Maria from Music, Why Not! got a chance to chat with Chicago rock band known as NE-HI before they made their stop in Dallas, TX to play a kick ass show at Three Links a grungy venue that happens to house a lot of cool music in the heart of the Deep Ellum. James the bass player of the band spoke to us about their sophomore album released under Grand Jury Records entitled Offers, their tour, their favorite tracks, SXSW, and more.
MWN: Alright guys, well thanks again for chatting with me. Lets kick things off with the release of your new album. How does it feel to finally have unleashed something you worked so hard on?
NE-HI: It so good actually! We had the album recorded for like nine- ten months before it was released. So it was just like a huge sigh of relief in general. We poured so much work into this project and like to properly release it. This is our first properly released record after we got signed to Grand Jury Records. It took a minute to release so it was a bit frustrating pouring so much effort into something and not being able to share it for so long. So having that released has been really great. There has been overwhelming support of it. It feels good we have been touring on it so hard too!
MWN: That is great to hear how well the record is doing it is really well put together. I can totally see how holding onto it for so long can be frustrating, but we are all glad it is out now. Can you guys tell me who did you work with on this record?
NE- HI: We recorded it with our buddy who engineered our first record. We did it at a studio in Chicago which is actually super close to where we live. So it was nice to wake up and go to the studio. It is smaller studio, so it was just us and our engineer really and it was just kind of our for two weeks. We did it in two sessions one in January and one in March. He’s got a good ear for music. A lot of good tips- he is just stellar. This record we had a more refined sound. We knew where we wanted to be. We kind of wanted to find a middle ground between the fidelity of our first and getting something a bit more polished and radio friendly.
MWN: That is awesome. This record is really well structured. I actually saw the bands set at SXSW and you guys had so much energy, so i’m super glad to catch up with you guys now. How did you enjoy your SXSW experience? because you played a bunch of gigs the entire week.
NE- HI: Actually I did enjoy it more than i had anticipated I would. I was going into thinking I might have cardiac arrest haha it was fun. We were lucky enough to stay with my homies, so yeah we had a nice little refuge there. All the shows we played went really well. We had a good time.
MWN: I know you guys have been on the road for some time now so how has your tour been going so far, and how have the crowds been reacting to the new album.
NE-HI: Its definitely really good. It is the best tour we’ve ever been on so its nice people are coming out. We’ve doing encores most nights. It has been a lot of fun.
MWN: Well I am glad you guys have been enjoying the tour. Lets dive into the album a bit. I really like the song “Drag” it has a more personal feel to it. So what is your take on the album when you guys were writing what influenced you?
NE-HI: I mean a lot of the same bands that we really loved. For me kind of the Replacements, Stone Roses, and yeah stuff like that. Just like coming into terms of like being in your mid 20’s and like trying to sort of pursue music as your career rather than just a side project. This is out first record were we actually had some industry backing and that I think you know positively and negatively affects the process of a record. I think a lot of it is kind of about struggles withing your self and successes, and being a young person still and coming into your own as a young American.
MWN: That is a good way to put it I guess. So what’s your favorite song of the record?
NE-HI: I like “Palm of Hands” and “Out of Reach” those songs to me felt the most pure and the most collaborate. The overall vibe of those tracks I really appreciate.
MWN: “Stay Young” was also a really good track!
NE-HI: Yeah I love that song too. That is definitely the one I was pushing the hardest to be the single. It is the catchiest on the record. That one is funny we actually ended up recording like the last version of that in the studio during the second time. It almost did not make the record.
MWN: I am glad it did! So what song does the crowd react to more?
NE- HI: “Out of Reach” and “Stay Young.” That song is a bit more tempo. So people have really been enjoying that one.
MWN: I am glad people having been attending the gigs. Looks like we have time for one more quick questions. What is something you hope people get from your music?
NE-HI: Just enjoyment! and happiness!
MWN: That is a nice note to end on. Well thanks so much guys for this awesome interview- really enjoyed the chat!