Monday, May 3, 2010


Tim Nelson's the vocalist and main man of Brisbane indie pop outfit, Tim Nelson and the Cub Scouts.

Mixing with the likes of Hello Yoko, Charlie Mayfair and Cloud Control, this six piece are making serious headway within the local music scene.  The classical background of Tim Nelson is supported and enhanced by the musical stylings of his band, The Cub Scouts.

Currently featured on Triple J Unearthed and with a self-titled EP now available on iTunes, this is one band to look out for. I chatted to Tim about juggling uni with fame and why he just can't get enough of Justin Bieber.

You've recently released the debut EP for Tim Nelson and the Cub Scouts, what's the reception been like?

Tim Nelson: It's been really well received!  It's had a bit of air play and we've had a lot of positive feedback. Since we formed as a band in mid 2009, our style has really progressed and we're very happy with what we've come out of the studio with.

You come from a classical background, do you think that brings a different element to your music?

TN: Definitely. Although I often write by ear, rather than what I've been taught is technically correct, having a deeper musical understanding of what's been put together helps refine the songs.

You cite two of your influences as Sarah Blasko and Bloc Party, two very different musicians.  Which do you think you draw more from?

TN: When I'm actually writing the songs and it's just piano and vocals, the style is probably more influenced by Sarah Blasko.  But once we get together as a band, there are elements brought to the songs that I think are reminiscent of Bloc Party.

What's your favourite gig you've played so far?  You've tried your hand at playing the stage in the Queen Street Mall, what's that like?  Do you draw a crowd, or is it mainly suits walking by?

TN: My favourite gig so far has probably been the EP launch at The Troubadour. I love the atmosphere there, and the audience was incredible. Playing in the Queen Street Mall is a lot of fun. Often the suits walking past stop to watch, which is really nice. It's an opportunity for me to perform for an audience full of widely varied ages and people from all walks of life!


Tim Nelson & the Cub Scouts - new song up! | MySpace Music Videos

You also play keys and provide vocals for Hello Yoko.  What's that like?  Is there school-yard competition between the bands, like who can score more Facebook fans? At last count, Hello Yoko are 20 up... 

TN: (Laughs) No, there's no school-yard competition.  Hello Yoko and the Cub Scouts overlap quite a bit; we're all really good friends and share a few band members. I love playing in Hello Yoko! It's an honour to work with lead singer/song writer Jaimee Fryer, she's one of the most talented songwriters I know. Hello Yoko drummer, Zoe Davis, also plays bass for the Cub Scouts. It's great bouncing ideas off Zoe in both bands, she's also a really amazing musician.

Prior to your slot at Easterfest, you played at Grand Central shopping centre, and ended up signing people's t-shirts...

TN: It was pretty funny, it wasn't just little boys and girls, there were some grown men.  It felt good to know  they enjoyed my music so much they wanted me to ruin their perfectly good t-shirts! (laughs)

You're studying Dentistry at university, what are your plans for the future?  Now that your music career is really kicking off, does dentistry still hold top spot?

TN: It's something I've had to learn to balance. My passion is music, but I also find Dentistry really interesting, so I guess I'll continue doing both for now!

It seems like pop icon Justin Bieber is taking over the world.  You've linked to a few of his Youtube clips and with a cover of his single 'Baby' on the way, am I right in saying you're part of the 'We Love Bieber' camp?

TN: (laughs) Yes, I'm a big fan! Like Justin, when I was 16, my voice still hadn't broken. Some people paid me out for having a high voice, so I hate people that go on about him sounding like a girl. He's an incredible singer! All I want is an @ mention on Twitter (laughs).

Both Tim Nelson and the Cub Scouts and Hello Yoko are featured as Triple J Unearthed artists, the winner of which gets to play Splendour.  With such a great line up this year, who would you be most excited about playing with?

TN: It's hard to choose.  But my top six would probably be Grizzly Bear, Angus and Julia Stone, Operator Please, The Middle East, Washington and Boy and Bear.

Our blog focuses on music produced post 1988, with a Gen Y focus.  What's your favourite record from the past 22 years?

TN: Wow, this question is nearly impossible to answer! But if I have to name a favourite, I'll say Jeff Buckley's Grace.

You can catch Tim Nelson and the Cub Scouts at The Hive on June 19.

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