Interview Every Nightly
Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives; British French Fries; and Breaking Into the Music Industry
Photo: Kirsten Newbrough
Indie pop trio Nightly is rapidly bursting onto the scene with eye-catching aesthetics, a youthful energy, and an inescapable refined sound. When I was first turned onto our friends Nightly, I just knew these guys were on the verge of becoming the next big thing. A couple years later and the guys boast a variety of hits from “XO” to “Holding On” .
Coming up in our longest (and arguably funniest) interview yet: we discuss the band’s creative process, their origin story, and of course Guy Fieri.
Tell me Nightly’s story
Jonathan - So Joey and I are cousins, so we’ve been kinda making music forever and then we moved to Nashville and we were making music in a bunch of different bands, we’ve been in bands together since we were, like 12 years old. And then, we made a couple songs and I saw Nick play drums at church, and I basically begged him to be our drummer for a couple months. And then he just like, you know, I mean I get it, he was fresh meat in Nashville, so he’s like a little too cool, you know whatever, and then.
Little big for his britches?
Jonathan - No actually, he’s not, he’s that good. But then, finally we convinced him to join the band and then we were off, that’s kinda just how it started. I guess that was like three years ago. Well our first show ever was about three years ago. [We’ve got] a long way to go but, we’re grateful to be where we’re at.
So your band name is Night-love-you, how did you end up at Nightly?
Jonathan - Well, we had written this song, the first song we ever wrote was a song called "The Night" which, hasn’t come out or anything, and I don’t know if it ever will. But, we were just trying to think of band names, and so we were like, what if it’s something to do with night but, when we were first writing these songs, before we wrote “The Night” and all - it was like The Night, No Vacancy, Talk To Me. We were trying to think of a name that had to do with night and then we thought of the phrase “Night, love you!” and were thinking of like going under that name, and then we just kinda shortened it to Night-L-Y, and Nightly, and that’s sorta how it just came to be.
Y’all’s new single, “No Call, No Reply”, tell me more about that. Any plans for a music video, anything like that?
Jonathan - I don’t think we’ll do a music video necessarily, since that’s like a pretty big undertaking and the vibe for us right now is to just release a bunch of music this year. They’re not like singles in terms of, like, I guess of how you think of singles where you just put a ton of like, it’s just really more just like constantly releasing new stuff. It’s just a song we wrote actually a little while ago, sorta about a bad situation where I was dating a girl and found out about the fact that she had, like, started dating someone else, basically, through someone else, and I was just like calling her and being like, why couldn’t you say it to my face, and she just like didn’t call back or reply, so that’s just like where that came from.
Did I just hear new music?
Favorite tour moment (of any tour)
Jonathan - I don’t know, I mean probably like Atlanta was just super awesome for us on this tour, and like any tour, I think that’s just one of my favorite shows we’ve ever played. Like there was just, similar to this show, there was a lot of, like, details that were less than ideal, if you will, like with the venue, and the sound system, and just things were going wrong, like, very chaotic, and we just like got to the moment of the show and it was like - it was sold out, oversold, and was just so, it was just so wild, the actual show, that I’ll probably never forget that.
If you could tour with any artist ever, who would it be?
Jonathan - Britney Spears, circa 1999
Joey - U2
What’s next for y’all?
Jonathan - Yeah, I mean, we just wanna like, you know, take over the world, like, or keep creating our own world, and, so, uh yeah we got a bunch of new songs this year that we want to release, and we even got some that are scheduled to release already, we are like really in the thick of this tour, so it’s hard to think past this, we have a few things booked that we’ll announce after the tour, and yeah, I don’t know, just tour forever.
Who wouldn’t want the tour life forever?
Jonathan - well, maybe not forever, but with a few breaks in between.
There you go, just a little bit of studio time to break it up.
Jonathan - We want to go back to the UK as well, like, because that was a super awesome experience for us
What was the best part of the UK?
Joey - French fries, chips
Jonathan - They call them chips. Every french fry there, I know it sounds un-American to say, but they were just honestly so baller.
The french fries, yes, but also just like, it was super cool, the whole thing was awesome. I would love to just relive that whole, exact same experience. Honestly, it was just like - when we go back, I want to go back to all the same restaurants, especially like that weird rest stop thing, with the pies
Joey - on our way to Scotland
Jonathan - No uh, it was in England, wasn’t it?
Joey - It was on the way
Nick - Scotland is technically in the UK, it was to and from Scotland
Jonathan - Yeah it was in England - no it was like on the way to Manchester, wasn’t it?
Nick - It was on the way to Scotland.
Joey - I think they are all over England, they’re everywhere, we went to like three different ones. They’re like rest stops, but with homemade, farm-freaking pies and whatnot
Jonathan - But rest stop doesn’t describe it well, it’s honestly like, Lord of the Rings shop, what’s it called...
Joey - In the shire?
Jonathan - Is that what it’s called?
Joey - Like, where Frodo and all that, yeah.
