Tag: Nine Inch Nails (Page 1 of 5)

NIGHT CLUB Die Die Lullaby

From the ‘Scary World’ of 2018 to the ‘Die Die Lullaby’ of 2020, LA based duo NIGHT CLUB have put their enforced confinement in lockdown to good use and channelled their angst to produce a wonderful 35 minutes of existential dread.

Emily Kavanaugh and Mark Brooks opened their account in 2012 with a self-titled EP. The second EP ‘Love Casualty’ included their first universally great song in ‘Poisonous’. But it was their excellent third EP ‘Black Leather Heart’ in 2014 that managed to truly harness the potential of their Britney Spears meets NINE INCH NAILS template across five tracks.

Their debut full-length album ‘Requiem For Romance’ turned up their love of heavy rock to 11 but they cleverly achieved it without the use of guitars or live drums, confusion some but delighting others.

‘Scary World’ was an extension of that sound but while ‘Die Die Lullaby’ is undoubtedly a refinement of its predecessors, like with Gary Numan’s ‘Savage (Songs From A Broken World)’, the more metal elements have been turned down and in its place is a more vulnerable demeanour that emotively is no-less weighty in its attacks and observations.

Sonically, the album contains a typically NIGHT CLUB twist. Co-mixing with Brooks is Dave Rave Ogilvie, a former member of SKINNY PUPPY known for his work with NINE INCH NAILS and Marilyn Manson. But crucially, he also mixed Carly Rae Jepsen’s 2011 worldwide smash hit ‘Call Me Maybe’ so for ‘Die Die Lullaby’, NIGHT CLUB have found their perfect co-conspirator .

As they begin to ‘Go to Sleep’, ‘Die In The Disco’ sets the album off proper with a slice of throbbing HI-NRG disco, donning its hat to Giorgio Moroder and Bobby Orlando with Kavanaugh asking to “take me to a place I can dance” before a haunting request for life termination. And when an unsettling ghostly pitch-shifted voice exclaims that ”This is my party and I will die if I want to”, that die is cast.

Following on, ‘Sad Boy’ is classic NIGHT CLUB, up there with their best but more old school Goth than metal with hooks galore. ‘My Valentine’ though is heavier and here, the Kavanaugh / Brooks / Ogilvie combination achieves a fine balance of edge and pop while throwing in a few exotic flavours too.

Trapped in her own personal hell and under the spectre of IAMX’s ‘Spit It Out’, ‘Miss Negativity’ sees Kavanaugh capturing the zeitgeist, singing that “No, I don’t want to go out cos I won’t have any fun, I am sick and infected with pure pessimism…”

On ‘Gossip’, Kavanaugh tells someone to shut their dirty mouth as a chilling horror movie Theremin announces its presence. ‘Misery Go Round’ though will surprise some with its sparse but effective verse structure that gets overturned with a chorus pitch shift and vocoder ending while our heroine tells everyone that “I don’t feel so good right now”.

The haunting music box on ‘The Creepshow’ will remind some of Numan’s ‘It Will End Here’ and that’s not a bad thing, while ‘California Killed Me’ captures Kavanaugh in a cage of anxiety because ”I feel like crying” as “I’ve nowhere to run”. However, mated to all of this intensity is a mighty chorus and synth solo.

Closing with ‘Civil War’, Kavanaugh channels her existential dread, unhappy that “I’ve become someone I hate” as she battles her demons because she “can’t escape the pain in the war inside my brain”.

A slice of dark DEPECHE MODE tinged pop that says “it will be over soon”, the words are worrying but on point, echoing how many feel in this strange world that was already becoming irrational and self-destructive even before the Covid crisis.

‘Die Die Lullaby’ sees the NIGHT CLUB motto of “Keep your friends close and your enemies in your songs” being maintained, but pragmatically looks within the psyche too.

Reflecting the times the world is living in, this is uncomfortable but enjoyably cathartic. When commentators and historians look back in a few years for an audio document that captures the introspection and paranoia of 2020, then they will need to look no further than ‘Die Die Lullaby’.


