As Bombay Bicycle Club throw in the towel, bassist Ed Nash moves from the shadows of a bassist to centre stage with his new project Toothless. Providing a similar enchanting sound that comes with Bombay, Nash incorporates existential questioning in collaboration with melodic acoustics and electronic magicalness. Don’t be fooled, this is not Bombay 2.0. Nash has brought the sound he has been a part of for over ten years with his own spin. We were lucky enough to chat to Nash all about his transition from Bombay to Toothless…
As we all know, 2016 was mean to us; Brexit, Trump and the death of Bowie and Prince, to name a few! But another heart-breaking event that took place last year was the announcement of a Bombay Bicycle Club hiatus “It was time for a change, we had played in Bombay for ten years and it’s all we had ever known in our adult lives. Everyone wanted to explore something different but couldn’t with the full-time commitment to the band”. So, what can we expect from a band that foregrounded the indie scene over the past 10 years, where can we find them? “Everyone wanted to do something different. Me, Jack and Suren are pursuing different musical avenues and Jamie has gone to university, something he had wanted to do for years”. But, Bombay fooled us into thinking they were taking nothing more than a break, however, after exploring the future success of Toothless, Ed adds “even if it isn’t a success at all. I’m not sure Bombay will happen again”. A shocking and upsetting revelation…
“I’m not sure Bombay will happen again”
For Nash, Toothless is something completely unfamiliar. Stepping away from the support of a band into a solo venture, whilst also taking centre stage; a completely independent project “it’s incredibly rewarding for everything to start and end with you”. With such a jump from bass to now, leading the stage, the vocals and the lyricism, it’s questionable how such a big leap will affect the final product “People keep on saying that they can hear Bombay in this record as if it’s a surprising thing… It’s something I was part of for ten years, I would be more surprised if there weren’t bits of Bombay in it. It’s not intentional it’s just a part of my musical heritage”.
Although underlays of Bombay are evident, Nash has truly made it personal to him, particularly within his lyricism “They all relate to personal experiences, I just used metaphors and stories as a way to help me express what I was feeling myself. For example, the song ‘Sisyphus’ is an ancient Greek myth but I used the story to talk about a relationship”. However, Nash has never ventured into the talent of writing lyrics in the past so Toothless brings a whole other challenge for him “It was very daunting… that’s why I started writing lyrics about myths and other subjects… I wasn’t trying to be intellectual. It was just a way into writing lyrics for me”. A particular theme that runs throughout the debut album The Pace of Passing is death “It’s pretty much the only thing that will happen to everyone! I’m surprised people don’t talk about it more. Hopefully I’m not talking about it in a negative or gratuitous way”. In a world surrounded by love songs, it is interesting as to why Nash has decided to swerve this norm “It’s not something I really write about, but that’s more because I don’t think I’m good at it rather than not liking it. The two overt love songs on this record are about the fallout after a relationship… I wonder what that says about me”.
Having a musical career spanning over ten years, it’s intriguing to see what Ed thinks about today’s music scene in comparison to when he first started out “I love the music scene today, I think there are some fantastic records being made, people who think that music was better back in the day are stuck in their ways or aren’t looking hard enough. With the internet and music software almost anyone with a laptop and make an album and release it regardless of their age or where they come from. It’s totally levelled the playing field”.
With the release of The Pace of The Passing and a recent UK tour, you will find Nash hitting a variety of festivals of the summer such as Secret Garden Party and Reading & Leads Festival “I’m planning to get to as many other places as possible. Suren is actually playing drums in the live Toothless band so hopefully it shouldn’t be too scary”.