Pure Rawk Awards 2013: “DIY Albums and Award-envy” – an exclusive chat with Night by Night
London’s most melodic rock band, the mighty Night by Night, are nominated for two Pure Rawk Awards this year; ‘Band of the Year’ and ‘EP/Single of the Year’ for their wonderfully riff-filled, harmony-packed headbanger ‘Time to Escape’.
It’s been a busy few months for the band, as they’ve lost a singer, acquired a singer and finalised the recording of their debut album. They will be performing an acoustic set at the Awards on 8th March, showcasing stripped-down, and in some cases quite different, versions of their songs, promising a rare treat for fans both old and new. Ahead of the big night, Ben and Damien took the time to answer a few probing questions for us…
Louise: Since we last spoke, you’ve had a change of singer. How difficult was it to find the right man for the job, and what new qualities does Henry bring to the band?
Ben: We were really lucky to find Henry. The very day we started posting the virtual ‘wanted’ ads, he actually approached us, having seen the Time to Escape video previously and enthusing that it was the first time he’d been excited about being part of a band again. He confessed that he had already given up on music and was about to launch his career as an airline pilot! So, it was providence that things went the way they did, as the timing was perfect.
Henry is a very versatile singer. He not only has great range but also a wealth of textures, tones and styles whilst always retaining his own character. When recording the vocals, we went DIY, using Hen’s home studio with myself engineering, which gave us more time than if we’d been in a ‘pro’ studio (as we had the first time around – and fair-play to Dan Rossall for nailing 10 songs in 3 afternoons). It was hard work but really fun, because we were able to have detailed discussions regarding the ‘feel’ and themes of each song and Henry was very quickly able to translate these ideas. The end result is something we are all really, really pleased with. He also has an impressive CV when it comes to touring, as his previous band supported Maiden, Cooper and Extreme.
Louise: You’re recording your debut album at the moment, how is that going? Is there a particular track that you’re really excited about?
Ben: The album is complete and we’re very proud of it. 10 tracks of cinematic, melodic hard rock with a modern edge, with each telling its own story. We can’t wait to hear what you all think of it. The response we’ve had so far to the first single, Time to Escape, has blown us away, with hard rock fans of all ages, from all over globe telling us how much they love what we are doing. That’s really inspiring to us, so we’re keen to get this record released, get on the road and play it to you!
My favourite track might be Siren; it’s a little different for us. It’s dark, laden with mythical imagery and metaphor and even includes some subtle sound effects to reinforce the themes and general atmosphere. Lyrically, it discusses a subject that means a lot to me and, as a consequence, it was very cathartic to express this through words, music and, in this case, sound design.
Louise: Geographically, you’re all quite spread out across the UK – how does that impact on the band in terms of rehearsals, collaborative writing and gigging?
Damien: Well, we have always been a London-based band and operate everything we do essentially from London (rehearsals, writing etc.), although we have one member towards the East, and another North of London. We have had a bit of a move around recently, but are very much focused on keeping things based here, as it is, and always will be, a very good location in respects to gigging and things going on around the city. When it comes to rehearsing, we simply hook up at the studio as any other band would, with ideas that we have come up with whilst on our own, and work through them as a band to create the finished product, because until it’s got the 5 respective members’ stamp on it, it’s not a Night By Night song. On the gigging side of things, most of what we do is outside of London, so it makes no odds to us as we have a van and just meet up and jump in! London is the heart of this band and it’s what fuels it to produce the sounds you hear at our shows.
Louise: The video for your single ‘Time to Escape’ has had well over 42,000 views, which is pretty impressive. Did you expect such a strong response?
Damien: Having had over 42,000 views on our debut video was something that shocked us a little in some respects; as up until recently we have been completely running every side of this band ourselves. We’ve had no PR, management, booking agent or record label to push us, so it’s been totally down to us to get people seeing/hearing the song/video, with the help of some great online press (if you’re reading, thank you, guys!).
We think that it’s been a good test to see what we could actually do with the profile of the band, and has definitely enabled us to climb up there with the rising UK rock acts. The sad thing is, if you browse YouTube etc. you can find some awesome music videos on there with hardly any views that people really need to hear, but it all boils down to getting yourselves heard. No-one is going to do that for you unless you pay them, so for what we have achieved as five guys with a passion for music, we are truly stoked! Let’s make the next one even bigger and better!
Louise: You’re up for ‘Band of the Year’ and ‘EP/Single of the Year’ at this year’s Pure Rawk Awards, how does it feel to be nominated, and do you have any celebratory rituals planned in case of victory?
Ben: We’re really thrilled to be in the running – it’s a real accolade, as Pure Rawk is a damn cool institution. I remember seeing Chris from Eureka Machines’ (well-deserved) ‘Front Person on the Year Award’ a few years ago and being suitably impressed – and a little jealous! To now be nominated for not just one but two awards is really inspiring because it’s a significant milestone which attests to our progress; we’ve put a lot of work in since the band’s inception (and since my ‘award-envy’!) and it’s starting to get impressive results!
If we win, I will definitely reward myself with my favorite drink – yes, in homage to the Big Lebowski, it’s the glorious White Russian.
For more information on Night By Night, visit www.nightbynight.co.uk. There are only a handful of tickets left for the Pure Rawk Awards which takes place Friday 8th March at the Boston Music Room in Tufnell Park, North London www.purerawkawards.com
Lead picture from the NxN Facebook / Picture of Ben Christo and all words by Louise Delahunty.