‘Die Die Lullaby’ is released by Gato Blanco on 9th October 2020 as a CD, purple vinyl LP and download, pre-order from http://nightclubband.com/

https://www.facebook.com/nightclubband

https://twitter.com/nightclubband

https://www.instagram.com/nightclubband/

https://soundcloud.com/nightclubband


Text by Chi Ming Lai
4th October 2020

KANGA Eternal Daughter

With the mix of the airy feel of MARSHEAUX and darker connotations of ZOLA JESUS, California based KANGA is no stranger to insidious sounds, having worked on the music for horror movies such as ‘Nightmare’, ‘The Devils Carnival II’, ‘Insidious III’, and ‘The Conjuring II’.

Kanga Duchamp creates an unforgettable symbiosis of hard and ethereal, wrapped in electronic soundscapes of Los Angeles. She likes mixing pop into her darker electro roots, not because pop sells but because the good hooks make a good song.

Her 2016 self-titled album, featuring SKINNY PUPPY guitarist Matthew Setzer and mixed by Rhys Fulber of FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, created a buzz that continues to fuel the energy pushing the Santa Ana artist out into the open with her new mini album ‘Eternal Daughter’.

As all good things come in small packages, and EPs as well as mini albums seem to capture the listeners’ attention more readily, KANGA decided to release a bite size provision, full of punchy tunes, which are leading her all the way to the Numan support slots.

‘Burn’ doesn’t disappoint from the onset, weaving in the elements of vintage LADYTRON alongside layered vocals a la Greek goddesses MARSHEAUX. All that wrapped around gritty synth, melodic hooks and a fast paced musicality.

None of that stops, with the Persian inspired sounds of ‘Daughter’. Here the bass is heavy, with cinematic progressions and very cleverly inserted metallic elements. The outcome is rather Numan-esque but somehow fresher and readier.

‘Run’ resembles the achievements of KANGA’s LA colleagues NIGHT CLUB, with the vocal similar of that of Emily Kavanaugh’s while ‘Cocaine’ fuels the electronic fire further with inspiration from the artist she often mentions in interviews and clearly takes a lot of musical advice from, NINE INCH NAILS. Their sound magician has clearly had a massive impact of KANGA’s musical direction, with many describing her as a “female Trent Reznor”.

The closing ‘Control’ is a coagulation of rough and ready eclectic mix of sounds, punctuated by melodic inserts, driven vocals and immediate femininity, bursting with energy and wielding the power of objectification.

With total musical freedom and steering clear from constricting pigeon holes, KANGA’s style is difficult to classify; it is supposed to be a darker electronica with popular music elements, but the outcome is so much more than that. She’s contemporary, unconventional and current, without being too quirky and audience limiting, self-indulgent to the point of becoming too niche.

KANGA is your new mainstream alternative and simply superb.


‘Eternal Daughter’ is available as a digital mini-album direct from https://kanga.bandcamp.com/

KANGA opens for GARY NUMAN on his (R)Evolution 40th Anniversary UK tour, further details can be found at https://garynuman.com/tours2/

https://www.facebook.com/kangakullt/

https://twitter.com/KANGAkult

https://www.instagram.com/k.a.n.g.a/


Text by Monika Izabela Trigwell
10th September 2019

NIGHT CLUB Your Addiction

Deeply ominous and alluringly transfixing, Los Angeles-based synthrock duo NIGHT CLUB, who The Electricity Club once affectionately described as sounding like “Britney fronting NINE INCH NAILS”, will be embarking on their first headlining tour of North America this Autumn.

Visiting over twenty cities, the extensive tour is apt reward for Emily Kavanaugh and Mark Brooks who impressed audiences while opening for noted aggrotech exponents COMBICHRIST and alternative rock supercombo A PERFECT CIRCLE in 2018.

