Brian GorsegnerFat Wreck Chords
By Shelby Monita on October 1st, 2015 at Phone
New Jersey’s Night Birds have been making a name for themselves over the last year with their Fat Wreck Chords debut album, Mutiny At Muscle Beach. Right now they’re in the middle of a tour with label mates Dillinger Four and they show absolutely no sign of slowing down.
We caught up with front man Brian Gorsegner earlier this month to learn how the tour is going, what his own personal escape is and what Night Birds have in the works over the next couple months.
SM: So I saw you guys at Pouzza Fest last year and Dillinger Four were on the same festival, so how did this tour happen with them now?
BG: I randomly emailed their booking agent and was like what are the chances of getting Dillinger out here and play maybe Brooklyn, New Jersey and maybe a Philly or something one weekend. We’ll take care of them, make sure they are paid well. I just thought it would be cool to play with one of our favourite current bands to celebrate the record coming out. I think I wanted the weekend of October 2nd because that is when the record is coming out and she was like the weekend after, Oct 9th they will be playing New York and Philly so we ended up working our way onto those shows and then they ended up booking some Midwest shows and I don’t know how but we ended up on those ones too. It was just sheer coincidence – right time right place. And we are friendly with those guys so maybe we would have been asked anyways, I like to think so for my own egos sake.
SM: And I saw Iron Chic were recently added to a few of the shows, was that a personal request on either end?
BG: I believe that was Dillinger Four’s doing. I’m almost positive it is.
SM: Mutiny at Muscle Beach is your first record with Fat Wreck. How do you like working with them?
BG: It’s cool, at this point we have had a chance to meet and hang out with everyone at the label. It’s pretty cool because in the past we have always worked with just one man operations, working out of garage or something. And we have always become super tight with the dudes because we have worked so hands on with the label. So this is cool because it’s like a whole batch of new people who I didn’t know before who are all super super rad. Everybody across the board and I’m really not just saying that, everybody does such an awesome job and it’s cool. Everybody is so efficient. It’s right up my alley because I’ve basically learned how to operate a band just from studying Jonny Ramone and I like just how you know it’s a hobby for us but we take it seriously. And it’s cool working with a label who takes it as seriously as me.
SM: You’re new album is amazing and I know a lot of people bought it before it came out and were waiting for it in the mail. Were you expecting such a big reaction?
BG: Yeah well we’re pretty awesome (laughs), we’re fantastic, it’s a great record.
No I mean you always want people to be excited about what you do and we do our absolute best that if we are going to put out a record that it meets a certain standard that we have. Like at this point we’re all pretty much over the age of 30 and punk rock is such a young man’s game that if we’re going to ask people to spend their money and we’re going to waste their time putting our record on their turn table then we are going to make something worth people’s time.
So I like to think that we really work our asses off putting out a record and I hope people are excited about it and I hope people like it. Because as much as every band says they do it for themselves and fuck what everyone else thinks. I mean I obviously play punk rock for myself because there is no money in it – as anybody in a band will tell you – but at the same time, I think it’s crazy to not want anybody to like what you’re putting out there. I mean why else would you do it. I mean keep it to yourself and play in your garage. So it’s always nice when people like it and I always appreciate it. Yeah you know it’s my favourite record that we’ve done and normally I can’t say that until a couple years because something about it I will come to hate and I will put something ahead of it. But I think it will end up being my favourite record maybe that we ever do. I’m really proud of it.
SM: And you should be.
SM: So I read that everyone in the band has a day job and you use this as an outlet for your frustrations at that job. Do you think everyone should have an outlet if they are in the same boat?
BG: I mean in theory I think everyone should. It’s a healthy outlet. I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs, and it’s the same thing as high school I started playing punk when I was 13 years old and I guess if you’re any regular human being and you’re aren’t well off and you have to deal with a fucking boss or a teacher you know punk rock is obviously a very suitable outlet for that; but I mean some people paint, some people do karate, some people skateboard. I think everybody should have an outlet just to get stuff out. Obviously you’re a writer, does it make you feel better mentally when you write?
SM: Oh yeah definitely.
