Everyone’s talking ‘bout pop music
You would hope that Night Noise Team are José Manuel Barroso’s – president of the European Commission – favourite band. Or at least Terry Wogan’s.
Their power-pop based sound demonstrates what you get when you marry Irish lyricism with French pop sensibilities, driving Italian guitar flourishes and pounding Scottish rhythm.
I met Night Noise Team at Bannermans, the home of their first ever live appearance, and asked Fabien, Sean and Marco about the band’s origins, ethos and aspirations.
“Fabien and I started off playing together around 5 years ago in a band called KILO” explains Sean, NNT’s Irish-born vocalist and rhythm guitarist. “We started Night Noise Team 2 years after that and were happy with the sound we were getting, but couldn’t recreate it live, so we recruited Marco and Mike to let us get our sound in front of an audience.”
“We shared a mutual interest in pop music” says Parisian lead guitarist Fabien, “and also with rock sounds.”
“The music they were creating reminded me of the stuff I liked when I was younger” says Marco, the band’s lead guitarist from Milan. “I grew up listening to heavy rock and loved the guitar solos and sounds of the 80s bands around that time. I answered an ad on Gumtree and joined NNT around 18 months ago.”
Mike, the band’s drummer, wasn’t present at the interview, but Sean explains he “brings a bit of muscle” to NNT’s sound and also influences from listening to a lot of dance and drum & bass music.
Together, this mix of styles and inspirations results in something unique and rather special.
Some kind of beauty in this mess
Menolick, the band’s latest single, was released on Nov 30th, and heralds their forthcoming 2nd LP, due out – if all goes to plan – in spring next year.
Production values on the track are high (“that’s down to Fabien” says Sean. “He’s our secret weapon”) and Menolick contains a bucketload of spiky guitar hooks and melodies that swirl hypnotically around a driving beat and Sean’s eloquent and unemotionally-delivered vocals and lyrics (“I can’t believe that you can see some kind of beauty in this mess“).
Influences include Bloc Party, Joy Division, Wire and even a nod to the Dead Kennedys with Sean’s vocal style; but the sound is – even on the basis of one track – singular and original.
Sean puts a lot of this down to Fabien’s expertise at sound engineering and the professionalism and production values of the track are indeed testament to his skill. The band’s maturity and ability to respect each other’s input and opinions is also important, and this allows each contributor’s part to add up to the jaggedly melodic whole.
“We’re a bit of an anomaly”
With NNT having located in Edinburgh for a variety of reasons (the usual mix of women, family and work), I asked them their opinions on the local scene.
“Places like Bannermans and The Ark are great” replies Sean. “They’ll put on gigs on the basis of very little evidence and are an ideal way for bands to get started out.”
Marco agrees. “There’s a lot more venues now, places like Sneaky Pete’s and Cabaret Voltaire.”
“We’re pretty selective about our gigs now” says Sean, explaining that NNT’s current focus is on their recorded material. “We also think we’re a bit of an anomaly compared to the current scene; there’s a bit of an alt-folk thing happening in Edinburgh at the moment.”
When asked about their longer term plans for the band, both Fabien and Sean have quite clear aims.
“We’re sharpening our skills” says Sean, “and I’m focusing on the songwriting. I’d like to write songs for other people.”
“It’s all about getting the song out there” agrees Fabien. “We’d like to pursue some ideas about setting up a production company as well.”
Marco has less lofty but equally admirable goals. “As long as I’m playing” he says. “I love playing live. Though I still s*** myself every time!”
A band that are definitely greater than the sum of their already impressive parts, Night Noise Team could end up being one of the most important bands to come out of the Edinburgh scene for a long time. Their ambition certainly won’t stop them; nor will they be hampered by their talents or music.
Definitely ones to watch.