Having released a trilogy of EPs and two albums ‘Requiem for Romance’ and ‘Requiem’, as well as producing the soundtrack to the animated Comedy Central cop show ‘Moonbeam City’, the couple have just unleashed a sinister self-directed visual presentation for ‘Your Addiction’, one of the highlights from ‘Scary World’.

With a majestic synth boom that is both heavy and funky, ‘Your Addiction’ exploits Kavanaugh’s disturbed feline presence to the max with a cry of “these are your sins”. The video sees her preaching at The Church of the Anti-Heart where the gathered congregation comprises of those who have lost their hearts through their addictions. With them finding solace in this dark mutant cult, the imagery wouldn’t look out of place in John Carpenter horror flick, although some may consider the conclusion a gothic twist on a controversial scene from ‘Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom’!

NIGHT CLUB told The Electricity Club in 2018: “‘Your Addiction’ is sort of like ‘Dear Enemy pt. 2’. That one fell together quickly and has a very personal vendetta behind it. In fact it’s about the same person as ‘Dear Enemy’”. Keeping their friends close and their enemies in their songs, they added “There’s nothing more impactful than having a friend turn into an enemy.”

Strung out by some unsettling deep vocal pitch shifting, the couple said: “We got tired of the vocals being one dimensional. So we started layering the vocals and fucking them up to create something new and original… we just like to tweak them to expand the sonic palette.”

With NIGHT CLUB’s live show centred around the intense moods and feisty motions of Kavanaugh, the tour appropriately begins at a place called Bar Sinister… “tell me you like the way it hurts!”


‘Your Addiction’ is from the album ‘Scary World’ released by Gato Blanco, available as a CD or download from http://nightclubband.com/

NIGHT CLUB 2019 North American live dates include:

San Francisco Bottom of The Hill (2nd October), Vancouver Astoria Pub (4th October), Seattle Chop Suey (5th October), Portland Star Theater (6th October), Salt Lake City Urban Lounge (8th October), Denver Streets (9th October), Chicago Cobra Lounge (11th October), Detroit The Sanctuary (12th October), Kent The Outpost (13th October), Brooklyn Sunnyvale (15th October), Philadelphia Voltage Lounge (16th October), Washington DC9 (17th October), Louisville The Tiger Room (18th October), Merriam Aftershock (19th October), Dallas Lizard Lounge (20th October), Austin Elysium (21st October), Albuquerque Moonlight Lounge (23rd October), Mesa Club Red (24th October), Las Vegas Backstage Bar and Billiards (25th October), Costa Mesa The Wayfarer (26th October), San Diego Brick By Brick (27th October) – tickets available from http://nightclub.soundrink.com

https://www.facebook.com/nightclubband

https://twitter.com/nightclubband

https://www.instagram.com/nightclubband/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photo by Marv Watson
22nd June 2019

TEC’s 2018 End Of Year Review

2018 saw JEAN-MICHEL JARRE celebrate 50 years in the business and whether the world really needed another of his compilations, ‘Planet Jarre’ was probably one of the better collected representations of his work for casual admirers.

But not standing still and releasing his fourth new album in three years, ‘Equinoxe Infinity’ continued the story as the French Maestro tuned 70.

SOFT CELL made a totally unexpected return for a huge one-off farewell gig at London’s O2 Arena; and with it came a boxed set, the ‘Northern Lights’ single and other new recordings which have raised hopes for a new album.

From the same era, FIAT LUX announced plans for their debut album ‘Save Symmetry’ with an excellent lead track ‘It’s You’, while B-MOVIE came up with their most synth-propelled single yet in ‘Stalingrad’.

But one act who actually did comeback with a brand new album in 2018 were DUBSTAR; now a duo of Sarah Blackwood and Chris Wilkie, as ‘One’ they reminded audiences as to why they were the acceptable face of Britpop with their bridge to Synth Britannia.

IONNALEE finally released her debut opus ‘Everyone Afraid To Be Forgotten’ and her tour which included choice cuts from IAMAMIWHOAMI, proved to be one of the best value-for-money live experiences in 2018, one that was even endorsed by Welsh songstress Charlotte Church.

