Propelled into the public eye thanks to their Instagram video for “Hold Up Girl,” NGHBRS plans to bring their energetic Rock & Roll show to SXSW 2014. Hailing from Long Island, these rockers boast a sound that is both punchy, smooth, and melodic. We got the chance to talk with Ian Kenny of NGHBRS about their iconic Instagram video, their 2013 album, Twenty One Rooms, and their beef with vowels.
VM: It seems like you guys have blown up overnight. Does it seem that way to you?
Ian Kenny: Haha, it definitely does not seem that way to us. We have been working hard for about four years and counting, and have endless goals as a band, but we are insanely grateful, and will always be, for our current successes.
VM: What made you guys decide to go with the Instagram medium for your “Hold Up Girl” video?
IK: We wanted to do something completely out of the box and share-worthy. Instagram is a great platform for being creative and unique, and it is built on the idea of sharing. So, with that being so readily available, it was easy to conceptualize the video. The hard part was actually doing all of the work.
VM: You guys basically posted the coolest selfie ever. How does it feel to be the Kings of Instagram Rock & Roll?
IK: It feels great to have our mark on the rock, social media duo. We could not be more proud of our release.
VM: Ever had any good app ideas? I promise I won’t Zuckerberg you…
IK: Haha, we actually have a running app idea list on our white board in our practice studio. One of our favorites is Find-A-Sh*tter (Yelp for public bathrooms), We were pretty stoked on that one – would be great for touring bands.
VM: I saw on FUSE that you guys recorded Twenty One Rooms in an old mansion that William Cullen Bryant (the late American poet and journalist) used to live in. How do you feel like that environment helped shape the record’s sound?
IK: The mansion was the life force of Twenty One Rooms, and I believe it would sound completely different recorded anywhere else. We had such a beautiful and life changing experience living in that house and on those grounds, it was definitely the fifth member of the band on that record.
VM: Do you have a favorite song from the album? Favorite to play live?
IK: Twenty One Rooms is both my favorite song on the record and to play live. It is such a vibey tune, and I believe it says a lot about the barebones of the NGHBRS sound. Emotively, it really transports me to a special place every time were playing the bridge.
VM: The album has a really pure Rock & Roll sound. Who in the band is the most Rock & Roll?
IK: One hundred percent Tommy Fleischmann is the most Rock & Roll NGHBRS member. The dude has so much talent, has not let technology dilute his brain, and sometimes he wears cut off sleeve shirts. That’s ROCK.
VM: You guys are from Long Island. Do you feel like New York has influenced you as musicians; if so, how?
IK: Completely; living so close to a melting pot of music and the most toured-through city in the world has given us the chance to see so many incredible bands live. As well as growing up in such a historically praised place for alternative music, like Long Island, really has shaped our sound and influences.
VM: If you could play a show with any rock band past or present, who would it be?
IK: I’m going to be specific here and just say Nirvana, 1992.
VM: What did vowels ever do to you guys? Or what favors did consonants do?
IK: Vowels aren’t not for everybody; we like to trim the fat.
VM: You guys are playing at SXSW 2014. What are you most looking forward to about the festival?
IK: Just the ability to see so many awesome bands working hard and playing hard in one place is going to be awesome. We’re stoked to play four showcases and show Austin how we roll. We definitely intend on leaving our mark this year.
VM: Do you think this will be the coolest place you’ve yet to play? Or do you have a particular venue from the past that holds the number one spot in your hearts?
IK: I’d say nothing really beats playing Irving Plaza. We played to a sold out room, and it was our seventh show as a band. In the moment, we knew we were doing something special.
VM: Any chance there will be a Twitter-themed sequel to “Hold Up Girl?”
IK: Haha, definitely not. We definitely are not going to put out the same thing twice. All I have to say is be prepared for the next one; it’s going to be insane.
TUES. MARCH 11TH –
9 PM – Third String Productions Showcase – The Aquarium – 403 E 6th St.WED. MARCH
WED. MARCH 12TH –
5PM – Red Gorilla Showcase– Bourbon Girl (The Alex And Ani Stage) – 212 E. 6TH STREETTHURS. MARCH
THURS. MARCH 13th –
5:25PM – Set.FM Showcase @ Hyde Park Bar and Grill – 4206 Duval St.
FRI. MARCH 14TH –
TBD – Charlie Says Fest @ 2336 E Cesar Chavez St.
FRI. MARCH 14th –
4:40pm – Big Picture Media Showcase @ Blind Pig Rooftop – 317 E. 6th St.
Hailing from 'The Good Life City' of Albany, Georgia, Colby Pines is the middle child of five boys. While his family is primarily comprised of men, the Pines family did have a female dog once... unfortunately she died... God bless his poor mother. When Mr. Pines was in third grade the doctors discovered that he had an extra bone in his knee. The bone did not possess any magical powers or help Colby run faster/jump higher, so the doctors surgically removed the bone and refused to let Colby keep it as a souvenir. Colby recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's degree in having cool friends and wearing great sweaters. Colby studied abroad at Oxford University's Trinity College where he was able to visit three of the four coasts, but was not able to bring back a baby with a British accent. Colby enjoys going to the movies, scotch, traveling, playing folk music with his band, BirdHead, eating good and bad food, writing, dabbling, playing Fantasy Football with his Pigskinz and Sundee Beerz League, reading a great book, and all sorts of music. While Colby has a bit of a bipolar taste in music, some of his favorite bands include: Band of Horses, Death Cab for Cutie, 2pac, Washed Out, Johnny Cash, Childish Gambino, Local Natives, The Beatles, Danny Brown, and Beach House. Colby is currently single and quite possibly ready to mingle. Colby has broken five bones, saved two children from drowning, been to Canada twice, and almost fallen into The Grand Canyon once. While he tends to miss things like Breaking Bad, eighth grade, Hey Arnold!, and Surge soda, Colby's excited for the future where he hopes to continue writing and doing the things that he loves.