Daily Discovery is a feature that will highlight a new or recently discovered artist who we’re excited about. See the rest of our Daily Discoveries here.
Five UK locals are trying to own the all-too-American psychedelic scene in London right now. For the last year, Night Dials have been bringing together garage rock and West Coast psych in basements beneath the city. Their fuzzy guitar solos and pop hooks get stuck in your head immediately. With clear influence from their beloved ’60s pop idols and hints of The Kinks and Lou Reed, you can’t help but put them on repeat.
They recorded their first song, “I’ve Done More Things,” under Liam Watson, known for recording the White Stripes’ Grammy Award winning album Elephant. After working with Liam at Toe Rag studios, the Night Dials stayed true to their DIY-experimental attitude and moved their recording literally underground—to different basement studios—chasing the perfect sound.
Impressive, reverb-heavy guitar solos paint the smoky basement scene that has fostered the band. With only a few shows under their belt and two original songs on their SoundCloud, Night Dials are still finding their way, but their energy and catchy songs make them a band to look out for in the coming year.
So how old are you guys, and where are you from?
Night Dials are Mark on vocals, Ilan on guitar, Jim on guitar, Allan on bass, and Paul on drums. We are all late twenties and from London Town (West).
How did you all meet?
We all met during college, brought together by a mutual love for good music and all things Beatles. Oh, and Paul and Mark are brothers.
When did you start making music, and when were Night Dials born?
We started getting our shit together about a year ago. Ilan had written a bunch of songs and the vision was to really push for the psych/garage trashy sound that we love and see where it took us. We recorded a few tracks at Toe Rag Studios with Liam Watson, a majority of which we played too fast or too slow, but we knew we had something good. But then due to no funds left, we got started on the DIY approach, which was the invention of Night Dials.
Who or what are your influences?
We are big Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Yardbirds fans with a massive love for the ’60s underground garage scene… Pebbles and Nuggets all the way baby. We also really dig the new wave of US psych/garage bands. Austin Psych Fest is definitely on our festival radar… basically so we can watch the other bands.
If you had one shot to play your music for a stranger, which song would you choose?
Very difficult to pick one. We love them all. Our whole album with no pauses making one fuck off song!
Is there a good garage/psychedelic scene supporting you in London right now?
The scene in London is cool but flooded with US psych/garage bands touring, which isn’t a bad thing, but we are here to change that. The UK scene is in desperate need for something homegrown.
What would your ideal show be like?
A small sweaty club, with small sweaty women! Oh, and with Brian Jonestown Massacre supporting!
What is your process when it comes to writing songs? Do you guys collaborate on everything or does each song have a main writer?
Our guitarist and part-time genius Ilan writes all the tracks then brings them to the table and we Night Dials them, which basically means playing them through two or three times, getting impatient, and deciding to record them then and there… then we trash them to fuck. It’s not a conventional process, but it seems to work.
You’ve recorded songs in the basement of a bar. How did that come about? Were there any unexpected benefits of recording there?
We have recorded in many pub cellars all over London due to Ilan living and working in them. The cellars most definitely added to our sound, so did the liquor, so did the ghosts that haunt them! The trouble is every time we would start getting somewhere, the pub would close down (not sure if this was Ilan’s fault) and we’d have to move on. We’ve been at the Teaclipper, the Clifton, and the Barley Mow to name a few… all no longer with us.
What do you guys do when you aren’t making music?
We all have jobs so time with the band is precious. When we are not making music we are generally looking for music, listening to music, or out and about watching music.
How did you come up with the name Night Dials? Is that like a late night call? Do you guys give in to a lot of drunk dials?
Yeah man… it’s all about the late night calls asking to join our little cellar shindigs. We always give in.
What’s up next for Night Dials?
Up next is our first single release in May and then shows all across the planet…come!
Night Dials are opening for Eugene McGuinness this Friday, April 3rd at St. Moritz Club in London. Click here for info/tickets.