Monday, July 4, 2011

Interview: Nifty Breed

>> "We're Nifty Breed, the local Long Island rock band you've never heard of." If the band's name didn't catch my attention, this introduction certainly did. Nifty Breed provides a breath of fresh air in a society so obsessed with what's on the radio. I'm willing to bet even those of us who strive to know as many "unknown" artists as possible have missed this band. Now's your chance to see what you've been missing. With influences like Nirvana and a sound like no other, Nifty Breed are ready to hit the studio and get the recognition they deserve.

Introduce yourselves.
(me) Matty - 19 - vocals.guitar
Alex - 21 - guitar
Brian - 20 - bass
Jordan - 20 - drums

Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
As a band, some of our biggest musical influences are Silverchair, Nirvana, 311, At the Drive-In, Incubus and a wide array of other musical acts of various genres.

How long has your band been together?
This line up of Nifty Breed has been together for about 3 years but the band under this name has been around a bit longer than that. This was due to line up changes and whatnot.

Who named the band? Is there a story behind the name?
I guess I (Matty) named the band. I was thinking about what to change the name to from the previous name and one day I thought about how when every kid is younger they want to start a club called something like the Cool Kids Club. Never really mattered if the kids were cool or not back then because it usually just consisted of friends. Well, by way of thesaurus, I found a synonym for cool was "nifty" and a synonym for kids was "breed" and I just put the two together. The idea was kind of a goof but I mentioned it to Brian (our bassist) and he said "It doesn't suck!" so we picked that name and it was finalized when we ordered stickers (which we still have for free!)

What sets your music apart from everything else out there?
A lot of bands out there now usually find a style that works and stick to it. Musically we strive to be diverse. We try not to make every song sound similar, something which I feel a large amount of bands have been doing lately. As much as we try to maintain melody, we can also be pretty heavy, so there is this blend of catchiness and heaviness in some of our songs that can appeal to various types of people. Basically, to expect certain music from us is not wise because we are constantly experimenting and trying out new styles and sounds.

Do you have a specific method or process when it comes to writing?
It used to be that I (Matty) would come in to practices with complete songs written and we would just work them out for live shows. But, as of late, we have been combining ideas at practices to formulate the songs and it has been working out really well. I'll come in with a basic concept and everyone else will show me things that might fit with that original idea or someone else will have the original idea. Basically we all contribute ideas and piece them together to make the songs. Collaboration has proven very beneficial to us as a band.

What are some of the obstacles you have faced so far as a band?
The biggest obstacle, even now, is shows. Here on Long Island, it is really hard for a band to get noticed because a lot of places aren't doing business the right way. For us, we aren't really into pay to play which has become a big practice around here, so we try to avoid that as much as possible, but that counts out a decent amount of shows and venues we can play. We work around it the best we can and so far we've been able to get pretty good gigs. But the music scene out here has basically become a "It's who you know" kind of deal. Also, getting a record out has been tough. We had to get the right line up together before we could even consider a record and now that we have that, we just had to find the right place and have the right songs and everything. Now we have all of the songs and we are recording our debut full length album at Killingsworth Recording Company in Farmingdale, NY with some good guys so hopefully everyone likes the record because it's been a long time coming.

What motivates you to keep going when times get tough?
A good show can really pull us out of a funk. That and writing a really great new song that you love. We've definitely had tough times before but good shows and great new songs really make the difference. They make you look at your band and realize why you keep going.

What are some goals you want to accomplish with your music?
We really just want as many people to hear it as possible. We're not looking for fame or fans worldwide or anything, we just want a lot of people to hear us and hopefully those people will like it. I think our one true goal, as is the case with most bands, is that we can make this a full time thing. If we could live off of this band we'd be happy campers.

What are your plans for the summer?
As I mentioned before we are about to record in August. That album should be killer and I hope everyone who wants it buys a copy. We're really proud of the songs we've got written for it. As for shows, we have nothing too big officially booked but please keep an eye out on the facebook page ( for show announcements and whatnot. I check and update the page constantly so that is the best resource for information. But our main summer plans are getting this record done.

What is your favorite part about being in this band?
I think my favorite part of being in this band is how I've seen it grown. There were so many line up changes, name changes and different songs through the years, I was afraid things wouldn't work out. This was before Nifty Breed, as I've been personally trying to keep a band together since I was 11. But even this line up has evolved from a group of guys having a good time to a band of serious musicians who want to see this band make something of itself. I couldn't be happier about that.

Is there anything else you want to say?
Just that if people listen to Nifty Breed and like it, please tell your friends! The best way to promote a band is by word of mouth. So if you like the tunes, grab a friend and show us to them and maybe they might like us and show us to a friend of theirs and so on and so forth. Just pay it forward!

Fan Submissions:

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three things would you bring with you? (via Mike R.)
Acoustic guitar
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (book)

What's the funniest thing that has ever happened at one of your shows? - (via Amy N.)
Jordan, our drummer, will sometimes ask the audience to request a drum solo so he can play one. They rarely request one, but it is hilarious to hear him try and get them to!

What do you like to do for fun? (via Sara M.)
As a band we usually hang out after practice. Get lunch and just goof around. Band adventures are usually loads of fun, so we'll drive off somewhere for food or go to a music store together or something. Just hang out.

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