Next Of Kin

Next Of Kin

Next Of Kin are the band from Essex who brought the X Factor judges and the nation to a standing ovation with their performance of 'Can't Find Me', the track they wrote alongside their mum.

Since appearing on the X Factor, the 3 brothers have worked on tracks in California and now they are recording with Gary Barlow's producer.

We caught up with the lovely Nathan Bass to chat to him about what the band have been upto since their audition on the show, their future plans and reflected back on their career.


What have you been upto since appearing on the X Factor?

Well we have been really busy up and down the country doing live radio where you sing and play, turning on a lot of the Christmas lights and been doing lots of interviews and we have also been recording the single 'Can't Find Me' (X Factor audition song) with Gary Barlow's Producer which is quite cool.

Lets just keep charging forward and hopefully one day it might just pay off, all we need is one break.

You had over half a million views on your X Factor audition, what did that feel like?

We didn't expect such an amazing reaction really from a song that we had written 10 years before. We wrote it as we came off our last child hood experience so, our mum had written the lyrics and we put some music to it and kind of left it on the shelf really. I don't know why we picked it to go on there at all but we just thought we would sing it, do it and then Nicole crying and then we got a standing ovation and all those views, it was kind of a ready made hit for us just sitting on the shelf, we should have used it years ago!

You said your mum wrote the lyrics to 'Can't Find Me' and you came up with the music alongside her, what was the inspiration behind it?

I guess, with us being quite young it came from mum I would say, in her life her dad passed away when she was young and her brother died sadly month later. I guess the song is about love and just anyone, your loved ones, your wife, your husband you can kind of fit the song in any form, 'I can't find me without you' we kind of need each other to work, it comes from her mind.

How does it feel to have had such a positive response to the band?

From before when we were kids, it was always really positive because me and the boys would just go round and talk to everyone we were really polite to everyone. We just wanted to have fun and talk to everyone and then growing up and doing what have always been able to do, us just being ourselves and it is nice to see that people are accepting us and it makes it all worth while.

Lets go back a little bit - how did you form as a band?

It was '96 and none of us played instruments and none of us really cared about music whatsoever but Mark basically wanted a guitar just because he thought it looked delicious *laughs* it's weird but he was just a kid wasn't he? So dad bought him a cheap little guitar just because he thought it was another one of his fads and found that he could play a few weeks later. He took him to a guitar teacher and within 5-6 weeks of playing this guitar teacher said why don't you put him in for Guitarist of the Year, he's probably good enough to do it. If you think of XFactor, it was like a Guitarist of the Year Xfactor. Judges like Eric Clapton, Brian May, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani massive famous guitarists who would sit there and judge you on your performance and out of 4,000 people he won it, he was 11 years old and he won the competiton and so from there it generated a lot of interest from management and people like that. This one guy saw us he said 'you're brothers, you need to start singing or doing something' and I remember all of us saying singing is for girls we don't do that, we just play our intstruments and rock out and he said 'no if you want to be famous you've got to sing' so we just started messing around with that and it happened so quickly. Within a matter of weeks of winning that show we had a record deal with Universal and we were making videos, we were making music, we were doing photoshoots and school was no more, we had no time for school all of a sudden, it just happened really quickly.

When you had your first record deal, you had the chance to play the Smash Hits Tour back in 1998 with Britney Spears and supported Boyzone on their tour in 1999 - what was that like?

As children you are supposed to be in school and you don't really know what it is you're doing really because it's so odd. The screaming girls, it's quite overwhelming but it was fun at the same time it was really fun. Obviously Britney wasn't famous, we all started off together so we didn't really look at her in awe at the time, she had her huge hit 'Hit Me Baby One More Time' and she was literally famous over night and we were like oh my god we were just on tour with her. Same again with Boyzone, we actually listened to their records a couple of years before that, our mum would buy them and we would sit in the car and listen to them. They were famous faces, they were really nice lads and they really supported us and would look out for us whilst we were on the road together.

Unfortunately you were dropped by your first record label, what challenges did you have to face during that time?

It was sad really, a lot of people think we were dropped by the label, Universal didn't actually drop us, it was the manager. He didn't really know the industry too much but because he had shares in the company and shares in us, to cut a long story short, when he saw it all collapsing and all the labels were merging together he said he didn't think anyone was going to survive this and so that resulted in our mum and dad losing the house and it left me and the boys with literally 10's of thousand of pounds each, tax bills. It was money we had but never recieved and it was a massive car crash for us and we never really recovered from anything like that really, we still haven't really I'll be honest with you, we are still struggling now. Mum and dad are in rented accomodation due to losing another house because the thing with music is that you are always trying to find your big break or you're trying to find a manager who can lead you in the door or you might get a record deal and then they dissolve and it just goes on and on. You don't ever work properly, me and the boys could be electricians, I could be a carpet fitter and we could earn a steady wage but because so many people believe in us we keep going with the music and we are so close to doing something. 

Next Of Kin brothers Nathan, Kieran, Mark

What is it like working alongside your brothers and do you give each other support to stay positive?

I think, if we would have been friends in this, it would have ended a long time ago. I think being brothers you're all feeling the same thing and you're in it for the same reason and you can't really get away from it. Obviously, brothers and any family, you have your little squabbles but it's easily fixed. It is good as a family because we all share the same ideas and thoughts and we're all on the same page.

You have recorded in the US, how would you describe the album and what sounds can we expect to hear?

It's not really an album as such it's a bunch of tracks that we did with Stephen Dorff in LA so we have done a load of tracks over there and now we're working with Gary's producer and we're working on what the best sound is and what the best songs are so that go into one big pot and then we can decide what the album is. The tracks that we did in America are very 'Brian Adams' you know, with big drum sounds, big acoustics, loads of harmonies and really catchy adult contemporary pop music - think One Direction but maybe 5 years older.

Finally, do you have anything else in the pipeline that you would like to share?

We have a gig on the 21st December in Braintree and we are trying to tell people we are playing there, that's not out there enough because we have been so busy we haven't had much time to promote it. It's at the Braintree Arts Theatre at Notley High School. People can get tickets through the arts theatre at Braintree or through Pledge Music.

Next Of Kin will be playing at 19:30 on Saturday 21st December at Braintree Arts Theatre - tickets cost £20

By Natasha Akpan for Female First