So who are Nicotine Pretty and what’s Nicotine Pretty all about? Johnny Heartbreaker of online fanzine Punked wanted the lowdown so Ginge Knievil spared some time to answer a few questions. Below is an excerpt from the transcription. The full Punked interview is linked at the bottom. Hope you enjoy.
So, what can you tell us at this early stage about your new musical project Nicotine Pretty; and what creative (or other) force is it inside you that has driven you to jump straight back into the crazy world of rock ‘n’ roll, and seemingly almost overnight and hot on the heels of your decision to leave The Sick Livers?
The Livers ended and I was left thinking, “what the fuck now?!?!” At a particularly low point I just picked up the guitar and these songs just came out. I guess I found solace in playing that six string badly for weeks on end. My poor missus, love her!
I can’t say it’s jumping straight back into the crazy rock ‘n’ roll world. The thing is with Nicotine Pretty is that it’s a project I can handle at a pace to suit myself. There’s no pressure to be the wild man of underground glam punk and there’s no expectation of me. There’s a lot to be said for that.
I’d toyed with the idea of doing a side project with Lewis Davies (my longtime Fear & Loathing style attorney) for some time. I share the songwriting with him. He writes some, I write some. The Nicotine to the Pretty if you like. Fuck knows who’s who though!
The early stages of this now main project have gone well. The songs are written and the demos are done. We’ve the Welsh myth and legend that is Paul Black hitting the drums and Ian Pickens (of hardcore punks Smiler) offering his services on bass. Full band rehearsals start in January 2017 in a dungeon in Merthyr. Again, no pressure, we can come and go as we please there, with little organisation and at convenience to my health [bipolar disorder]. I’m proper excited about doing the studio work especially. I’ve just gotta work out how I get my stupid arse back on that stage. Hopefully the security of a Gretsch slung low will help things!
Having listened to the Nicotine Pretty guitar teaser recently uploaded onto social media, one thing struck me immediately: that it hints at and suggests that we can probably expect Nicotine Pretty to be slightly more melodic, softer and reflective in its sound and content then The Sick Livers. Is this what we can also expect then from Ginge Knievel in the future, or will you continue to own a ‘full-on, in your face’ persona and approach to your music?
If the full-on persona was still achievable, I think The Sick Livers would still be a going concern. I got offered a few frontman roles for punk bands but had to turn them down on that basis. If people are expecting what went before, they best look away now or leave any preconceptions at the door!
I’m unsure about Nicotine Pretty being softer. There’s plenty of grit and crunch with an underlying punk spirit. The lyrics are more serious and reflective I guess. It would be hypocritical of me to harp on about a lifestyle of debauchery when things are much more level and sedate now. One thing it has in common to the previous guise is that big singalong choruses are still in abundance and I’m well happy with that.
What, or who, inspires you most inside or outside of music and why?
…musically at this moment in time, those who’ve heard the Nicotine Pretty demos have said they can hear glimpses of early Manic Street Preachers, Nick Cave, “The River” era Springsteen, Stiff Little Fingers, Dogs D’Amour, Link Wray, Johnny Cash, Johnny Thunders, Lords of the New Church. All are massive influences and inspirations so I’ll have that!
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Check out the full interview in issue 13 of Punked HERE.