We’ve been huge fans of London band The Nyx for a while now. They’ve wowed us on numerous occasions with the electrifying energy of their live shows, received acclaim from the likes of Clash and Q Magazine for their eponymous debut EP, and have been responsible for one of our favourite tracks of 2017, with the seething ferocity of ‘Fire Breathing Lady’.
Now, with the start of a new year, The Nyx are back with a new release for every full moon of 2018. Kicking off the series is new single ‘Only One’. Out today, it oozes an immense, raw passion and emotion-strewn power; a perfectly glorious, riotous re-introduction to one of the most innovative bands of recent times.
We caught up with Becky from the band to find out more about the new releases and how The Nyx have come to be the exceptional, empowering force that they are today.
Hi! We’ve been big fans of The Nyx for a while now, but for those readers who aren’t familiar with the band, can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?
Hey, thank you! We are a group of women from London who make glass (ceiling) shattering rock music.
With empowering tracks such as ‘Fire Breathing Lady’, your music celebrates womanhood with an admirable energy. Did you make a conscious decision to focus on the theme of being female in your songs?
‘Being female’ is a large part of The Nyx. We’re purposefully an all-female group. The reason being – we’re stickin’ it to the man (both the system and the patriarchy)!! You only need to look at any Reading and Leeds festival line up, or any ‘Rock’ playlist on Spotify to realise how unbalanced the rock genre is (which mirrors the wider music industry, and also most other industries, and the world at large). It’s very frustrating, and part of The Nyx’s existence is, to quote Gandhi, “to be the change we want to see”. So, we do have some songs which channel the frustration we feel at the state of feminism, and it’s no surprise that they’re usually the heavier, more angsty tracks like ‘Fire Breathing Lady’. We always make sure they’re positive and empowering, but they come from a pretty pissed off place… But in all honesty, most of our tracks actually don’t focus on female empowerment. Most of them are pretty personal, or even political. Feminism is just one string on a large bow for us.
And will the new songs you release this year be continuing in the same vein?
I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people this year with what we’ve got planned. The music we’ve released so far as The Nyx, and the songs we’ve played live, are all pretty similar. Big rock, energetic tracks. But we’re actually a lot more versatile than that, and we haven’t really shown our true colours yet. We’ve got a whole load of slower jams under our belt. We’re also planning an acoustic release, and maybe even some genre clashes!!
Having so many releases planned next year will allow us to get that across, as opposed to what’s possible with a restrictive 4 track EP. Each full moon release stands on its own; we’re not playing to any rules. I kind of imagine it’s like we’re throwing punches. Oh, a soft track, cool, I know exactly who The Nyx are – another wishy washy girl band; oh SHIT, it’s a heavy banger; DAMN, that riff. WHAT?!?! Acoustic track uppercut, wasn’t expecting that; IS THAT A COVER coming at me from behind?! WOAH, I was just tripped up by a reggae song… The aim is to blow all expectations out of the ring. Those who know us already, we’re only just getting started. Those who don’t, you won’t have seen anything like this before.
You’re going to be releasing a new song on each full moon of 2018, which is a pretty unique idea. What was it that inspired you to do this?
Being in an unsigned band with limited/zero funds can sometimes feel like you’re screaming at the top of your lungs while floating through space. We released our first EP in 2017. We worked really hard at it but it just didn’t get enough exposure to elevate us. Following that we recorded two more tracks, which we’ve been sitting on for about a year, and have been waiting to release. While hitting our heads against a brick wall – thinking “are we just going to let these tracks loose into the big scary internet again so our Mums can listen to them 50 times and that’s about it” – the idea seemingly fell out of the sky. Release a track every full moon. It just felt so right. It was something really different – which showcases how much of an innovative band we are. We don’t want to follow what’s come before. It also linked perfectly with our ‘brand’ and what we stand for. The Nyx is named after the Greek Goddess of the night. Each moon represents a monthly cycle. It just represents us and what we stand for perfectly.
Releasing a track every full moon for a year also represented how we really want to make this year ours. We’ve been slogging along as a band for around five years now: two years as The Nyx, three years under a different name. In the two years of The Nyx, we’ve managed to lose three drummers which has really tripped us up every time, and made us ask “is someone trying to tell us something here???” We are so unbelievably passionate about what we do, which is why we keep giving it our all despite the sometimes bleak outlook over the past five years. As careers try to drag us into the system, and the band started to drift into a dream rather than a goal, we decided FUCK THIS we’re taking control. The full moon releases represent this.
The first new single ‘Only One’ is out today. Can you tell us a bit about the track and what it’s all about?
Something we’ve never been outwardly open about with the band is that me (Becky) and Simone are in a relationship and have been for the past five years. Especially in the early years of the band, we kind of kept it under wraps, thinking it was a ‘professional’ thing to do. But our connection is a huuuge part of what The Nyx is. ‘Only One’ is written about us.
What was the recording process of the new material like, and how did it differ from your previous work? Does one of you tend to do the majority of the writing, or do you take turns and share the responsibility?
‘Only One’ was actually recorded over a year ago now, and even in 12 months, it feels a bit old! I think that shows how much we’ve been growing as a band recently – we’ve really found our sound now. This time last year (with ‘Only One’), it was in its adolescence. I think that’s something which has made the five years of the band really worthwhile; we’ve bounced through multiple genres, and finally settled on a sound which feels like it’s OURS. The way it used to be is I’d write some songs, Simone would write some songs, then we’d play our separate songs. In the early days there was a really clear difference in the writing styles – my tracks were a lot more bluesy, Simone’s much more soul-infused. Coming to our shows was like watching two different bands in one. Then, over the years, we’ve fused together. We’ve found our flow.
Recently, we’ve been in the studio with Grammy award-winning producer Tommaso Colliva (Muse, Phoenix). We’ve currently recorded two tracks with him, which will be our 3rd and 4th full moon releases. They’ve really stepped up the game for us, which is how we’re looking to continue throughout the year with our releases, with each one building on the last.
Following the release of ‘Only One’, you’re going to be playing for us at The Finsbury on 12th January (which is going to be awesome!). What can fans expect from your live shows?
We are SO excited for 12th January because it’s our first gig in about 6 months (so we might actually explode on stage!). Also, it will be the first show playing with our new drummer who is amazing and we can’t wait to unveil her (also shitting it because she’s only been with us a month = pressure). Half the songs in the set are completely new so it’s kind of the first show of the new era of The Nyx (also = pressure). Playing live is where we shine. Our energy is something we’re often praised for, and live shows are where we can really get that across. We’re all completely invested in the moment and just let go of everything. Anything can happen and no two shows are the same. Come see for yourself!
And finally, with all these new tracks set for release, will there be an album coming up on the horizon?
We’re going to finish the year with thirteen tracks released. Feels like quite a nice album doesn’t it? But in all honesty, we’re not thinking that far ahead yet. We’ve only got four tracks recorded so far. And it was only last week that we discovered 2018 was an odd year where there’s an extra moon, so that’s made our lives a lot easier… We’re going to take it month by month and see what happens. But we know we’ve really set ourselves up for a challenge here. Again, being an unsigned band with zero funds, I really don’t know what the hell we’re thinking. But it feels right, and with enough growing support it will really spur us on to make this our year.
Huge thanks to The Nyx for answering our questions! Listen to brand new single ‘Only One’, for the first time, here:
Catch The Nyx at The Finsbury on 12th January for Get In Her Ears Live, along with Witch Fever, ARXX and Militant Girlfriend!