18 Aug 2022

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The Nighthawk Experience - The Nighthawk Experience Newsletter Interview

19 Apr 2020 // An interview by Shade

The story of The Nighthawk Experience (NHE) follows two different character's named Kage and Yume. Kage is a 17 year old boy who feels nihilistic about the world and is trying to find meaning and purpose. Yume is a 17 years old girl, who has had her life laid out for her by everyone around her but then it gets turned upside down and now she needs to make sense of it. The Nighthawk Experience's has released two single so far Current Lies and Human Nature these have both been released on YouTube and steaming platforms Spotify and Apple Music. Scott answered the following questions for Muzic.net.nz:

How did you become involved in music?

I started playing music when I was 8 years of age and my first instrument was actually the Alto Saxophone. I didn't pick up the guitar and start writing music until I was 15. The guitar allowed me to express myself like no other instrument and I've been writing music ever since.

What NZ bands and musicians would you like to tour with, and why?

Oh man, I've had the luxury in the past with touring with Coridian in my old band which was awesome. I'd love to tour with them again as it was so much fun and they're just great dudes who always had good yarns and laughs. I'm really digging the material Outside In has been putting out over the last year as well, so I'd love to tour with them and at one point it would be cool to tour with Written by Wolves.

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

Well on the upcoming EP I'm releasing Current Lies it's really hard to say, it's like asking who your favourite child is. It does change all the time but the song that I'm always so happy that I decided to record was Whose Entitlement? It just has everything I want to say lyrically and it's so ridiculous. It always makes me smile when I play it. I can't wait for the animated video to be finished, it's something really special I reckon.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?

I'd say just Alternative Rock. The Nighthawk Experience covers so much musical territory from pop, indie, acoustic, hard rock, pop punk, electro and experimental. The great part about the genre name 'Alternative Rock' is that it covers so many different styles of bands and artists.

What can we expect to see from you in the next year?

A lot hahaha, there's so much coming. I've got the EP Current Lies dropping this year and a single to drop and another EP next year. Lots of videos to come as well. It's really exciting and I can't wait to show everyone what The Nighthawk Experience has in store.

What NZ bands and musicians would you like to see more of, and why?

I suppose with regards to releasing new music, I'm really excited for Outside In's new album and I'm always listening out for new Coridian material. I'm enjoy watching JP's project Arrays evolve, pretty impressive with what he's doing. I would like to see more of Antagonist A.D, they're probably NZ's best hardcore band and those songs are killer. There's also some cool new progressive djent metal bands coming out such as Claemus and Banks Arcade.

Who are your favourite NZ bands and musicians?

Oh man... Now that I think about there are so many. I listen to a lot of different genres of music so it's not specific to any type. Some of my favourite NZ bands I listen to are ShapeshifterThe UpbeatsBlindspott, Antagonist A.D.Scribe and Home Brew. Also do you guys remember Cut Off Your Hands and Goodnight Nurse? I used smash those bands on my iPod nano haha.

What local albums have you been listening to recently?

The new Written by Wolves album is pretty sick, Let It Burn is my favourite track. Michael needs to scream more, I like it when that band gets heavy. Fun facts about that band, I have taken vocal lessons from Michael Murphy a few times and I went to school with Oli Lyons.

What is your favourite NZ venue, and why?

I miss the Kings Arms so much, so many great gigs there and I even had my 21st there! Such a shame... I'd say my favourite live venue that I've only been to once and luckily had the pleasure of playing at would been The Cabana lounge in Napier. Really cool vibes there and the staff who work there are really nice and the sound was awesome. It has a very inclusive vibe which can be rare in venues.

Have you got any tips for dealing with nerves before a gig?

I don't really get nerves before playing shows because I love playing music live, I really do. I get more nervous about those moments between songs... There's only so much you can say like whether it be talking about merch, saying thanks to the bands that played and the venue, saying thanks for coming and asking everyone "how we all feeling tonight"? I miss playing metal and hardcore shows sometimes because if you don't know what to say then you just get the crowd to start a circle pit or get them to make a wall of death when you're starting the song hahaha. I miss that sometimes.

