A Conversation with The NowhereNauts


Get to know The NowhereNauts. The New York City based band have a fun and eclectic sound that are sure to get your toes tapping and your fingers snapping. The NowhereNauts’ Sofier Kapur, Hunter Lombard, Andres Kapur along with their drummer Tony Franco, are a young and fresh combination of songwriters and musicians that would sure to impress any fan of retro rock.  Their self titled album is available now on iTunes.

How did you get your start on the music industry?

HUNTER: I’ve wanted to work in music since I was 11 or 12, but my real exposure to the music industry came after I started working with Kevin March and The NowhereNauts.

ANDERS: Through The NowhereNauts, honestly. I had been playing bass and guitar in a mess of different bands with my high school friends for years, but The NowhereNauts marked the first time I had the chance – and the drive – to take my music seriously and try to make it in the industry. When we started, we were definitely out of our element as far as the business side of the industry goes, but we’ve become more accustomed to it as we get more and more into licensing our music and selling records.

How did you come up with the name The NowhereNauts?

SOFIE: We had another name, Blame the Patient, at first. However, due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control we had to change the name. Whenever someone asked, “What’s your name? Blame the Patient?” we’d answer, “No, we’re not”. Over time and after contemplating the various spellings and connotations, we settled on The NowhereNauts.

TONY:  I wasn’t around when the name was created, but I really love it. It has a vagueness and flexibility to it. We could create any sound we like, and the name would still fit.

Who are some of your musical influences?

HUNTER: Dinosaur Jr., Lady Gaga, My Bloody Valentine, the Riot Grrrl scene, a lot of 80s and 90s bands. Also, whoever I’m currently listening to the most like Austra, Twin Shadow, Tune-Yards, Washed Out, and The Avalanches.

ANDERS: The bands I’m listening to right now (just going by what currently has the most plays on my iTunes) that are influencing my sound are New Order, the New Pornographers, Pavement, the Pixies, Weezer, Hot Chip, Klaxons, and Little Joy. I’m also way into Brazilian music right now like Jorge Bem, Caetano Veloso, os Novos Baianos.

How would you describe your musical sound? In what way did your musical influence specifically influence your sound?

TONY: We all have different influences, from Hunter loving Lady Gaga to my appreciation of Rush. Although Neil Peart doesn’t find his way into my drumming, you can hear some of our various influences come through in our individual parts, which in turn help to create our unique sound.

ANDERS: I think what makes our band great is that our influences are eclectic enough to make our music interesting, but at the same time they are united by a few key bands which helps to keep our sound cohesive. Everyone brings something different to the table. I personally love post-punk, so a lot of post-punk influence can be found in my bass playing, especially in those Peter Hook type drones and high riffs. I’m also a big believer in “less is more”, so I try to stay out of the way of Hunter’s guitar parts and Sofie’s vocals. As I mentioned earlier I am listening to a lot of Brazilian music right now. I love the chord structures in those songs, so one of the things I’ve been doing lately is figuring out what those chords are, cranking ’em up, and playing them like power chords. It sounds AWESOME.

nowherenauts album

Tell us about you self-titled debut album. What was the creative process like in the studio? Was the process what you expected it or did it offer a creative challenge?

HUNTER: Our debut came together really quickly after our old band broke up last year. We spent one week last summer locked in our practice space writing a majority of the songs that are on the record. The creative process in the studio was mostly about capturing our live performances as a band. We recorded the whole record to tape over a total of 4 days. It was pretty much what we expected since we already had experience recording to tape and working quickly.

SOFIE: Our album came out on May 3rd. It’s so great that it’s finally out after all the work we put into it (our first finished album was, unfortunately, shelved). In the studio, we all practiced the songs before we went in in an attempt to be more efficient because of our shorter recording time. It was a lot of fun despite all the obsessing over certain parts. As we went, we kind of adjusted some parts and added vocals or bits here and there to flush out the sound. It was a little bit of a challenge, but so worth it.

What are a few of your favorite songs on the album? What inspired these songs?

SOFIE: Out of all the songs on the album I really like Try to Light My Fuse because it’s fun to chant to, dance to, and sing. We Got the Message is also a favorite of mine. It’s a nice little interlude where Anders gets to sing and I can kick back and sing harmonies. I like the variety in that way.

ANDERS: My favorites on the album are “Try to Light My Fuse” and “Newspaper Today”. Both of those songs were written last summer, along with a couple of others, in a marathon 3-day writing session. Over those three days we were all feeling really creative and driven, and I’m happy with our output from that session. We never sit down and say, “I’m going to write a song about….” We just kind of write and the songs take a life of their own, which leads us in unexpected directions and allows us to not be restrained by our initial ideas.

Are there any singers or producers you would like to work with in the future either on a song or tour with?

HUNTER: I would love, love, love, to tour, work with, and be Lady Gaga’s best friend. I also really want to tour with St. Vincent and have Jack White produce something of ours

TONY:  I would love to write a song with Brian Eno. I’m a huge fan of his, and the artists he’s worked with over the years. To be able to create music with him would be incredible. It would also be exciting to work with Carl Glanville. The band has known him for a few years, and we’re really hoping to work with him in the future.

How important of a role has social media play in your music career? Does it offer any challenges?

SOFIE: We try to use Facebook and Myspace to get the music “out there”, and social media is great for that. It’s easy when you tell someone you have a band to just say “look us up on Myspace” or “friend us on Facebook” (which everyone reading this should do, by the way). On the other hand I personally have Twitter issues. I just never know what to tweet.

the Nowherenauts trio

ANDERS: I don’t think we would have the success we do without social media. It’s easy to take the internet for granted these days, but the fact that you can put your songs online for someone on the other side of the word to listen to (potentially) is an amazing opportunity for independent artists. Facebook makes it really easy to get the word out about your band as well. Probably only a fraction of our Facebook friends have seen us live, but every single one of those people is aware of The NowhereNauts and is able to follow us easily. It’s an incredible resource as far as promotion goes. Our jobs would be much harder if social media didn’t exist.

Where do you see The NowhereNauts In five years?

SOFIE: Hopefully we’ll still be playing music together and writing more. In five years we’ll all be out of college, which means we’ll get to devote even more time to playing. More albums! Bigger shows! We’ll see!

TONY:  My crystal ball tells me… a world tour, a beautiful album that inspires more kids to play and write music (like we all started out), and… what’s this I see? The NowhereNauts practicing in Hunter’s underwater home? In five years anything can happen!

What’s next for The NowhereNauts?

HUNTER: A lot of new music and hopefully touring soon.

TONY:  We’ll be playing more venues, putting on better performances and working on our next album. Very exciting times for us NowhereNauts!

Check out The NowhereNauts on WEB at http://www.thenowherenauts.com/