CHVRCHES offered up their third album ‘Love Is Dead’ and continued their role as international flagwavers for quality synthpop, while EMIKA presented her best album yet in ‘Falling In Love With Sadness’, an exquisite electronic record with a Bohemian aura.

JOHN GRANT was on an artistic roll both solo and in partnership with WRANGLER as CREEP SHOW with two new albums. However, he was beaten by Neil Arthur who managed three albums over a 12 month period as NEAR FUTURE and BLANCMANGE including ‘Wanderlust’, possibly the latter’s best body of work in its 21st Century incarnation.

It was a busy year for STEVE JANSEN with a new solo ambient work ‘Corridor’, the well-received vinyl reissue of JAPAN’s two Virgin-era studio albums and his epic, more organically flavoured band project EXIT NORTH with their debut long player ‘Book Of Romance & Dust’.

SARAH NIXEY went on some ‘Night Walks’ for her best solo album yet, a wonderful collection of everything she had ever been musically all wonderfully rolled into one.

Meanwhile TRACEY THORN went back to the ‘Dancefloor’ with her ‘Record’ which content wise was right up there with some of ALISON MOYET’s electronica output from the last five years.

Those who liked their electronic music darker were well served with NINE INCH NAILS, IAMX, KIRLIAN CAMERA and HELIX, but after experimenting with the single only format for a few years, Daniel Graves announced he was taking the plunge again with a new AESTHETIC PERFECTION album.

The Sacred Bones stable provided some quality releases from THE SOFT MOON, HILARY WOODS, ZOLA JESUS and JOHN CARPENTER. Meanwhile, providing some fierce socio-political commentary on the state of the UK was GAZELLE TWIN.

Hungary’s BLACK NAIL CABARET offered some noirish ‘Pseudopop’ and promising Norwich youngsters LET’S EAT GRANDMA got more deeply into electronica without losing any of their angsty teenage exuberance on their second album ‘I’m All Ears’.

Less intense and more dreamy were GLASSHOUSE, the new duo fronted by former TECHNIQUE singer Xan Tyler.

Aussies CONFIDENCE MAN provided some wacky dancey glitz to the pop world and after nearly four decades in the business, Canadian trailblazers RATIONAL YOUTH finally played their first ever concert in London at ‘Non Stop Electronic Cabaret’ alongside dark wave compatriots PSYCHE and Numan-influenced Swedish poptronica exponents PAGE.

Sweden was again highly productive with KARIN PARK, JOHAN BAECKSTRÖM, TRAIN TO SPAIN and VAL SOLO while Norway took their own approach with FARAOSOFT AS SNOW and ELECTRO SPECTRE setting their standard. Veteran Deutschlanders THE TWINS and PETER HEPPNER returned with new albums after notable recorded absences while next door in Belgium, METROLAND presented themselves as ‘Men In A Frame’.

While the new HEAVEN 17 album ‘Not For Public Broadcast’ is still to be finished, Glenn Gregory teamed by with live keyboardist Berenice Scott as AFTERHERE. Their long-time friend Claudia Brücken performed as xPROPAGANDA with Susanne Freytag and partnered up with one-time TANGERINE DREAM member Jerome Froese, releasing the ‘Beginn’ album in the process.

It was a year of interesting collaborations all-round with UNDERWORLD working with Iggy Pop, U96 linking up with Wolfgang Flür for an excellent single called ‘Zukunftsmusik’ and German techno pioneer CHRIS LIEBING recruiting POLLY SCATTERGOOD and GARY NUMAN for his Mute released album ‘Burn Slow’.

Based in Berlin, THE KVB offered up some brooding gothic moods with ‘Only Now Forever’ while Valerie Renay of NOBLESSE OBLIGE released her first solo album ‘Your Own Shadow’.

Highly appealing were a number of quirky Japanese influenced female artists from around the globe including COMPUTER MAGIC, MECHA MAIKO and PLASMIC. But there were also a number of acts with Far Eastern heritage like STOLEN, FIFI RONG, DISQO VOLANTE and SHOOK who continued to make a worthy impression with their recorded output in 2018.

