Music Q&A:
Nick JD Hodgson

The former Kaiser Chief is playing a string of solo gigs including Manchester’s Deaf Institute (18 April) and Leeds Wardrobe (21 April)

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What informs your music and songwriting?
I write every day and have done since I was a teenager but the best songs come from when I’m feeling very strong emotions. That could be happiness, sadness or excitement, anger or frustration. I’ll sit at the piano or play guitar and just see what comes out. Or in the case of I Predict A Riot, for example, I’ll just be inspired by a band called Black Wire going crazy and stripping off on stage.

How have you evolved as an act over the years?
I’ve only just started playing live again and what I’ve loved the most is the direct line of communication you can have with the audience when you’re at the front. It can get a bit lonely at the back sometimes on the drums! That’s the main way in which I’ve evolved, I think – I’ve stepped out to the front.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
I’ve started writing and recording new songs for a second album or an EP – not sure yet. When I started the first solo album I was totally finding my way in the dark. I didn’t know what I was going to sound like or what I was aiming at. Now I know what I want and the songs are coming on really well – dare I say, better than the last lot!

What’s on your rider?
Nothing extravagant yet cos I’ve gone back to the start. I’d like some Hula Hoops.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
My most surreal experience is probably the most embarrassing too and it’s on YouTube somewhere. It’s in Japan live on TV and I’m on my knees playing a mad game show a bit like Mallet’s Mallet (ask your parents).

What song do you wish you’d written?
Ghost Town by The Specials because it was weird and different but also went to number one, which is amazing. Also right now I wish I’d written Somewhere In My Heart by Aztec Camera and also A Girl Like You by Edwyn Collins.

What’s your worst lyric?
It’s also the best! “What do you want for tea?… I want crisps” from Never Miss A Beat.

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