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A Dirty Dozen with ROB GAYLARD from THE NOMADIC – April 2020

| 24 April 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Australian guitarist and singer/songwriter Robert Gaylard brings a unique perspective and vision when it comes to creating music. His inspiration and passion for starting The Nomadic began early on as a child after traveling to many countries like Myanmar (formerly Burma), Singapore and the Solomon Islands. His “nomadic” lifestyle continued on into his adulthood when he began to work for the United Nations in various countries such as: Kenya, Somalia, the Sudan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Israel and Palestine. His travels eventually brought him to New York in September of 2012 and motivated him to pursue his songwriting by establishing an indie rock band.” We get Rob to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

Photo Credit: Philip Silverberg

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Well to be honest, the ‘layering’ behind “Waiting” is becoming clearer to me day by day! That often happens with a song I write. I get inspired by a certain mood, and later on I come to realise the meaning of the song for me! So whilst “Waiting” might at first listen come across as a traditional love song, with the protagonist “waiting” for his or her long lost lover; it is as much about “waiting” for your best self/ potential to be achieved; for the conquering of demons, for your ideal self to ‘seize the day’ and live your best life. Its also a portrait of all the times we spend “waiting” for people of things- planes, trains, cars etc. or for a period of isolation or difficulty to pass! I actually wrote a poem to encompass many of these ideas! Too long for a song obviously! But gives you some idea into the sentiments behind the song!

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I have always loved and been carried away by music! I can remember as a young child in the 80’s- listening to Eurythmics and U2, Dire Straights and the Police. In the 90’s came Britpop and the rise of Oasis, radiohead, The Verve; later Coldplay. I believe deep down I always wanted to be a musician, but maybe the environment around me was quite conservative and traditional, and I was made to feel this wasn’t what I ‘should’ be doing! But the fire inside me never died – I kept writing songs all the way through a career with the UN in Kenya, Somalia, the Sudan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Israel and Palestine. The fire kept burning and by the time I came to New York in 2012, I realized I had to do something about it! And there’s daily reminders now that I am first and foremost a musician, guitarist, pianist and singer-songwriter! For example, I can be in a café or restaurant, a cool song will come on – and I get totally lost and engrossed in the song! And I look around – people are laughing, eating, chatting – but it is usually only me in a crowded place of 30-50 people (I am talking of course in the pre-COVID era sadly!) and it is only me who is totally lost in the music! So that’s how I know I want to keep being a musician!

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

“Don’t Look Back In Anger” by Oasis is still the best song ever written in my opinion! Coldplay “Yellow” and “Lost” is pretty up there as well! So probably Noel Gallagher on guitar and Chris Martin on piano are major influences! I even joked with friends about doing tribute bands “OASIS’NT and “OLDPLAY” but my originals won out! Maybe I should start a campaign for them to start a band? “Cold play by the OASIS?? But I digress!!

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

OASIS, Coldplay, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and U2.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Jay-Z! I think he could add a lot of cool rapping to my songs! Noel Gallagher and Chris Martin, but I am not sure they would add anything too different, given how influenced I am by them both!

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

The Nomadic produces a sound genre like no other as alternative rock meets blues with hints of Americana and pop. I have had a lot of comparisons to OASIS and Coldplay, Radiohead; and for some songs, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen. I haven’t had any comparisons to make me cringe!! And to be honest- it would take a lot for that to happen! I try not to judge anyone else’s music, or be at all negative. What did my grandmother say? “if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything!!” it takes a lot of courage to make art and put it out into the world, so I have respect for anyone who does that, no matter the genre!

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

For me it’s the buzz of creating something that truly moves you and other people. Knowing you took them somewhere else for a while. Its more important now than ever before I feel! It has happened a few times when people have told me what a song has meant to them- there is no greater privilege or feeling. I have an upcoming song release called “Grand Mistakes” which is really about the legacy of conflict in a family and the destruction it can cause in terms of generational trauma and anxiety. It starts off with the line “Granddad only tried to put food on your plate; granny never talks about the trauma of late”; when I played it for the first time at a gig, a girl came up to me afterwards and said she started to feel a wave of emotion build inside her at that moment. I felt so honored to have touched her in that way. It made me feel maybe this is actually what I am meant to be on this earth to do?! So its that kind of serenity and calm I feel as a musician- knowing I am meant to be doing this, and should pursue it with every once of passion and energy I have!

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

It’s probably me who is the first to break out the guitars!

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Not trying to avoid the question but it honestly hasn’t happened!! I guess if I meet Noel Gallagher or Chris Martin, it could happen! Not sure what I would ask them!? Ie I know for sure Noel is NOT open to an OASIS reunion, and Chris seems such a nice person, so I would probably buy him a few drinks, then ask him to collaborate with me! Oh yeah and introduce me to Jay-Z, as they are such good buddies!!

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I think I would make a good teacher! I am pretty good with kids, I love the idea of helping, mentoring, coaching others, helping them become their best selves, find their passion and pursue it! There is no greater gift in life.

11.  Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I honestly don’t regret anything! I spent 2005-12 working with the UN in some very challenging places, and some might say that period would have been better invested in pursuing music. However I honestly feel it helped me to write better songs – because I was exposed to a range of complex political, social, economic, cultural and humanitarian situations, which also put a huge burden on my personal life! Then I began to feel I was somewhat ‘treading water’ in my job/ career situation, and frustrated with the politics and bureaucracy of work life- all of which, combined with the creative vibe of a place like New York, became a very potent cocktail for songwriting! So I wouldn’t really be able to identify any “do overs”! I honestly feel I am right where I am meant to be, and my job now is to build the best version of “The Nomadic” that is possible!

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Probably OASIS What’s the Story Morning Glory which is such an amazing album and had such a heavy influence on my songwriting.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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