Heavy synth rock duo NIGHT CLUB presented their ‘Scary World’ on the back of tours opening for COMBICHRIST and A PERFECT CIRCLE while also from across the pond, NYXX and SINOSA both showcased their alluring potential.

At the poppier end of the spectrum, Holger Wobker used Pledge Music to relaunch BOYTRONIC with their most recent vocal incumbent James Knights in an unexpected twist to once again prove the old adage to “never say never” as far as the music industry is concerned.

Meanwhile, Chris Payne co-wrote and co-produced the excellent ‘Walking In West Berlin’ EP with KATJA VON KASSEL while also revealing plans for an autobiography and opening for his old boss…

The surprise album of the year was CHRIS CARTER with his ‘Chemistry Lessons Volume One’ while using a not dissimilar concept with their second album ‘Hello Science’, REED & CAROLINE took their folk laden synthpop out on a US tour opening for ERASURE.

IMMERSION provided a new collection of their modern Motorik as SHRIEKBACK, FISCHERSPOONER, THE PRESETS, HEARTBREAK and QUEEN OF HEARTS all made comebacks of varying degrees with audiences still eager for their work.

STEVEN JONES & LOGAN SKY harked back to the days when GARY NUMAN and OMD would release two albums in one year by offering ‘Hans Und Lieselotte’ and ‘The Electric Eye’ in 2016. Those veteran acts themselves celebrated their 40th anniversaries by going orchestral, something which SIMPLE MINDS also did when they opted to re-record ‘Alive & Kicking’ for the ’80s Symphonic’ collection although Jim Kerr forgot how a third of the song went!

With SIMPLE MINDS also performing a horrible and barely recognisable ‘Promised You A Miracle’ during BBC’s ‘The Biggest Weekend’, making up for the live joke that his former band have become was one-time bassist Derek Forbes with the album ‘Broken Hearted City’ as ZANTi with Anni Hogan of MARC & THE MAMBAS fame. Other former members of high-profile bands were busy too with Ian Burden, formally of THE HUMAN LEAGUE returning with the Floydian ‘Hey Hey Ho Hum’ while A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS reformed briefly for an orchestral re-run of their catalogue.

With the release of their second album ‘Kinetik’, EKKOES handed over THE HUMAN LEAGUE support baton to SHELTER who came up with their best body of work yet in the more introspective shades of ‘Soar’

That darker approach manifested itself on singer Mark Bebb’s side project FORM with Keith Trigwell of SPEAK & SPELL whose debut long player ‘defiance + entropy’ also came out in 2018.

Having been championed by RÖYSKSOPP, Wales’ MAN WITHOUT COUNTRY returned with ‘Infinity Mirror’ while riding on the well-deserved momentum from opening for OMD, Ireland’s TINY MAGNETIC PETS embarked on their first headlining tour. Representing North of the border were RYAN VAIL and HANNAH PEEL, but hailing from Scotland were WITCH OF THE VALE who proved to be one of the most interesting new acts of 2018 having supported ASSEMBLAGE 23 on their most recent UK visit.

There was a good showing from UK acts in 2018 with RODNEY CROMWELL, ANI GLASS, THE FRIXION, NEW ARCADES, OLLIE WRIDE and FAKE TEAK all issuing some excellent synth tinged songs for public consumption. However, the side was let down by the conveyor belt of lame profanity laden offerings from a number of British acts afflicted with deluded normality.

NINA’s long awaited debut album ‘Sleepwalking’ was a fine hybrid of synthpop and the currently fashionable Synthwave aesthetic; her live double billing with Canadian synthpopsters PARALLELS was one of the hottest tickets of the year. The sub-genre was indeed making waves and there were some very enjoyable artists coming out of it like GUNSHIP, DANA JEAN PHOENIX and MICHAEL OAKLEY.

