The Tempo team chilled with Abu Dhabi based band ‘The Nocturnals’ and their vocalist Ben Whyte who took us on a tour of their psychedelic sounds, and shared the ups and downs of being in a band.
Tempo: Who are ‘The Nocturnals’?
Ben: We are a three-piece psychedelic rock band based who like to dabble in various genres to further our own collective song writing ability. We are Ollie Eglington – guitar, Ben Whyte – bass and vocals, and Eddie Willis – drums. We are three friends who share a mutual respect for each other’s musical standpoint.
Tempo: How did ‘The Nocturnals’ come about?
Ben: Ollie and I have been in a band since late 2013, which was formed out of our shared passion for music and love of jamming. We met, funnily enough, at a dog show in Aberdeen, just north of my hometown, Stonehaven. We bonded over our appreciation of the canine kind, and soon began talking casually about music. We realised that we shared many of the same interests. Eddie was a late addition to our line up, but a crucial one. He joined us in early September 2015 and is now at university life in the UK. Despite his short tenure with the band he made an enormous impact on the creative process, and we all developed and evolved as musicians. We believe that the music written during that period is the best that ‘The Nocturnals’ have produced thus far.
Tempo: How do you all juggle school and playing in a band?
Ben: It is quite hard to manage school and being in a band; it creates an imbalance that is both frightening and exhilarating.
Tempo: What inspired you to get into music?
Ben: I can’t recall a particular moment or section of a song that inspired me to make music; I think it was a feeling born out of the mercurial tastes of my parents, as well as an inherent desire to experience alternative music. For me writing and playing music is a grey area between hobby and a profession. It is something I hope to make a career of in the future.
Tempo: What has been the biggest obstacle so far?
Ben: The loss of band members! But it is almost unavoidable due to the transience of life in the UAE. Two of our members – Ben Thompson and Eddie Willis – have moved back to the UK for schooling but are sorely missed. We still hang out and jam when they come to visit but it’s annoying. We’ve been able to overcome this by being open minded when playing with other people. If Ollie and I see someone who might not have the same influences or playing style as us but who has a certain uniqueness, we immediately start up a dialogue and invite them to jam with us. If it works it works, and if it doesn’t we end things on good terms.
Tempo: How did the people around you react to your music?
Ben: Admittedly we are not everyone’s cup of tea, but we don’t want to be. If you try to appeal to everyone you sacrifice originality and you water-down your original vision. We have had a good amount of positive feedback from people and our music seems to be appreciated.
Tempo: Which musicians inspire you?
Ben: We have shared influences such as The Doors, Radiohead, and Led Zeppelin, due to their innovative approach to song writing, musical technology and playing; but obviously we don’t share all of the same influences. Ollie and I like the smashing Pumpkins, especially the first three albums, and ‘Adore’ for their smooth sounds prevalent in their discography. and Billy Corgan for his unique vocal delivery.
Tempo: Any plans you would like to share?
Ben: We plan on releasing new music with our new drummer, Sam Wiltshire, and possibly create a four or five track EPs at some point this year, but that all depends on our individual schedules and personal commitments.
Tempo: How can people get in touch with you?
Ben: You can get in contact with us through our email: email@example.com and you can listen to our music on SoundCloud, although there are numerous bands called ‘The Nocturnals’ we are the ones based in Abu Dhabi.
Tempo: What’s your message for aspiring musicians?
Ben: Strive for originality and don’t go with the status quo flow. Make your own sound.