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PADDY NASH & The Happy Enchiladas: "Laughter & Love"
PADDY NASH- and The Happy Enchiladas. Laughter & Love, third album release from Northern Ireland based Folk Rock Country Pop Punk Blues band. Quirky, melodic and thought provoking lyrics. Originally from Derry City and now based in Limavady, Paddy was a founding member and chief songwriter of the award winning Folk Rock outfit The Whole Tribe Sings. Find out more about their new album and the band. Here's: Paddy Nash
How has the reaction to your new songs been so far?
The reaction has been really positive. We’ve received some radio play and some great reviews. But the reaction from our loyal supporters has been overwhelming. The whole band are especially proud of this one.
A little bit of country. A little bit of folk, punk, blues, rock, and pop. Eclectic or just too darn lazy to pick a style? :)
What can I say? I’m the youngest of 10 children and when I was growing up in the 70’s I was force-fed everything from Abba to Hank Williams, from The Ramones to Thin Lizzy and from Planxty to Elvis. I loved it all. When I was 7 I got a Sanyo Suitcase record player for my birthday. The first single I bought was ‘Way Down’ by Elvis. I listened to it non stop for weeks. That song still does it for me every time. So by the time I started learning guitar and writing songs I had all these styles to choose from. To this day when I sit down to write I haven’t a clue what’s going to come out. Somebody once said my music is like ‘A Poor Man’s Springsteen’ I like that.
Kindly tell us something about 'Clichés' and the story behind the track.
Jonny, our bass player is a brilliant singer-songwriter in his own right. He’s currently working on a solo album. A few years ago he recorded a demo of Clichés in my house. Diane and myself sang some backing vocals on it and we all loved it. I asked him if he was putting it on his new album and when he said he wasn’t I knew it would make a great Happy Enchilada song. I love the timing and the story. The idea of ‘living a cartoon life’
What's a 'Good Conversation' in your opinion? (another track from the album)
A conversation where you might learn something. One that may just change your opinion or help eradicate prejudice. That's what the song is about. My missus Diane who's also a Happy Enchilada was doing some work with members of The Travelling Community, a minority in this country who are still persecuted and discriminated against. She would come home everyday full of admiration and respect for these people. She said to me on her way out the door one morning 'Some of the best friendships I've had all started with a good conversation' I had the song written by the time she came home.
Do let us in about the writing process and what you're trying to capture on 'Laughter & Love'.
It's about travel, it's about love. All them places in the song hold lovely memories for me and Diane. We've met some wonderful people, had lots of laughs and fell deeper in love with each other along the way. Some people find that song extremely sad, especially some of our friends who are on their own. So it's also about hope and most of all it's about friendship and kindness.
Lyric-wise, is it the work of pure inspiration, fantasy, or the harsh reality? (are you political)
All of the above. Springsteen once said he's just the budgie in the cage and a lot of my songs are like that. I am political but not in a Catholic/Protestant way. I'm a socialist so national identity means very little to me. I try not to be preachy but if something makes me angry then I'll write about it. 'Adam & Evan' is about equal marriage. I wrote it to try and vent my frustration at the backwardness of the people who run Northern Ireland. But I also write nonsense songs 'Boys in Blue' and 'Last in Line' is a harsh reality song about a friend of mine whose house is overflowing with self-help books and all this crap literature about finding happiness. As Van Morrison once said you have to look for happiness within yourself. I believe him.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind prior to recording?
I wanted it to reflect on our live sound, only slightly more in tune. I've been listening to a lot of Warren Zevon lately so that also influenced me. We cut the bones of the album live. We all stood in a circle in a big room and played the songs until they felt right. We added the harmonies later. Harmonies are important to us a band. We're all from that generation.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
Rory, our main producer is also our lead guitar player. He runs his own studio and has been engineering and producing for years. He has a great knack of capturing the energy of the band and he has bionic ears.
Did the producer (or you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
He used fairly standard techniques but a mixture of mics, equipment and spaces from the last 70 years depending on the overall sound he was after in a particular track.
Do you agree (or disagree) that storytellers are always going to face struggle in this era?
Songs were once social media. That's how we passed down stories, started campaigns etc. it's all changed now. Some might say its old fashioned but guess what? If the Internet blows up we'll still have our guitars and maybe it'll all turn around on itself again.
Do you ever get stick from British media for being too Irish and Ulster? (if there's such a thing?)
I can't honestly say that I have and I couldn’t care less if I ever
Van Morrison? (that's it, we need to mention him considering your location)
I love him. I love the fact that he's still an enigma. His early music still sounds as fresh today and the Born to Sing album blew me away completely. My personal favourite is Tupelo Honey. I think he recorded it in The Big Pink with Levon and The Band. What a session that must have been! He's always been and always will be an influence on my music. There's a breakdown on the song 'Wish' and it's deliberately Morrisonesque. When we do it live, in my mind I'm Van the Man. I've even cursed at the drummer.
Who are your influences and heroes (music-wise)
There's a few. I love songwriters who can tap in to all of your emotions. Make you laugh, make you cry, make you think, make you dance and make you sing out loud. Springsteen, Billy Bragg, John Prine, Christy Moore, Loudon Wainwright, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Guy Clarke, Todd Snider, Dylan (obviously) and I love bands that created their own unique sound like The Beatles, The Band, The E Street Band, Creedence. I could go on all night so I'll stop there.
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do
Just thank you for letting me ramble and for giving a platform to independent artists. We need all the help we can get and we appreciate it a lot more than the machine.