The Blizzards were one of Irelandâs biggest rock ânâ roll deals, but that didnât stop their guitarist and singer Niall Breslin deciding in January 2010 that he needed a new challenge.
âWe had six amazing years together,â he reflects. âThe gigs, the fans, the other guys in the bandâŚ it was all brilliant, but Iâve always found myself being embraced by all genre directions. Not only as a writer and a performer, but as a producer too; Iâm fascinated by every part of the music-making process.â He has managed to combine both musical genres to glorious effect as can be heard on his debut solo single, âCanât Stay Young (Forever)â. A big-chorused synth-pop anthem that screams âSummer!â
âThe track was 95% finished, but I couldnât for the life of me think of a title until I was sitting there nervously waiting to get tattooed. The guy said, âAre you sure you want to go through with this?â and I went, âWell, you canât stay young forever!â Itâs the perfect summing up of what the songâs about, which is âthat Iâm not 19 and in college anymore. Thereâs some serious stuff I need to be doing and achieving in my life.â
Bressieâs growing maturity as a songwriter is underlined by lyrics like, âIn the sand I made wagers/Grabbed my chance and crossed that line/Iâve took risks and suffered failures/But 10 years later the stars alignâ, which reflect on everything thatâs happened to him over the past decade of his life.
âCanât Stay Young (Forever)â is the first taster from an as-yet-untitled album that follows in the Summer, and finds Bressie sharing the workload with Jimbo Barry. Together theyâve allied themselves to Simon Fullerâs 19 Entertainment ,whose managerial stable also includes such household names as Jordin Sparks, Adam Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. It was Fuller & Co. that arranged for him to hook up in Brighton with Gomez singer, guitar and keys man Tom Gray.
âWe were supposed to be doing some writing for Olly Murs,â Bressie smiles, âbut that quickly got knocked on the head, and instead we came up with a really beautiful acoustic song called âPlease Donât Break My Android Heartâ, which is going to be on the album.â
Wanting a particular â80s synth sound reminiscent of the days of his youth, Bressie booked into Sphere, the studio where Duran Duran assembled most of their new romantic-era classics. Itâs the same meticulous attention to detail youâd get from his production heroes Phil Spector, Dr. Luke, Max Martin and Paul Epworth. âOne of the things I promised myself making this album was, âno half measuresâ. What a song needs, it gets â even if it drives your management and record company crazy!â
Something, which he hasnât done much of these past couple of years, and canât wait to get back to, is playing live. âI donât know whether itâs a subconscious pining for home, but even though I put together my band in London most of them are Irish,â Bressie laughs.
âI love doing my mad scientist routine in the studio, but live in front of an audience is still what itâs all about. Weâve got a show coming up in Whelanâs at the end of June which, although the nerves will be jangling, I absolutely canât wait for!â
There will be a lot of people delighted to have him back.