However, the endless AOR excesses, moonlight sax breaks and highly unimaginative band monikers using numbers between 80 to 89 affixed to an archaic technology reference, illustrated by yet another neon sunset, VCR grid and Lamborghini, were becoming tiresome.

As Synthwave cynics, The Electricity Club’s touch paper was being lit big time! The whole point of the synthesizer’s role during the Second British Invasion of the US was to fight against the insipid overtures of AOR like TOTO, CHICAGO and JOURNEY, NOT to make music coated with its horrid stench as THE MIDNIGHT did in 2018 with their long player ‘Kids’.

But there was naivety within some quarters too; electronic music did not begin in 2011 with ‘Drive’, an above average film with a good if slightly over rated soundtrack. However, its cultural influence has led to a plethora of meandering tracks made by gamer boys which sounded like someone had forgotten to sing on them; perhaps they should have gone back to 1978 and listened to GIORGIO MORODER’s ‘Midnight Express Theme’ to find out how this type of instrumental music should be done?

Many of the newer artists influenced by Synth Britannia that The Electricity Club has featured have sometimes been accused of being stuck in the past, but a fair number of Synthwave acts were really taking the soggy biscuit with their retro-obsession.

Rock band MUSE’s use of glowing artwork by Kyle Lambert of ‘Stranger Things’ fame on their eighth album ‘Simulation Theory’ sent sections of the Synthwave community into meltdown. There were cries that they had “stolen the aesthetics and concept” and how “it’s not relevant to their sound”! But WHAM! had Peter Saville designed sleeves and never sounded like NEW ORDER or OMD, while electropop diva LA ROUX used a visual stylisation for ‘In For The Kill’ that has since been claimed by Synthwavers as their own, despite it being from 2009 when Ryan Gosling was peddling graveyard indie rock in DEAD MAN’S BONES 😉

This was one of the bigger ironies of 2018, especially as MUSE have always used synths! One of Matt Bellamy and co’s biggest musical inspirations is ULTRAVOX, indicating the trio probably have a better understanding of the fusion between the synthesizer, rock and classical music, as proven by the ‘Simulation Theory’ bookends ‘Algorithm’ and ‘The Void’, than any static laptop exponent with a Jan Hammer fixation.

It is interesting to note today how electronic music has split into so many factions, but there’s still the assumed generalisation that it is all one thing and that synthpop fans must also like Synthwave, Deep House, EDM, Industrial and those tedious beach chill-out remixes.

Back in the day and even now, some fans of THE HUMAN LEAGUE didn’t like OMD, DEPECHE MODE fans only liked DEPECHE MODE and rock fans had a token favourite electronic band. Out of all the synth based pop acts of the Synth Britannia era, The Electricity Club had very little time for THOMPSON TWINS despite their huge international success, but their leader Tom Bailey’s 2018 solo recorded return ‘Science Fiction’ was warmly received by many.

Just as COLDPLAY and SNOW PATROL fans don’t all embrace ELBOW, it is ok to have preferences and to say so. Not liking the music of an artist does not make you a bad person, but liking everything does not make you a better person either… in fact, it shows you probably have no discerning taste! In 2002, SOFT CELL warned of a ‘Monoculture’, and if there is no taste differentiation in art and music, it will spell the end of cultural enhancement.

Taste is always the key, but then not everyone who loves chocolate likes Hersheys… and with that analogy, The Electricity Club bids farewell to 2018 and looks forward to a 2019 that includes the return of TEARS FOR FEARS and the first full live shows from GIORGIO MORODER, plus new releases by VILE ELECTRODESKITE, VILLA NAH, I AM SNOW ANGEL and LADYTRON.


