There’s a lot going on this weekend but you won’t want to miss Chicago indie rockers, NE-HI, this Friday at Riverwest Public House with Milwaukee trio Lifetime Achievement Award. The newly signed quartet has joined an impressive roster with Grand Jury Music. The New York label is known for their DIY bands including fellow Chicagoans Twin Peaks, Hippo Campus, and Day Wave. In celebration and preparation for their Grand Jury debut they’ve released a new song, Buried on the Moon.
The track is led by hard guitar reverb and honest vocals. NE-HI describes the song as a nostalgic realization, “[the song's] about being in limbo while doing something you love. Things aren’t as simple as they used to be and that’s exciting, but that also comes with doubts. It’s also about getting older and feeling some regret, while still reaching for something you have drive and passion for. It’s kind of a reflection on the last year or so being in this kind of creative teenagedom.”
The song, “a jangly, spit-shined slab of guitar rock worship and wonderfully-ramshackle melody,” is a small sneak peek into what’s to come Friday and in the future.
Explain got in touch with Mickey from NE-HI and he answered some questions:
You guys have talked about how Buried on the Moon is about dealing with change and doubt as you get older but that the complexity adds excitement. Obviously there’s a lot going on in your lives, recently signing with Grand Jury (congrats btw), so how do you guys adapt and cope with the change while you’re touring? It seems like there’s a lot of instability when you travel city to city.
I think we just try to stick to what we know what works for us and just try to take a little time to think of what we are doing when new things come up. New opportunities have come up but we try to approach them with the same attitude as we always have. Being on the road isn't really different and we have a lot of friends all over that make it easier and worthwhile for us.
Do you think this change is responsible for your motivation to continue pursuing your passions?
I think we pursue our music and playing shows mostly because we all love music and playing together still. I think seeing it gain some traction and other people digging it is really cool and helps push us along, but ultimately making music is the best part of being in a band.
Going from Animal Kingdom to a more structured label, are you guys finding it difficult to stick with your DIY roots? Grand Jury is known for their DIY rooster, but is there some sort of transition when you’re working with a larger platform?
Like I said before, we couldn't really get by without the help and kindness of other people, many of whom are doing great DIY stuff and many of whom are really good friends. I don't think playing bigger shows or having a bigger platform to release our music really changes the fact that we have relationships with these people that are close to us. Plus, we always need floors to crash on!
For the most part you guys have handled a lot of the production with Public House Recording. Dave Vettraino helped co produce Ne-Hi and it allowed you to focus on the music, are you guys going to take the same approach for the future ?
Dave is so great to work with and our new recordings are all done with him, just at Minbal in Chicago rather than his place. He's very thoughtful and receptive to ideas and has great ideas of his own which he contributes, but still lets the band do its own thing and guide itself. I think this time around is a bit different because we are all more involved in the recording process and finding sounds and really finding what we all wanted to bring to the table.
You guys are coming to Milwaukee this Friday. Is there anything you look forward to?
I used to live there so it's always cool to hang in Milwaukee. It'd be really cool to go to Comet Cafe and maybe get a tiki drink at Foundation. Plus, the Bronz Fonz is cool to visit because it's just a weird little thing. Also, I like Blatz.
Have there been any cities that have surprised you in any way?
I really like Pittsburgh because people its really cool looking and also people are kind of mean, which I think is funny.