Friday 27 April 2018

Q & A with Nick Mackay

To celebrate the announcement that Micko Westmoreland & The Mellotronics are not only playing live on 29/04/2018 at The Talking Heads, 16-22 The Polygon, Southampton.. but also on 03/05/2018 at The Roadtrip & Workhouse, 243 Old Street, London - Each member of the band has agreed to answer a few questions for The Rebel magazine. Today it's the turn of Nick Mackay
You play drums in The Mellotronics. How long have you been playing the drums and who were your musical heroes? "I have been playing the drums since I was 11, so celebrated my 20th anniversary this year, although there have been many starts and stops over the years when I've played guitar in other bands. My musical heroes are The Beatles, The Kinks, The Beach Boys (especially The Wilson Brothers) , David Bowie, Sex Pistols, The Who, Harry Nilsson, The Stones (Mick Taylor and Jimmy Miller Years) The Cure, Iggy and The Stooges, The Specials, The Clash, Supergrass, Divine Comedy, Jimi Hendrix, Kapt Kopter and his fabulous twirly birds, Nirvana, Pixies, Nick Drake, Blondie (I share a birthday with Debbie Harry), Fleetwood Mac (especially the Peter Green and Bob Welch years) Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, The Four Seasons, White Denim, early Arctic Monkeys, Zeppelin (although less as I get older) Bjorn and Benny from Abba (more as I get older). My Drumming heroes are Joe Morello (better than Buddy Rich), Keith Moon (my favourite all time drummer), Joshua Block, Ringo, Mick Avory, Clem Burke, Reni from The Stone Roses and Sheila E, Matt Helders, Animal from The Muppets.
Your set features tracks from the Yours ETC album as well as a few new songs. Are there any of Micko’s songs you particularly admire or feel excited about playing live? As the longest surviving member of The Mellotronics, I always enjoy playing the older tracks like 'Schmeschos'. Although I didn't play on 'Yours ETC album', I try and replicate what the drummer did and put my own stamp/stomp on it at the same time. I am enjoying playing the new songs (there's a new crazy one called 'Imelda') and I really like Micko's chord sequences, some really nice changes. I also like locking in with Jenny on 'The Finger' too, thats our little spotlight.
In what ways are you a bad person and what would you like to change about yourself? Interesting question! I have lied or exaggerated sometimes in incidents in the past I'm not too proud of which shows an insecurity but I am trying to do that less as I grow up, honesty is the best policy and all that. I also find it hard to say 'no' to things which can cause problems although that is changing. I also think I sometimes have a short fuse and can be impatient. I can be quite competitive depending on the situation and have learned to relax more. I would like to be generally healthier and less fat so probably need to get to a gym soon, you would think drumming would solve that, but sadly not!
What is the worst film you’ve ever seen and what is the best film you’ve ever seen? I remember watching a really bad film when I was a kid in America with my brother called Al-Haddin, some parody on Aladdin, I was 8 at the time but that has stuck in my head as being the worst. It's probably not that bad now. Now I would say 'Synecdoche, New York', pretentious crap, waste of a cinema ticket, sorry hipsters! I'm a big comedy fan so 'Life of Brian' is my favourite, 'One Flew over the cuckoos nest' would be my textbook answer or 'The White Ribbon'.
What are your desert island discs? Do you have any singles or albums that you couldn’t live without? How many can I have? This is all dependent on my mood and subject to change. Alright -Supergrass (first song I think I discovered independently on my own, best pop song ever, could write a whole essay on why) 'Rhapsody in Blue' or Piano Concerto in F by George Gershwin (token classical choice), The Velvet Underground & Nico, 'Two Sisters/3rd' by Big Star, Sunflower or Pet Sounds- The Beach Boys, Nilsson Sings Newman- Harry Nilsson Hunky Dory- David Bowie D- White Denim The Beat by The Beat (the American new wave band although love the UK ska band too) Rubber Soul- The Beatles (hard to choose really) Sticky Fingers- The Rolling Stones Raw Power- Iggy and The Stooges Nevermind- Nirvana Kapt Kopter and his fabulous twirly birds- Randy California Pink Moon- Nick Drake Muswell Hillbillies, Lola vs The Powerman (Part 1), Arthur or Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks Sandinista- The Clash. Whatever People Say I am, That's what I'm not (I was in Sheffield, gigging at the time of this release, so reminds me of my 20 year old self and that period).
What is your idea of beauty in nature? I think it's mainly family/relationship associations you have with things in nature so snowdrops, red robins, the wind in the trees, Dartmoor and The South Downs. The sea, its the one thing I miss about living in London as I was born in Portsmouth. There is a beauty in decay as well, a sense of renewal.
Micko Westmoreland and The Mellotronics photographed by Natalie Hitchcock. Left to Right: Jon, Jenny, Nick and Micko. Both photos of Nick by Ashley Jones.
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