Let us start the week off with an Interview for my pick as one of the Best New Bands Of The Year 2014, The Nox Boys. Not because they are from Pittsburgh and not because they are with Get Hip Records which is one of the coolest labels on the planet. No, all that is just surface stuff, these guys rock like there is no tomorrow. They write great catchy sing along, pound your air guitar tunes. I could go on for hours about how and where I think The Nox Boys fit into the history of Pittsburgh Rock n Roll, lets just say that they are the future and that future, has begun. The 1st time , I listened to The Nox Boys my reaction was on the lines of “Holy Shit these guys are good” Listen to them, see them live if you get the opportunity and you can thank me later….
from…Get Hip.com Nox Boys Bio
The concept for the Nox Boys was born when veteran slide guitarist Bob Powers met with singer/guitarist Zack Keim at an open mic in Blawnox, PA, a small factory town set alongside the Allegheny River. Powers had been performing as a sideman for the late Pittsburgh guitar legend Warren King’s last band, J. J. Burner.
The duo formed the Nox Boys and soon enlisted Sam Berman, Powers’ nephew and a talented young drummer. Keim’s friend David Weaver joined as the band’s bassist/keyboardist but was forced to leave after only a couple of shows when he moved to a different school. His sudden departure inspired the Nox Boys’ first original song, “Military School.”
Weaver was replaced by current bassist Zach Stadtlander, who also attends Fox Chapel High School along with Sam and Zack.
The Nox Boys rose quickly in Pittsburgh’s underground “garage” scene, gaining attention with their high-energy performances and original take on hard-edged, in-your-face, teenage angst-filled rock ’n’ roll. Michael Kastelic, singer for Pittsburgh garage rock legends The Cynics, was impressed with the band’s sound. He brought their demo tape to the attention of Cynics guitarist Gregg Kostelich, co-owner of internationally renowned garage-punk label Get Hip Records. Surprised by the young band’s talent and dedication to the genre, Kostelich signed the Nox Boys, supporting them in the production of their self-titled, debut LP.
With the help of the Nox Boys and their original, teenage garage-punk sound, rock ’n’ roll will never die!
Hi our name is…
People say we sound like…
White Stripes, Black Keys, or Black Lips.
Zack Keim (Lead vocals, guitar)
Zach “H” Stadtlander (Vocals, bass)
Bob Powers (Melobar steel guitar)
Sam Berman (Vocals, drums)
We are originally from…..
Who are some that have an influence on your sound?
Black Lips, Ty Segall, The Stooges, Link Wray, and The Yardbirds.
Can you tell us a little on how The Nox Boys came to be?
Zack met Bob through open stages in Blawnox and eventually added Sam on drums and put H on bass.
Do you think much about the history of rock n roll in Pittsburgh and where it is that you see yourself in that history?
One of the coolest rock n roll bands to emerge from Pittsburgh is the Swamp Rats during the 60s definitely a big influence on us. As for making history, we would like to see ourselves a part of it eventually.
The Swamp Rats – I’m Going Home
What did it feel like getting signed to Get Hip And getting tips from The Cynics?
Surreal. We didn’t expect handing a demo would get us signed to the label. Gregg, Michael, Barbara, and the Get Hip Team have been all very supportive of what we’re trying to do and are like a family to us.
Can you tell us about the process you use, from writing the songs all the way through getting the album ready?
Most of originals were written originally from riffs and lyrics Zack came up with. The music started to change when we got a bassist and H joined. Before we went in the studio we started to structure the songs at many rehearsals at the Get Hip Warehouse. Originally we had fourteen songs recorded and only eleven made it on the record.
If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be….
The 60s in Pittsburgh to play a show with the Swamp Rats; late 70s Ramones at CBGBs; or the 90s grunge scene in Seattle with Mudhoney and Nirvana.
Growing up ,at home we listened to…..
Zack : Velvet Underground and Nico. I got the record early on in middle school and my whole mindset for music change. Awesome record
Sam: My parents played The Beatles a lot when I was young
Zach: I listened Guns N Roses and Stone Temple Pilots.
Bob: The Arondies and Davie Allan & The Arrows “Blues Theme”
What tunes are on heavy rotation for you…
“Blood Bubbles” by the Orwells and the “Troll Song” by the Trololo Guy (Eduard Khil)
Our craziest gig ever was…
Our second show at The Andy Warhol Museum. A former Nox Boy stage dived, girls screaming, and we had some pretty awesome projections behind us.
Nox Boys Live Performance
If you could open for any Band right now who would that be and why?
The Black Lips. We saw them play at Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio. It was crazy kids moshing, stage diving, and fog machines. We got to hang out with them after the show. Really cool guys.
If you could give any advise to the kids who are just picking up their 1st guitars or drum sets and want to be in a rock n roll band , what’s your advise?
Practice, make connections, and learn from your mistakes (sucking is part of the process).
Where do you hang out at night in Pittsburgh and who are some of the bands from Pittsburgh that we should be listening to?
Ritter’s Diner in Bloomfield and ding dong ditching in Blawnox. Check out these Pittsburgh bands: Andre Costello & The Cool Minors, Chet Vincent & The Big Bend, Shaky Shrines.
Andre Costello – Equestrian Dreams (In A Bad Way)
The one thing we want you to remember while your listening to us…
There is hope for rock n roll.
listen to some tunes…
and you can, keep up with/follow/buy/ Like , The Nox Boys ….