Night Birds, a surf punk rock band from the New Jersey area (USA), was one of bands I really wanted to see on the ‘Watch Out’ stage at Groezrock 2016 and, when possible, to have a small chat with front man Brian, well both came trough.
[Îrony onn] “We are the best band off Groezrock, we sold 2,5 million albums, that is worldwide not only in Belgium and pretty much the best you will see all year. [Irony Off] We are a surf punk band, we do it for fun, it is not our job. We are a mediocre band and Dillinger Four is actually the best band,” Brian introduces Night Birds.
To quote a friend of mine “Night Birds are the hardcore punk version of Agent Orange.” “We are inspired by all kinds of music from Jazz, sixties stuff, surf, … As far as the punk rock stuff goes, the bands that probably influenced us the most are ‘Naked Raygun’, ‘The Damned’, ‘New Bomb Turks’, ‘The Angry Samoans’ … a lot of all sorts of early eighties bands … from the Midwest ‘Negative Approach’, ‘the Necros’, … ‘Big Boys’, ‘The Dicks’ from Texas and all the West Coast bands like the ‘Adolescents’, ‘D.I.’, … you know all the good shit,” Brian says. “We write songs about all kinds of stuff: stupid movies, farts, … it doesn’t really matter,” Brian adds. A bid like Iron Reagan? “Yeah, I guess that’s kind of fair sure….,” Brian replies.
Night Birds started in 2009 when Joe (bass) his former band broke up. “Joe played in one of one of my favourite bands and when they broke up I asked him if he wanted to be in a melodic punk rock band with me. We had a lot of bands we both really liked. He agreed and we started from there. I initially started on drums … we went through a few line-up switches and ended up where we are now. Its been fun,” Brian says.
Night Birds latest album ‘Mutiny At Muscle Beach’ got released via Fat Wreck Chords. “I got word that Chad Williams, who works at the label, liked us. So, I sent him some demo’s and told that we would do a 7” called ‘Maimed for the masses’ (Red. which got released on Fat Wreck Chords). Later, Mike (Fat Wreck) came up to us on Punk Rock Bowling a couple of years ago and said he wanted to put out our next record. We weren’t sure that we would do a next record but it sounded like a good idea so basically if were able to do another record we would do it with Fat Wreck and that’s how the ‘Mutiny At Muscle Beach’ record got released by Fat,” Brian says.
The first time that Night Birds came to Europe was in 2011 and this 2016 tour is their third European tour. “It’s been really, really fun to do. So Far we only toured America, Europe and Canada and Europe is always so hospitable to us. Everyone is super kind to us. Shows have all been packed, we played 18 shows in 18 days, well today is show 18. I’m not sure that this one will be good, I think it might be. Every show so far had a good audience and everyone is super friendly. It is always really fun to come over here,” Brian says. Night Birds was asked to play Groezrock in 2015 but the new album wasn’t out yet so they asked for a rain check to play the 2016 edition and got it.
What about Night Birds future plans? “Well, we’ve always kind of known what the next thing was going to be: working on a new album, touring, … It is the first time in 7 years that we don’t know what is next. Maybe we do something weird … I would like to do a movie soundtrack, a surf punk soundtrack for a horror movie … no prospects so far,” Brian says.