Overnight gets a lot of off-the-cuff comparisons to Hot Hot Heat, but with a careful listen you'll find they are more than that. Sure, they've hit the New York "dance rock" sound pretty accurately, but they've mixed it in with a traditional rock feel to give us the best of both worlds.
The band also self-produced the songs on their ep - and from the sound of it, spent a lot of time getting it right. We're betting they have that much dedication in getting their live show right as well, so come check them out tomorrow night at Shake Your Halo! And for now, get a peak inside the singer's brain as he answers our questions...
Let's get this out of the way, where did your band name originate?
Nothing too zany, we were trying to think of a name for weeks and coming out of practice one night Gregg dropped the name Overnight and it was the first one where one of us didn't immediately veto it. It fit the group and our music is kind of nocturnal or dark so we all slept on it and it stuck.
What is your first conscious memory of living in New York?
That's easy as it was two years ago. I had been living in the Los Angeles and my girl was living here going to school. We were sick of hopping planes every other month and Los Angeles was over for me. I loved NY and we both knew I was going to be the one to move so I packed up the band van with everything I owned (which was about exclusively music equipment) and hit it. When I left LA on December 15th it was sunny and in the low 70's. I stopped in Ohio for about a week and then when came on to New York about Jan 3rd or 4th and it was like 10 below with wind chill. I distinctly remember thinking "what the fuck did you think it was going to be like genius?" I didn't even own a winter coat.
What is your favorite/least favorite memory involving New York?
Favorite: Sleeping on my sisters floor when I was 8 or 9 years old. I'm the youngest of 8 kids and my oldest sister is almost 20 years my senior. She was a ballet dancer here and I came and visited her for a week. I was totally hypnotized by the city and my first night I stared out at a very busy Broadway at 3 in the morning wondering what in hell everyone was still doing.
Least: Watching some random guy get one of the worst beat-downs I've ever seen one night on the F Train. I was in the next car and all these people came streaming through the door like they were trying to get away from something. Through the window I could see like half a dozen or more guys just working over this one brother that was just trying to cover up and stay on his feet. For like a fraction of a second I thought about going in to help him but yea, I knew that would have been just taking his place as the
piñata. Train stopped and all the hoodies ran off shouting and laughing and a few of us went in to help the guy out. He was conscious but like barely and his face was just... broken. It freaked me out because it appeared to be pretty random, they just picked him out. Just wrong place wrong time.
What is your favorite place to drink in NYC, and what's the best night to go out?
Across the street and from the music building on 39th, within the "Port Authority Fear Zone", is this weird little bar where pudgy latina bartenders wear 6 inch stilettos and hot pants and are in a perpetual sour mood. There's a very palpable sense of imminent danger as there's always a group of what look like Columbian cartel types haunting the joint. It's exciting but I forget the name. For the sake of a name I'd have to say the other joint across the street, The Village 38 on 38th and 8th. It's a pizza joint/convenience store and oh so much more. There's always a savory lot of near homeless, illegals, and drag kittens nursing tall boys and Iron City 40's at the window lunch seats. If it isn't obvious, we like a little adventure with our cocktails. Beats the crap out of those puma wearing, heineken holes downtown eight days a week.
What is your favorite/least favorite thing about playing shows in New York?
Is there a difference between shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn?
Least: Gotta say if there's one area LA (or most places for that matter) beats the shit out of NY it's the car/van on gig night. A king's ransom for a musician that owns a fucking car in this town! I
had to ditch the van because it was dying and now getting to city shows is a gypsy affair of cabs and borrowed vehicles. We have keyboards and an electric piano so it's not like we're gonna take a train. We need sherpas.
Favorite: So many good bands. It's too easy and even cool in New York to be super jaded and give anything new you hear the stink eye but when it comes right down to it, there's a lot of wonderfully talented people in this city and some of them don't draw big crowds. Folks get wrapped up in competition or jealousy and staying ahead of the curve, whatever that is. I myself like to be inspired by my peers and hopefully return the favor.
NY vs. Brooklyn: Brooklyn's a scene, New York is more disparate. Two Overnighters live in Brooklyn and when we play there it's much more of a 'local' vibe. We're more likely to play with bands that we know and share tastes with in Brooklyn than in New York.
Do you think your New York connection shows in your music? If so, how?
Personally my music has changed since I've moved here. Some of that is just normal evolution but that I'm in New York is part of it to. When we first started out as a band our sound was more open and airy, had more sugar. It think we've gotten progressively darker and more focused. Our arrangements are tighter, more frenetic I guess...
Now its time for some fill-in-the-blank action
“You know you’ve made it when…”
Sherpas, we've landed maybe two sherpas for gig night. They run decent sound and they're not drunk at load out.
“It’ll be time to pack up the gear for good when…”
When the next thing embraces each of us I guess. I don't ever think in those terms.
“I’ll never forget the first time I…”
Lost my bathing suit in the ocean. Mexico. Was a long walk back to the towel.
“I’ll never forget the first time [insert another band member’s name here]…”
John pulled a Larry David on the Pizza guy at Village 38. The guy was massaging some ground beef then just grabbed our slices and threw them in the oven. John about burst a vein, I had to leave. Even the trannies and illegals stopped and stared. But John was right, don't get your slices there.
Let's have some fun with word association. Give me your immediate feelings on the following (if you’ve got no discernable feelings, make something up that won’t embarrass you in the morning)
Drunk doods on the A-Train talking loud and spoiling for a fight.
The other white meat.
Ever hear Richard Thompson’s version of "Hit Me Baby"? With his weird brogue, it's kinda creepy. I like that song though, it's got a good progression.
Basic tool of the music business trade. Bu-dum crash.
Bridge & Tunnel
Slings & Arrows
Does anybody even know anybody that thought that a big ass stadium in Manhattan was a good idea?
Questions inspired by movies
If you will, a brief justification of the ontological necessity of modern man's existential dilemma (in less than 10 words). (Reality Bites)
Trout Mask Replica
What came first, the music or the misery? (High Fidelity)
Musery... maybe miseric. Two great tastes that taste great together.
A few quickies on the music tip
Who would be in your ultimate music supergroup, your all-star Olympic team of rock?
I don't know... Angus Young, John Entwistle, Mitch Mitchell, & Hank Williams. With all that noodling and yodeling though they'd probably just suck. Supergroups usually suck.
What was the first/last album you bought on the day it was released?
I forget the first but the last was Frances the Mute last year. Before that I think was Prince's Musicology (I'm a late convert).
And finally...If Josh Schwartz, creator of the OC, asked your band to perform on his tv show (as Modest Mouse, the Killers and the Walkmen recently have) would you?
Ok, seriously, I haven't read this column before, do people actually say no to this question? With as little as artists make these days and as stupid hard it is for even great artists to get heard, really? I mean, when the Flaming Lips played 90210, don't you think that this ship done sailed. If you turned this down I feel we could safely tag you 100% pure, bonafide, top-shelf Dumbass and your original SwanT-shirt, Refused 7-inch and Velvet Underground 8 track collection won't change that.
Overnight plays the Shake Your Halo party @ Fat Baby [112 Rivington St at Essex] Wednesday February 1st. They go on at 9:15pm.
Photo: Meaghan Montagano