We were extremely excited to hear that Nizlopi’s Luke Concannon and John Parker were getting back together. In fact, we’re even more thrilled to announce that this is the first Nizlopi interview since 2008! So, what are you waiting for? Dig in and enjoy as these two talented musicians graciously took the time to speak with AMBY about getting back together, writing new material, music-industry advice, and beat-boxing.
AMBY: Hi Nizlopi, thanks for speaking with AMBY! How have you been?
Luke: Thank you for inviting us for this interview. The first Nizlopi Interview since 2008! We played our last show in December of that year, and since, have both been finding our way post full time Nizlopi. I hitch hiked to Palestine and met a bear on route, and wrote songs, some of which are on my new album ‘Give it all’.
John: Damn busy. Nizlopi have just played 4 gigs in a week after a 5 year absence, it’s amazing to be back and rocking these shows.
AMBY: Which words would you use to describe one-another?
Luke: I would say that John is: Passionate, practicle, sensitive.
Jp: I would say is Luke is spiritual, talented, earnest and a wee mad :) but lovely.
AMBY:.The band broke up in 2010, what was the deciding factor in getting back together to do some shows?
Luke: When we met up after our year out in 2009 we knew we wanted to play together again in the future. The last year or so we’ve been talking about when might be good to do some shows, and we decided this Summer to go for it. Joy was the deciding factor. The joy of playing our music, and playing it for people.
Jp: I agree. There was a real desire from us to get out and play together again. If i’m honest it’s the best musical project I’ve played or at least the one were I feel sings with my voice the most. I don’t play anywhere near as many notes in any other band and the beatboxing is strictly a Nizlopi thang.
AMBY: Are there any plans to write new material together?
Luke: Yes, our first rehearsal turned in to a writing session: Writing is brilliant, because it demands so much of you. Demands that you give your best, that you listen, take risks, go deep, work together… It’s a great way of harmonizing as a band.
Jp: We’ve got 3 rough skeletons of new songs. One called “Mother Mary” which we opened both nights at the Borderline with that i’ve been singing round me head an awful lot. Great fun to play too.
AMBY: Which three songs are quintessential Nizlopi?
Luke: ‘Wash Away’, ‘Love Is’, ‘England Uprise’.
Jp: Love Is, I’m Alive again, Clear
AMBY: Which Nizlopi lyric is your favourite?
Luke: ‘No more denying the Beauty of who you really are’
Jp: “Come down, drop your guard, come down stop trying so hard, come down start living again”
AMBY: How do you feel about the state of modern/mainstream music?
Luke: For a long long time there has been manufactured populist music, alongside music that comes from a deeper truer place, than serving wealth and fame and that sugar hit. I’m feeling Akala, it’s class seeing our old friend Ed Sheeran shining, and loving Lianne La Havas cover of ‘Elusive’.
Jp: To be honest I’m not really a part of it. I work with a lot of touring bands, very much like Nizlopi working hard, gigging hard and writing the best songs they can write, giving everything at every show. Mainstream music isn’t aimed at people like me really. I do listen to bid selling records Artists like bon iver, Cold play etc but I’m drawn to much smaller acts who maybe arn’t ready to be multi platinum selling.
AMBY: What is the best piece of advice you have been given regarding the music industry?
Luke: I like what Ani Di Franco says about how she would only work with people that ‘smelled right’ too her… she trusted her feelings, her intuition, and was brave with it… like any area you can get completley lost in opinions of people who apparently ‘know’ what you should do… Really only you, and people who love and get you, can figure our your path in terms of career or otherwise… It’s of course wise to marry this with people who understand the nuts and bolts of how the music buisness works today… GIVE IT ALL go for it, and ‘the definition of a joyful adventure is not needing to know what’s coming’ (Joanna Macy)
Jp: There’s the industry and there’s music, they are not good bed fellows.
AMBY: What have you been listening to lately?
Luke: The Wailin Jennies are CLASS.
Jp: Keaten Henson. Paper Aeroplanes, Edgar Meyer Sam Semple, Jake Morley, so much great music out there.
AMBY: What’s your favourite release of the year, so far?
Luke: Wow, this is showing me how I’m not listening to much. This years releases? The only one I’ve bought is Akala The thieves Banquet. His flow! his Content! his vision!
Jp: Thats a hard one. keaton Henson’s Birthdays.
AMBY: You have an extremely loyal fanbase. Is there anything you’d like to say to them?
Luke: Just thank you for being there with us, and for us. And we want to keep bringing you the best music we can.
Jp: I agree with Luke. Thank you. When i Put the borderline shows ups for sale i thought we’d only get 100 people couldn’t believe that so many people had been touched and kept the faith, was totally humbled. I’d also ask them to get on our back a bit about recording a new record:)
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Nizlopi that nobody knows yet?
Luke: Nobody knows? Including John and I?… I get you. That when we fight, it is in the manner of two gentle, reasonable old men, who have no idea how to express anger :)
Jp: I’d add to that I have no real idea how to beat box properly.