dubstep, post-rock and trip hop, is seductive and fresh, and not aimed for mainstream airplay. I caught up with two Nedry members to talk about inspiration, live shows and what’s ahead.
Myspace was actually a great tool for discovering new bands and artists, and back in 2010 when in one of my searches for new music I somehow found myself on Nedry’s profile, I pressed play on one of the songs in the music player and immediately knew I found something special. A trio by way of London, Osaka and Guildford, Nedry stands apart from the constantly growing flow of recycling and unoriginal bands. Its cunning blend of electronica, dubstep, post-rock and trip hop, is seductive and fresh, and not aimed for mainstream airplay.
Instead of revealing all of its enchantments upfront, Nedry’s music takes hold of the listener gradually, moving like a looming shadow, revealing more layers and manipulations with each listening session. Dark, uplifting, full of groove and electricity, and armed with mysterious lyrics, Nedry’s second album, In A Dim Light, was one of my favorite releases in 2012. I spent many nights immersed in its sounds, and still come back to it every once in a while when the moon is dark and the night is lonely. Be sure to also check out Nedry’s debut, Condors on Monotreme. There’s no news of a new album at the moment, but hopefully this trio hasn’t said its last word yet.
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Igloo :: Hey there guys. Please tell us how the three of you met and how Nedry started.
Matt :: Chris and I met when he came to see a previous band that I was in whilst we were on tour. We had a few conversations over myspace messenger in the months prior to it. Chris got smashed on the cheap ‘student bar’ beer and started telling me how the support band were a bit rubbish, only to discover that they were close friends of mine. We’ve been friends ever since.
Chris :: After that Matt mentioned he had this gig booked for the summer, but no band, he’d found Ayu also on Myspace so we all met up and decided we’d try and make some music and play this gig. Sometimes you need a goal to work towards and this gave us a good incentive! It was a social media success story.
Let’s talk a little about your sources of inspiration. On the press release of your second album, ‘In A Dim Light’ it says: “Drawing on the gothic undertones of David Lynch—and at points, absorbing T.S. Elliot’s ‘Four Quartets,’ vocalist Ayu Okakita revels in ruminations urging acceptance of the shadows; to permit the darkness to settle around her.” Tell us about the different kinds of shades presented on ‘In A Dim Light.’
Chris :: Going into making this album we were influenced by the reaction we got when playing live and the sound we made on stage. We played a lot of shows following the release of Condors (our first album) and we felt in order to move forward we wanted to make things both more atmospheric and heavier. I don’t mean this in the Heavy Metal sense, rather creating a heavier emotional impact and effect on the audience. Whether through stronger rhythms and deeper bass or just creating more space in the tracks, we were working more as a unit and developing our identity. Ayu certainly related to T.S. Elliot and in our song “here.now.here” she directly references his writing, I think she found a kindred spirit. We tried to walk a line between dark emotions and also fun; Ayu has a very fun personality and I think that’s there in the record too.
Tell us a bit about a band / artist that influenced your life in a significant way.
Matt :: We all share a close affinity with Radiohead which is not exactly a unique bond, given that Radiohead are a huge band, but I think we really appreciated the attempt at bridging genres together, making electronic music make sense in a band format. Something deep, soulful and meaningful.
Chris :: We share a love of low end frequencies! Mala and The Bug influenced our approach to bass in our music and opened our minds to some really interesting underground dance UK music.
You had a short UK tour in April last year, surely you encountered all sorts of crowd and energy, tell us about the different sorts of people your music attracts.
Chris :: There’s definitely been a core audience that have stuck with us from tour to tour. Mostly people who are fans of the original 90s Trip Hop scene and see that sound in what we do. I also have seen some really young kids who like the dubstep moments in our songs…and also the occasional middle aged man looking adoringly at Ayu.
Matt :: During one tour we played in Sunderland. Unfortunately it was a pretty quiet show with virtually nobody there apart from two guys who were very very enthusiastic about seeing Nedry play live. They got hammered and started talking to us before we played. Whilst we were playing, they were dancing a lot and at one point, when we dropped the heavy bass line for the end of our track Squid Cat Battle, one of the guys was literally blown off his feet by the bass and fell to the floor spilling his drink everywhere. It was just too intense for him! Best thing about it was that we were filming the show so we got the footage of him stacking it. We sent the footage to the two guys and have since seen them post it up online, which was a nice moment!
Are you going to tour more in Europe this year? Any plans on coming to the U.S. soon?
Matt :: Unfortunately, following our tour in April last year, Ayu’s visa for the UK expired and the decision was made that she would return to Japan. We had early stage conversations about going out to Japan for a second tour there but things have slowed up.
Chris :: We love playing live and I think we really hit our peak on the last stretch of gigs we did, which makes it so heart breaking that we couldn’t just keep going. We’d have loved to have played this second record all around the world! Ultimately though we are small fish in a huge ocean, booking shows in the UK was difficult, in Europe it was even harder, despite some lovely promoters being enthusiastic we just couldn’t formulate a sensible plan to getting out on the road without losing money or not doing things to the level we wanted to. We have a lot of great support from our label and management/booking team, but continuing at the level we wanted to hasn’t been possible sadly. Never say never; a trip to the US would still be amazing.
Are you already working on material for a new album, or Ayu’s returning to Japan means it will be a while till you’ll work on something new together as Nedry?
Chris :: Since Ayu’s return to Japan, we’ve all kept in touch and have been enjoying making lots of remixes (most of which are up on our Soundcloud page). Our approach to remixes tends to be very similar to making Nedry songs, we really like to strip things back and make something new from the source material and that has been a fun and less pressured way to keep things going for now. In terms of making more original material or starting on a 3rd album, I think it’s fair to say that collectively we haven’t felt the inspiration or had the time to do this. We’re an ‘all or nothing’ type band and need to really commit ourselves to it, so maybe in the future, but for now remixes are enough.
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