Pop-grunge artist Kevin Nichols plans to merge together impossible genres
Every Tuesday night for the past few months, flocks of angst-driven teens hang out in their leather jackets and long raggedy hair, as they ferociously head bang to live music from their favorite local musicians at Mozambique in Laguna Beach, California.
One of the regular weekly performers is Kevin Nichols, a charismatic farm boy originally from Detroit, Michigan, now grown and spending his days in Orange County, as he works to make himself known.
After living on a farm in Massachusetts for nine years of his life, Nichols and his family packed up and made their way across the country to Laguna Beach when he was merely 11 years old. For the first two years he made an effort to adjust to his new surroundings by doing his best to fit in.
“By the third year I snapped,” Nichols said. “I just decided I was going to wear all my dad’s clothes and those little stupid mountain biker sunglasses.”
Leaving his old image behind, Nichols branched out and adopted his own image and sense of self.
As he spoke of his early days, Nichols rested on the green lawn chair with a coffee cup in his hand that reads “The more I meet people, the more I love my dog,” his long tousled hair resting over his shoulders. He talks of the time when he was interested in skateboarding, but eventually lost interest even after he became more noticed because it began to feel too much like a job. Soon after his skateboarding phase, he began to take interest in the guitar, around the age of 13.
“It’s like Pop-Grunge so I just call it Prunge, cause usually people just want to hear one word.”
“As soon as I began to play guitar I would play in the band room at school, during lunch because I didn’t like being out in the open,” Nichols explained. “I started a band immediately and since then there hasn’t been anything I wanted to do other than play music.”
As soon as he begins to talk about his passion for music, the air around him changes. He begins to sit more still and his tone of voice becomes a bit more serious, unlike his usual playful and sarcastic self. While still remaining serious about the subject, Nichols goes off on a small tangent when asked about what genre his music is based around, provoking laughs and a series of snarky jokes to follow.
When he first started listening to music, he would listen to metal and punk, which then turned him to garage punk, then psychedelic punk. When he began to make his own music in his first band called “Your Ugly Sister”, it started off a garage punk, with a hint of psychedelic, but by the second album it become more of what he plays today, a grungy sound influenced by his favorite band, Nirvana.
“Now I call it Prunge,” says Nichols, jokingly “which is now my self-proclaimed genre. It’s like Pop-Grunge so I just call it Prunge, cause usually people just want to hear one word.”
Aside from his consistent jokes that are scattered throughout the entirety of the interview, Nicholas begins to talk about his future in the music industry and what plans are in the making, with the possibility of meeting with a musical director based in New York to rewrite a few of his songs together in hopes to take them to a couple music labels, his biggest interest currently being Sub Pop Records.
Since the band he started in High School called “Your Ugly Sister”, he has played in a few bands here and there, but as of recently has been working as a solo artist. He has recently come out with an album called “The Inside of My Head Is a Very Dark Purple”, finished an E.P. which has yet to be released, and is currently in the works of another album.
From the time he spent in the band room in High School, to his own small recording studio, Kevin Nicholas has carried a passion ablaze within him that he will continue to pursue until, god forbid, the day he spontaneously loses his hands in a motorcycle accident.
Image: Kevin Nichols playing live at Mozambique in Laguna Beach, California. (Willow)