I had the pleasure of meeting Nick Walsh briefly after his performance in “GIG“, the musical but this week I got to sit down and talk to Nick about what else is going on his life. Nick’s been at the music game for quite some time and he’s working very hard with his bandmates on the next release with his band, Famous Underground.
In addition to Nick, Famous Underground is longtime collaborator Laurie-Anne Green on Bass and background vocals, Desche Sparboom on drums, Darren Boyd on guitar and Michale Vassos on guitars.We started out talking about Classic Albums Live, a Toronto-Based company owned by Craig Martin. It’s been around for about a decade and they tour North America, and Nick has been with them almost 2 years. This year Nick will be performing David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. What started as 2 dates has now turned into 17 dates. Those two dates were in the works before the death of David Bowie in January.
We wondered if performing in Classic Albums Live prepared him for the role in “GIG”? Nick explained that Slik Toxik was his first project and when that ended he wanted out of music. From there film and TV seemed like a natural move, Nick did everything from extra work to feature roles. He’s an ACTRA member and he still loves film, and GIG allowed him to marry the music and acting roles together.
“Anything I do I want to a) feel comfortable and b) be convincing.”
Famous Underground were signed to a label in Germany with management out of Europe and they released their debut album in 2013. The album got some great reviews, charted on radio, YouTube videos were getting play and then the label went bankrupt. Offers continued to come in but touring costs money. Two singles had been released, and they made the decision to create and release the third video instead of touring.
That video is “Bullet Train”, picked because it sounds the closest to the new music. While I couldn’t wrestle a release date out of Nick, it seems like they’re pretty close.
When we asked Nick what he’s listening to he was quick to let us know that it depends on what else he’s doing. If he’s cooking he might opt for smooth Jazz on Stingray. If he’s tired and it’s late he’ll listen to Dan Gibson Solitude records, with nature sounds and harp or piano, hanging out with his wife in the backyard, maybe he’d be listening to some reggae. Music to fit the mood, that makes sense to us.
The conversation turned to how things have changed and how the music industry has dipped back into the old model where bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones released singles. Nick said, it’s quick and you can get some traction, play some live shows and get back in the studio.
Note: We agree with Nick. In the last five years we’ve seen a lot of EP and single releases, especially from independent artists.
One of our favourite questions to ask artists is, if you could choose two bands to tour with who would you pick? Nick’s answer, Stone Sour and Avenged Sevenfold. Famous Underground’s influences are later era Metallica meets some of the newer artists like Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, We’d show up for that show.
I also asked Nick about work/life balance. With a smile on his face, he told me he and his wife have been together for 22 years. It hasn’t always been easy but they’ve figured things out. He laughed and said sometimes he’s not sure how she puts up with him. As our time together came to a close, Nick headed off to pick his son up from school.
Thanks again to Nick,