‘No one is ready for 2021’ – Nixer aim for fame despite pandemic

The ‘New Wave’ Irish band talk to The Liberty about future plans and how the pandemic inspired them

Seán Keenan and Gearóid Peggs of Nixer. Credit: Nicholas O’Connell 

Nixer is a duo consisting of Seán Keenan and Gearóid Peggs. With their fusion of guitar, vocals, and synths, Nixer are said to be involved in a new genre known as the “Eire wave”.  

Formed  in April 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic, they have shocked everyone – including themselves – with their success.

The pair have received backing from radio stations such as NTS Radio, RTE 2fm, FOURFOURMAGAZINE and  GoldenPlec amongst others.  

“WOOOOOOW, I feel like I’ve just completely been smacked in the face. Yeah this is sick, I like it! There’s something really anxious about it, like you know you’re on a dance floor and somebody has whispered in your ear that somebody on the dance floor is gonna hit you. You’re still having a good time but you’re just waiting for it. Yeah, that one’s a banger” – On Magnolia Mouth. 

-Phil Taggart, BBC Radio 1 

 But how did this all begin? 

It was during a typical catchup between two friends in the humble confinement of their bedrooms, in London (Keenan) and Dublin (Peggs), that the idea of Nixer was born.

When we interviewed them by e-mail, they told us all about it.   

“It was literally a twenty minute conversation between the pair of us on Instagram,” Keenan said. “We both decided to give making a tune together a whack and collaborate online. It was something neither of us had ever done before, but it was really exciting at the time.”

Undeterred by Keenan residing in London and Peggs living in Dublin, the duo faced very few obstacles in terms of their growth amidst the pandemic. 

“Being separated by the Irish Sea seems like an obvious difficulty, but we both really made it work,” Keenan said.  

“Our chemistry and ability to collaborate made it go pretty swimmingly. The only hurdle that ever popped up was the odd communication difficulty here and there – like when there was something one of us was trying to point out, and it was impossible to explain over video calls,” he continued.  

With their music produced solely from behind the four walls of their bedrooms, they are looking forward to being able to begin production in a studio once Covid-19 restrictions ease. 

 “The biggest inspiration for Nixer has definitely been the pandemic. Although we absolutely despise talking about it, it’s silly to ignore it,” they confessed.  

“It definitely makes the thought of getting into the studio together very exciting,” said Peggs.   

Nixer has four singles under their belt.

Their first, ‘Your Days Are Over’ was released last June. Since then, the punchy single ‘Magnolia Mouth’ dropped and featured on the Spotify playlist ‘New Irish Music’, being described as a “modern cross of Joy Division and Human League”.  

Artwork by John Fleming 

The pair finally got together in person in October, shortly before the release of their single ‘True Romance’. They began shooting the music video for this single.

“Funnily enough, this was the first day we ever saw each other face to face since the Nixer project started”   

“Our music was made remotely because of the distances. We collaborated over phone calls, texts and e-mails. Seán was home in October for two weeks to visit his family. The first moment we had, we decided to shoot a music video for our next single,” Peggs said.

“Funnily enough, this was the first day we ever saw each other face to face since the Nixer project started!”

They expressed their excitement of the video shoot and how the video was pieced together. 

“It was an amazing day out and one we will remember forever. Seeing each other was definitely the best part of the shoot! We invited a number of friends down to help us out on the shoot day because we had a dance scene choreographed that we needed bodies for!” they said in a joint email.

“Afterwards we all walked to Leo Burdocks in Howth to get chips and it was a really nice moment. Everyone was on such a high and it was really great to share the Nixer buzz with a group of people for the first time, rather than just the two of us over phone calls.” 

‘True romance’ video shoot. October 2020 

Check out Nixer’s ‘True Romance” music video below.

In regards to their sound, the pair are a well-oiled machine when it comes to their inspirations and creating music. 

“Our music is upbeat and dancey, but a lot of the tracks are pretty existential and that’s definitely because we are all constantly in and out of Lockdown”

On the topic of inspirations they explained, “It’s hard to say that any particular artist is inspirational for the project but we share a mutual love for certain acts at the moment like Molchat Doma, Boy Harsher and Fontaines D.C. We talk about their music lots.”

“Our music is upbeat and dancey, but a lot of the tracks are pretty existential and that’s definitely because we are all constantly in and out of Lockdown.”

Their first release of 2021 was the single ‘Relax’. Its reception has made the pair more confident and excited for what is coming up next.

“The ‘Relax’ release has created a buzz and a lot of great things have come from it,” Keenan said. “Starting 2021 off with a bang! Signing up with Blowtorch Records is definitely the most notable of the lot.”

The release of this track is only the beginning of what to expect from Nixer in 2021.  

“We still have the music video and a run of ‘Relax’ prints to share with everyone, so the ‘Relax’ release is still very much alive and kicking,” Keenan continued.

‘Relax’ artwork by @anotherpoxysarah

But what’s next for these two? 

“To grow in these current times, it’s definitely important to adapt and to give fans content they can engage with. Our next big step in order to grow is to make a huge effort on the visual side of our music: music videos, merchandise, social media content, and great artwork,” they explained. 

“We already put our best foot forward with this in mind. But if bands aren’t doing that right now, it’s definitely easy to be left behind with no live shows to rely on,”  they noted.

Nixer’s new single ‘Gentrification’ will be released this month, as they start on their new Long Play or record.

Follow Nixer on Twitter below.

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