Sometimes a band comes around and reminds you just how simple yet effective music can be. That rush of hearing a guitar played with youthful vigour causes many emotions to stir, but the most important aspect is that it reminds you to have a damn great time. You can always expect to find this great energy with new acts and London based rock band Night Dials are no exception.

What was it that made you guys want to create music with one another? It's always interesting how that differs from group to group.

Mark: I think it was out of a mutual love for The Stones really. It sounds cliché but whenever we'd talk to one another we continuously realized that we were born in the wrong era. We got into music through The Beatles, as well as the tail end of Brit-pop really. It was just an inspiring thing for us to look back on bands from the '60s like The Beatles and The Stones and see how massive they were able to get. The songs from that era feel rare in terms of quality than in contrast to the songs of today.

I know what you mean. The artists of those times had a way of embedding their personalities into their music. It's why having a favourite band member of The Stones or The Beatles is quite a universal thing.

Mark: Yeah exactly! And that's what we love as well! We love the vibe and the anthology aspect of it. We would go back and listen to those bands and just constantly be amazed by how varied they were but how they'd still essentially be 'them'. I think we're a bit more immediate in terms of sound but that idea of delving into psychedelic, Japanese imports, and obscure b-sides is an era of music we love. We want to be progressive and keep moving but to always be inspired.

Also West-London is where we're from, which is also home to The Who, The Yardbirds, and The Stones, so all of that just keeps it in our heart you know?

What's great about what you mentioned about your influences is that it tackles that bit of stigma that people have towards lovers of old music. Everyone always thinks it's a bit of a mentality of not being able to carry on, when it reality it's about how these artists like The Stones and The Who would make their own worlds with their music. With all the b-sides, and imports, and alternate takes on tracks, there'd just always be so much to take in. That time period was such a different world in how bands operated.

Mark: Yeah! To have bands like that putting out massive singles constantly and still seem interesting is just an amazing feat. To have a band have three top ten singles in a year and have people clamor for more, there's just something very special about that.

Going back to Night Dials, I remember being struck by how visceral and immediate the songs were when I listened to you. To me you sounded like a band that knew exactly how you wanted to sound but also a bit open to going left and right at a moments notice. Does the band usually know where they want a song to go when you go into the studio or is it a bit of a free-for-all/let's figure it out as we go along type of thing?

Mark: It kind of happened because we went into record with Liam Watson in a studio. We recorded four songs with him and we ended up running out of time to finish the songs. Actually, the single we're going to release is the only song we did finish in that time [laughs]. But basically we decided to produce the music ourselves rather than trying it all over again. We ended up recording in a cellar and we ended up loving the feel of that, the pub atmosphere. It caused us to be a lot more creative than we could've ever expected, and the songs do have that sound [laughs] - the sound of being recorded in a public toilet [laughs]. But the best part is it all sounds like 'us' - it sounds like how we should sound like.

That's really intriguing, especially considering how band works when it comes to recording tracks together. Was the decision to do that quite unanimous or was there any need to coax one another?

Mark: No not really actually, it all just made sense to all of us from the start. I think after we heard the tracks we did with Liam we all knew that we wanted to give it another try and go for a more raw sound. The only place we could get that wouldn't cost us a fortune was literally the cellar of this pub. We were very lucky because it just all kind of fell into place after we heard the first song we did in the cellar, it was a bit of a validation moment of 'ok this makes sense'. We loved the fact that we'd tell other bands and they'd kind of look at us and go 'but it's going to sound like shit?' and now we have songs to prove them wrong. We love how these songs sound. The toilet sound is cool [laughs].

Well it definitely seems to have paid off. I think what's brilliant about all of this is that it's shown how adaptable Night Dials are as a band.

Mark: Totally! Without a doubt we were adaptable. Don't get me wrong, we would've loved to be in a proper studio but we just figured out that something like this works for us, the DIY approach. I especially loved the fact that it would be as simple as having a couple of beers, going down there and making music. There wasn't a need to plot everything out and overthink things. Everything just felt right.

I wonder if you'd agree that the band found its identity because of that situation?

Mark: Yeah actually! That was actually the thing we struggled with the most before any of this happened. We knew we wanted to be a band but figuring out how to standout among your peers... it was just very difficult for us. It's hard to explain properly but we just didn't feel like it was possible to feel 'this is us' but than we realized that the 'us' can be a story and having to record music in cellar... well hell, this is our story [laughs].

Especially with a city like London, which is filled with creative people that can inspire you but yet at times you can feel like just another cog in a massive machine. You can end up feeling like any other band.

Mark: Completely. There are times where you can get a bit lost in the idea of needing acceptance, but that was just another reason why making music this way was help. It helped us as a band to just focus on what we wanted to do and not so much worry about where we wanted to go. I dunno, it all just feels right now.

Ilan: also, it was very surprising to us how being spontaneous could actually give you more of an opportunity to think things out. Luckily for us though, we rarely ever aim to make things too thought out, we just aim for the immediacy of sound when we're recording in that cellar.

How did the single, I've Done More Things, come together?

Ilan: We're probably going to end up sounding like a super lazy band but that tune really just came from not thinking about it, from not overthinking what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go. There's not a lot of pause for us, the majority of the songs just come out of nowhere for us. Thank the lucky stars that it does; I think thinking too much about how the songs are made would take away from the spontaneity of it all.

Do you feel as though you guys are usually unanimously in agreement after a song is finished?

Mark: We're usually in quite firm agreement after each song, I don't think we've had a spat towards any of that yet. It's quite a thing when you can laydown a drum track and be comfortable with it in just one take, it's a very surprising thing to deal with.

I'd imagine doing that would make you guys feel quite a sense of affirmation towards the band in general, which is very important considering you guys are starting out.

Mark: It definitely does, especially because it'd be very easy for not only us, but for any band to feel stuck in where they are. I can honestly say that I'm enjoying this so much that it can just go anywhere for me, honestly. It feels like the gigs can go anywhere in terms of size and energy and that excites me loads.

Ilan: I agree! I don't think there should be any equation or formula when it comes to being in a band. It's as simple as getting into a room with your mates and seeing what comes out of it. It should be interesting and fun.

Do you think that aspect of spontaneity translates to the live setting as well? And do you remember how the first live show went?

Mark: That's definitely been an aspect of our shows so far, especially since there hasn't been that many. We've done maybe about four or five shows now and I don't feel like we've hit that full on 'third gear' type of feel, but we do have this genuine energy that fills up a room nicely. And the feedback we've had on the live shows has been outrageously good. I'm sure once we get on tour it'll be us in fifth gear, and yeah I'm just very confident in this songs and the live show in general. I can't wait to get out in the world and play these songs to be honest with you.

Ilan: We've had a lot of guitar riffs that have gone into primal territory from playing live and just to see the songs expanding the more we play them is very exciting for us as well.

Lastly, do you feel like there's a city or town in Britain where the people will get the band? Where the reaction might end up being the strongest?

Mark: That's a good question actually...

Ilan: Probably Scotland honestly [laughs].

Mark: That is quite a no brainer actually; it'd probably definitely be Scotland. For me it'd be more about the live show making the place right, rather than the other way around. I've been to hole in the wall pubs where you wouldn't expect to see a great live show but than a local band comes around with a lot of heart and just ends up killing it. That's the type of band we want to be, a band that goes into a room and just does great things as fast as possible.


Night Dials' double A-side single, 'I'll Sleep When I Die / I've Done More Things', is out on June 22nd via Ciao Ketchup Recordings. They play the Amersham Arms on May 30th via London.