Nick Ward's interview, part 2. Monday, live in session, BBC Wales.

1) I think you work your lyrics to share personal experience BUT you let the right distance between you and the song to let the listener finds his place? Is it true?

Yeah, you have to draw the listener in but in such a way so they can make it relevant to their own lives. It’s not always easy to get the balance right.

2) “I can live in any tree I choose” (in Till the sun no longer shines), a discrete allusion to No one like me is in my tree (Lennon)?

Now there’s a song that is more personal to me, but it can apply to anyone who stays true to themselves & what they want to be despite what others may say. I wrote that line naturally, but obviously it was influenced by Strawberry Fields....even in a subconscious way. I kept it in anyway!

3) Guitars sound is very very clear, not that much effects… to play it live as they’ve been written?

We try to play the songs as naturally as possible. But they will obviously evolve over time. With new players the sound may change slightly. I think the live versions are always the best versions.

4) You write much about time, don’t you? It sounds like something you are a bit scared of? (Just look around you)

Yeah, well none of us is getting any younger. I’m not sure I’m scared of it cause the older you get the less you are worried of people’s opinions of you. Nearest & dearest excepted obviously. One good thing about time is that you get to hear more music that you haven’t heard before. More influences is always a good thing.

5) Who are “the fools in red coats and kinky boots” ? ;)

Fox-hunters. I wrote that song after the hunting ban was introduced. Immediately after I would see these people on horseback, in their clobber, with packs of dogs charging through the countryside looking for a fox to rip apart. How civilised!

6) You describe a beautiful world with lovers, very human people, dreamers, and another one, very dark. Do you agree with that?

Yes. It’s like the living with elements thing again. The natural world is the most interesting thing, beit humans or nature. Of course not all my songs are happy, dreamy type songs....but I agree that they are all ‘real’, not fake.

7) I’ve listened the LP many times and I have this feeling, it’s a bittersweet record, with a feeling between hope, love, happiness, natural elements and a cold one, wicked, you try to avoid with the soul power of music… What you think?

I think Pink Bay as a whole is a very ‘up’ record. There are lots of positive themes running through it. Even A Map & A Pin, with it’s violent, alcohol-fuelled storyline, has a positive message of moving on, finding a new life. Just Look Around You is about making the most of what you have......& enjoying it. In fact, as I look at the tracklist.....apart from Ferris Wheel, they are all songs about hope & forging ahead. It’s definitely not Tonight’s The Night – Neil Young.

8) So what the plans for the future? Where can we see you live?

I’m currently recording new songs, with a stripped down arrangement. The next release will be a solo record in every sense of the word. I’m also rehearsing with a new band, a younger band, with ambition & an open mind as to the direction of the songs. Hopefully we can get into the studio later this year & start recording another full on band album. My label, AudioFile Records, are arranging a couple of tours for this year. A solo tour before the summer, & a full band tour after that. I hope it’s gonna be a busy & exciting year!

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Nick is playing a live session Monday on BBC Radio Wales from 7.30pm. Doing some new songs. If you miss it it will be available on the BBC iPlayer for 7 days.

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