Jonathan - It literally looks like that, you just look out and it’s like rolling hills, there’s like wild animals, there’s like pools of water, it’s super beautiful, everything that they like make there is like fresh from - I’m trying to think of an American equivalent, I can’t
Nick - It’s all like farm, super close to Somerset
Jonathan - Yeah, but like, it’s literally right off the highway, so people are stopping, it’s like a rest stop. Cuz when I think of rest stop, it’s like the nasty place where like truckers go, yeah, but yeah, it was super beautiful and the food was amazing
So travel tip: English rest stops are worth the stop!
Did you ever think you’d make it as a band and an accountant would be interviewing you?
Nick - My mom always wanted me to be an accountant
Jonathan - My dad is an accountant, so, we really have a lot of accounting in common
Nick - In high school, we had to job shadow somebody, and for some reason, we had to put down like three options, musician, music producer, and accountant, and my teacher apparently didn’t know what to do with the first, she signed me up with an accountant, and it was the accountant of the middle school I went to. So I went to the middle school and watched the accountant for the day, and all I did was like, look at bus receipts and I said I’m definitely not doing that.
Well I guess someone (me) has to do it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
If you could guest star in one show, what would it be?
Jonathan - That is a great question. See, we need more questions like this.
Nick - Fraiser
Jonathan - I would say Fraiser, but let me think about this, because there’s a lot, there’s also another one I wanna say, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
Oh, yes, Guy Fieri!
Jonathan - Because you know, you get to try the food, you get to be on there, think about when he has celebrities on there,
Joey - Like you’re staying guest star as host, like he has people with him
Jonathan - yeah like you know, when he had your boy from KISS or whatever. And yeah, plus my dad would never be more proud of me than if I made it on that show. It doesn’t matter if I sold out Wembley Stadium if I made it on that.
That’s how you know you’ve made it.
I know our readers have been asking us for advice on getting into the music industry, because a lot of them are interested in working in the industry, so what’s the best advice you could give to someone who is looking to start in the music industry?
Jonathan - Get a good accountant. No, I’m kidding, just you really just have to, honestly love it. Like, I read this book about, the process and you hear that phrase a lot and it’s just so true, you need to really fall in love with the process because everything that you do is just one step at a time, and no matter where you go, if you want to go to, like, the NBA or whatever, the way to get there is always one step at a time, and music is the same way. It’s just like I wanna learn how to play this song, well the way to play that song is to learn these cords, and to learn these lyrics, or to write a song, there’s always the creative process, so just getting into a studio, and like, one foot in front of the other. And if you don’t love that, you’re trying to get something else, like money or fame or something else, then there’s just way better jobs you can have to make money and probably get famous, easier ways then making music, but I think that’s one thing I would say. What about you guys?
Joey - I think just persistence. I always go back to, like, the friends that we grew up with. I was like, the least talented of them all, but I just like, did it the longest, and I just didn’t give up, and that’s just like, I always try to instill that in people, like if you love doing it, then don’t stop. You’ve gotta make sacrifices and stuff, but persistence is just so huge.
Nick - I would say just keep doing it, it just happens different for everyone, not everyone's just like Justin Bieber and like 15, like Morgan Freeman didn’t get his first major role until he was 50 or something like that, like Oprah didn’t start until, like she was doing something else until she was 40
Jonathan - Yeah and Steve Carell, too,
Nick - Yeah, Steve Carell, so if you want to do it, and you keep doing it, it’ll probably happen.
Joey - If you wanna do it, get into acting and be an older male, is what we have to say.
On the same topic, what would you say are the best and worst parts of the music industry.
Joey - There’s a lot of each, but to piggyback off of what Jon was saying, just for the pros, you have to love the pros so much, that you are willing to deal with the cons. I mean, to not get into the specifics of the bad things, but there’s just a lot of details, and like hoops you have to work through it, you know, doing it professionally, which is great, and it’s really good that you have like a lot of help and stuff, but it gets harder and harder to like maintain creative control over what you are trying to do, you know what I’m saying, the further you get into it, it’s just the hardest part, for me, about it.
Jonathan - Yeah, I think there’s a few hard things, one being away from family and friends a lot, you know, usually, like 8, 9 months out of the year, you’re just not home, and uh, I also don’t like band pictures, so those are just like, two negatives.
Nick - We gotta eat fast food most of the time.
Jonathan - Yeah, it’s hard man, it’s really hard not to just logistically. We’re lucky to be at a point where, we’re headlining, so it’s like, that’s our rider, peanut butter and jelly, like, tortilla chips and a veggie tray, you know.
I’m not even touring and that sounds like my rider too.
Any final words or parting advice?
Joey - Find you best friend with opposite strengths as you, that’s the way to do it.
Jonathan - Or your worst friend with the same strengths, and then battle it out to see who wins. No that’s not a real answer, I think what Joe’s answer was real, but anything else we want to say, I don’t know, I mean we are just thankful for the people who like our music and listen to it, and give us like a really great job, because we would make really bad accountants, I’m so bad at math.
Check out Nightly’s latest single here and follow them below before they become accountants!