When Black Sabbath first strummed out the opening bars of Paranoid an evolution of music was kick-started into action in the heart of the United Kingdom. Since then Birmingham and the Midlands have been responsible for some of the greatest names and songs ever to have annoyed a generation of parents – Zepplin, Slade, Wizzard and more have all be borne from the Brummie cloth and go on to conquer the world.
Looking to add to those luminaries past James Warren and West Addams are bringing about a new turning of pages in the ledger of Birmingham’s musical heritage – and much like those bands previously mentioned, it seems they are creating something equally memorable and unique.
More commonly known as bass player and frontman in former band Revenant Dead, things came to a close as the group disbanded, for all intents and purpose to pursue paths outside the musical world. So when word reached our offices of an amazing new group soon to be emerging on the scene it was with some interest two very familiar names appeared to be involved. A few days and a few dozen inquiring e-mails revealed the full truth of the matter; yes, it seemed, there was a new band being formed and it did indeed count frontman West Addams and bassist James Warren within the mystery new group’s number.
Determined to discover the truth behind the rumour we managed to track the erstwhile musicians down, and though guarded were more than happy to lay the rumours to rest and discuss this mysterious new group.
‘There’s just so much music out there it’s difficult to pin-down one thing that inspires what we do,’ said Addams – whose vocals have been described as a mix between Bowie at his finest and Rose at his most volatile – when asked to describe the new band’s sound. ‘I think a fusion of punk-rock sensibilities edged with a blues style and a heavy groove in the bass… Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly.’
Rock and soul, possibly?
‘Ha-ha, yeah; something like that.’
‘We won’t hear a riff and say ‘oh no we can’t use that it’s too heavy or too quiet’,’ says bassist Jim. ‘Our songs are quite diverse in style, we try and meld the genres to create something coherent.’ ‘A powerful sense of melody. (Bruce, lead guitar) It’s got a touch of heavy rock and some blues influence in there.’
Having proven their worth in previous outfits the coming together of the two didn’t seem as unlikely a scenario as first assumed. ‘He replied to an ad we’d placed asking for a bass player for the old band,’ explains Addams. ‘So we set a date and time and he rocked on down with a bass in hand… It wasn’t until after when we said ‘you’re in’ that he admitted to only having just bought the bass that day.’
With past experience working together bringing all key players into the positions of fellow band members was fairly simple for the pair. ‘It was just a case of ‘right time, right place’, I think.’
‘We quickly found guitars through the power of the internet,’ says Jim, nodding to Ben. ‘I’d posted an ad online West replied to. We exchanged messages, sent a few ideas to one another and that seemed that.’ ‘We started jamming a few rough song ideas and before we knew it we had a selection of wildly catchy songs,’ says Bruce. ‘ From that point we knew that we had found the perfect mix of musicians to create something fresh but that also nods in appreciation at past influences and styles.’ Ben concludes ‘A fellow by the name of Andy from the band Sixdaysober came and played the drums, and from that point the now Nishi we formed.’
Having toured extensively with their previous bands the rigours of the road and requirements in rehearsal are no strangers to the new group. With a combined half a dozen albums to show for their efforts it’s clear there is dedication and a firm plan in mind with the band Nishi.
‘’We’re currently putting together our first EP,’ they reveal. ‘The first song off the EP got some great feedback when we put it online – no fan-fare or anything, just a few links and a message to say ‘Here’s our band, have a song’, sort of thing… It definitely seems to have made an impact, that’s for sure!’
When asked to describe what makes Nishi least likely than most to fall under the category of ‘just another band’ Jim sums up the mindset for the band as a whole;
‘We have solid riffs that are instantly recognizable and unique vocals,’ he says, simply. ‘We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel with any sort of completely new sound. We’re a rock band that hopefully writes good enough songs to be set apart from the rest and doesn’t sound like a clone of any existing band.’
’It’s like a nice cold Guinness,’ adds Ben. ‘You take one sip and you just want more.’
Suitably tempted we tried to press for an exact date the band intend to unveil their EP.
And the answer ‘Soon enough’ delivered with a wry smile seems all we’re likely to know for now. ‘But it’ll be worth the wait,’ we’re promised.
After hearing their first single Know It All on their Reverbnation page it seems the wait will indeed be worth it, Warren and Addams taking their unique styling’s and vocals in a whole new direction from that of the metal route they were previously on. With an infectious blend of rhythm, attitude and excitement that captivates the listener and delivers something genuinely worth hearing in the world of rock and music as a whole.
Bringing Birmingham back into the spotlight where it belongs and firmly stamping their authority over the musical world, Nishi can be reached/written to/bothered and harassed at the following links;