Catchy song hooks and an energy filled stage presence make Ice Black Birds a band to watch in 2010. Taking influence from 60s and 70s rock ‘n’ roll – Ice Black Birds infuse their music with a modern blues sound.
Formed from the ashes of Old London, Sheffield and Scottish bands Ice Black Birds are Sam Denniston (Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar), George Grinling (Lead Guitar), Harry Bohay-Nowell (Bass, Keyboards, Vocals) and Pierre McFarlane (Drums, Vocals).
Their debut single “Ears to the Ground,” will be released March 29, 2010, and available for download from all major outlets. A limited edition of 200 CDs will be sold at shows and through their MySpace page. Currently on tour in the United Kingdom, I recently talked to Ice Black Birds‘ bass player Harry Bohay-Nowell.
What are your top five picks of classic muscle cars?
Harry Bohay-Nowell: Dodge Charger, Plymouth Barracuda, Ford Mustang (fast back, obviously) Corvette Stingray and the incredibly beautiful Shelby Cobra, though i do have a soft spot for the original AC.
Who or what inspired you to pick up your first instrument and how old were you?
Harry Bohay-Nowell: Well, I would’ve been 13 when I got my first bass guitar and the impetus was it was much easier to get work as a jobbing musician playing what is a fairly uncelebrated instrument. I’ve often thought about setting up a foundation for unloved bass players.
Remembering back to your first time in front of a live audience, what comes to mind?
Harry Bohay-Nowell: Absolute, sheer, crippling terror.
What has been Ice Black Birds biggest triumph? Greatest challenge?
Harry Bohay-Nowell: I think that’s yet to come. We’re releasing our first single ourselves and it’ll either make us, or kill us.
If the whole world were listening, what would you play? And why?
Harry Bohay-Nowell: Record wise, probably Led Zeppelin, there’s so much to hear in that First album it’s actually incredible.
As Ice Black Birds music has evolved, what do you think has been the most significant change and do you consider it a positive or a negative?
Harry Bohay-Nowell: I think to be honest, the dynamic of the band has changed and the roles played within have changed substantially. Where Pete used to anchor the band on drums, I know have to do that with the bass. George and Sam definitely chop and change lead and rhythm regularly with the new material. All of these things have contributed to a far more diverse band, which can only ever be seen as positive.
What do you want fans to get from your music?
Harry Bohay-Nowell: I’d just be happy for people to appreciate the music as it is and enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoy making it.
What is your favorite song to perform live? Why?
Harry Bohay-Nowell: For me personally, I’ve always enjoyed Room the most because of the great backing vocal parts and the way it just turns on a sixpence into a totally different style.
What do you value most in life?
Harry Bohay-Nowell: The whole damn thing; blood, sweat and tears.
If you could, is there a band or artist that you could recommend to our readers (Who they may not know about, but you think they should.)?
Harry Bohay-Nowell: Last night, we supported a band called “Toe Hammer” in London, who were just eye wateringly good. I’ve never heard so many brilliant riffs in one set. Get into it.
I would like to thank Ice Black Birds and Harry Bohay-Nowell of for his participation in this interview.
~Denise Smith (interview 2010.03.01)