Dublin/London duo Nixer are Seán Keenan and Gearóid Peggs and it all started as an online conversation between two friends at the beginning of the pandemic. They're super lovely lads delivering throbbing dancefloor sounds infused with an indie guitar vibe.
They just signed with Blowtorch Records, a record label based in Galway, Ireland, offering a boutique online home for independently minded artists worldwide.
Please give our readers a little into of you who are / Sum up your band for me in a few words.
Seán: We're Nixer, and we're an Irish New Wave or "Éire Wave" duo that make tunes in the comfort of our own bedrooms in Dublin and London.
Nixer ... An extra or irregular job!
Nixer started as an online conversation at the beginning of the Global Pandemic – please tell us a bit about your origin as a band and the motivation for going ahead with it in those difficult times.
Seán: The origin of the band is literally a conversation we had over Instagram back in April. We were chatting about what we were both producing at the time, one thing led to another, and that night Gearóid sent me the bass and drums for what would eventually become our debut single 'Your Days Are Over'.
I think the biggest motivation for going ahead with Nixer in such difficult times was we both needed a new outlet. We're both very open-minded and passionate artists, so although we had no idea where it could possibly go, we were both really up for giving it a whack.
You two come from two very different musical backgrounds – please elaborate on those and why do you think it's so beneficial for your style?
Gearóid: Completely different backgrounds! I'm a DJ/electro producer and I'm used to playing sets most weekends in clubs around Dublin, whereas Seán comes from a background of playing in bands as a lyricist/vocalist/guitarist. We actually played on the same bill before back in 2018 in Wigwam on Abbey Street. Seán's band was playing at the start of the night, and then as the night went on, the decks came out and I played a set.
Seán: It's a really really mad mix on paper, but we both now believe it was the overlap that was destined to happen. Regardless of our backgrounds, I think it's the make-up of us both as people that really makes this project tick. We're both very serious about the music we make, and we absolutely love making it. Put two people together that have that shared passion and drive, and you get something really beautiful. I don't think either of us have ever landed on a collaboration quite as fruitful as this before... so it's really exciting!
Tell us a bit about the process for writing and producing your singles esp. as you are separated by the Irish Sea.
Seán: We talk all the time, almost too much. Texting, calling, video chats, you name it. We send each other tonnes of music each day. A lot of the time we're discussing ideas for new songs, whether it be themes, moods, intensities or sounds. We constantly talk about songs we love and songs we want to reference in our productions, which is a really important process for any producer. Gearóid is always cooking something up on Ableton and will send it over to me. Once I get my hands on it, I let it sit with me for a while, and then I get stuck in. My process starts by jamming out some guitar lines, then I move on to trying out new vocals melodies or deliveries. The process doesn't take long at all, we're pretty relentless. Once that's done, it's back over to Gearóid to mix the track, and then our guy Fionn O'Brien is in charge of all the mastering.
Do you have any hobbies that you turn to to rejuvenate your creativity?
Seán: I read and exercise lots. I have other hobbies too, but these are the most beneficial to me creatively. When I read I can shut off and relax, but at the same time I also take lots of inspiration from what I read, so I really value my relationship with books.
Exercise is a really important part of my day-to-day life, especially when I'm sitting with a song. I always go for runs before I'm about to sit down for the day and go at the recording, it really helps clear my head. When I'm writing the lyrics for all Nixer songs I like to hop on my bike and cycle aimlessly around London. Most Nixer lyrics have been written using this method which is really nice, because I always recall the different cycles and the places I visited when I listen back to each song.
Gearóid : When it comes to rejuvenating my creativity I spend a lot of time listening to music, it could be looking for new records to buy or even some friends sending me tracks to listen to. I love finding new tunes with a lot going on in them. When something sticks out whether it be musical structure or the mix on a track, it can make me really inspired and it springs loads of ideas I can take to my own music. I also strongly agree with Seán on the fitness & healthy lifestyle, it can really make you feel a better and healthier person. Getting out in the fresh air and eating healthy as much as I can really helps me create better.
What's something you learned early on that made you a better artist?
Gearóid: Something I learned early on as an artist is to try not focus on what’s going on outside your room when you're making music. With all the madness going on in the world, I try to create imagining the world as a better place.
Seán: Less is more. As an artist, it's really easy to get hung up on what you don't have or on not having the best setup possible. But that's a really bad mindset to get caught up in. If you make use of what you've got, you'll be happier for it!
You are now signed to Blowtorch Records..congrats...what do you hope to achieve now that you have the backing of a label?
Seán: YES, thank you! It has been an absolutely fantastic start to the year, and we're very excited about what lies ahead. As Richard from Blowtorch Records said "I wanna let musicians make music", and this was music to our ears. We feel Richard can really help us grow as an act. By giving us a platform and the backing and support we didn't previously have, we believe it's the recipe for greatness. One thing we have all collectively agreed on achieving is a run of Nixer vinyl, so thanks to Blowtorch Records, this is in the pipeline.
Give us one fact each that no one knows about you.
Seán: I have a degree in Mathematics but that's not really much fun is it?... ehhhhh I'm really really good at hula-hooping lol.
Gearóid: When I was in 4th class I won an award for writing the best children’s book that year. It was a competition spread across loads of primary schools in Ireland. It’s quite funny because I probably have the same writing skills now as I did back then hahaha.
What's on your playlist right now? Any band recommendations from your side??
Seán: My playlist is ever-changing right now, I'm absorbing so much music at the moment I can't keep up with myself. I'm really digging Kynsy, she's great and Irish. Some other Irish name drops are The Clockworks of course, and SPRINTS, two absolutely sick Irish bands. Any Irish band from 05/06 who really went under the radar for me was Belfast band Alloy Mental, check those guys out, wow! Also the new Squid song is absolutely amazing, really excited to hear their debut album. Other recommendations/bands I'm loving at the moment would be DIIV, Arlo Parks and Molchat Doma.
Gearóid: Same as Seán, my playlist is ever-changing, maybe a bit too much really haha. I'm really loving L.F.T at the minute, he’s a producer operating from Hamburg. He has a new record coming out on Mechatronica in March and one of the tracks was previewed the other day called ‘Keine Angst’, it’s an amazing track you can find it on YouTube. I also recently found out about his project Schulverweis; it’s dark, it’s synthy, it’s lovely!! I also can’t stop listening to this band from Melbourne called HighSchool, they’re only new enough like ourselves but I can already tell that they’re gonna be huge!
What is next? Your plans for 2021?
Seán: Next up is the 'Relax' music video, followed by our fifth single 'Gentrification'. Expect both of these in the next couple of months.
After that, all roads lead to our debut body of work. It's a six track concept EP titled 'Afterglow' and you can expect it April/May time.​​​​​​​
Check out the video for previous single 'True Romance' here:
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