Interview - Near Death Experience (NDX)

Gigs, music, trivia, comments, and very serious intellectual post-modern deconstruction of the West London band known as Near Death Experience or NDX. Let's have a chat about their music.

- Tell us about your latest release Found.
‘Found’ is a driving, rousing anthem of lost lives saved by the power of love, infused with a sumptuous brooding guitar riff and featuring a chorus catchier than Omicron. But beware, it comes with a mind-bending psyche-out video!

- How would you describe your sound?
We call ourselves the Psychedelic Rock’n’Soul Superheroes, so that’s our sound! A blend of late Sixties and early Seventies soul, rock, funk and psychedelic vibes for the 21st century delivered in an uplifting euphoric way that’s gonna get your body grooving and your brain hooked.

- What do you write about?
I (Ian ‘Lightning’ Whiteling, NDX singer and acoustic guitarist) write the lyrics, which can hit me in any number of ways. Many start with me improvising around a jam in rehearsal, so I’m singing intuitively whatever’s in my head at that moment. This is great for getting catchy lines, which I then build out later into abstract word pictures or stories. Sometimes I’ll wake up with a line in my head, or simply sit down when an idea hits me and write a complete set. In terms of subject matter, my lyrics tend to be cryptic dark tales that make emotional connections with the listener, who can interpret them in their own way.

- What do you listen to when you are home?
As a band, I think most of the music we listen to is rooted very much in the Sixties and Seventies. Our bass play Amar ‘The Groovemeister’ Grover and I very much like the psychedelic side, while our guitarist and sound guru Bill ‘The Professor’ Marten is more on the pop and soul spectrum, with drummer Alan ‘The Milkman’ Perkins altogether more prog rock. One album I personally can’t stop playing right now is George Harrison’s 1970 solo album All Things Must Pass – it’s exceptional!

- Your favourite live performance so far?
I guess two really stand out. The first was when we played Glastonbury back in 2017 which was an absolute blast. The second was our first gig post lockdown last July in the crazy psychedelic garden of a pub called The Magpie and Crown in Brentford, West London. The sun was shining and the place was rammed with people just loving the fact that live music – and NDX – were back! It was the new Summer of Love!

- Tell us a funny story that happened in studio or on stage.
One of the funniest NDX live moments was when our drummer forgot his drum stands and had to lash his kit to a load of pub furniture. Amazingly it worked, although there was the odd collapse mid song, but that just added to the usual NDX mayhem!

- Your favourite albums?
Oooh well, for The Professor that would be Abbey Road by The Beatles, mine is probably the first album by The Doors, Groovemeister’s is another Fab Four album Revolver, while The Milkman’s is Quadrophenia by The Who.

- A musician you would like to meet for a beer?
The Prof’s would undoubtedly be John Lennon, I’d love to share a pint with David Bowie, The Groovemeister would be happy to buy a beer for another former Beatle, George Harrison, while The Milkman’s first choice would be Andy Partridge of XTC.

- What would you ask for backstage, if you were the most important band on earth?
Wow, errr, well it wouldn’t be food, because I don’t like to eat much before I perform, or anything alcoholic, because drinking too much before you play is a big mistake. Sooo, it would have to be a fantastic sound system with a turntable and some classic psychedelic vinyl albums so we could get a groove on before we perform. Then a load of amazing snacks and craft ales for after the show, followed by the booking of a cool venue and DJ for the after party.

- What are your plans for the near future?
Having firmly got our live performances back on track post-Covid, we’re now spending as much time as we can in our studio, the NDX Cave, catching up on our song recording. ‘Found’ is the first of a series of singles we’re going to launch over the next few weeks, then we’re aiming to get our second album ‘The Release’ out by the end of 2022. Oh, and of course we’re up for doing as many gigs as we possibly can!

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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