An interview with Nimmo
In a quiet corner of Liverpool’s Arts Club on a Tuesday afternoon, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Nimmo and Reva Gauntlette, the two frontwomen of London-based band, Nimmo. Having supported the likes of Years & Years and now MØ, this band is surely one to watch out for.
JESS FLEMING: Liverpool’s the 6th date on your tour with MØ, how has it been so far for you both?
REVA: It’s been absolutely amazing, we were saying earlier that it’s so nice to tour with people that you really get on with and whose music you respect, personality wise we all just click so well. It’s just been an absolute dream team really.
SARAH: It’s always nice even if you love someone’s music but actually I feel like we would be friends if we lived near each other because we get along so well. It’s been like an honour. It’s been so nice to be with such nice people.
JF: Has there been any key moments on tour that have stood out for you?
R: Probably that night out we had.
S: We went out in Glasgow for Reva’s birthday which was great.
R: We did a full night with both bands. Proper fun night. I’ve just got pictures on Karen’s shoulders and her lighting guy’s shoulders. Good mems.
JF: How did you two meet and the rest of the band?
R: So me and Sarah met first at school, literally first day of secondary school we were in the same form and we literally clicked instantly and have been best friends ever since. Our bass player, Josh, went to the same school as well so we started just kind of hanging around after school just writing bad music in our bedrooms and writing together. We met our drummer Jack at University in Brighton so yeah it’s kind of like the school band that spiralled out of control.
JF: So you always knew you wanted to go into music?
R: Yeah we’ve sort taken kind of ten years just messing around, dipping in and out.
JF: Who inspires you as artists?
S: We take inspiration from a lot of stuff, mainly from the nightlife and the way that we live in London, I know that sounds a bit ridiculous but that definitely influences the energy behind our music and feelings we often try and seek from writing music together. We both grew up listening to a lot of stuff like Carole King and Fleetwood Mac, that was always the kind of soundtrack to our lives at home with our parents, and we still listen to that music now but I guess what influences us is probably the balance between those kind of more song-based artists and obviously the dance and electronic scene that we’re really into at home as well. There’s not a particular scene or band that we sort of inspire to or belong to or what we like at all.
JF: Is there anyone you would love to work with, artists or producers?
S: Lots of people, Sid the Kid from the internet is one of the females at the moment that we’re just loving everything that she does. Yukimi from Little Dragon is one of our favorite vocalists of ours. She’s just like Zen in a vocal.
R: Yeah those are the two I think that spring to mind.
JF: You recently released your new single ‘Dancing Makes Us Brave’, what inspired the track?
S: The songs just about how important we believe it is to go out and dance and physically let go, lose yourself in order to figure things out in your head and to move past things. I guess the song is slightly in the context of leaving a relationship behind and just going out and have a cathartic experience in a club if you want to put a narrative to it even though there isn’t really a strict one but yeah I think the songs basically about that experience. It’s just about being out and dancing and losing yourself and physically experiencing music rather than like just listening to it at home. You know being in front of a sound system is like a very unique experience in terms of how you can experience music.
JF: I saw you’ve recently released the video for it and it’s very dancey, was it fun to make?
R: It was so fun, it was the first time we’ve pushed ourselves in that way but with the nature of the song, like as Sarah was just describing it, it felt really important to kind of have us directly there, kind of like throwing ourselves around.
JF: Yeah I was watching it before thinking wow this such a cool video
S: Reva’s dance moves are taken from the way that she dances on stage as well, we tried to make it look less like just doing dance moves, but make the dancing really personal, because it’s not like we don’t go to clubs and do dance routines, like everyone has their way that they dance so we wanted to keep that unique dance element.
R: We literally just sent the choreographer videos of us playing live so that all the moves are actually pulled from our personal style.
JF: I heard you guys worked with the same choreographer as Florence and the Machine
R: Yeah Holly Blakey, she’s just unbelievable, she’s just an incredible person.
S: It’s just very instinctive dancing, from the soul. She just really loses herself and goes with the emotion of the song.
R: We’re too lucky, I wouldn’t ever want to do any generic contemporary dance now I’ve worked with Holly.
S: It’s just so raw and it’s just about kind of personalizing everything and just making it all feel really genuine. It’s just the best experience I’ve had.
JF: So far you’ve only released singles and Eps is there any chance of an album soon?
R: Albums out early next year actually
S: Yeah we’ve finished it!
JF: Ahhh yeah I’m excited now!
S: Yeah we’re excited too. We’ve been doing it for a long time now, because we play everything live and we started as a live band going into the studio and recording an album was one of those processes where we sort of had, without undoing any of the clatter and dynamic that we’d achieved live. We still wanted it to sound sonically pleasing and listenable and it needed to have dynamic as an album as well. So it took a while for us to get our live sound and to work it out so it feels really good that its finished and I can’t wait to let it go to be honest. Its time.
JF: I’m guessing you prefer touring over recording?
S: Yeah we do, I think also like we needed to find our feet with recording like we loved it by the end when we’d really found our groove with it. When you’re struggling to find a perfect method to make things sound how you want it to sound or how it feels live, it does feel a little like an uphill struggle. But now we’ve sort of figured that out the next albums gonna be a lot quicker because we’ll slot back into that groove I think. But live is definitely the best.
JF: What would you say is your favourite song to perform live?
S: Mine is ‘UnYoung’, I just love playing that song live.
R: Yeah ‘UnYoung’ as well or the cover,’Touch Me’ by Dj Rui Da Silva.
S: Yeah we’ve got this thing called Room 5 Sessions which is just covers and we recorded it in our studio in Dalston and we throw parties in there as well. We’ve been playing one of them live and it’s a big moment live.
JF: If you could describe Nimmo in one word each what would it be?
R: Ahhh it’s so hard!
JF: It can be more than one word?
R: No I like the limitation; if not I’d just rant, I want to get one word.
S: I’m going to say ‘Tough’. Has that made it worse for you?
R: Yeah no it’s fine. Maybe ‘Energy’?
JF: Nice! Tough Energy
BOTH: Tough Energy
R: All about the energy
Watch the video to Nimmo’s new single ‘Dancing Makes Us Brave’ :