Nomden, you say? Chances are you’ve never heard of him, despite the fact that he has played at festivals like Pinkpop, Lowlands, The Great Escape, SXSW and NXNE. That’s because he’s mainly served as a wingman to others. Nomden is Dutch singer-songwriter Diederik Nomden.
I’ve been following Nomden’s career for the past 20 years, after seeing him live with his band Redivider in some bar located in the Red Light District of Amsterdam around 2000. Nomden came a long way since. Nowadays he’s selling out the biggest venues with The Analogues and is touring the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and England. And if you haven’t heard of The Analogues, you’re definitely missing out. They are one of the best Beatles tribute bands, who recreate the albums the Beatles never played live. I suggest you watch this video of ‘A Day in the Life’. But back to Nomden…
Are the Beatles also the reason you picked up (bass)guitar and started singing?
“Yes, you could certainly say that. I already played piano from a young age and when I was 16 I picked up guitar, mainly with the purpose of learning to play ‘Blackbird‘. So I literally practiced ’til my fingers bled. Bass guitar came in a little while later, also inspired by McCartney’s brilliant bass lines on (mainly) Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road.”
In March 2019 you released your album ‘Wingman Returns’ which was very well received by critics. This album will be re-released with new mixes in spring. You’ve already given us a preview with ‘Carolina‘. What made you decide on a re-release and what can we expect?
“Well, when I released it in 2019, I had to do everything on my own terms, because there was no budget. So I didn’t do a lot of promotion, only some live radio stuff. Due to my work with The Analogues and Her Majesty there was no time to play live. And apart from that, I didn’t even have a booking agent. In spite of the lack of promotion it still sold around 800 copies, so that was okay – especially for these times. You virtually have no chance of making an impact on Spotify when there is no one to ‘plug’ you there. Then I came into contact with Tom Pearce, who has worked with Elton John, Eric Clapton and George Harrison, to name but a few. And he said it was a real pity nothing happened with the album. He suggested he’d remix the album, which he did. I added some parts here and there, but nothing spectacularly different from the original. ‘Wingman Returns Revisited’ is going to be released through To Be Frank Records (label for independent artists, ed.) now, so let’s see what happens.”
Will you be releasing more singles from the album?
“There will be at least one more single, ‘Swim Ashore’, which is a accompanied by a video as well.”
The video to ‘Swim Ashore‘ can be found on YouTube. When can we expect a release on Spotify?
“Very soon, probably in the next few days.”
What can you tell me about ‘Swim Ashore’?
“I wrote ‘Swim Ashore’ for a young girl, who was in the midst of still being a child and growing up to be a young adult. She had difficulties conveying her inner feelings, and she tried to shield herself from the outside world and its harshness by building a wall around her, and display no warm emotions any more, in spite of her sweet nature. But in doing so, she got stuck and almost drowned in her act.”
‘Wingman Returns’ wasn’t your debut album. You’ve released your first solo album under the name Royal Parks in 2012. Your song ‘She‘ from that album is still one of my favourites. Why did you change your name to Nomden for your second release?
“When I came up with the idea to release a solo album, I chose the name Royal Parks, which I’d seen on the litter containers in Regent’s Park in London. I had a rhythm section working on that album, so I chose a name that could be a ‘band’ name. Maybe I was too modest to use my own surname? I don’t know.”
You’ve told me you’re also working on a successor for ‘Wingman Returns’. What can we expect from your third album and when can we expect the release?
“It will be named ‘Parallel Universe’, and you could see it as a sibling to ‘Wingman Returns’, I guess. Emphasis will be on classic tunes with roots in the 70s westcoast-songwriting, lots of melody, harmony and, of course, strings! I hope it will be ready in September.”
You are inspired by bands from the 60s and 70s. What do you consider the best 3 albums from those eras?
“You could ask me anytime and the choice could be different. But at this moment I’d say definitely ‘Abbey Road‘ – Beatles and ‘Wish You Were Here‘ – Pink Floyd. The third would be something like ‘The White Album‘, or ‘Déjà Vu‘, or ‘After the Gold Rush‘ by Neil Young, or something like that.”
Are there any songs you wish you’d written yourself?
“Song I’d wish I’d written: ‘Wichita Lineman‘ by Jimmy Webb, sung by Glen Campbell. That has it all: melody, arrangement, melancholy.”
What are you most proud of to date?
“Well, I don’t really take pride in ‘achievements’, so to speak, because after 25 years I know a lot of “success” has to do with luck on certain decisive moments. People tend to see their achievements as logical result of their hard work, so they think they are entitled to their success and find it hard to see the part of it that lies out of their control. But you always have to realise there are loads, millions of people, that, in spite of working their asses off, never get to enjoy success. I think success consists of at least 25% sheer luck. You never ‘deserve’ it. That is a load of crap, as far as I’m concerned.”
“So in short, if I have to name something that I’m proud off, I’d have to say that I managed to raise two wonderful human beings, who came out quite friendly and balanced. But that too has an element of luck in it.”
What’s your favourite song in the Cool Top 20?
“I couldn’t possible pick one…”
What song would you like to add as a bonus track to our chart and why?
“Does it have to be a recent release? I only know songs from before 1972. (laughs) I’ll pick ‘Roscoe‘ by Midlake. Is that recent enough for you?”
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