BG: Yeah so I think in a perfect work everybody should have to figure that out because it is just such a bummer. Like I think about my folks and they don’t really have that and I think about that sometimes. They are just at each other’s throats and I’m just like “man you guys are just so pissy, you need something. Like mom you should take up karate or dance or do yoga or something, you need something to get it all out because there is a lot of nasty stuff out there.”
Every other week there is some kind of school shooting or something you should be mad about. There’s terrible stuff and if you keep that shit bottled up then you need something like punk rock to get it all out.
SM: So what are you listening to right now? Are there any top 3 bands you are playing on repeat?
BG: For the past pretty long time, even before these shows came about, Dillinger Four’s Situationist Comedy, because I still have a CD player in my car and my ipod that I thought I would have forever recently died, so there are only 3 CDs in my car because I keep on forgetting to change them. They are Dillinger Four’s Situationsit Comedy, The Damned’s Machine Gun Etiquette – which is one of my favourite punk rock records of all time – and CJ Ramone’s last record he did with Fat.
SM: Yeah the CD player in my car is broken and I actually can’t get my CDs out.
BG: Uhhhhh yeah that’s the worst. I’ve had that happen. And I have a daughter and the room that my record player is in is next to her bedroom and I put her to bed at 8 o’clock. You know I get home from work, make dinner, give her dinner, brush her teeth, do that whole routine. Then when I get to the position when I can listen to music I can’t listen to vinyl because my record player is next to her room and my ipod is broken, my commute to work is only like 4 minutes.
So really this is a bizarre point in my life because I struggle to listen to music and the most music I listen to is when I’m on tour, obviously we listen to music in the van non-stop. Or I’ll borrow someone else’s ipod, you know when you’re flying or you’re driving you have all this down time it’s awesome to listen to new stuff and we haven’t toured in 7 months. So I’ve just had this draught like not hearing new stuff.
Recently I’ve been trying to seek out records to like find some stuff on itunes or pick up new records, stuff that I want to listen to in the van. There is so much good stuff that has come out this year like the new Royal Headache record, there’s this band Violent Reaction from the UK that just put out this great hardcore record on Revelation, the new Tenement record, Screaming Females record, the Nervosa record. There’s just been so many great records come out this year
SM: Do you know what is next for Night Birds?
BG: I do but I don’t think I can tell anybody. I think we’re going to do this tour in March, I have no idea where it’s going because it’s with this bigger band. But I think it will be kind of longer for us because we don’t usually do very long tours.
Then we’re going to do almost 3 weeks in Europe in April and then we’re going to do a couple of festivals in May, you probably know what those are. So yeah I guess that’s it till May. And this year’s schedule slows down around Christmas. Usually we don’t do a whole lot in January/February because it just sucks and it’s cold. The idea of having to leave my hibernation spot doesn’t sound good to me at all so we probably won’t do much in the shitty, cold months. But we are going to be doing a lot in the coming 3 months. So it will be a nice little break and we’ll go back out in March, April and May and we will see what happens after that.
SM: Sounds like you have a packed schedule for the next while.
BG: Yeah I think that this is the most densely concentrated schedule that maybe we have ever had and we felt like Fat was cool enough to put out our record so we thought it would be nice of us to go out and plug our record the best we can.
Especially with this particular record. We really spent a whole lot of time on it in my opinion, I mean it took us 2 years to put the whole thing together – to record it and everything. So it’s like now I’m excited and kinda glad we packed our schedule, I’m really really looking forward to playing.
And it’s weird because I used to hate touring. It was this thing I dreaded and I think it was just because it was too comfortable at home. It was just me and my wife just relaxing, I could stay at home in my underwear and eat pizza with her. It was awesome, like why would I want to leave? But now I have a 2 year old and it’s awesome, I love her to death but it’s this sense of responsibility like I’m back in high school and the idea of taking a break rules. It’s kind of a bummer because I don’t get to vacation with her or my family at all because for the next however much time I’ll be dedicating the time I’m not at work to touring. But [my wife] went to Europe recently for 2 weeks with her brother. So we try to keep ourselves sane. I think that’s really important. But I feel like I’m 16 again, so so excited to go out and tour
SM: Congratulations on your new album coming out and thanks for talking with me.
BG: My pleasure, I will see you in Canada probably soon.