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Friday 13th, July 2007

One of the top artists in the dancemusic industry is the legendary Nick Bracegirdle. Under his Chicane guise he smashed the scene in 1996 wih the beautiful Footprint. More hits followed including the "Ibiza" smash hit Saltwater with the vocals from Maire Brennan. But he is also known as the Disco Citizens together with Leo Elstob, resulting in more underground hits that were picked up by the worlds leading DJs. His first album Far From The Maddening Crowds is a highly sought after album. More albums followed including co-operations with Tom Jones and the stunning Don't Give Up with rockstar Brian Adams. After a relatively quiet period, the new Chicane album is on the brink of release, titled Somersault. The first single is already out and is called Come Tomorrow. Time to ask Nick some questions about all these new exciting things happening in the world of Chicane.

TNU: Nick, first off all congrats to your new album. It took quite some time to get released. What kind of tracks can we expect?
Nick: There is quite a blend a of tracks, some hark back to instumental chicane of old, but most have a swing to more song based tracks, but still very chicane, as contain the melody and atmos approach to all music I write.

TNU: You took the Chicane sound to a whole new level. Why this change of direction?
Nick: There has been no change in direction, an evolution yes, a change no. I have been a songwriter from the start and written songs for high profile artists, the material has become more and more song based as I have continued to write. There is the fact that a whole album 'easy to assemble' was never released, so there might be a concieved jump in style, while I evolved, the audience did not get to here this maybe? It would also be a little odd to expect an artist who has been recording for over a decade to not develop and look at other avenues of expression, the chicane sound has matured into what you you hear on sommersault.

TNU: You worked with male to partists like Tom Jones, Peter Cunnah and Bryan Adams. Did you work with them personally and how was it working with them? Do you prefer male vocals in your tracks or is just a coincidence?
Nick: I have had a recent swing towards male vocals, but cant say it is deliberate, there will be girls fronting tracks again soon, I'm sure.

TNU: We heard some snippets of the new album on your new website. Come Tomorrow is the new single and is more of a popsong. Why was this chosen as the new Chicane single? Did you decide this yourself?
Nick: I cant say It sounds poppy to me, just very solid and straight to the point, Its a short song and not one of my 12 minute epics. It was chosen as It stood out as being one of the most powerful tracks on the album, this was something that was agreed by everyone involved in the project and encompassed feel of the new album.

TNU: Time Of Your Life sounds like a fantastic piece of chill out work. Will there be remixes of the track in the future?
Nick: Probably unlikely, but you never know.

TNU: Are there any plans working with Tomski or maybe even Leo Elstob? Maybey a Disco Citizens Remix? Or am I just one those fanboys that cant keep his mouth shut about the past?
Nick: Again, I'm not sure, but would say more than likely on this one.

TNU: You will perform live all over the world. I wanna go and would like to see you live. What can I expect?
Nick: A seven piece band taking the songs to a new level, the live side of the project is taking a much bigger role and all the tracks have been substantially re-worked to work from small clubs to big festival stages.

TNU: Your studio is called Modena. Can you tell us a bit about the software/hardware that you are using?
Nick: We use logic/pro-tools/ableton live/various soft synths/Apple laptop and G5 computers/vintage synths and outboard EQ all going through an Otari analogue desk.

TNU: Your album Easy To Assemble was leaked on the internet before release. Undoubtedly your new album will be illegally downloaded worldwide again. How does that affect you?
Nick: This time around we have taken steps to prevent history repeating itself. I can't say much more but anyone stupid enough to attempt boot-legging will be dealt with.

TNU: Also you have been in legal disputes. Has this changed your view of the music industry?
Nick: Not really. The music industry has and is still full of fools, crooks, lawyers, winners and loosers.

TNU: You were producing electronic music since you were very young. Ibiza seems to be a strong influence. How do you translate into your sound? Should it always be mellow and soft? We never heard a fierce track by you.
Nick: Hmmm Ibiza again ehh!! I can't say that it had that great an influence on me, no more than the Isle of Wight did.

TNU: What is your best track and best remix ever till this date in your opinion?
Nick: Best track 'Offshore', best song 'Come Tomorrow' best mix 'Before Today' - ebtg.

TNU: I remember clubbing in 1999 and suddenly Saltwater was played. It was such a great combination, Clannad and trance. Whats the story behind this track? Did you first ask permission for using the vocals or were the approved after listening to the result?
Nick: There was no sampling involved in the track. I approached the Clannad people to re-sing the song and also add new top line melodies which we did, so it was a successful collaberation between us both.

TNU: Chicane tracks are excellent for filmscores. Can we expect any movies in the future backed up with music from you?
Nick: Let's hope so, we have been trying to make waves in this area for some time.

TNU: Why do you prefer giving live performances above DJ-ing? You never played a DJ-set if Im correct. You must have been flooded with booking requests as a DJ. Did you never consider it?
Nick: I am not and have never been a record changer. Playing within a band compared to playing a record are very different animals.

TNU: The final question: what is your personal op 5 of favourite / most influential tracks?
Nick: An impossible question but
1-Boys of Summer by Don Henley
2 Oxygene by Jean Michel-Jarre
3-Chariots of Fire by Vangelis
4-Athem by enjoi
5-Is there anybody out there by Bassheads.

TNU: Its kinda funny. You returned to Modena, back where it all started, your own label where your new album will be released. What can we expect from the label Modena in the future?
Nick: Not too sure but definately but all the Chicane tracks plus maybe the odd unique track which I might sign.

TNU: Many thanks for this interview and we are looking forward to hear the album in July! Nick: Enjoy

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