NIGHT CLUB have been active since 2011, and have since taken off enormously in Tinseltown, getting numerous gigs for television shows such as ‘Jersey Shore’, ‘XOX Batsey Johnson’, ‘Washington Heights’ and ‘The Mysteries Of Laura’.
The Comedy Central show ‘Moonbeam City’ saw the duo’s compositions utilised and the soundtrack was released in 2015.
Larger than life front lady Emily Kavanaugh, joined by the master of synth Mark Brooks, have produced a “more bombastic and aggressive” sound on their latest long player ‘Requiem For Romance’, seeing Kavanaugh’s voice undergo all sorts of experimentation.
Indeed, NIGHT CLUB offer a rockier, darker approach to synthpop, while still remaining true to the genre. ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK is chatting to the LA based duo about their latest offering and the highlights of their career.
At first we were pretty content just making EPs and not worried about doing full albums. Then we spent a year and a half writing all the music for ‘Moonbeam City’ and a year scoring the feature film ‘Nerdland’.
So to us, it hasn’t been that long considering we put out 3 EPs, a TV soundtrack and a movie score. After that was all finished, we finally had time to sit down and write a full record.
How did the ‘Moonbeam City’ collaboration come about?
Chris Prynoski, a friend of ours who owns an animation studio, asked us to give him some music to make a teaser for an animated project that he was trying to bring into the studio. That project ended up being ‘Moonbeam City’ and the creator of the show, Scott Gairdner, liked the music so much that we ending up scoring the pilot for him. When the show got picked up, we ended up scoring the entire season and releasing a soundtrack. Scott loves music more than anyone we know, so it was a blast to make music for someone that had such eclectic taste.
Yeah, we love to write original music for television and film as well as having our own songs placed in projects.
Late last year, we scored our first film called ‘Nerdland’, written by Andrew Kevin Walker (‘Se7en’), that will be coming out this December.
It stars Paul Rudd and Patton Oswalt as two Hollywood losers willing to do just about anything to become famous.
Right now, our attention is 100% back on the band and we’re really just trying to tour as much as possible and promote the new record. We’re sure at some point we’ll pick up where we left off and score another project.
The album feel is rockier than the previous EP releases, is that the direction you are willing to pursue from now on?
There was no master plan when we started writing this record, we just fell in love with some of the new sounds we were making organically. The “rock” element came out of having a more aggressive live sound and we wanted to incorporate it into this LP. We love to keep pushing the boundaries of what’s expected and keep it interesting for the audience as well as ourselves. Just for the record, there are NO guitars on this album. It’s all synthesizers.
Your new single ‘Dear Enemy’ sounds like Britney Spears has joined NINE INCH NAILS…
We take that as a supreme compliment!
The album kicks off with ‘Requiem’. It does sound like a little brother to DEPECHE MODE’s ‘Shake The Disease’?
Actually that’s one of the last songs we wrote for the record and it was solely an instrumental until we thought it should have a simple little vocal line. Emily came up with the part on the spot and we finished the album. It wasn’t until the LP came out that people brought up its similarity to the intro of ‘Shake The Disease’, and we realised once again DEPECHE MODE just naturally runs through our veins. Could be worse.
Mark, what are your favourite synths to use? Do you sway towards the real thing or are soft synths your preferred medium?
I prefer to use soft synths as I find them more flexible and creative in the process of writing and recording. Even though I own quite a few old school synths, I find them to be very limiting in the songwriting process. With soft synths, you can change / tweak / destroy all the sounds up until the very last minute of mixing.
Lots of pinot noir, spaghetti and channeling my inner neuroses. I don’t do any vocal exercises and I’ve never taken a lesson.
I think I’ve just developed a confidence from recording and touring over the past few years and maybe it came through a bit more on this record.
When I first recorded ‘Lovestruck’, which was our first single back in 2012, I was super intimidated and insecure about my voice, and the idea of being a lead singer in a band freaked the sh*t out of me. It’s taken a while, but I think I’ve finally come to accept myself as a vocalist and musician.
Speaking of working on voices, a lot of pitch shift effects have been used to make Emily sound more blokey… what inspired this?
We’ve always been using vocal effects as part of our sound, but on this record we decided to experiment a little more. We started coming up with vocal parts that seemed like they should have a different voice saying them. Once we recorded the bridge to ‘Bad Girl’, we got hooked on seeing how far we could push the effects on certain vocal parts. We love how that sound has added a dark, creepy, schizophrenic quality to the music.
Emily, you recently worked with Rusty Egan on his ‘Welcome To The Dancefloor’ collection, is lending your voice on other projects something we are to expect more of?
I’m always down to work with other artists and producers as long as it’s something that seems like the right fit.
Do you have any favourite electronic acts at the moment?
We’ve been listening to TR/ST quite a bit and recently have been getting into PRAYERS, who we just played a show with here in Los Angeles.
‘Requiem For Romance’ is released by Gato Blanco, available in CD and download formats from http://nightclubband.com/album/requiem-for-romance
Text and Interview by Monika Izabela Trigwell
21st December 2016