We caught up with the relatively new At Night, who opened for George Quartz a few weeks ago, and asked about their musical firsts.
Who inspired you to pick up a musical instrument? Was it a parent, sibling or band? Jack Gallegos (vocals/guitar): For myself, I would have to say music was deeply embedded by my mother and father. Both were very music-oriented and my father was also in a band of his own as the front man up until I reached four or five years of age. He wasn't much of an instrumentalist, but he was still very involved, providing me with a passion for music. Brian Weems (bass): It was a friend from school. He came over one day after school and brought his guitar. I was hooked immediately. Cameron Brand (keyboards): I would have to say my friend Dorianne M. helped a lot of this inspiration. She introduced me to Duran Duran and Depeche Mode. When I heard all the synthesizers and colorful soundscapes, it made me really want to learn how to make music. Brian Johnson (drums): My parents got me a little keyboard when I was in second grade and I started banging on makeshift drums by the time I was in middle school. When we got MTV in the early '80s, I was hooked on all the interesting new wave bands, so maybe that's where it really started.
What was the first thing that you bought with your own money? Whatever the format, who was the artist? Jack: The first time I ever purchased music for my very own was Vivid by Living Colour. I bought the cassette for about seven greenbacks. Brian W: Cassette, U2, Under a Blood Red Sky. Cameron: It was Kiss (Love Gun), Queen (News of the World), and Kiss (Destroyer). I was totally mesmerized by all those album covers. Brian J: I want to say the first one I actually bought with my own money was INXS, Kick, on cassette.
Can you remember the first show you paid your own money to see? Jack: I think the first show I had ever paid my own money to go see was The Cure during the "Prayer Tour." Brian W: Kiss. Cameron: I think, if I can remember, it was Depeche Mode, "Black Celebration Tour," with Book of Love. Brian J: The first real show I paid for was Echobelly at Trees in '94.
Have you been to a show where you came out of it feeling disappointed? Jack: Luckily, I haven't had one of those yet. Brian W: Yes. Cameron: Yeah, the time this girl suckered me into going to Jimmy Buffett! It was bloody torture! Brian J: Sure, bands have off nights sometimes, and bad sound/venue/crowd can really mess up an otherwise good show.
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I can imagine this is still pretty fresh in your minds: At Night's first show. What do you remember about it? Jack: At Night's first show to me was hot. It was a private gathering and we had to test the water, so to speak. It was a good time. Good energy, good group of people. But I don't know if the other members would consider that a first show. Brian W: I wasn't in the band yet. My first show with the band was at the Kessler opening for VHS or Beta. It was fun. Cameron: Well, it was a private show, we basically tested the waters out, and I say waters because the next show was at Muddy Waters. Brian J: I remember it was outside and hot and still daylight when we started, not the best setting for us! We're not "At Noon." It's no fun playing drums in 100-degree weather.
Playing around with the band's name, are there certain bands or records that sound better during the evening hours than the daylight hours? My Morning Jacket sounds a lot better at night to me. Jack: I would have to say everything is better at night. I could honestly say that I personally don't like hard music in the morning. Typically I like classic jazz or classical, maybe new age, depending on the mood. Brian W: Yes. Cameron: Really it's whatever fits the mood. I DJ so I have a pretty diverse taste in music. I listen to everything from electronic to mod, old-school metal, old-school country, etc. I also have my own personal folder of shit-tastic stuff that would make people bust out in horror and not because it's scary - because it's totally god awful. Brian J: I think most of the stuff I like sounds better at night. I think my favorite album of all time to listen to at night is Violator by Depeche Mode.
New Order is often mentioned when describing At Night's sound, so I'm curious, what do you think of New Order without Peter Hook? Jack: I am a big New Order fan. Peter Hook is such a talented force when it comes to that particular group, but he isn't New Order. It's like saying that Dave Gahan is solely Depeche Mode, when the truth is that Dave is a better musician with Martin Gore. There are certain aspects of a band that make that group special and fun and exciting to watch. Brian W: I would still go see them. Cameron: Peter Hook is a pretty talented guy and overall staple of New Order, but at this point he is probably over it. Good thing about At Night is that we all respect each other's personal lives and realize if this isn't fun or if it's just a flip of the switch, it may be time to move on. Brian J: I'm sure they're able to recreate their classics just fine, so it depends on whether audiences are still interested or if the bad blood ruins it for anyone. I'm not sure it matters until they put out something new, in which case I'd just have to see what I thought of the new music.