XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Emily: Our new album Scary World will be out on August 24th, and we’ll be playing a record release party in Los Angeles the following night. We have a really exciting Fall tour that we can’t talk about for another few weeks.
XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?
Emily and Mark: 6 years.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
Emily: Not wanting to have a boring job.
Mark: That’s as good a reason as any!
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Emily: My dad was in a band called Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes back in the 70’s and 80’s so I grew up surrounded by musicians. I took guitar lessons in high school and always sang as a hobby. My dad passed away in 2011 and so I started writing my own songs in my bedroom, almost like a “passing of the torch.” I didn’t think I could ever be a full-time musician until I met Mark and started Night Club with him.
Mark: I discovered punk music as a teenager and that taught me to not be afraid and just get up on stage and take a shot even though I had no music training. Over time I picked up tricks here and there and eventually learned how to actually play and make my own records.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
Emily: To make cool albums and hopefully have people like them.
Mark: To make the best possible records that we can make. We’re always trying raise the bar and get better.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Emily: Definitely not one or the other for me, I like both. When we finish an album I just want to get out there and play the new shit, and when we’re on tour for months and play the same set over and over I just want to get back and write songs again. It’s a vicious cycle.
Mark: I love writing and making new albums but the process can be so draining that it’s always a relief to go on tour and just play the songs for a year.
XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Emily: Anxiety, depression, getting fucked over. Fun themes like that.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road?
Emily: At 2am one night after one of our shows with Combichrist, we drove the bus to a place in Florida called the Sausage Castle. Google it!
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Emily: Probably to have sex with them.
Mark: Yeah, with both of us.
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
Emily: Mark’s family still thinks he should be an English teacher.
Mark: Yeah, not really supportive.
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Emily: Don’t sign to a label. Or if you do, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Also don’t be a synthwave or retro artist, because we have way too many of those.
Mark: Do something original.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Emily: For me, probably Dear Enemy or Your Addiction. Because I just think of the person who inspired them every time we play those songs live and it makes me happy.
Mark: Yeah, Dear Enemy is always my favorite.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Emily: Mark inspired me to perform! I didn’t have any confidence and didn’t think I could be a front person of a band when we first started writing songs together, so he pushed me until I became one. And for that I thank him.
Mark: The Sex Pistols inspired me. I figured if they could make a record, then I certainly should be able to.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Emily: Us opening for Depeche Mode, NIN. Or Britney Spears.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Emily: Sticking it out for 6 years as an underground pop band and not giving up. This shit is not for the thin skinned.
Mark: Yeah, I’m proud of the fact that we stuck to our guns and did things our way. We write/produce all of our music and videos. Also, I’m proud of the fact that we’ve been able to play a few arenas this year and hold our own up there with only the two of us.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Emily: Maybe something to do with wine or animals. But honestly I think I would be terrible at any other job. This is the only thing I’m truly passionate about.
Mark: I have another career as a director so probably that.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Mark: I mix all of our tracks live (not 2 tracks but ALL of the tracks) and play keyboards. I use Ableton for the mix and Reason/Massive for the synths.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Emily: I couldn’t be more bored by mainstream music right now. And that’s coming from a huge pop music fan. Everything on the radio right now is formulaic, by the numbers and uninspired. Everyone is playing it safe right now. That’s also my issue with the synthwave scene. Everyone is just doing the same thing over and over again. Same aesthetics, same sounds.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Emily: I think we’re a lot more energetic live than people would think upon listening to our records. Also we know a decent amount about wine.
Mark: Yeah, we rock harder than people probably think we do.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Emily and Mark: Get our new album and come see us this Fall. Details to come very soon.
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!
Emily and Mark: Thanks!