Making sizable waves in the US right now it was inevitable that the popularity of New Years Day would ripple across the Atlantic to the UK and Europe. Following on from a stunning set at last years Download festival the band have made sure to keep the momentum going by touring back to back with Motionless In White and Escape The fate. Get Your Rock Out spoke to affable guitarist Nikki Misery about life on the road and who gets control of the music on the tour bus.
You’ve been doing very well in the US and you’ve put a lot of effort in recently to break into the UK and European music scene. How’s that going?
“It seems to be going awesome. It’s always so surreal when you’re in the position you don’t see the success you just hear people telling you. I just have this feeling I’m going to wake up one morning and I’m going to be five again and I’m like no! it was all a dream. It’s amazing.”
What have you found different in the UK to the US? We’ve got a good scene right now and there’s a general acceptance socially of people that want to look different such as people from the alternative subculture as we call it. It’s not such a big thing as it was. Does that vary in the States in different regions?
“Sort of. I never look at it like that because alternative cultures have been around since the beginning of time really and there are so many different scenes. American kids get to see us all the time but when we get to play here it’s like there’s a real hunger. As for dressing different, I want to see not just died hair and stuff I want to see kids be their own stars like back in the days of Bowie. It wasn’t just a band tee shirt then, everybody looked awesome. Back in the days when punk rock first started it wasn’t a set uniform like it is now. As for acceptance, I want to say yes but that means we need to do more because if it’s accepted it means we’re dying out.”
You always have to push the boundaries a bit more?
“Exactly, that’s what rock and roll is supposed to be, or music in general. “
You’ve been with New Years Day from 2011, Ash (Costello) was there from the beginning. You’ve rotated the other band members round. Was that by design or did people just leave.
“People just pretty much decided to leave. People get lives, lives get caught up, people want to do different things, people can’t handle the road, people get egos. The road as easy as it is drives you insane and it can either make you or break you. I don’t have a problem with it but I watch other people and it eats them up from the inside.”
Do you think there’s a misconception by the public and even ardent music fans that they think it’s all glamour and they don’t appreciate how hard it can be and how much work has to go into touring?
“Yeah, it’s a lot of hard work and it’s not that glamourous. It’s pretty disgusting, very dirty. Kids ask how do I get to do this? I say don’t expect to make money, don’t expect these amazing lifestyles because it’s not. I wouldn’t do anything else though, I absolutely love it.”
You’ve got to want to write and perform. It’s not about the money.
“It’s more than just music, it’s wanting to travel, have your sleeping totally screwed, relationships with girlfriends, families, it all gets pushed on to the back burner. It’s a lot more than just music. It’s a real lifestyle. If you want it you had better really want it.”
Where did Hauntedmansioncore come from?
“We kind of did it to make fun of all these different sub genre cores like circus metal core, Nintendo rock heavy core. It was also a working title for a song which turned ut to be In Your Last Words. If people ask I just say we’re a rock and roll band.”
Yeah I’d say you’re a hard rock band with elements of punk and an underlying horror theme. The music itself though is about melody and structure.
“Yeah, I love it. Last time we were here someone tried to call us metalcore and I don’t even know what that is. I’m still trying to figure out what the hell emo is.”
It’s more a state of mind really.
“People say it’s emotional and I’m like…so…any music then, blues, country?”
You mentioned David Bowie earlier. A huge loss and not just for his music but to be able to express yourself.
“Yeah, that’s Bowie. He was a rock legend. That guy pushed boundaries from the beginning. What’s really cool about him is not just the elaborate style and conceptual albums it was the constant evolution. You’d never hear the same record over and over and you’d never see the same Bowie over and over again. The same goes with Manson, Alice Cooper and even the Stones, the legends. These are the guys you would read about and then want to do this kind of life.”
Do you think the way the music industry is structured now we’re not going to see the likes of David Bowie and those mega artists again?
“I absolutely believe that the music industry is destroying that kind of artist. The music industry is just all about money.”
On the tour bus, you’re sharing with Escape The Fate, who gets to say what music gets put on and who gets what bunk? Is it all pretty convivial or do you get a bit of claustrophobic angst?
“Pretty much on this bus we’ve been out hanging out with people so it’s just when you go to sleep. As for music I can totally be a music hog but Ash always puts on the best dance party music so nobody fights. You just give her the auxiliary cable and it’s happening. I personally don’t listen to anything past 1977 except for some bands. I’ve been listening to a lot of old old rock and roll and old blues and jazz just lately. We just love music, it doesn’t matter what kind it is. I would hate to be constantly surrounded by the same tunes. We listen to a lot of pop music and although a sixteen year old me would kick my ass for listening to it some of that stuff is really good. Even though the music industry is killing us with it, some of those tunes are good, I can’t deny it.”