There’s something in a name. For a new band, if you get that right you’re already half way there. Plenty of bands come up with catchy names, only a few have the tunes to back them up. we’re only afraid of NYC are one of those bands.
If I’m honest I thought their first EP was okay, it didn’t particularly stand out from the crowd. So to say that I was surprised about how good their Second EP was, would be the mother of all understatements. To put it simply, it’s stunning, I literally had one of those jaw dropping moments were I had to take a step back and appreciate quite how good the music I was listening to was.
It boasts a blend of pop, post-rock with a touch of Radiohead too boot. Oh and I nearly forgot to mention that they’ve taken the bold step of giving it away as a free download on their Bandcamp page. So even if you don’t agree with me (you’d be a fool not to), then you won’t have wasted a single penny. I really have high hopes for these guys, I expect big things from them over the next few years. If you don’t trust me, then trust the lovely Lauren Laverne, who’s been playing them on her BBC 6Music show. Not bad for an unsigned band from Glasgow……
Would you care to introduce yourself?
Hi we are we’re only afraid of NYC, a three piece band from Glasgow/Stockholm.
Where did the name ‘we’re only afraid of NYC’ come from?
It came from a crossword in the paper, just stuck in our heads. We never solved the clue either, which says it all really. (6,4) second letter is a T.
How would you describe the music you make?
Right now it would be post rock with a hook, loud quiet louder….something like that I suppose. Ask us next week and who knows though, just whatever is sparking our interest at that moment.
How did you start out making music?
Same as everyone really, just for something to do. We really started doing this just to please ourselves. We make what we want to hear and then find out if it connects with anybody else afterwards. You can’t chase after what’s hot, just enjoy and believe in what you are doing. If anything comes of it then that’s a bonus but at least you are doing what you like and you own it.
What process goes into the way you write songs?
Our songs start with little ideas about a mood or subject which turn into demos which then fly around between us. Then it grows into a ten minute epic whilst we are pushing it in every direction possible. After that we mercilessly edit it down to get the flow right and find the bits that have to be there and everything else is cut. Sometimes a song will just fall out of the sky the week before we record like “run with heart” from the new EP but usually it is the other way around.
Who are your big musical influences?
Right now we are loving Deerhoof, Yo La Tengo, Grinderman, Refused and a lot of stuff like Dion and the Belmonts, the Inkspots. Lots of stuff from the 50’s. The clarity of melody/harmony and the way it frees up the music to go wherever it wants in a lot of the 50’s harmony groups is really interesting us right now. Also loving the new Tom Waits Glitter and Doom record. We couldn’t pay that amount of money to see him without crying a little inside forever, so the record is a barely suitable compromise.
So far you have given all of your recordings away for free, why have you chosen to go down this route?
It just doesn’t seem right to us to put a barrier of 79p in the way of someone who wants to hear your music, streaming is okay but its no substitute for having it on your ipod or in the car whenever you want it. We just want to get the songs out to people, get them to share them. I doubt we’d be any worse off financially if we were charging for it, most of the money you pay to a band goes straight to the cd printer or to itunes. So why line the pockets of middlemen with your friends money? The technology is here whether we like it or not so we might as well use it to our advantage. We will deal with the future when it comes but at this stage for us it is something we are proud to do.
What can we expect to see/hear from you in 2010?
Next record is written, looking at a May/June release. It will again be free to anyone who wants it. Other than that we’ll just keep writing, playing good gigs and enjoying it. The rest really isn’t up to us.
we’re only afraid of NYC’s new EP ‘Zero Point Two’ is available to download for free from their Bandcamp page.