Picture the scene, I had just got in from a gig, I was about to start my write up when my inbox went 'ping' and in popped an email from Ned Dylan. I opened it up and started to read it, I then took a look at his video for his debut single which was released on Sept 18th featuring Les Carter ('Fruitbat' from Carter USM) and was produced by none other than Gordon Raphael who has previously worked with the likes of The Strokes, Regina Spektor and 'Skin' from Skunk Anansie.
I needed to find out more about this character so I decided to drop him a 'tweet', it was gone 11:30 at night so I started to shut down, ready to call it a night and just before I did, I received a reply.... we exchanged a few words and I invited him to do an interview on the site, he agreed and I emailed the questions over, here's how we got on....
We know you’re called Ned Dylan and we know that your new single ‘DISCO’ was released on Sept 18th, tell us something about you that even Google doesn’t know….
If I told you, then Google would know.
Gordon Raphael (The Strokes/Regina Spektor/Skin from Skunk Anansie) produced the single, how did you manage to get him on board?
Gordon heard my music on YouTube and got it straight away. After chatting we found that we were the perfect fit.
How does it feel to actually have a single out there with your name on it that people can buy and listen to?
It’s amazing to have my name on it but more than anything having Gordon’s name on it is just surreal.
When did you first pick up a guitar?
I can’t put a date on it but I remember that if there was a guitar around I’d be straight on it from an early age, even though I didn’t actually learn to play for years.
You’ve received some amazing comments about your music from some brilliant musicians, how does it feel when you read positive comments from such talented people?
It’s amazing to have positive comments from anybody, at the end of the day it will be the fans (famous or not) that will make this single whatever it’s going to become.
Who are your musical influences? Have you met any of them?
The Rolling Stones made me want to be on stage, and Bob Dylan made me want to write songs. I interviewed Patti Smith and she is inspirational. We sat down for a great chat.
You’ve played some great festivals like Bearded Theory and Secret Garden Party this year, which would you say was the best festival?
The festivals have been amazing this year – the festivals and the stages seem to be getting even bigger for next year, which is a dream. Bestival was pretty special last weekend. I also loved BoomTown, Bearded Theory, Rebellion Punk, Watchet and Secret Garden Party which is always fun. I ended up doing around 15 festivals and all of them were an absolute pleasure to play. I’ve also been lucky enough to play more stuff with the band which has been really brilliant in so many ways.
Did you meet many bands/performers whilst at the festivals? Did anyone offer any advice or give you any tips?
It’s been a great summer and I’ve met so many brilliant people. At Bestival I got to meet Rob Da Bank and Annie Mac who were both lovely people. There’s a great festival at the end of August called Watchet and I got to meet Sir Bob Geldof there. I also had a good chat with Sir Tim Rice who even tweeted about me after seeing me there!
Tell us your favourite joke….
Who said that funny joke that time?
I see you’ve drafted Les Carter (aka Fruitbat) to play guitar with you, how did this happen and has he made you a coffee in his Mazda Bongo campervan yet?
Les came to some of my gigs last year and we ended up having a chat about how I should get a band behind me. That then turned into “Les…. Your band are good, can I nick them?…” Still no coffee although I did make him a coffee in a Carter mug at my house…
I see that you also do radio shows on Mixcloud, do you have a studio or are you a ‘bedroom DJ’ (like me!)
A bit of both! I’ve done some radio stuff at Secret Garden Party before in their Airstream studio and some other stuff for my good friends Debbie Hyde & David Durant down in their Surrey studios, Brooklands Radio.
Do you come from a musical family?
Not at all! My dad can’t even clap in time at gigs, but my parents have definitely always loved music – especially Dad. When I was a kid there was always the vinyl collection in the living room. I also remember watching Jools Holland and re-runs of the Old Grey Whistle Test with my parents.
You’re currently 14 years old so I assume you’re at school? How do you juggle your music with your studies?
My top tip is just don’t change your pants, you’ll save loads of time.
What are your plans when you eventually leave school at 16? Is further education an option or do you want to get into music full time?
I can’t imagine not being in the music world. I’m hoping to get through Monday morning, let alone further education.
I have seen quite a few of your interviews on the UK Festival Guides website that you’ve done, do you actually have time in your life to study?
I love the guys at UK Festival Guides they do a great job! The interviewing things been really great, I’ve really loved doing some of them – Don Letts, Rick Edwards, Alabama 3 and The Strypes were all pretty special.
Would you rather live with a dog that sings or a gorilla that can do sign language?
A Gorilla is much more rock ‘n’ roll so I’d have to go for that one. (Hey! Hey! We’re the Monkees *not scientifically correct*).
What do YOU think is the best album of 2015 so far?
The Prodigy – The Day Is My Enemy has been my favourite!
How has social media helped you to get your music out there? Which sites have been the best for you?
It does help but it’s also been a massive pain with things like Facebook because if you don’t pay them they’ll hide your posts. I really like Twitter because I can send my music to anyone.
It says on Facebook that you’ve never played a cover, I dare say that you must have learned songs in order to hone your guitar skills, so….which is the first song you ever learned to play and if forced to play a cover, which would it be and why?
The first song I ever learnt was an original, I just started writing. I have no idea what I’d pick to be honest. I once had to play a cover in a competition – it was part of the rules, but I hated it and try to blank it out!
If you could only listen to 3 albums for the rest of your life, which 3 would they be and why?
Kate Tempest – Everybody Down (a modern-day masterpiece)
The Strokes – Is This It (an album for every and any mood)
Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue (a masterpiece by the master)
I was tempted to put Now That’s What I Call Music! on there and if we’d been doing singles there’s that great new single by Ned Dylan….
When can we expect new music and possibly an album from you? Will Gordon Raphael be producing it?
If I end up doing an album I think Gordon is the one to produce it (if he’ll do it!) It all depends how this single goes – the record is in the people’s hands now.
You can download his new track from a host of online stores including Amazon
Being 14 years old, we had to consult with our legal team as to whether Ned would be allowed to take part in our quickfire question round, it gets kind of scary and tense from time to time you see, they said that as long as he signs a waiver to say that any future health issues caused by the onslaught of the rapid fire feature wouldn't stand up in a court of law, we were good to go.... I assume he signed it?!
Hot dogs or burgers?
I’m vegetarian, Morrissey did alright out of it.
CD or vinyl?
Vinyl – crackly like rice crispies.
Cats or dogs?
Jam doughnut or Custard doughnut?
Both at the same time, in my mouth.
Glastonbury or Reading?
Glastonbury – all the best festivals in the world condensed into one!
Christmas or Birthdays?
Peanut butter, smooth or crunchy?
Pancakes or Waffles?
Both at the same time, in my mouth.
X-Factor or Strictly?
I’m sure they’re both lovely people, but I haven’t met them yet.
Kebab or Pizza?
Acoustic or Electric?
Snowboarding or Sunbathing?
Winter or Summer?
Summer – festival season!
Tattoos or Piercings?
God or Google?
Google’s more convenient and much less needy.
We'd like to thank Ned for taking the time out of his busy schedule to sit and answer our questions and we wish him every success for the future. Please spare a few minutes taking a look through his website and other social media thingies, all the links are below, just point and click!
Interview by Steve Muscutt