The Ardency invited me, as a representative of LeftLion, down to their rehearsal room, in Sneinton, to interview them and watch them play material taken exclusively from their new album Dear Human. The four piece are Nick Edgar (vocals), Jade Bowman (lead guitar), James Pheasant (bass) and Jason Allun (drums).
How did you come up with the name Ardency?
James: “We wanted a name that would sum up our sound. When we saw the word ardent we thought it really fitted.”
Nick: “Our sound is melodic and uplifting.”
Jade: “Also if you put it the word Ardency into google there’s pretty much nothing else there under that name.”
How did you guys meet?
James: “We (Jason, Jade and I) used to be in a band with another singer. I’ve known Jade since we were young. Our old singer wasn’t on the same wavelength as us. We did good gigs and good songs, but it wasn’t going to lead anywhere. We would be here [in the studio] practicing and he’d be off to Alton Towers. He wasn’t committed.”
James: “We decided to scrap everything we’d done for the past 4 years and put an advert out on the internet for a new singer and Nick got in touch with us. He was living in London working in the city making a lot of money but he hated it. Things clicked from the first time he came down.”
Jade: “From the point of meeting Nick to him moving in was only a couple of months.”
Nick: “I must be the only person to have moved out of London to come and be a musician in Nottingham. Unlike the previous singer I have a specific sound in mind for the band. They used to be a lot more commercially sounding.”
Jade: “We’ve been lucky the way everything’s turned out the way that it has, so far.”
What genre would you put Ardency in to?
Jade: “We wouldn’t! That’s not for us to do and I wouldn’t like anyone else to do it. We have our progressive roots and influences but we do sound like Ardency. We have a few bands we like collectively. One of us is a mad Duran Duran fan.”
Nick: “I’m a Marilion fan. You can’t get more diverse than that. But we sound like neither.”
What are your beast and worst gigs so far?
Jade: “The best ones have been at The Social. They have a good sound there.”
Nick: “The worst was a Coventry gig. We drove in the snow. We broke down. We supported a guns N Roses tribute band. Need we say more!”
Most memorable experience?
Jason: “Again, probably going to Coventry. I’d only been driving for about 3 weeks so driving on the motorway in the snow was terrifying.”
Nick: “I’m quite superstitious, I’ve been in two nearly fatal car crashes and I thought this may have been a third.”
Tell me about your new album Dear Human!
James: “The songs have been written since the start of this year. They are written about issues people can understand. We want the entire album to be one piece of work rather than a collection of new songs. There’s a song on there called ‘Payment for the Expenses’. It’s about people working 9-5 jobs. It always gets a big cheer.”
Jason: “The album kind of goes like a wave. There’s bits where it’s intense, then it will drop down to a chilled interlude and it will make the audience want to follow it. If you do pick out random tracks they will still work. But if you do listen to them out of order they will still work.”
Nick: “We want the album to strike a chord with the listener and for them to relate the themes dealt with within the album to their own lives. We recorded, wrote, produced and mixed it ourselves. We all live together in the same flat so we can record all the time. A lot of bands struggle as they have to wait 3 or 4 days before they can practice next. Having our own flat and our own rehearsal room has improved our progress a lot.”
James: “We can now go out with a finished product and play the album to audiences live. If people like it they can buy it and experience it at home. Even though the live show will be the same as the CD they will be able to pick up so many different sounds while listening to it at home on headphones.”
Jason: “We want to sound like ourselves, not like anyone else. We want to reflect our emotions and hopefully people can like it as well.”
Nick: “We don’t go for commercial. I’d rather cut my own nads off and eat them rather than sell myself out again.”
What’s your collective favourite track from the album?
Everyone: Neither here nor there!
James: “When we came back to the rehearsal studio at the start of New Year the song was in pieces on the computer. Then we joined them all up together.”
Jason: “If you heard the pieces separately you wouldn’t think to put them together but when you play it, it works.”
Favourite musical decade?
James: “It’s different for different reasons. Floyd for 60s and 70s”.
Jade: “Without Britpop I don’t think I’d be playing guitar.”
Nick: “Early 80s, but not the stuff you’re thinking of. A lot of underground stuff.”
Jade: “We stay at home a lot and have people round. But we do go to Stealth, Rescue Rooms and The Social.”
What’s your favourite quote?
Jason: “You could have warned us about that question!”
Nick: “Even the longest journey starts with a single step.”
James: “There’s always great ones in rizzla packets.”
Opinions on the smoking ban?
Jason: “It won’t take effect in our house, we all smoke.”
Nick: “It’s another example of the fear factor. If you’re in a pub you may pick up a bit of secondary smoke. So what! You pick up exactly the same, or worse, pollutants when you walk outside and a car goes past. If they are so bad don’t sell them!”
On music videos:
James: “If we made one we wouldn’t be in it.”
Nick: “It’s a lazy tool. Often they have nothing to do with the story within the music. It’s just something to watch. It’s like people watching the movie rather that reading the book. The images within your mind are a lot more powerful than what you see. We’d probably do something around Nottingham.”
Jade: “Something that would compliment the music.”
Can you name a couple of facts about Nottingham?
James: “It’s got more pubs within a square mile than anywhere else in the country.”
Nick: “Apparently it’s the sexiest British accent to Americans.”
If you had a time machine what place and time would you go back to and why?
Jade: “I’d like to go to the point where the earth ends to see what happens.”
Nick: “I’d like to go to the point where global warming really kicks in and watching people shitting themselves.”
Jason: “I hope you [Nick] don’t turn into someone crazy person like Kate Bush!”
Nick: “I’m alright now, I got all that out of my system before I joined you. It’s because I did that I’m here. That’s why I don’t like people like Pete Doherty. I don like what he stands for. I like the ethos of the whole Libertines thing, but all liberty seemed to mean to them was drinking and forming a habit.”
Did you enjoy playing the Malt Cross?
Jason: “We had a light show put on by the same guy who was doing The Silver Tongues set. It made the show more attention grabbing for the audience.”
Nick: “It’s always good to play to audiences that haven’t heard us before.”
Plans for the future?
James: “To get the new CD out and get as many people to hear it as possible. We’ll be sending it out to the local papers, venues and radio stations. We’re going to be going on tour with it as well.”
Nick: “We really want to keep learning and changing. But we’d hate to have to modify our sound for anyone else other than ourselves.”