HxC: NoiseNoiseNoise — An Interview with Nick Sadler of Daughters

 

One of PVD’s most notorious noise bands recently got back together to melt your face off. Daughters started off in 2002 and called it quits in 2009. They briefly reunited for a couple local shows in 2013, but now they are full steam ahead with an already completed East Coast tour and a soon to come West Coast tour to revive all noise punks with their shrill guitar riffs and Elvis Presley style vocals.

I was lucky enough to catch Nick Sadler, guitarist of Daughters, to ask him a couple of questions about the band and his thoughts on the band’s revival.

Matt Morales: How does it feel to have Daughters back together? Is it like old times? Does the band have any new members or does it consist of the original line-up?

Nick Sadler: There have been some line-changes since 2002, but Sam, Jon, Lex and I form the core of the group going as far back as 2004 or 2005. It feels good to be spending time with Daughters. Some things are like old times, but it mostly feels like an entirely different band, almost entirely different people. In some ways, I feel confident that we are a better band. The other members really impressed me these past few weeks. There was a lot to take care of, to do ourselves. Everyone worked together in meaningful ways and we were able to accomplish many things in a short period of time. I thought the live show was chaotic and unhinged musically in a powerful way, with Lex really stepping into new exciting territory as a vocalist and performer. I am excited to see how we progress.

MM: You guys just finished up your first leg of your reunion tour with Jaye Jayle. How was that?

NS: We love Jaye Jayle. They are a very adept live band and group of musical thinkers. The song writing reflects a deeper understanding of sonic organization that is truly tasteful and impressive. Their music isn’t just great songwriting, it shows great compositional skill as well — patient, controlled, understated. The singer of Jaye Jayle is Evan Patterson, who has lead several bands Daughters toured with over the years. I can speak for all of us when I say it is not a surprise that Jaye Jayle is so great live. All of Evan’s projects have exemplified a strong sense of mindfulness and intent, even though each project comes from a different place, projecting different mood and tone. Having known Evan for so long now, having created some stand-out, important, memories, I found our time together to be a bit poignant, and all too short.

MM: How long were you guys out on the East Coast and how far did you go? Did any cities stand out especially? What was that one show that was just too much fun?

NS: We just finished five sold-out shows beginning with two nights in NYC at St Vitus bar, which were the first two shows we have played since 2013 (seven shows in total since 2009), one night at Johnny Brendas in Philadelphia, and two nights at Great Scott in Boston. We fly out for nine West Coast shows with The Body and Loma Prieta on November 4, after which we play a single show in Houston, Texas, at Day for Night festival, which boasts performers such as Apex Twin, Bjork, John Carpenter, Blood Orange, Run the Jewels, Blonde Redhead, Oneohtrix Point Never and lots of other great musicians.

The East Coast shows were wild with folks climbing all over the stage, screaming the lyrics to our songs. There were a few concussions that I know of, a split lip and copious amounts of sweat and spit. My favorite show was at Johnny Brendas in Philadelphia. The venue was just right, the sound just right, the perfect amount of intimacy and distance. The audience was fun, but that show felt right as a performer. I was able to jump right into the headspace necessary to both take in the experience and be fully present in the moment, while also exorcising myself as someone else. With Daughters, it’s important for me to feel physically aware, to wring myself out and break apart. This was a good night for that.

MM: How did it feel going into this East Coast tour knowing that all the dates were sold out? I’m assuming that must have been an overwhelmingly pleasant feeling. Did the attention catch your nerves at all?

NS: It did. Now that there is a certain amount of attention on Daughters that we did not have before, part of me wants to see how far this thing could go. I am optimistic about how the band will manifest itself creatively. Another part of me believes in and enjoys the idea that we are not meant to be a much bigger band. To connect with an audience in the places we perform has been an important part of what we do, but the music can be alienating — pushing you away just as much as drawing you in. Subsequently, I do feel a little pressure to be both ideas. I want us to fail as much as I want us to “succeed.” If we are to continue playing to larger audiences, I want, simply, to be a good live band technically and in our performances. On the other hand, there are lots of great bands out there. I take pride in knowing we are not meticulously designed and pre-meditated.

MM: Heard you had some issues with your gear during tour. What was up with that? Curse Of The Haunted Gear Tour 2016?

NS: It’s ironic. I have spent almost all of my time in Daughters ignoring learning about gear, guitar and how to polish the band up. This time around I thought it would be wise to make us sound as large as possible and make some effort to split the difference between aurally chaotic and something controlled. I did a little research, picked up reasonably nice amps, borrowed some famously nice amps from friends, purchased pedals we didn’t use before to help streamline the playability of certain songs. There was a keyboard, a sampler, a drum pad and a BR-1180 8-track in my pedal chain. It was a large, crazy sound and it could’ve worked, but starting back in June, the gear began to die off one-by-one, leaving me scrambling to find replacements. Then the shows started and heads were blowing, pedals dying, the performance being too caustic to realistically think I was going to turn around and start playing keyboards properly, and so we begin to shuck off the unnecessary components, making things a little smaller. Even picking some things up off of Craigslist as we went. I have never had a more frustrating and unlucky time with gear in all of the many years and bands I have traveled with. It was literally every day that something would break or cut out, right down to the strap button on my guitar somehow being sheared off in PA. That was an entirely new, subtle torture. However, that frustration and tension channeled itself right into the performance, and I had a satisfying time solving problems on the spot during our set. Sonically, we were able to hold our own despite the setbacks, or maybe not — I don’t know.

MM: Whats next for Daughters? Any plans for future tours or a new album?

NS: We are going to write, record and release something new in 2017. There is a “lost” 6-song recording we made in 2015 that is being shelved at the moment. We want to start from scratch in order to experiment with new ideas. Daughters will also be touring periodically throughout 2017. In short, we plan to be a band again. It might be a little slower going than we used to be, but that’s the plan.

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