The tricks, the trade and all things from go to woah. We caught up with Northeast House Party and all the greatness that is their latest album, ‘Any Given Weekend’. Read it and weep.
Congrats on the new album, it really is killer from go to woah! I imagine it’s simple, but what sort of a mission statement does a band of your ilk enter the studio with?
Thank you. It’s an unspoken mission statement, but I think it’s clearly understood by all members. We wanted to create something true to ourselves and have good time doing it. You can’t predict what the result of our efforts will be, and it’s fruitless trying to cater to what you imagine someone wants to hear. With that approach no matter how the album is received, we come out the other side in a good place. Something I’ll often ask myself is ‘would I listen to that?’. The chances are if we like it, someone else will.
There are few sonic references apparent on the album and you obviously dig Bloc Party, but you manage quite an original output – who would you quietly say your influences are and why?
I have bought two Bloc Party songs – Postive Tension and Ratchet. Both are brilliant and I love the production. I reference them while mixing often. Outside of that I think only Sean listen’s to Bloc Party and they have never actually been a conscious influence on him. Being compared to Bloc Party is an honour, but it’s funny because – at least consciously – they are a very minor influence.
We definitely took lessons from LCD Sound System, Arctic Monkeys ,Flaming Lips, Quees Of The Stone Age and Talking Heads.
As a song writer I think you will always be unconsciously influenced by music that you heard growing up. I think the music you hear as a young teenager shapes the way you see and interpret all music that follows. A few bands that come to mind that probably explain our sound are MGMT, Gorillaz and Nirvana.
What kind of challenges were you confronted with when making this album?
We really had to figure out who we were as a band. The band was getting airplay before we had 4 songs written. From my experience, many bands have a few years playing and writing and developing before they come into the public spectrum. We kind of had to do that while writing this album. Playing live really helped us figure out what we enjoy, and what works best.
It can be difficult recording your own band, with no third party to give perspective. So often I we would leave a song alone for a month so we could come back to it with fresh ears and hear it as our audience would, not as a band member. It really made the process drag out – but It also worked well. Playing songs to the label, manager and friends can also help this.
For a party band, your lyrics certainly are captivating – what would you call your deepest lyrical content on show here and what’s it about?
I can’t speak on behalf of Zach, who comes up with most of the core ideas. The Haunted comes from somewhere sacred for Zach, but it’s pretty hard to make any real philosophical statements with two verses and a chorus with one line. That song is broadly about the human condition – which is no small subject. You And I – a song about trying to hold a relationship together – is something that humankind has probably been struggling with since we starting bumping uglies.
I guess it could be pretty easy to pigeonhole yourself with a name like Northeast Party House, where else can you take this sound of yours in the future, do you think?
We can take it anywhere we want. When I think of bands I like, I never actually think about the literal meaning of the name. For example, I never think of pumpkins being smashed when I read ‘Smashing Pumpkins’. I think of beautiful bittersweet melodies with fuzz riffs and Siamese twins. The Killers – thats a name I would normally associate with heavy metal, or a Japanese gangster movie, but whenever I hear that I think of an ‘indie’ rock band, who also dabbled in alt pop electro songs. Eagles of Death Metal etc.
Whose career would you like yours to resemble the most? No ripping off, just resembling…..
A band that has had a long and varied career, and are still all friends. Radiohead are a band that have always made music true to themselves, I think they have stayed relevant, and it appears they love making and performing music. Their popularity and success is a by product of that. I’m pretty sure they are all friends. It seems they are making a positive impact on the world. I don’t own any Radiohead albums.
What would you consider the most challenging part of your career so far?
Staying confident in the face of adversity. Stopping your mind from asking ‘what if this all falls apart’. You can’t be in a band 30% – it’s all in and no looking back, which is why it’s so important to enjoy each step.
And on the road… do you cats play nice together in the tour van?
Mostly. It ranges from total calm, sophisticated adult discussions to totally immature insanity. We have had to pull over many times to let things settle. We have some great videos involving Lui Kang style fly kicks. Put any group of people in a confined space for a while and shit gets weird. It can be amazing fun, and it can suck.
And finally, what’s next? In reality and ideally?
Keep touring, Write another album and get ourselves and the music overseas.