It's that time of the year! Finally! Warped Tour is finally here. Along with your favorite bands taking the Main Stage (Left Shark and Unicorn are among the themes for the tour's twenty-first run across North America), there comes a large slew of artists that we guarantee you've never heard of. But you SHOULD know about them. After all, a band from Tallahassee, FL once started out selling their CDs for $5 to fans waiting in line for the Vans Warped Tour in their town (that band, Mayday Parade, are now about to release their fifth studio album through Fearless Records, with a major tour more than likely to follow). Moral of the story: pay attention to the newer artists as much as the bigger ones. You never know whose going where.
The first artist in our Warped Tour exclusive series of interviews to be featured on Shameless Promotions & Media hails from Pasco, a town in the southeastern area of Washington state. Night Argent are currently on the Vans Warped Tour, electrifying new fans with their high energy set fueled by an infectious brand of pop-rock music. Just two days before the band were set to head to the kickoff date in Pomona, CA, lead vocalist Chase Manhattan sat down with Shameless to talk about the creation of their new EP, the new campaign they'll have going this summer for fans that want to get the EP for free, and much more. Check it out below.
You guys are in full Warped Tour mode, since the tour’s coming up rather quickly?
Yeah! We’re actually getting ready to pack up our gear in our camper, and then take the evening off before we head out tomorrow morning.
Warped Tour is not necessarily considered a tour for the faint of heart, but it’s truly one of the best summers you can ever have. What are you guys hoping to walk away with from doing these thirteen dates?
I’d say (we have) three main goals. Number one, connect with new fans and meet new people, make some life long fans, get some people to fall in love with the music that we’ve spent all of this time creating. Second (goal) would be seeing new places, playing new venues that we’ve never been to. The dates in between, the time in between where we just get to hang out and not worry about the music, is definitely something we’re looking forward to. We’re going to camp at the Grand Canyon between the Denver, Colorado and San Diego show. Number three being [sic] becoming tighter and stronger as a unit, as a band. Every time we play a tour, and we haven’t done one quite as extensive as this one with all of the other bands involved, we get better as musicians and as a unit. This is what we hope to achieve with this Warped Tour.
I think that comment about wanting to see new places and see the world is great, because you won’t get that with any other tour. While there are tours where you do get to see new places, you’re mainly stuck at the venue. With this, even though you are in the venue, you’re outside and can see everything. I’m stoked for you guys.
Thanks man! We’re looking forward to it!
Who came up with the “take a picture, tag us, and get a copy of the EP” idea? I thought it was really clever.
That was something that we decided to do as a band, and it was actually inspired by an artist called The Weeknd. We read an interview from him, and we love studying our favorite artists, the route they go, and seeing how they interact with their fans. One of the things that he talked about was giving away his music to his fans and focusing on building up this kind of community around what he’s creating, versus seeing his fans as walking dollar signs. That really struck a chord with us. We make music because we love it, and we share it with people because we want it to impact them, and to see their reaction. So we were trying to think of how to best get the music out to as many people as possible, while still engaging the fans. We decided to give away the EP for free, and along with that gives the fans something to kind of remember the moment by, having a picture with a band the first time they got the CD or the music. That’s where that concept came from.
Talking a little bit about the EP itself, when you went into the studio to record these songs, did you walk in knowing exactly what you wanted them to sound like? Or did it have to evolve over time?
This EP was a bit of time coming. We had been playing these songs together for about a year, and we were really focusing on trying to develop our sound and image, and deciding on who we were going to be as a band before putting our music out there. So when we went into the studio to record these songs, we self-produced this EP. We did the recording for it, and we had a good friend whose a mix engineer mix it. We wanted to make sure that it would convey our live show as much as possible, because that’s where we developed the music, and that’s where we grow as a band: onstage. So when we went into the studio, we had an idea of what we wanted it to sound like, but it was definitely an interesting process trying to convey the live energy into the recording. We had a pretty good idea of how we wanted it to sound, but there’s always ideas that pop up in the studio that you wouldn’t think of in any other place.
Were there any tracks in particular that started off way different than the finished project? Were there any that were a bit more challenging than others in terms of obstacles that got in the way?
I’d say that the most challenging song would be “Towers”. It’s the last one that we mixed in the studio. That was the toughest to translate from the stage to the EP. We even considered leaving it off the EP for about a week until we, what I call, “went to war” with the mix engineer, in the most friendly way possible. But it really is (war) because when the mix engineer mixes, he has his vision for it, and he has what he wants to hear, and we have we want to hear, (which is) what we’re used to hearing live. We spent about one full day after the first mix just going through and tweaking sounds, and changing levels and balances, to kind of get the emotion and power that we were going for in the recording. That one took the longest to get it where we wanted it, but we’re really happy with how it turned out.
I could definitely tell that the arrangement was a bit more complex than any of the other tracks. I’ve got to say that “Widowmaker” does a great job of closing the EP in a very strong way. When did that song come into the process?
“Widowmaker” is one of the first songs that we started playing live as a band. With that one, over the time of playing it live, it really started to pick up energy and develop a life of its own. The way it ends, with the big instrumental, was something that we decided to add for the live show. It came across so well live that people loved the way we closed out the show. We decided to put that on the EP. Since we were trying to convey our live energy after the recording, we figured, “why not give it to people who can’t even see the show, in order to encourage them to come out to the show and get a feel for the energy we bring live?”
The next two questions I ask to every artist that I interview. First: what kind of message, if any, would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?
As far as a message goes, and this goes back to our first single “Nothing More Beautiful”, I’d say the biggest message we want to convey is that no matter how rough life gets, no matter how hard things get, you can always pull yourself back up and keep moving forward. “Nothing More Beautiful” especially talks about how hard life can hit you sometimes, and how it can seem like everything’s conspiring against you. It’s in those moments that you truly find out who you are and how strong you are. We definitely want people to walk away feeling like they could achieve more than they thought they could to begin with.
What does music mean to you?
Dude, music is life to me. And I mean that in the sense that everything that we do, every movie that you watch, every part of your life, whether you realize it or not, has its own soundtrack. A lot of my biggest memories, I have a song that will trigger those memories. I can relate a certain band to a certain time in my life. It kind of helps tell the story of how I’ve grown and developed. Music is one of the few things in this world that every single person has in common, despite race, social status; we all have love for music. Every culture. Even the cultures that have been separated from the rest of humanity for years and years have their own music. SP
For more information on tour dates and music, visit www.facebook.com/NightArgent
This has been another Shameless Promotion.