Wednesday SXSW Interview: Cian Nugent

Cian Nugent

9pm, Sidewinder

Guitarist Cian Nugent uses formidable technique to paint expressive instrumental landscapes. Recorded with his band the Cosmos, 2013 breakthrough Born With the Caul blends finger-picked folk and psychedelic rock into an alternately dreamy and lively sonic storm. New LP Night Fiction showcases voice and lyrics as much as guitar.

"Being from Ireland, I wanted to sing in my own accent and not put on a voice, which took a while to get used to and not hate how it sounded," writes Nugent from his home in Dublin. "Once I got over the initial discomfort, I found I loved singing and really enjoyed making this record."

Nugent also takes inspiration from his peers in the new guitar army.

"There's a lot of great players around these days, and I feel lucky to call a number of them friends," he says. "Ryley Walker, Steve Gunn, Angel Olsen, and William Tyler are all big inspirations, and I always enjoy picking up some tricks from them. Stealing a chord, a progression, tuning, or a picking pattern can set you off on a path for a new song, and I love that excitement."

His elation extends to SXSW.

"I had a blast the last time I was at SXSW. A highlight was going to a house show with Ryley Walker that Parquet Courts put on. Ryley won the shotgunning-beer competition, and then we got really lost walking home pissed for hours."

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