2. Wet Outside Dry In Here
3. The Lonely Trekker
5. Recruitment Agency
6. Rip The Heart
10. She Walked Me Home
11. Sole In The Machine
Zephyrs is an Edinburgh, Scotland-based indie band composed of Stuart
Nicol (Guitars, Vocals), David Nicol (Bass, Harmonium), Robert Dillam
(Drums, Guitars), Emily Hall (Guitars, Backing Vocals) and Will Bates
(Piano, Keyboards). They have released four albums "It's OK Not to Say
Anything" (1999, Evol), "When the Sky Comes Down It Comes Down on Your
Head" (2001, SouthPaw), "A Year to the Day" (2004, Setanta), "Bright
Yellow Flowers on a Dark Double Bed" (2005, Acuarela) and two EPs
"Stargazer EP" (2001, Rock Action), "The Love That Will Guide You Back
Home" (2002, Acuarela).
Their new album, "Fool of Regrets", is released on September 6th on
Club AC30 records. Guest musicians include Barry Burns, Lisa Jen Brown,
Gruff Rhys, Mary MacMaster and Fife R&B band Baby Isaac. A single
single taken from the album, "Creative Faith", is released on August
Interview with Stuart Nicol singer and guitarist
of the band:
S: When and how was The
I’ve always played in bands with my brother, David (bass
player in The Zephyrs) since we were young. I suppose the Zephyrs
really started in earnest though in 1999 when we recorded our first
album - It’s okay Not To Say Anything - which came out in
S: Where is the name of the
band coming from?
: My dad
was in a rock and roll band in the late 50s called The Zephyrs and
we’re named after them. They were named after the Ford Zephyr
car so indirectly we’re also named after the car.
and when did all begin
Again with my dad. He played guitar at home and at parties when we were
young and there was always a spare guitar kicking about the house so we
just picked up how to play from an early age. I also got into music
through my two brothers who were both into buying records and going to
gigs … mainly Stiff Little Fingers, Big Country, The Icicle
Works and early U2.
S: What are the positive and
negative sides of being a musician in Scotland?
On a positive note Scotland is a very creative and accepting country
for left-field music. There’s a vibrant scene and people are
supportive of new bands. On the downside it can be quite a competitive,
and even slightly bitchy, environment. There’s a definite
attitude of cool.
S: Do you feel anxious before a
It depends on the gig, but yes I usually feel pretty anxious. I need to
get into the zone and if that doesn’t happen then I usually
spend most of the gig feeling pretty anxious too.
S: What musicians or artists had
an influence in your life and in your work?
New Order, Felt, The Byrds, John Cale, The Velvet Underground, Sonic
Youth, Bread, Paul McCartney and John Denver.
S: Do you remember what was the
first CD you bought?
I was fairly late to CDs – well I resisted until about 1994.
I think my first CD would have been the “Cut Your
Hair” single by Pavement, or maybe the Sub pop compilation
“Afternoon Delight”. My very first vinyl was a
Smurfs single when I was very little … and my first proper
vinyl record was probably something by either The Weather Profits or
S: Do you think the emotion is
different between a song in English and in another language?
For me, on a subjective level, there is a difference because
unfortunately I can only speak English, so I can only understand
English lyrics - and I guess you need to hear the lyrics to get the
full emotion of a song with vocals. However I do listen to music sung
in other languages and hope that I pick up most of the intended emotion.
S: How could you define the
music of The Zephyrs?
A lot of it is quite personal. It also sits somewhere between
singer/songwriter type music and a more expansive, soundtrack-type
S: Do you agree with Victor Hugo
who said :"Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad"?
There is certainly a self-indulgent pleasure to sad moments and rainy
days. I think crying can make you feel oddly euphoric afterwards. A bit
like the light, purged, airy relief of a massive bowel movement after a
couple of days of constipation.
S: When you write a song do you
follow your heart, your brain or your hand ?
A bit of all of the above. It really depends on the song –
some appear from nowhere (the heart?) and some have to be crafted (the
S: What is your favourite song
of The Zephyrs and why?
I think it’s probably "Dancing Shoes". It’s just a
fairly simple song but the lyrics are oddly dark.
S: As musician, what is your
feeling about Internet?
I like it – it gives access to music you might not have heard
before. I’m still uncomfortable about the idea of only owning
a song as an MP3 (whether bought or ripped from someone
else’s computer) so if I like something I’ll always
buy the hard copy. I just assume other people who are into music will
do the same & those who download stuff illegally probably
wouldn’t have bought the record anyway … so if
someone’s listening to a song that might not have heard it
before that can only be a good thing.
S: What have you done during
these 5 years and the release of "Bright Yellow Flowers on a Dark
Living a normal life. I got married, had 2 children, got made
redundant, found a new job, moved house and learned how to drive.
S: Where would you like to play
in the future, is there a place in the world you would love to visit?
Probably the USA. I’m loathed to say that because I find that
country so intensely irritating in many ways, but it has such a large
cultural impact on almost everything that I’m kind of drawn
there. I’ve never been there before, which I’m
proud of as well.
S: What is the best moment and
best place to listen to your music?
Sitting in the kitchen eating cheese on toast with a light dusting of
salt and chili powder. Or on the sofa with a bottle of Champion Ale.
know it’s a difficult question, but if you would have to keep
just one album from your CD collection what album would it be?
S: What was the last song you
listened to before the interview? And, if you know, which one will be
last song was “Heathan Child” by Grinderman. Who
knows what’s next!?
S: Can you tell us the name of
one French song, or singer, or band?
S: And say something in French?
Bout de Lune
S: What are your plans for the
We’re playing at Colchester Arts Centre on 25th September and
then recording a new single the week after that. We’re also
a session for Marc Riley on BBC 6Music on 20th October.
S: And finally, what’s
the most important thing in life for you?
Life is such a convoluted web of ‘things’ that
impossible to pull out a single ‘thing’
important – but if people, especially my family and friends,
be a ‘thing’ then I’d say
MANY thanks to Stuart and The Zephyrs for
More informations about The Zephyrs:
- on their site:
- on their Myspace: