Thursday, November 10, 2011

Interview with NO

I sat down and had a conversation with our own Sean and his band mate, Bradley who have recently started the band, NO. We talked about burgers, LA, and feelings. Check it out!

Sean: Sup bro?
Emily: How are you guys?
Bradley: It’s nice to be here on a rainy day.
What was the best thing that you guys did today?
S: Programming synthesizers. Basically just got ready for the show coming up.
B: Sean’s quite good at figuring out how to program those devices. They’re very hard for me to get my head around and he can just go in there and like, make it sound good.
So that was the best thing about today for you…
B: Yeah basically Sean figured out how to program synthesizers
S: No wait! The best thing for today was we split a burger at the Fix Burger.
B: Oh yeah! That’s right!
What’s the Fix Burger?
S: Oh my god girl! It’s like the best burger joint.. It’s on Hyperion. It’s a few blocks from Trader Joes.
B: Yeah, forget about all that other stuff.. the best thing about today is that we split a burger at the Fix burger.
So you said you were finishing your EP?
S: It’s done. It will be out digitally this Friday! 11-11-11. It’s called Don’t Worry You’ll Be Here Forever.
So what does NO sound like?
B: It sounds like 6 songs. The best thing I heard about it so far is someone wrote that it was “post-hymnal anthematic.”
And you have a show coming up?
S: We do. On Friday the 11th we’re going to do a release party at our friend’s house! House party! If people really want to go they can email us.
B: It’s a really cool big backyard.
S: Along with our friends Future Ghosts, TS and The Past Haunts, and Dylan Trees.
S: Yay! Dylan Trees.
So, did you guys explore any specific themes on your record?
S: Everything we did was from themes. We wanted to write from themes from the beginning so we got together and talked about ideas and we had little lines that lyrically would start off an idea and we would sit down and figure out, what is the story and how do we want to tell it? For one of the songs, we were talking about how there really isn’t just a true love song for Los Angeles and so we have this idea where it’s like a love song to Los Angeles, but at the same time it’s a love song IN Los Angeles.
Do you guys love Los Angeles?
S: I do. I was raised here.
B: It’s one of those places… a few times I’ve actually tried to leave but I can never leave. It’s a hard city to break up with. I think also, it’s an ugly city… it really is. But there’s something about it when the sun sets over the city and it just glows and the whole West coast thing kicks in, it’s so beautiful. And those 4 hours of the day.. there’s something about that. I was talking to Sean about it and how there’s not really too many love songs about LA… well maybe there are but maybe we’re overlooking them.
S: Well there are but it seems like everything is either tongue in cheek or ‘Yeah I love LA BUT’… even the song I Love LA is very sarcastic. And as much as I think he [Randy Newman] does, it’s so full of this negative imagery.
B: But I think too, I’ve been through personally so many ups and downs in this city. And just when it gets really bad, it seems often that things can change and turn around and then it’s like fuck, it’s all ok again! You might have no money in the bank and overdraft fines stacking up from Bank of America (seriously, Fuck Bank of America!) But you know what I mean..I think that’s the other thing we wanted to put on the EP – because we’re all pretty broke and just trying to hang in there too. We’re just trying to create some sort of hope and something we can believe in. Things might get better soon if we just kind of keep going on. I guess there are a lot of personal experiences that just kind of came together on the EP. Finding yourself has been a big part of it for me in the last few years. You always think, ‘Oh I’m kind of there now’ and then out of the blue you realize that you’re not at all.
S: Yeah you think that you’re in a really good place. Like ‘I’ve got this and I’ve got that and I’ve got this girl” and you think that your comfort zone is very nice and something will just come in and it doesn’t even have to be all gone but your perspective changes and you’re Like ‘Oh man what am I doing this isn’t working!” and it can just change so quickly.
B: Perspective can be a real motherfucker. You know I think that’s the thing that I’ve had to just had to try to learn to keep my perspective right in every situation. Whether it’s music or making art or relationship or whatever. This city is a really hard city to be in but it’s an amazing city to be in as well. So I guess all these songs came from thoughts like that and different experiences we’ve had personally. If we’ve done our job right, hopefully someone will hear these songs and feel a bit of hope or something.
S: They’ll feel more post-hymnal.
B: And very anthematic. They’ll just want to sing in the shower. I’d like to hear people sing these songs in the shower. That would be lovely.
You actually want to be there when they’re singing these songs in the shower?
B: Well it depends who it is. I’m sure not all our listeners have great bodies..
S: God knows we don’t.
B: Yeah, they’ve got to be better than ours. I think another thing is that I grew up watching English football and I love it. The atmosphere where everyone sings and kind of comes together and the massive unity… these guys can’t even sing in tune but together, their voices make this big raw sound. That’s always kind of given me a chill and that’s another thing we tried to weave into our little web of ideas for songs and hopefully we’ve caught a little bit of that as well. Just something about singing along with people gives you some sort of comradery or something
A sense of community..
B: That’s it. A sense of community. You’ve put it better than I could.
S: A unified voice.
Name your favorite song about LA. I was just listening to the song California by Wax on the way here and I thought it was very fitting walking in the rain to work. B: For me it’s a more sentimental one, but the song California by Phantom Planet. When that first came out, they came down to New Zealand and we got to meet them and show them around Auckland and so when I first got to hear that song in LA, driving down the 101, all that symbolism came out for me.
S: Probably Walking In LA by Missing Persons. Which is again, another sarcastic song about LA.
My last question is why do you think people should come see you or buy your record?
B: Well, it’s about creating community and we want people to come be part of our community! And sing along! I’ll never push my band on my friends because I’ve got some friends in some shitty bands, I’ll be honest. But I’ve also got some friends in some amazing bands and you have to have your art that’s for you and if people like it, they’ll come. There will be some people who won’t like it, and we really don’t care but if we can find the people who do, and they hear it and they want to sing along with us, that’d be fucking awesome.
S: Yeah, if they hear it and the spirit moves them… We really do put our hearts into these songs and when we play we want to sing out loud. And we hope that people hear that and feel the same way.

You can download NO’s EP, Don’t Worry, You’ll Be Here Forever, now at

Stay With Me by NO.

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