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From the depths of New Jersey comes Night Birds, ready to bring their raucous, classic hardcore to the masses. But with family, work, and regular day to day life to deal with, the now-five piece band aren’t always able to be on the road. So one the rare occasions when they’re able to get out and play songs from last year’s Roll Credits – or any song from their extensive catalog for that matter – you don’t want to miss that.
This weekend sees them playing a short run of shows in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton in Western Canada before popping down to Vegas for one last hurrah.
We chatted with front man Brian Gorsegner as he waited to board his plane in Newark about the mini tours, the mini LP and life in Night Birds.
You started your Canadian tour with Pouzza Fest last week – how’d that go?
It was cool. Super nice folks running that festival and got to hang with our homies in Pears.
You’re also doing Belgium’s SJOCK Festival in July – what makes these punk rock festivals so appealing to you?
Money mostly; no but seriously folks. Extensive touring is not really in the cards for us these days with multiple band members having children and full-time jobs and boring stuff like that – so the opportunity to play somewhere that brings a bunch of people from all over is really beneficial to where we’re at as a band. Plus there’s always bound to be a killer couple of bands that each of us are really stoked to check out. But mostly money.
Did you drive across Canada to start the weekend tour or were you able to fly out to Vancouver?
We drove straight up to Montreal from New Jersey and then back home the next day so we could work for a couple of days. I’m currently sitting at the Newark airport waiting to board our plane to Vancouver as we speak.
You guys have a bunch of short snippets of shows scheduled – this weekend in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and then Las Vegas. Then a two day stint in July in Belgium and UK and then in October doing a four day run with Descendents and Joyce Manor. What makes you pick the short runs?
Like I mentioned previously we are all fairly domesticated at this point and it makes the long stretches not so realistic or even appealing anymore. I have a five-year-old daughter at home and miss the hell out of her after only a couple days so three week stretches impossible unless of course there were to be money, and plenty of it!
All of you also have full time jobs, families, other commitments. Do you ever wish you could go on a longer stretch of shows?
Or does being forced to only do the short runs help keep the shows fresh and exciting for yourself? You have, after all, been in bands since your teens.
Yeah, I do think it gives less of an opportunity to just start running through the motions and phoning it in when you’re only doing a couple gigs at a time. You can tell when you are seeing a band on their 25th day of tour and it all seems a bit too forced. I don’t think we have that, and I sure as shit don’t have it in me.
When you’re doing short tours all across North America, are you able to use your own gear or do you borrow gear once you land? How does that change the dynamic of a show?
Yeah, generally we are borrowing stuff. We bring our guitars and drums breakables that we can fit on the plane but amps and drums we use whatever we can get our hands on. We much prefer using our own gear and have some pretty specific stuff but are super grateful that people let us hop on their stuff when that’s not possible.
Last year was the band’s ten year anniversary – how did that go? Did you ever think you’d still be rocking out ten years later?
Not only rocking out, but making solid albums with the eight song mini LP, Roll Call, out in September. That album is an impressive feat, going so far as to release it as a 7 inch box set with unique artwork for every song – who’s idea was that?
Mine. Most of the brilliant ideas you can just assume were me. Just kidding. No, but it was my idea.
How’d you get Jerry A on the new album?
We met Jerry a few years back at a show we played together in Providence, Rhode Island. We asked him politely if he would take part in the new album and he accepted. Super cool guy and the best photos in hardcore punk ever.
Artwork was done by Chris Shary, Nathan Gattis, Perry Shall, Marissa Paternoster, Michael Saunders, Paul D’Elia, Alex Hagen, Sean Pryor, and Keith Marlowe – how’d you pick those artists to design the artwork?
We all put our heads together as to our initial wish list and everyone of them accepted. It’s a collection of friends, people who had done stuff for us previously, and all of whom we really respect and love their work.
How important is the merger of art and music to you?
I’m a lover of both in their own regard but it’s really important for me with our band to make sure we are 100% satisfied with both elements.
What’s your most memorable album art you’ve seen?
Hmm… maybe Circle Jerks’ Group Sex? Kind of pulling that one out of my ass but I’ve always thought that cover was really striking
Your music also relies heavily on pop culture and history, singing songs with references to Ed Wood, Dennis Rader, Seinfeld, Kids in the Hall, even WWE. What makes you give the nod to other creative outlets in your own writing?
I think it’s just the largest common bond between us.
What’s next for Night Birds?
Need to go board this flight and watch some television. Thanks for the interview!