Glasglow-based multi-instrumentalist Aidan Kelly Aka Blue Nicotine reveals a new powerful and anthemic '80s tinged single "1982."
Many artists often start with the intent of being in a band but those dreams are often never come to fruition. After things not working with a previous band, Aidan Kelly began to extend his energies into other opportunities within his music career.
“With “1982“ it was important to me for it to give off that classic 80’s vibe with the guitars drowned in chorus and a large reverb drum sound but still have that contemporary rock sound! I’d say “1982 “ mainly takes influence from The 1975 and the U2 sides of my brain. Both bands’ songs always sound huge without overcrowding each instrument which I have always loved.”
After writing songs and melodies, the multi-instrumentalist started his solo alternative rock project Blue Nicotine in 2019. While the solo artist had never been center stage before, Kelly learned sometimes you don't need all the bells and whistles of a band to shine. Sometimes through drive, inspiration, and hard work, all you need is yourself. The Glasgow artist would use that energy to put out high-octane single "Placebo Effect."
It was clear that the Blue Nicotine had a knack for producing anthemic gems that only stayed with you, but delivered a deeply engrossing soundscape unlike no other. Now the multi-talented instrumentalist is back with another '80s tinged single "1982." Soaked with a gorgeous barrage of melodic guitar riffs, dissonant vocal harmonies, powerful percussive cadence, and open arena-ready presence, "1982" is bound to be a favorite in the alternative rock scene. Aidan Kelly is one of many who prove that you can make it as a solo artist, you just have to be brave enough to take that first step forward.
What influenced Blue Nicotine?
Aidan: I think the main thing that influenced Blue Nicotine was myself. I was taking a break from being in bands and starting to focus on what direction I wanted to take my music career in. After my previous band parted ways, I gathered my thoughts and songs and just continued writing by myself for myself with no real thought process around it, however, I knew that I needed a fresh start. Every time I played guitar, I would write a brand new song or melody. There were and still are ideas floating around 24/7 in my mind.
Before I knew it, I had completed my debut single, “Placebo Effect,” and my next single, “Cinder”. I had never been a frontman before, but I felt that now was my time to try and make that happen, so I learned how to sing better, take care of my voice, and most importantly, how to sing and play guitar at the same time! I quickly had everything set and could visualize what this could all be! I continued to record the songs, and then finally, I came up with the name Blue Nicotine, which fitted perfectly. Every song of mine reminds me of specific colors. However, seeing as my debut single “ Placebo Effect “ was going to be the first song I wanted to release, it felt right to go with the color that “ Placebo Effect “ reminded me of, which was Blue. Nicotine represents my addiction and love for writing and playing music.
What are your musical influences? Your latest single, "1982," encompasses a nice mix of nostalgic 80's rock painted with this candy-sweet guitar tones and anthemic atmosphere intertwined. I realize that's a bit to unpack, but we have time, haha.
Aidan: I can usually talk for all of Scotland so time is something I lose track of easily when chatting haha.
My musical influences range quite a bit, however, the main ones that always stick are Guns ‘N’ Roses which are my all-time favorite band, Biffy Clyro, Foo Fighters, The 1975, and U2. In terms of guitarists, Slash and Gary Moore are my top two. They are the guitarists who I have taken the most influence and motivation from. With “1982“ it was important to me for it to give off that classic 80’s vibe with the guitars drowned in chorus and a large reverb drum sound but still have that contemporary rock sound! I’d say “1982 “ mainly takes influence from The 1975 and the U2 sides of my brain. Both bands’ songs always sound huge without overcrowding each instrument which I have always loved.
What does "1982" mean to you lyrically? Can we dive into that a bit?
Aidan: Absolutely! “1982” was written about my wonderful parents. The lyrics are written as a thank you to them for their constant support and to show appreciation for them. I am very fortunate to have a fantastic relationship with both of my parents and I hate the thought of ever feeling as if I took that for granted. So what better way to thank them for being them for me than to write a song about them! The track was named “1982” as they met back in 1982, so I wanted to capture that vibe of the song almost as if was “1982.” As if it was an actual track out in the ’80s!
How was the creative process for you and this single?
Aidan: The creative process for this single was fairly straightforward as I knew exactly what I wanted from the track. The main guitar riff that starts “1982” off was actually written when I was just 14 years old and it stuck with me from then until now. I could never quite find the perfect placement for it in a song until the chorus of “1982” was written. It was like a light bulb moment and I instantly thought… YES… that’s it! I popped the 14-year-old me guitar riff at the beginning and “1982” was born and completed on the same day. I am very proud of this song.
I know there is a series of live dates for 2022 in the works for you and a debut EP in the works. When can we expect that and how has that been going for you?
Aidan: It has been going strong thank you! It is all still in the demo stages, for now, I feel it is important not to rush it and have each song exactly how I want it. However, I will be hitting the studio soon around May, to start laying down tracks. I would love for the EP to be out for around July/August time which I reckon is entirely doable, I can’t wait for you all to hear the new music! The new songs represent the direction Blue Nicotine is going in very well.