Album Art by Denali Lowder
"I've become more comfortable expressing myself and what I want to say. In the past I always tried to bury what I was actually singing about under pop culture references. Now I don't really care"
- Nick Rattigan
Many people have this Woody Allen romantic view of New York City. It's a melting pot of different cultures merging together, creating many fascinating cultural diversities. After all it's the city that produced the beat poets, the city which shaped Bob Dylan and Andy Warhol and, well 'fuck it'; Louis CK is also an everlasting source of inspiration for many artists, I guess.
TELE/VISIONS is a solo project created by Nick Rattigan. Nick grew up in Reno, NV, where he founded his first outfit Surf Curse in 2013, but the bright NYC lights of inspiration persuaded him to move where most of his music, literature and film predilections originated from. But Nick's solo project is different from his band project, leaving the surf pop aspect of Surf Curse for a more mature and darker sound. In essence, it's the sound of a man who is simply growing up and expressing himself. His inspirations include artists such as Dirty Beach and John Maus, the cinema and the novelist Milan Kundera.
"I don't know anyone who can read 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being' and not be inspired by it in some way. It is so moving on a romantic and philosophical level. The themes are so heavy, but also so easy to relate to. I would love for my music to reach that level one day, but I feel like Kundera does it a lot better".
Nick Rattigan is the kind of person you imagine you would get on well with. Not only does he express himself well on a musical level with such influences as The Velvet Underground, Girls, and Daniel Johnston, but on a personal level as well. He has experienced the music industry from several perspectives, either playing in a band or writing for magazines such as Impose and Noisey, and these contrasting experiences have given his opinions a greater sense of awareness. Nick doesn't say that pursuing your dreams isn't worthwhile; he is simply saying that you need to be aware of how the music industry realistically works in this day and age.
"In order to be successful you have to be able to brand, market and sell what you have created, which requires a lot of thought. The trick is to not let one influence the other".
TELE/VISIONS songs are all recorded in bedrooms keeping to the DIY spirit. Most of the songs which features on his new album 'Me Oh My Mirror' were recorded in 2014 and despite TELE/VISIONS being a solo project, Nick did write with the intention of playing live with a full band. However, since a final leaving gig in May 2014 Nick has only concentrated on solo performance, with the new aim to create the most unconventional and intimate performances possible. Throughout the interview, though, we continue realise Nick struggles with the forces behind the music industry and the suits who dictate how projects should be represented for a more viable commercial success.
"I've been told so many times I need to change my name, that I need a full band, that I need to stop releasing so many songs, that I need to release my music physically, that I need merchandising, that I need a label, that I need a manger. I'm not very good at playing the game, but I am trying".
But in reality TELE/VISIONS is successful due to the integrity, honesty and most importantly passion behind the project. While you might be excited by the Blur comeback, The Jesus and Mary Chain tour or the Oasis reformation, Nick and many other artists are asking themselves how will we define our generation of music, especially if it is being defined by the music of different generations?
'Me, Oh My Mirror' by TELE/VISIONS, 8/10.