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A Dirty Dozen with NICK VIVID – August 2021

| 24 August 2021 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Introduced to soul and blues music that bleeds through his music, Vivid was raised in Buffalo, NY to a radio DJ father and a glam rock-loving mother whose musical tastes shaped his musical output.  Eventually moving to NYC to work with Bill Aucoin (original manager of KISS and Billy Idol), Nick released a handful of earlier albums but based his new album No More Secrets on themes revolving around the loss of both of his parents in recent years and the life lessons he’s learned from what he calls “intensive meditative pandemic soul searching.”  The melodic soulful “I Wanna Reign Again” was a commentary on the pandemic in time to a killer wah wah beat. “You can’t bullshit a bullshitter and I’m the greatest of them all.  Are you gonna be corrupt or are you gonna be honest?  You can’t be both at the same time, though many people would like to be one and have you believe they are the other,” says NYC-based indie electronic funk artist Nick Vivid about his new single “Hush Money (Straight to the Bribe)”, out today from his upcoming LP No More Secrets (release date: November 12, 2021 via MegaPlatinum Records).  The record release party for No More Secrets will take place at Brooklyn’s All Night Skate (54 Rockaway Ave Brooklyn, NY 11233) on November 13.” We get Nick to discuss new music, influences, and more…

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 you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

The single “Hush Money (Straight to the Bribe)” is an up-tempo aggressive funk bomb. It’s a dirty Rhodes, a dirty drum loop, a dirty bass line, and nasty vocals. It’s got a big sound. The lyrics speak truth to power – a favorite subject of mine. It’s got that” Bam!” thing happening. No nuggets. This song is intentionally obvious.

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

My dad was a DJ on a soul station. My mom played piano. So in that regard it was a pretty musical household. I never consciously wanted to be a musician. It was just always what I did. I was writing songs when I was 5 years old. I produced my first album when I was 10, before I could really play an instrument – all in my imagination.

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

My older brother’s friends down the street had KISS trading cards and the first one I ever saw was a photo of Gene Simmons breathing fire. I knew immediately that whatever was going on there was meant for me. Music and visuals in a complete package. That was inspired by KISS. They had the right idea.

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

Nigel Tufnel from Spinal Tap. He’s arguably the most underrated songwriter of his generations. No slight to David St. Hubbins, who was a gifted writer in his own right. But it’s like Ben Orr or Ric Ocasek? I’m going to pick Ben Orr every time.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I like pirating old video games – removing the copy protection from them and then adding tons of cheat codes. I don’t have the patience to actually get good at beating the games, so I help myself out a bit. I don’t know if it helps me unwind, but it uses a different part of my brain and takes me out of myself for a little bit – helps me get some perspective. To really unwind, I find the best thing I can do is put on a good album, light some incense, and just let myself daydream.

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?

I said once it’s like if Kraftwerk were a funk band. But there’s so many weird subtle sources of inspiration there from 60s psychedelic to modern day indie soul and hip hop. I regularly hear Bee Gees comparisons. That’s only probably because of the limited musical vocabulary of the listeners. They don’t know Roy Ayers. They don’t know Wire. They don’t listen to Can or Neu! They don’t know these artists that I actually listen to. And it’s nobody’s fault. It’s just how pop culture influences things. Outside of the song “Night Fever” and the keyboard line of “Jive Talkin’,” I’m really not that into the Bee Gees. I’ve also been told that I cop all of my stage moves from Mick Jagger, and I dig the Stones, but I never viewed Mick Jagger as some kind of emulation idol or anything. Mick got it from somewhere, didn’t he? Maybe Mick and I are cut from the same cloth. Maybe we both copped it from the same source in the cosmos. I just do what I feel. If that happens to look like something you’re already familiar with, that probably says a lot more about you than it does about me.

7 – Musically, what are one or two guilty pleasures / artists you enjoy listening to that your fanbase or friends may find perplexing?

I love anything that blossomed from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement of the late 70s / early 80s. Diamond Head, Witchfinder General, Sweet Savage. So many great bands from that era. I also equally love instrumental elevator jazz fusion.  Lots of “musician” bands and guitar heroes that came out of Berklee. There was one jazz fusion group called Mr. Invisible that I remember liking when I was a kid. Good luck finding that album.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I think it was one of those celebrity dogs on Instagram.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Take a guy like Jason Becker, a guitar hero with ALS. He’s lost everything except his use of his eyes, and he still makes albums. I don’t think “could no longer be a musician” is a legitimate option when I have inspirations like that on this planet.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Maybe how I feel about technology and all the changes taking place in music. I would like people to know that I’m reverential towards very little, I’m a big fan of chaos and anarchy, and I think the best art flourishes in these types of environments. I get excited about anything new or different. I’m not tired of any questions, really…

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 wish I had more confidence when I was younger. I grew up in a small town, in an oppressive environment, and the standards were pretty low. I was making music partially for the purpose of impressing and getting the approval of people around me. Once I moved to NYC, I finally started to become me and slowly shed myself of all of that. Part of me wishes I moved here to “find myself” sooner but it is what it is.

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?

I’m trying to think of the one recording that had the most groundbreaking techniques being used in the studio. Being the studio geek I am, I would love to see the most insane production stuff taking place. Pet Sounds probably fits that bill. But then again, that record isn’t huge on my actual influence list. The two Thin Lizzy albums recorded at Ramport – Jailbreak and Johnny the Fox – now those two albums have the greatest drum sounds and guitar tones in the history of recorded music for my money and, to this day, I try to get my records to sound like those. So I’d probably choose to be there for that experience.





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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