THE ELECTRICITY CLUB Contributor Listings of 2018

PAUL BODDY

Best Album: MAN WITHOUT COUNTRY Infinity Mirror
Best Song: MAN WITHOUT COUNTRY Lafayette
Best Gig: TANGERINE DREAM at London Union Chapel
Best Video: THE SOFT MOON Give Something
Most Promising New Act: VOX LOW


IAN FERGUSON

Best Album: BLANCMANGE Wanderlust
Best Song: ELECTRO SPECTRE The Way You Love
Best Gig: OMD at Glasgow Kelvingrove Park
Best Video: NYXX Voodoo
Most Promising New Act: WITCH OF THE VALE


SIMON HELM

Best Album: DUBSTAR One
Best Song: PAGE Start (Poptronica Version)
Best Gig: DIE KRUPPS + FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY at O2 Academy Islington
Best Video: FIFI RONG Horizon
Most Promising New Act: ZANTi


CHI MING LAI

Best Album: EMIKA Falling In Love With Sadness
Best Song: FIAT LUX It’s You
Best Gig: SOFT CELL at London O2 Arena
Best Video: FAKE TEAK Bears Always Party The Exact Right Amount
Most Promising New Act: WITCH OF THE VALE


MONIKA IZABELA TRIGWELL

Best Album: GUNSHIP Dark All Day
Best Song: SHELTER Karma
Best Gig: IAMX at London Electric Ballroom
Best Video: JUNO REACTOR Let’s Turn On
Most Promising New Act: MECHA MAIKO


Text by Chi Ming Lai
8th December 2018

NIGHT CLUB: The Scary Interview

The Electricity Club once described NIGHT CLUB as sounding like “Britney fronting NINE INCH NAILS”. Now requoted by a number of other media outlets, that description appears to have stuck.

The Los Angeles based duo of Emily Kavanaugh and Mark Brooks impressed with a trilogy of fine EPs and produced the soundtrack to the acclaimed animated Comedy Central cop show ‘Moonbeam City’ featuring the voices of Rob Lowe and Elizabeth Banks, before finally releasing a full-length album ‘Requiem for Romance’ in Summer 2016.

Currently touring Europe with aggrotech exponents COMBICHRIST and horror rocker WEDNESDAY 13, NIGHT CLUB release their second long player ‘Scary World’ in late August, which develops on the sharp synth rock template of its predecessor.

With the triple header hitting selected cities the British Isles, NIGHT CLUB will also be headlining two August shows of their own in Sheffield and London.

NIGHT CLUB spoke to The Electricity Club just as they landed in the British Isles…

It is indeed a ‘Scary World’, have political events at home been a subliminal influence on the album? Is it making you ‘Schizophrenic’?

Yes, the political environment in the US is definitely making us nervous. Our new LP is sort of influenced by that but also very influenced by our own internal anxiety. It became apparent to us when we started writing this record that we both had a lot to say about the subject of anxiety. We have both suffered from that condition and the words just started to seep out of us. The album sort of morphed into an opus about mental illness and coping with it. By the time we finished the record, we ultimately realized that it’s about the scary world inside and outside of all of us. It’s also a warning to those younger than us about the road ahead.

This album is a natural progression of ‘Requiem For Romance’ but more refined without losing any edge?

Yeah, ‘Scary World’ is definitely a natural progression from ‘Requiem’. Sonically speaking, ‘Requiem’ was when we really discovered our sound. The new album is just a more advanced version of ‘Requiem.’ We spent a lot of time on this one and poured our souls into it. We would say ‘Scary World’ is an advance in our lyrical songwriting just as much as our last record was an advance in our sound.

The title song is a case in point, you’re playing around with the pitch shifting with the vocals but have created your own kids choir to give the track an eerie resonance?

Yeah, we’ve been experimenting with vocal effects for a while now but that choir is an actual kid’s choir! They are called the MUSYCA Children’s Choir of Los Angeles. They were amazing to work with and helped give the song its eerie resonance. It was a total PINK FLOYD moment to have them on our record.

The Electricity Club can hear a bit of your inner Joan Jett creeping out on that one and the first single ‘Candy Coated Suicide’?

Well, there’s nothing wrong with that is there?

Pitch shifting is a more interesting way of manipulating vocals with technology than using autotune?

Yes, definitely. We got tired of the vocals being one dimensional. So we started layering the vocals and fucking them up to create something new and original. Just for the record, all of the vocals on all of our records are Emily, we just like to tweak them to expand the sonic palette.

