Following the release of his debut album ‘The Pace of the Passing‘ just over a week ago, we spoke to Ed Nash about Toothless, his latest solo project. Recognise the name though? Thought so! Ed was better known as Bombay Bicycle Club’s bassist, but since the band went on hiatus in January 2016, he’s been working tirelessly on his project, Toothless in the meantime.
With the album having just been released and with a tour imminent, we thought this was the perfect time to speak to Ed regarding the album, the tour and the future for Toothless among other things!
Hi Ed! What was the inspiration behind the name Toothless for your solo project?
The name was inspired by a cartoon I saw a few years ago that shows a tiger biting off a boy’s head with the caption “even toothless she can still bite off a boy’s head.” I really liked the idea of something being underestimated but still having potential. I thought it would be a fitting name for this project as people don’t really expect that much of me… No one expects the bass player from a band to go out and do something by themselves.
Your debut album, ‘The Pace of the Passing’ has various themes running through it ranging from mythology to science. What influenced you to centre the lyrics specifically around these themes?
When I started writing songs for this project I realised I didn’t know what to write lyrics about, I had never written songs that I knew other people were going to hear so I hadn’t thought about it that much. I found using themes and stories gave me a way into writing lyrics as I was using a preexisting framework and I didn’t have to start from scratch. It also meant that I didn’t have to write about my own life which is honestly pretty dull!
How long did the album take to write? Was it more of a drawn out process starting back while touring/recording with Bombay Bicycle Club or did it come together more quickly?
It took about two years to write but as I said above a bunch of that time was spent learning new skills and working out how to do this by myself. Quite a few of the musical ideas also come from very old songs of mine that I have reimagined. As they say “you have your whole life to write your first album”.
From the beginning, did you know exactly what you wanted Toothless to become, or has it changed with time and grown into something you didn’t expect?
All I knew is I wanted to make and release music myself, it’s something I had wanted to do for years. Other than that I just went with the flow… There was no plan and still is no plan.
For you, how did recording as essentially a solo artist differ to recording as a band? Did it take a lot to get used to or was it a natural shift?
It differs in almost every way as with this, everything starts and ends with me. It was quite a natural shift… It’s nice to not be democratic for once.
We saw on Facebook that you’re looking for local bands to support you on your upcoming UK tour. When choosing supports, what do you look for in a band?
I just chose the bands whose songs I thought were the best… There’s nothing more to it than that! It didn’t matter if they had 50 followers or if they were bigger than me. I had such a good time listening through all the submissions, there are some really talented people around.
So for the future of Toothless, where do you expect it to take you and what’s the plan for the rest of the year?
I’m hoping to play as many shows and get to as many places as possible, It’s been over two years since I have been on tour and I miss it a huge amount. I’ve also started writing the second record, hopefully I can finish it within the year!
We thank Ed very much for his time! You can listen to Toothless’ album, ‘The Pace of the Passing’ below via Soundcloud or purchase it here as well as catch them live at the following dates across the UK.
27th February – Stereo, Glasgow
28th February – Sound Control, Manchester
1st March – Lexington, London
2nd March – Bodega Social Club, Nottingham
3rd March – Brudenell, Leeds
4th March – o2 Institute, Birmingham
5th Mach – Hope and Ruin, Brighton