In an interview with Nigel Nicolls, a founding member of Devine Lie, he answered a few questions about the group as well as his personal journey with music.
How long was he involved with music before Devine Lie?
Nigel Nicolls started playing the guitar at 13. He had his first group at 15 called Notlob, which is an anagram for Bolton, a football club based in Manchester.
What inspires his music?
He is inspired by things he reads, people, news and good wine.
Tell us more about the sound
He uses a Vigier guitar, with a carbon fibre neck as well as a still neck. He also enjoys using vintage synthesizers to create their sound.
What process does the group go through when creating music – Does the music come first or the lyrics?
Music first, 99 percent of the time. He might occasionally think of a good title that might inspire the music.
How has the group’s music changed over the years?
It’s not quite so eclectic and hopefully it is more coherent now compared to how it used to be. Having a female singer has changed the aspect of the sound, and even though the former singer had a higher pitched voice, her specific voice has changed the sound.
What made him fall in love with music?
He was in love with music from when he was very young. His father played the piano, so they always had a piano in the house. Both of his sisters were forced to do music lessons and they both got to quite a high level but when they were not forced to do it anymore, they both stopped playing the piano. He wasn’t forced into music because he was very good at sport. Also, the school he went to preferred guys to play sport instead of music. It was not seen as manly, to the rough school he went to. He grew up north of London, in a very rough place.
What is he currently listening to?
In his car at the moment, he has System 7, Echo & the Bunnymen. He also listens to John McLaughlin. Something he’s had in his car for the last few weeks is ACDC. He says it’s really good music to drive to.
What does he want people to feel when listening to your music?
He’d like them to listen to the lyrics and they should interpret them as they want.
What separates Devine Lie’s sound from everyone else?
The combination of sound and lyrics set Devine Lie apart. They also have dark content in their music and not only love songs.
What is his favourite Devine Lie song?
The one they are going to release on the next album (he laughed). Because he has two tracks already down for the next album, although it has taken so long to get out. He’s always liked Barquentine’s gasp and he also likes On top of the world, the first single off Devine Lie’s new album. Both the song and music video were inspired by the beautiful city of Cape Town in South Africa.
What is his favourite song by another artist?
Probably a dozen by the Smiths. He has a top ten that includes the Smiths, Led Zeppelin, some German techno music and Tangerine Dream (a German electronic music band). Magma, a French progressive rock band and Blur, an English rock band formed in London, are among some of the artists he likes. More modern music that he enjoys is, London Grammar, an English indie pop band and Florence and the machine, an English indie rock band. He also enjoys Wolf Alice, a British four-piece alternative rock band and Marillion, a British rock band.
Why are they named Devine Lie?
He must’ve been writing an anti-religious song at the time of picking the name (he laughed). The name has nothing to do with religion though.