Sonically this album has been another step forward, there’s a great energy to ‘Vampires’ and some fabulous synth sounds?

Yes, we decided when we started recording this album to delete all the old sounds and build all new synth sounds from scratch. It gave the new LP its own identity and soul. We wish people on the radio would do the same.

Both ‘Therapy (Get High)’ and ‘Your Addiction’ have some interesting lyrical gists?

Yeah, both those songs are very personal. ‘Therapy’ is really about feeling trapped by your anxiety and wanting to be free, while ‘Your Addiction’ is sort of like ‘Dear Enemy pt. 2’. That one fell together quickly and has a very personal vendetta behind it. In fact it’s about the same person as ‘Dear Enemy’.

What’s ‘Blood On Your Blade’ about, you could imagine Michael Jackson doing a song like this in his ‘Dangerous’ phase?

That song is about feeling used. Without giving up their identity, the song is about someone who pulls you into their world and sucks from you creatively without giving anything back. Once they get what they need from you, they move on. You’re just blood on their blade.

Did you have an ‘Imaginary Friend’ when you were younger? And is the song a reflection of the vapid online connections where people will prioritise over “not upsetting” a virtual relationship with someone they’ve never met over loyalty to a personal friend of many years?

That song is really about fake relationships that we’ve both encountered in Los Angeles. It comes from the frustration of thinking that you are friends with someone only to find out that you’re just a stepping stone for whatever they needed at the moment.

Is your philosophy still “Keep your friends close and your enemies in your songs”?

Ultimately we write songs about everything we’re going through, so instead of being angry about things that have happened to us we channel it into our music.

There’s nothing more impactful than having a friend turn into an enemy. It’s also very satisfying every time you play that song live.

The closing number ‘Survive’ doesn’t offer any respite, this album is quite full on!

That song ended up being the perfect ending to the album. It lyrically evolved into a message that became the answer to the themes that ‘Scary World’ brought up. Ultimately, the world (illness) may stand in your way but it’s your job to navigate around it and survive.

How has the COMBICHRIST + WEDNESDAY 13 tour been going? The match is wonderfully odd, yet fitting at the same time?

The tour has been going great. We’re in Europe currently and the shows have been amazing. Lots of people have coming out, and we’re definitely being introduced to a new audience we’ve never played to before. The tour line-up is an eclectic mix of different styles, yet it somehow works. It’s also been really cool to see people singing along to our songs in countries we’ve never been to.

What about the reactions of the predominantly rock-oriented audiences, could they get their heads round a synthpop duo with no guitars and no drums?

Overall, the audiences have been awesome and supportive. It takes them a few songs to figure us out but then they realize that we’re just as heavy even with only synthesizers.

By the end of the set, their reaction is overwhelming. It’s a great challenge for an electronic duo to play before and after loud rock bands (with drums, guitars etc). Ultimately, it just makes you better and ups your game.

So what are your hopes, fears and plans for ‘Scary World’?

We hope that people embrace and love this record as much as we do. We worked hard on it. We’ll also be embarking on a pretty exciting Fall tour that we can’t talk about yet, so we’ll definitely be playing more of these songs live. Also more music videos to come…


The Electricity Club gives its sincerest thanks to NIGHT CLUB

Additional thanks to Tracy George at TAG Publicity

‘Scary World’ is released by Gato Blanco on 24th August 2018, available on the usual digital platforms

NIGHT CLUB 2018 live dates in the British Isles include: Dublin Tivoli (7th August)*, Belfast Limelight (8th August)*, Glasgow Garage (9th August)*, Sheffield Mulberry Bar (10th August), London Hoxton Stag’s Head (11th August)

*opening for COMBICHRIST + WEDNESDAY 13

http://nightclubband.com/

https://www.facebook.com/nightclubband

https://twitter.com/nightclubband

https://www.instagram.com/nightclubband/

https://soundcloud.com/nightclubband


Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Francis George and Night Club
7th August 2018

« Older posts