How do you balance your music with other obligations; family, job etc?

It's hard obviously, like every artist or musician who wants to make a career out of their music, balancing time can be really difficult. Also deciding on what to allocate your time to is really hard as well. I spent half a year last year in the studio recording these songs and then there's the mixing and mastering, and then the animating of the videos and all the character designs, story boarding and animating. Then there's all the social media and keeping that up to date, the graphic design and branding and marketing hahaha there's a lot. You have to truly love what you're doing otherwise it'll make you go mad and even then it sometimes does.

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

Everything and everyone, I know that's a bit of a typical answer. I really love telling stories in my music hence the animation. I suppose lots of inspiration comes from real events from my life and also concepts and emotions that I want to explore. For example concept in the song Current Lies is about trying to find positivity in a world that can be so negative and difficult to handle you start feeling slightly Nihilistic towards it, like "what's the point of even trying"? kind of thing. I find myself in those moments trying to appreciate what I have and enjoying the small things, god that sounds cheesy but it helps.

What is the one thing you want NZ to know about The Nighthawk Experience?

That it's best thing you'll watch and listen to in 2020! I suppose I just want NZ to know about The Nighthawk Experience to start with and come join the fun.

What has been your most memorable show to date?

I haven't actually played any shows with The Nighthawk Experience yet. I'm wanting to form a band in the future when this virus is sorted out and it's safe to gig. I do however have a memory from a gig years ago when my old metal band Anemoia. We played a show in this dingy venue called UFO out in West Auckland where we played a few shows. Is that venue still there? I hope so, it's a bit of a little treasure in a strange way. I remember that show being absolutely nuts! I think around 30 people were there and the stage was too small so I had to be on the floor and it was awesome! People were jumping of walls and the stage, there were circle pits and for some reason there was this 3m pole in the middle of the venue and kids were climbing up it and jumping off it into the crowd. Also before the gig started I had to fix the P. A system as half of the channels on the desk were stuffed and apart from the vocals we couldn't put any additional lines of audio through the system as it would start distorting the speakers. We had to put the kick drum mic through a bass amp. It actually sounded pretty decent. Ahhh memories.

What can you never leave home without?

Phone, Wallet and keys. Have you heard the Adam Sandler rap bit? It helps to remember those things when you leave the house.

How did you come up with the name The Nighthawk Experience?

I came up with the name when I started having a look on the website "The dictionary of obscure sorrows". I was struggling for ages with the name, it's always hard to name a band or a whole project and I remember in my old band we found the name on that site. So I had a look through and found 'nighthawk' on there which described a recurring thought that only seems to strike you late at night. This resonated with me a lot as I've struggled with insomnia, sleeping problems and my mind won't let me sleep because they is so much overthinking going on in my head. The Nighthawk Experience name seemed fitting. 

What rumour would you like to start about The Nighthawk Experience?

That I do every single thing you see and hear.... Well I almost do, I do all the planning and creating of the music and animation but I do actually have a lot of people helping me. I got my old band mate Scotty Squire to record the drums as I'm not that talented at drums. I also got the great Zorran Mendonsa to mix my material and old friend Hayden Taylor to master it. I have my animator Vieri to animate the latest videos, Daniel Chai to draw the characters,  my girlfriend to do the storyboard sketching and Pronto Print doing my logo design work.

What advice would you give aspiring musicians?

I suggest just keep playing the music you love and have as much fun as you can from your song writing and jamming. Keep an open mind and from there you'll find out if you really want to pursue it. It's important to remember in the music game that no ones gonna do the work for you, if you wanna get something going it's on you and no one owes you shit haha. It's a hard road, there's a lot of disappointment and managing expectations is really important, however even with saying that it is incredibly rewarding and personally it's so fulfilling. 


About The Nighthawk Experience

An animated musical journey delving deep. The journey officially begun on March 6th. The Nighthawk Experience (NHE) have two singles out Current Lies and Human Nature. The debut EP Current Lies is set to debut on May 22nd. Watch the episodes on YouTube and check the music on Spotify and Apple Music!

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Nighthawk Experience


Current Lies
Year: 2020
Type: EP

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