Meet the duo fusing electro elements and pop beats with astonishing results.
Anyone who’s ever stumbled across NUDES – the duo of Owen Wallace Lasch and Tom Giddins – will appreciate just how hard the dynamic pair work. They are simultaneously content and artistically satisfied and that is why it’s their time to shine. “We were, and still are, motivated by wanting to evoke some kind of sensual gratification, whether that be music that relaxes you or gets you excited,” says Tom, when asked about the making of their debut EP.
Two things you should know about NUDES. Firstly, they’re not making music for the sake of it. Secondly, they’ve got nothing to do with adult pornography. Misleading name aside, the pair who met through Facebook in 2012 are currently the brightest young talents on the electronic circuit. Wonderland met the demonic duo and discovered their huge love for music in all of its forms.
What was your idea of music as kids?
Tom: My dad is a huge Grateful Dead fan so I was brought up on lots of that, which at the time I didn’t really consider music because it was blasted out that much it became akin to a Guantanamo bay type ‘exercise’.
Owen: Harmonising with hoovers.
Your sound has been praised as this sort of fusion of electro elements with contemporary pop. Do you think that is a good description?
T: I guess you could say that to a degree. In terms of electronic music, outside of NUDES I mainly listen to House and Techno so there is elements in what we do related to those influences. The fact we’re using those influences and others in a more traditional song format as opposed to a track you’d hear at a rave would explain the pop description.
O: It’s as good a description as any. I usually have difficulty with that.
I have to ask about the name of the band, NUDES. What compelled you to choose it as a name, where does it come from?
T: It rhymes with dudes.
The ability to explore seems limitless. Have you ever had to restrain yourselves?
T: Depends what your exploring I guess. We each carry one of those extendable leads you see toddlers hooked up to their mums with just in case one of us goes a bit HAM in the reduced section of Tesco’s. But certainly yes with electronic music that’s the beauty of it, the possibilities are endless. I come from a more traditional background in terms of instrumentation and was purely a fan of electronic music up until about 5/6 years ago. That’s when I started experimenting with it more and became drawn to the fact that there are wider boundaries and, for me personally, more scope to create the stuff floating about in my head.
How do you push and pull each other artistically?
O: I don’t think there’s a push-and-pull per se. We’re beginning to feel more comfortable in what we’re doing. I guess the only real pushing is within ourselves to develop, progress and get better
Do you ever read each other’s minds? I mean, when you’re not together and you find yourself with an idea, do you call each other up? How do you define your way of working?
T: We work in a variety of ways with the overall outcome being very democratic but yeah I’m sometimes quite guilty of haranguing Owen with an idea and sending him about 10 versions in various stages of it, clogging up his inbox, getting all excited.
O: It’s beginning to get more locked in. before it was more bringing ideas to each other and seeing what we liked and then letting them develop through days of sitting in front of a computer and tweaking. Now, with the addition of some extra equipment, we’re beginning to jam out ideas and that’s bringing more of how we work live into our recorded music. It’s a constant progression.
What interests you more, happiness or freedom?
I think the track ‘90’s Depp’ is a really happy, feel-good song. It’s also great in cars. Is there a narrative embodied init?
O: it’s a journey, kind of like a hypnogogic transition into consciousness
T: We’ve actually never heard it in a car, but on a similar tip it does work well staring out of a train window. 90’s Depp was actually the breakthrough song for us, in terms of us both clicking. Before that we’d be messing around with a few other ideas and were kind of involving other people, it wasn’t as electronic as now and we were going to use live drums, guitars, bass etc. One day we didn’t invite the others round, locked the door, got high and out popped 90’s Depp. The thing is we didn’t particularly over think it and it just happened organically without too much onus on a narrative.
Which musicians do you feel completely connected to?
T: I don’t feel completely connected to any other musicians. I love Pantha du Prince because through his music he draws out a feeling I try to evoke through my own, but in a different way.
Listening to your EP, I get the sense, even when I’m not really sure what each song is about, that the tone overall is a little relaxing. Were you thinking about first impressions when you were creating it?
T: Whilst writing the songs from the EP we were mainly just enjoying the process of making them without thinking too heavily on how they’d be received. We were, and still are, motivated by wanting to evoke some kind of sensual gratification, whether that be music that relaxes you or gets you excited.
Are you afraid that, with a title like ‘NUDES,’ people might start to ask personal questions?
T: Ha, well we did notice that a bunch of our fans on Facebook think we’re some kind of soft porn outfit. We had a few ‘choice’ profiles check us out and upon further investigation noticed we were positioned next to XXXGirls and HOTnudesXXX profiles in their ‘likes’ section. It’s almost as if they’re that pervy they don’t even bother to check what it is they’re clicking “It says NUDES, must be porn…LIKE”. We’re not complaining though, they all count, sort of.
There’s a very organic progression throughout the EP that you don’t get much with electro music. Everything about your sound is stretched even though it looks like it might not be.
T: A lot of electronic groups sound very clean, almost too clean, which loses warmth. This project has been cobbled together and slowly developed over the last two years so the DIY, organic sound is something very true to us. Our ideas around this stretch even further and if you came to see us live you’d understand more clearly what we’re trying to achieve, especially in terms of progression.
One of my favourite tracks on the project is “Avec.” It almost sounds like unexpected influences coming together to form something out of the ordinary. How did that come to be?
O: ‘Avec’ was never really meant to be anything. It came out of what was initially a play around with orchestral sounds. Around the same time I was messing about with garage’y type beats. We did spend a lot of time on developing the song though. It was kind of a case of working through different ideas and seeing what worked and what didn’t. Our process is to usually just let things happen and…that’s what happened. It was never really a conscious thing, it felt very impulsive. Tom and I come from quite different places musically but there are a lot of areas that cross. It’s through those areas that our ideas are siphoned.
NUDES will be launching their new EP at The Old Blue Last on the 17th June .
Find out more here.
Words: Noel Phillips
Photography: Jeremy Rice