Ed Nash, now known as Toothless opens up to us about his solo debut.
New ventures are always exciting while at the same time scary. It takes confidence, sometimes spontaneity, and passion to let go out what you’ve been used to. We’re all about those who do it themselves, DIY is kind of a Wonderland thing.
Ed Nash of Bombay Bicycle Club fame is embarking on this kind of endeavor. Since the band announced their indefinite hiatus, the bassist revealed he will be making music solo under the moniker Toothless. Yesterday he shared his first single Terra and revealed he is working on his debut solo album.
Terra is an intriguing dreamy folk ballad and Ed’s evocative vocals are strong and carry the song onto this unearthly tone with his wistful melodies. The heavy sighing, delicate electronic production and blinking guitar loops creates something that is deliciously pleasing. If this introduction is a glimmer of what the album from Toothless will sound like, we’re all ears.
Where did you get the inspiration for the moniker “Toothless”?
It was between Toothless and The Tiffin Tin, I think I went with the right one this time. Toothless came from a Raymond Pettibon drawing that shows a tiger on her hind legs with a boy’s head in her mouth, the caption at the top reads ‘even toothless she can still bite off a boy’s head’. I like the idea that even if something appears weak it should not be underestimated. I thought it would make the perfect band name as I was the bass player in my previous band and not the songwriter, no one expected me to do this.
What made you want to start your solo project?
I’ve been making my own music for years but never had the time (or the confidence) to do anything with it. After finishing touring the last Bombay album we had some down time planned so I decided I would finally give it a shot. It soon became clear that the small amount of time away from the band would become a couple of years at the least as everyone was getting involved in their new projects as I was this.
How is your creative process different now, making music on your own?
As a process it’s not too dissimilar from before. Write a song, send it around to the people you trust for suggestions, rearrange the songs depending on the feedback, take the good parts from the demo into a proper studio to finish it off. Obviously the difference with this project is that I’m writing the songs as opposed to arranging them and giving feedback.
What’s it like being solo thus far?
I’m loving it, it’s one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. The only downside is that I spend most of my time by myself hunched over a laptop instead of being with my band mates hunched over a laptop.
Tell us about Terra. What influenced this first single?
Terra began as an instrumental song that I was working on while on tour with Bombay at the end of 2014. When I finished touring me and my friend Jock (who plays in the band Puppy) revisited the song to write the lyrics and vocal melodies, it’s the first complete song that was written for this project. It’s about what happens when the Sun eventually comes to an end, part of a loose concept that will be running through the record.
What other sonic progression do you want to explore on the album?
The main thing I have been exploring with this album is my voice and how to apply that to my songs. I have always made instrumental music and having this new tool has opened up a whole new world of possibilities.
Will you be writing and recording anywhere else?
I’ve pretty much written and recorded everything for this album already, aside from two weeks in a studio in Bath everything has been done in my flat, or in Jack’s studio, both of which are in Hornsey. I’ve just finished building a studio at the back of my garden so I don’t think I will be working outside of North London anytime soon.
How are you feeling about your debut live show in May? What can we expect from it?
Considering that I have spent the past ten years playing gigs I’m absolutely terrified! It will be the first time I have played a show as the lead vocalist, hopefully after a few shows I get used to being in that position. I’m super excited for everyone to see the band I’ve put together, they are all incredibly accomplished musicians in their own right and it’s a pleasure playing with them… Hopefully they distract from my nerves on the night too.
Now that Terra is released what comes next for Toothless?
I’m heading out to LA in two weeks to mix the first half of the album with Chris Coady (who mixed Terra and has also worked with Beach House, TV on the Radio and Yeah Yeah Yeahs). When I return I will finish off the second half ready for mixing and start getting ready to play live. While Bombay is off the table this will be my full time commitment, so I want to be making as much music and playing as many shows as I can.