FAULT: How has 2010 been for you?

We’ve only started appearing as a band for the last 3 months or so, before that some people who knew my other bands were following Unquiet Nights as my demo project. The first podcasts started playing “Burning The Tracks” in September I think. Before that we were doing the groundwork, recording drum tracks in Belfast and I had been writing the songs for a long time before. The response has been immediate though, we had to keep the momentum going and release each song to radio as we got them mastered, just so they had more stuff to play while people were hearing about us.

FAULT: Could you tell us some more about “UNQUIET NIGHTS”?

You should be wary of me now if I started using a lot of pseudo-hype and buzz words about how we’re at the forefront of the new East-West Pre-Postmodern 1971 revivalist movement. We’re a Rock & Roll band from Belfast who play our own instruments and do original songs. We feel that it used to be a wide open genre before it became a very narrow marketing term, and we still think of it as a license to do anything for a good song. I mean the reason we’re in this FAULT mag feature now is because the editor likes “We Were The Ones”, not politics or a press release. So let it never be said that FAULT don’t have good taste…

FAULT: What is it like being an artist based in Italy?

I wouldn’t be the first in that category. Well it has benefits, the radio here have picked up our stuff early. Radio Galileo cover a big area from Rome 97.4FM up to Perugia, the rock show on there Experience 2 have been dropping us in with The Stones and R.E.M type bands on Saturday nights. So there have been a lot of e-mails coming in from Italians asking when we’ll be touring their region. I think actually people would come see us in Italy, it’s definately a country of the arts. I’ve experienced no cynicism towards music that you might get elsewhere. I’ve met a lot of people who would still prioritise Rock & Roll instead of just listening nostalgically in an armchair. For example DJ Amadeo on Galileo is all about the music, Andrea who owns the guitar shop in Terni too. Here’s a sentence you’ll not have read often: I was in a guy’s medievil castle in Orvieto where he lives respectably with his family. But the castle has guitars everywhere, and I’m trying to show him a Thin Lizzy riff on a left handed SG to see if he knew it. So his typical week is wine, cigars and playing “distorted guitars” at a gig.

FAULT: What sets you apart from other artists?

I’m confident there’s something. There’s a very wide range of influences kicking around in the band, atleast you can be sure we’ll never be a tribute band ’cause we just don’t share the same taste. I don’t really listen all that closely to what other artists are doing so I don’t see why we shouldn’t be apart from it. I will idolise a song or an album and that’s as far as it goes. I know bands who choose their sound based on what other people are doing, and worse still – what the music industry dictate bands are going to sound like for that year. We don’t do that and won’t. I’d rather die. That’s why it’s already some kind of triumph everytime you hear a band making the music they want and then getting played in a commercial way. 80% of what’s in the media just doesn’t have the same significance.

FAULT: What is your creative process, when writing a new song?

There’s no template in terms of words or music first, I do both. I will always have bits of music that will come out anytime I pick up a guitar which are waiting to become songs. That was the way of everything that’ll be on the album. Some of them keep appearing for AGES before there are finished lyrics. All decent songwriters are the same though about this. I’ve become more productive since I’ve had some recording equipment and a laptop though for letting people hear ideas. Ideally though I would write songs with the drums in the same room and just flesh it out, but unfortunately it’s not always possible for that to happen when there are jobs and real lives involved. I crave the day it’s possible to blow that stuff off in favour of making a record.

FAULT: Do you write from personal experiences?

Yeah always, I alter between the first person narrative, third person, character pieces, but often it’s blatantly autobiographical. Great songwriters like Dylan often have a strong sense of injustice and just because he wrote Hurricane for example about a guy wrongly imprisoned, doesn’t mean he isn’t writing autobiographically. You have to have a sense of injustice to empathise with that. I would hate though for anyone to think just because I’ve written a song now that it’s about the people around me now. I store up songs in my head for a long time, they always have human element. I’ll never write a song about the physical beauty of a car or something completely stupid like that. If cars are beautiful for any reason it’s the human possibilities they represent not a paintjob.

FAULT: What are you currently working on?

The first album, Burning The Tracks. The songs on our sites will be on it, so if you like them and want to know closely what’s happening with it, the best way is to network on facebook and twitter and join the mailing list. www.facebook.com/unquietnights

FAULT: Do you have any live shows coming up?

Yeah we’re playing the Scala in London on Sat March 12th on a bill with Bloc Party, Krakatoa and an unconfirmed act. Anyone who wants a ticket should e-mail [email protected] or ask on the facebook page, you’ll get a special download link and a free digital copy of the album when it’s ready.

FAULT: What are you looking for in 2011?

I want the album to come out an be well received more than anything. We’d like some music industry people to contact us wanting to work together in a mutually benefitial way. We need competent professional management to help some of the tour dates come together properly. I’ve already got piles of interest for tours so we need help to make it happen.

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

I probably broke some household stuff as a child but if I’m gonna be asked what my faults are, so should piles more people who never have to explain themselves. Cheers for the interview, great magazine.