Earlier this year I had the pleasure of seeing North by North play. They had dynamic chemistry. Their rock had grit and powerful energy. Seeing them once was not enough, but lucky for me (and all of us in KC) they will be playing here tomorrow (Thursday September 14, 2017) at Californos. I was able to pick their brains and find out a little bit more about them and their band. Check it out.
Kimmy: How long have you been playing?
North by North: Nate's been playing guitar since he was 16, Kendra has been playing keyboard since she was 19 and drums since late 2016. We've been playing together as North by North since fall of 2011.
Kimmy: What drew you to your instrument?
North by North: My (Kendra) dad is a drummer, so I've been around a drum set most of my life, and it just made sense to switch from keys to drums so we have more flexibility for touring and for experimenting with additional instrumentation.
Kimmy: You're out on "The Never Ending Tour." How long have you been on the road?
North by North: Almost 8 months, since January 25. Phew!
Kimmy: What we surprising items you discovered you needed when on the road for a long time?
North by North: Don't skimp on the pillows and blankets! We always bring ours everywhere we go, including when we stay with people. Also: air mattress, extra socks, vitamin supplements, Lysol spray and wet wipes, water bottle, extra phone chargers/cables/etc. Also extra deodorant stored in odd places in the van, Cliff bars for when you don't get a chance to grab dinner before a gig, and plastic utensils.
Kimmy: How has being on tour for a long time and working as full time musicians changed your music?
North by North: It has slowed down our writing process quite a bit, but has allowed us to really laser focus in on each part of each song. Also, we're able to market test each iteration of a new song, which definitely helps keep us pushing in the right direction.
Kimmy: What are some of your favorite shows you've played? What make them stand out for you?
North by North: The best shows are ones where we feel a connection to the crowd or to the fans and other bands during/after the show. Or if everyone gets really drunk and starts a dance party! The best cities, though, are the ones that feel like there's a community centered around the music - members from other bands are in the audience, other bands' fans are at the shows, bands and fans are receptive and open to outsiders (us!). Some notable spots recently have been Asheville and Charlotte, NC; all of Texas (we even wrote a song while we were there recently!); Chicago (of course!); and always Kansas City. Some other recent high points include Vancouver, BC; St. Mary, MT; Providence, RI; and Columbus, OH.
Kimmy: What is your writing/creative process like?
North by North: Nate writes the guitar parts, and then Kendra writes the drum and keyboard parts. The lyrics are always the last thing to get written, and we collaborate on those.
8. What music (or books, etc) is inspiring your music right now? Queens of the Stone Age, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, horror movies.
Kimmy: What do you hope to say with your music?
North by North: We hope to prove that hard work and dedication will lead to success, and that you can make a living by making art.
Kimmy: One of the best parts of love music for me outside of the music is the community that is created at the show. Is this something you work to create intentionally? Do you have any practices to help create this at your show?
North by North: We want to be friends with everyone we meet! We make a point to mention that on stage, and we strive to bring our friends together as often as possible.
Kimmy: Well, you definitely succeeded with me.
Kimmy: What role do you see musicians have in their community as citizens of this world?
North by North: Musicians need to support other artists and musicians; if we don't support one another, how can we expect others to do so?
Kimmy: What shows do you have coming up?
North by North: So many! All our Never-Ending Tour Dates are listed at http://bandsintown.com/northbynorth
Kimmy: KC readers, you can catch them tomorrow (9/14/17) at Californos. Show starts at 9pm. Also playing is Trapper and Tandem.