Fronted by Snow Patrol guitarist Nathan Connolly, Little Matador are a band that have already proved themselves to be much more than the sum of their parts. The “parts”, in this instance, before the aforementioned globetrotters, LaFaro, Idlewild and many more projects and musical endeavours besides. Boasting five evidently versatile musicians, the band went down a storm at one of their first shows, opening for none other than Nine Inch Nails at Belsonic in Belfast. We speak to Nathan about the band’s early beginnings, their forthcoming debut album and making time to make it work.
Hi Nathan. Firstly, could you tell us how Little Matador came about and who’s all involved?
“I started Little Matador spring/summer of last year after a long time wanting to put a new band together. I knew exactly who I wanted to work with by that stage, Dave Magee (LaFaro, F.E.U.L), Gav Fox (Idlewild, Turn), Troy Stewart (The Windsor Player, Tired Pony) and Binzer (AKA Paul Brennan, The Frames, Gemma Hayes). I called everyone up and set about writing and rehearsing a couple of months later.”
Despite only starting out last week on the live front, have you been writing music for long?
“We have individually been writing, playing, touring and recording for a long time. When we first got together everything clicked and fell into place very quickly so despite being a new band it doesn’t really feel that way.”
For anyone who hasn’t seen you play yet, how would you describe your sound? Would you compare yourself to any of your peers?
“It’s an energetic, dirty, unapologetic healthy respect for noise, live. It’s still big on melody. I would rather people make there own minds up about who we are and what we sound like.”
More generally speaking, what are you main musical influences – both individually and collectively?
“I grew up listening to The Stones, Led Zeppelin and Tom Petty. Taking my cue from my dad’s record collection. Then I was listening to Nirvana, Pixies and so on. Now, collectively we listen to lots of different bands and genres.”
You recently opened for Nine Inch Nails at Belsonic – not a bad slot for such an early stage. How was that and what are the plans for playing live over the next few months?
“Not a bad slot at all. It was a stunning gig and fun night, great to be part of that bill in my home town and we were really well received. We will be out in November supporting Jimmy Eat World, Queens Of The Stone Age and a few of our own shows. So we are thrilled. We will be out in the new year as well.”
In terms of recording, is there an LP in the pipeline? And if so, could you tell us more about that – where are you recording, who with and when can we expect a release?
“There will be an EP for sale at all of our shows – the album is due for release next year. It is finished and was recorded between London and LA in six weeks over the course of the year. Sam Bell was on production duties and has done an amazing job and we had Greg Calbi master the album so we are very happy with it. It was an intense and totally fulfilling experience.”
Finally, a couple of you are in different bands. If Little Matador were to get quite big, how do you reckon you would manage balancing all your different projects whilst keeping the band going?
“We are all in different bands and are all busy but you make things work. If you are excited by the work you are doing and the music you are making you find a way.”
Download a free Little Matador track, ‘Liar Liar’, via the band’s official website.
Little Matador support Queens of the Stone Age at The Odyssey, Belfast on November 18.
Little Matador on Facebook.