Nightly on Creative Processes, Touring, and Future Releases (Interview + Gallery in Pittsburgh 3/21/19)

Who or what is your biggest influence as a band?

Joey: That’s a tough one. I think collectively we probably have similar ones, but independently we have different ones. Like for me its U2, but for the band, Coldplay is definitely a huge influence for the three of us.

Jon: Definitely. The Killers, Bruce Springsteen, Tommy P and the Heartbreakers...

Nick: Weezer, but only for me. No one else in this band likes Weezer.

Joey: Hey I don’t dislike Weezer, I just don’t love them as much as you do. 

Which EP is your favorite: Honest or The Sound of Your Voice?

Joey: That’s like asking which one of your kids do you like more.

Nick: Always the first one.

Joey: *laughs* Dang it, dude.

Jon: I’m gonna say I have a song I liked better on Sound of Your Voice, but as an EP, I’ve got a soft spot for Honest--

Joey: The OG.

Jon: Yeah.

Where did the name Nightly come from?

Jon: Daily was taken. No, I’m kidding. The first song we wrote was this song called “The Night,” which isn’t out or anything, but we were just trying to think of stuff that had to do with night, as far as names, because of that song. We thought of the phrase “night love you” and so we were thinking about that and then we shortened it to “Night L Y” so “Nightly.” So yeah, that's a little hidden gem there. 

Both of you [Joey and Jon] were a part of a previous project: Dinner and a Suit. Both Dinner and a Suit and Nightly seem to have pretty distinct sounds. How was Nightly formed and how did you find your sound, so to speak?
Jon: We’ve been in lots of bands, actually, even just throughout high school. I think it mostly just came down to [how] each time was a different group of people, and that’s what made each project sound unique. The three of us, we just make songs that we love. Like in high school you just sorta play the stuff you listen to, which was just like some kind of a terrible garage band. As we’ve gotten better, things have gotten more refined and now it's just trying to write stuff that we like to play, and I think that’s probably the main difference.

I can remember a time when Nightly was a couple of singles and a couple of fans. What do you think the key is to gaining a following and making it in the music industry, at least from your own experience?

Joey: That’s a really tough question, but I think sincerity is a huge thing, and all our music comes from a real place and a real life experience and that’s a huge factor. There’s so much music available to people that people will only latch onto real things. We’re fortunate to be in a position to be able to do that.

Nick: I think its also that we make music that we like to listen to, and I think that fans recognize that. We’re not just a pop concept, like “oh let’s just make a catchy song so that everybody buys it and we’re famous.” We make music that we like and just hope that fans like it...

Jon: And if not, we’ll just go back to playing in our parent's basement.

Joey: You’re right, there’s always that. 

What’s been your favorite part about your first headliner so far?
Jon: I don’t know, it’s all been a lot of fun. It’s just been cool to finally do this. After you’ve opened for a couple of years like we have, just meeting your fans and them being there to see you. Hearing the fans sing the songs back is probably my favorite. 

Can we expect a full album anytime soon?

Jon: Hmm, I don’t know.

Joey: That’s a question way above our paygrade. We have recorded a bunch more music, like 8 or 9 songs that we’ll be releasing at some point. We would love to do an album, we just don’t know when that’ll happen. 

If you had to pick a favorite show you’ve ever played, what show would it be?

Joey: Our favorite show of all time? That’s a tough one.

Nick: I have two favorite shows. One was at the armory at Minneapolis last fall with NF. Mainly because it was like the biggest show we’ve ever played and the venue was great and the energy of the crowd as well. It was something kind of surreal for us...

Jon: Like 6,000 people or something there.

Nick: Yeah. And then for me, probably this past Atlanta show on our headlining tour, just because it was just such a crazy day, and the show just capped off the whole day in a positive way.

Jon: Everything went wrong that could go wrong before the show. The venue was super small and there was an early show that ran late, we were having technical difficulties and we had to rent a sound system, and just everything went wrong. But then the show was just bonkers. It was really fun. Honestly, I’d say half the shows on this headliner have been like that. Even just playing to 300 of our fans is way sicker than 5,000 people who might not know you. 

What's your creative process?
Jon: Three hours of yoga, you know, align yourself with the universe.

Joey: Two bowls of cinnamon toast crunch.

Jon: With almond milk.

Joey: Almond milk? Ugh.

Nick: An hour of video games. And a twenty-minute nap.

Jon: Wake up and write a hit within five minutes.

Joey: A rack of red bulls and some peanut butter filled pretzels and then call it a day.

Jon: Actually though, I’m constantly writing stuff on my phone, little notes of lyrics or recording a little voice memo, and then when we get a free second we record it. It’s also different on and off the road. In the past, we’ve maybe been able to write a little more on the road, but this tour has just been super busy. When we’re home, I write pretty much every day, at least 5 or 6 days a week. We usually get together and best case scenario one of us has an idea, sometimes Joe will come up with a few chord progressions or I’ll come in with some lyrics and we just sorta jam out in his basement, and that’s pretty much it. 

What drew you to create music?

Joey: I’m just terrible at literally everything else, and I really enjoy doing it. It’s the only thing I’ve ever really been good at, and I was willing to give up whatever to be able to do it at the time.

Jon: I just discovered it was a way to express myself. I was a pretty quiet kid, and it was some release for me. I wrote my first song when I was 15 or 16 when my grandfather died, and I just kind of discovered that you could write songs.
Nick: I don’t have an answer really. I don’t know why. In high school, I wasn’t like a jock or a nerd; I wasn’t like an art guy, I was just in the middle, and I just veered off to play music for some reason, I don’t know why...

Joey: Had to pick a path eventually.

Nick: Yeah, and also my guidance counselor told me not to play music, so that might be why: just to rebel against him. He was balding and I didn't want to be what he was.

Jon: Here you are with a thick head of hair.

Joey: [laughing] “Why do you play the drums?" Because a bald guy told me not to.


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