The following is an Independent Spotlight exclusive interview with the up and coming Australian rock outfit, The National Evening Express!
You’ve just released your new single, ‘Energy.’ You draw upon influences like the Ramones, the Black Crowes, and the Cramps in your music. What exactly do you pull from each of your influences? It seems your influences transcend several genres.
Yeah, we pull a lot of different things from those bands: songwriting inspiration, song groove/swagger, and definitely live performance genius... it's all there, you just gotta' tune in and pull a bit out.
How important are live performances to the whole of The National Evening Express? You have a more rigorous touring schedule than most independent outfits.
We definitely try to play as much as we can. Those moments where the music takes everyone to that special place in the moment is pretty addictive.
The National Evening Express is based out of Australia, specifically, in Melbourne. Now, the Independent Spotlight is mostly American music and artists. Thus, I’d be curious into your insight about your own local scene. Is there a lot of independent music in Melbourne? What kind of creative community is there in the city? Do you have aspirations to expand beyond it?
Melbourne has always had a strong music scene, probably the best in Australia. It's the most cultural of all the cities and it encourages creativity. You can see good live music every night of the week. We'd love to expand beyond our little part of the world, who knows what can happen. It's all in the music.
‘Energy’ was completed rather quickly - You announced pre-production at the beginning of October and released it just over a month later. What was this process like for the band? How does ‘Energy’ compare to your previous studio endeavors?
Ha! Yeah we have a saying: if you don't buy the ticket, you're never going on the trip! So we knew we had to book the recording date and then work towards it; it’s the best way to complete anything - have a little bit of healthy pressure pushing you along. And this recording was also a step up for us in recording and production from previous efforts so we had to work hard and be organized, and we think it shows in the end recording.
You describe yourselves as a band with a “diverse, global background,’ one that helps create a fresh but familiar sound. What do you mean by this? How does your global perspective come into play with your music?
Well, we all come from different countries: Jan - Drummer/Norway, Dave - Lead guitar/Europe, Berto - Vox guitar/Australia, Matt - Bass/New Zealand. So everyone’s upbringing and the music they listened to has created an exciting melting pot where we each bring a little bit of difference to the songs we create.
With ‘Energy’ under your belt, what are your plans for the remainder of 2015 and moving forward into the new year? Is the single a glimpse into a potential record?
The rest of the year will now be dedicated to promoting the song ‘ENERGY’ and completing a couple more live dates. Then next year, we will be releasing a follow up single which will be part of an EP that we will record later in 2016.
What is the songwriting process of the group like? Is it collective, or is there a principle songwriter?
Main songwriting has Berto bringing the words and music to the table, or someone will have a riff or idea and he’ll squirrel away and come back with the music, lyrics, arrangement, etc. Then everyone jumps in with their style to make it our sound.
The four piece all-male rock outfit is something that’s become overly familiar throughout the years. How do you work to create both music and a persona that remains consistently interesting? So much of the music scene, both mainstream and independent, is moving away from a traditional line-up to embrace more experimental setups.
Four on the floor lineups are timeless. 2 piece drum/guitar have been done and other configurations are just trying to replicate the sound of drums, bass, and guitars that hits you deep live, especially for our genre of rock music.
Last year, you dropped a music video for a single entitled ‘This Ain’t Real.’ It’s a remarkably well shot video, one of the best videos I’ve seen for an independent band with a wonderful level of production quality. Are you going to do the same for ‘Energy’ or any future releases?
The video was fun! Yeah we’d love to do that again for ‘ENERGY.’ It’s only time and money stopping us!
Finally, I love to ask the same question to end each Independent Spotlight interview. It’s always interesting to gain insight into artists as not just content creators, but consumers. If members of The National Evening Express were to put together a playlist and hit shuffle, what five songs may pop up?
Back in Black – AC/DC, Night Train – Guns and Roses
Stand In Line- Midnight Oil, Seeing Things - The Black Crowes
Ramble On – Led Zeppelin
Connect with the band! http://www.thenationaleveningexpress.com/