Interview with Hot Up and Coming band “Rather Nice”
How did you come by your band name?
In the beginning, we were just a few teens trying to have fun. Our first performance was a song from SpongeBob that we played at a school concert. We wanted to find a way to keep that charm of young excitement when we played future shows.
We chose “Rather Nice” because it’s blatantly honest to our audience. We leave little mistakes in our recordings to give the listener a more real, live experience. After all, what we do isn’t perfect; it’s rather nice.
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
We can all collectively agree we fell in love after that first show. We felt what it was like to make a moment for a crowd of people, and we knew we wanted to keep making special moments for years to come.
We had a phase where we just wanted to pump out covers, but on a band trip we started messing around with our guitars in a hotel room, and our first single “Waste” was born. Since then, we haven’t stopped writing.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
Joe, the lead singer, is usually the one to bring basic ideas for songs to the table. He’s a huge fan of indie-pop artists like “Hippo Campus” and “Boy Pablo”. The unique part about our band is how we draw inspiration from many artists and genres.
Jack, the lead guitarist, will play any blues songs for hours. Max, the bassist, loves jazzy sounds like Billy Joel. Oliver, the drummer, likes funk and metal sounds such as Primus.
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
Our first release was an EP called “Quadratic”. It tells the story of a made-up character but draws inspiration from the lives of everyone in the band. He’s an anxious person who is told to get over his problems, tries to overcome it on his own, becomes depressed, then finally finds love but is cheated on. Our upcoming EP, “Turtle Snake” (an old band name), will continue his story and finish it.
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
We often struggle just to get in the same room. Jack is a manager at a fast-food chain while going to school full time, and the others are all pursuing different dreams and professions.
However, when we get time together, it’s always a unique experience because we like to constantly write different sounding material. This contributes to our work ethic because we all don’t listen to the same stuff, but everyone gets a song tailored to their liking.
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
In terms of indie pop, absolutely not. Most stuff you hear is perfectly polished and no corner is cut. However, if you want to experience the real deal, you’ve come to the right band.
We specialize in connecting with people because we’re not afraid to admit we don’t have the best chops on our instruments. We do the best we can, and we release the finished product.
What are your plans for the near future?
We want to begin finding gigs around us to give people the chance to get to know us. Most people always say their main goal is to tour the world and become rich and famous, but we strive to make relatable music that anyone can enjoy. However, we’ve always dreamt about a small tour around New England to hopefully expand our audience farther than word of mouth.
What is it like producing this band?
It was a learning curve for both myself and the band in the beginning, as I was used to working with individuals instead of groups. The coordination and planning needed to produce a band’s music are vastly different and challenging from that of an individual artist.
One of the last challenges the group has overcome is without a large studio space, we needed to split our recording locations between two places for percussion takes and then finishing the rest of the tracks in my studio. This required studio equipment to be broken down made portable, and then brought back and reassembled to finish.
The resulting recorded material was the band’s first Album “Quadratic” and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. This band has their heart and soul in their music and that, in my opinion, is a requirement to success as a group. Overall, this band has come a long way and it’s been an absolute pleasure working with every member. I look forward to too many future projects with them!
What other projects have you’ve been involved in/currently working on?
I was the DJ and Co-Producer for a 70s Classic Rock radio station that aired on 107.9 WLIN in Northern Maine for two years. My radio persona was known as “Mike Monte” and we played Classic Rock as well as hits of the 70s.
Over those two years we won awards for myself (RIIBA Local Independent Broadcasters Award for June 2015) and my producer Steven (ISPA “Best Produced Independent Broadcast Award” for May 2015). This resulted in an interview in 2016 on Y-100 NYC by Yaya Diamond.
After the liquidation of the station and its partners in December of 2016, I managed to acquire most of the equipment used by “Dorrance Plaza Studios”, where the show was recorded, and build my in-home studio. At that point, I decided to pursue local talent as a producer for Independent artists and bands.
Starting off I was working on my own projects, collaborating on songs with another artist known as “I.A.D” (iad-iad.bandcamp.com), and freelance mixing/mastering for other acts located in the Providence area.
Shortly after that, I was introduced to the singer of Rather Nice, who was starting out with recording some demos for his solo act “Boy Man” (boymanofficial.contactinbio.com) as well as the band “Rather Nice”.
After previewing their music, I knew right away that this band had a unique sound in the Indie scene, and they deserved quality recorded and produced material to distribute to their fan base and grow in publicity. I was then hired as the recording engineer and producer for the band, as well as handling other management and media-related tasks.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
Michael Monteiro really helps run this band. He takes live band photos, helps us with promotion, and produces our music. We couldn’t do most of this stuff without him. Also, we’re appreciative of our parents supporting the whacky noises coming from their garages and basements. They are always supportive and happy to hear us thrive.
How can fans find you?
Fans can find anything from show dates to merchants on our website, ratherniceband.com. We also have an Instagram, @rather.nice, where we like to interact with our audience and bands in our community.
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What suggestions do you have for other artist like yourself?
Keep trucking through. Quadratic was a 12 minute EP that took about 40 hours of difficult and tiring work to complete. We also think finding a reliable producer is key. Michael Monteiro (@mamtimac on Instagram & MAMTIMAC.com) stuck out the entire grueling process with us. Without him, Quadratic would’ve never left our drummer’s basement.
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