A couple of months ago I found myself scavenging the end of the year reports from press representatives and record labels to remind myself of everything that had been released over the year. I expected to find some surprising albums I had missed, but I did not expect to instantly adore Fell Off The Deep End by Neaux. I could go more into depth about the band’s sound, but I figured since Nick Fit (Trash Talk, Loss Leader) stopped by to really dive in, I can leave that to him. This record is receiving a vinyl reissue by the label Iron Pier, and it’s one album that will bring magic to life on a record player.
Inspiration is something that all musicians know quite well. Any creative person tries to latch onto things that inspire them and turn those moments and feelings into art. Music is universal, and with so much material available to listen to, it is no surprise that many bands carry influences with them when producing their own works. When I was putting riffs together for my band Neaux’s first record, Fell Off the Deep End, I was pulling from many different places and trying to meld them into one chaotic, yet cohesive experience. While it is easy to grab riffs and tropes from the classics, I was inspired by both older and newer crops of bands. Instead of a singular band, per se, I elected to let overall vibes from groups within each genre infuse me with bits and pieces of inspiration. When it came to piecing things together, I kind of sonically ran the gamut of sounds. Here are just a few of the influences I found gems within.
My Bloody Valentine – “Loomer”
Upon first listen, many people will say my band sounds akin to plenty of shoegaze bands. Whether it is bands that are currently experiencing a spike in popularity (Nothing, Ringo Deathstarr, DIIV, A Place to Bury Strangers, etc.) or it’s the go-to classic Creation Records roster (Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, etc.) or even the outliers (The Lilys, The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, Swirlies, etc.), shoegaze, to me, has always been about expressing a feeling through loud, distorted noise. There is almost always overlapping vibes that go into shoegaze bands and to me it gives you beauty within chaos. It makes you work for that moment of bliss. Challenges you. A lot bands get the shoegaze tag by using reverb and delay pedals and blending them with fuzz or overdrive tones but that is just the start of it. Personally, I like a lot of those bands simply because of their raw and uncompromising approach to making music– it’s almost encouraged to not give a shit about technicalities and theories and just simply go off of what you respond to the best when playing. That, in and of itself, is an invitation to any and all levels of musicians to just let go and revel in the fact that your emotions are taking control.
CRUCIFIX – Dehumanization
For anyone who isn’t aware, I come from the hardcore/punk world, where fury and aggression are key elements in crafting what is to be your band’s statement. It is a beautiful thing. From the originators up until the present day, hardcore and punk bands should be a required listen for anyone making music, period. In my case, I love it all. When writing, I found myself channeling B’last, Crucifix, and Negative Approach just as much as I was harnessing Destruction Unit, Latishia’s Skull Drawing, Gag and NYC Headhunters. I know those bands don’t necessarily come through when you listen to Neaux but they are in there. Angel Dust was another band I found myself coming back to often because I loved hearing Justice’s personality in musical form. I identify with people who can unapologetically pull outside influences into their band and upon listening, people can see and hear that it is okay to merge these genres together and not be scared of alienating oneself.
LATISHA’S SKULL DRAWING – Romanticized
Musicians like Ty Segall and Alex G or a band like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are inspiring to me because why let people dictate what types of music you can put out and how many releases you are allowed at a time. A friend of mine once told me that there is nothing wrong with being prolific and by god I’d like to scream that from the mountain tops for any and all creative types to hear. As someone who has been a part of different musical worlds, I find that when you play by someone else’s rules you are already starting off on the wrong foot. Making music is easy to me. My band is currently sitting on two more completed LPs and other various material that is just waiting to find places for it to exist in the physical form. All of our music is different and stretches itself over many genres. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am inspired by a vast amount of music and can pull from The Residents just as much as I can grab from Disclose. Being scared of thinking outside the box is something I never bought into. You should always strive to do your own thing and let everything inside of you seep out into the world via your musical output.
Ty Segall & The Muggers
When people ask me to describe what my band sounds like, I say it sounds like dudes from Black Flag were asked to join Nebula and Sonic Youth onstage to play some Cardigan covers. Or maybe it sounds like an extremely novice, long haired Duane Allman being asked to join Laughing Hyenas for a Carole King cover set. My point being that you do not have to pigeon hole yourself within one particular genre or trend. You can listen to all types of music and have that influence in whatever sort of output you give to the world. Sometimes, lumping yourself in with current bands is encouraged because it is an easy meal ticket and doing your own thing doesn’t sell. Unfortunately I wasn’t wired that way. The beautiful thing about starting Neaux with Sierra was that she and I are very different as individuals, but we share a love for originality. We want to play shows with any and everyone while also making music that we feel best defines us as people. There are so many more bands and musicians that inspire me but I’ll save that for another time. Go listen to Collapsing Scenery, Railings, Happy Diving, Bondage, Seattle’s New Gods, Cobrayama, Varg, Krimewatch, Full of Hell, The Flex, Tyrannamen, Give, Pallbearer, Lower Species and Miserable. Nowadays, to be yourself is the hardest and most confusing thing that people face today in music, but fear not: find YOUR groove, change YOUR world. Always continue to search for music that makes you feel something that you’ve never felt before.