Thanks for having us, we’ve been great! It’s been a really busy period for us, finishing up writing the final tracks for our E.P., as well as trying to learn DMX lighting, video editing and costume design for our live shows over the next few months – all whilst trying to hold down full-time jobs! We’re loving it though, and we can’t wait to get out there and put on a real neon fueled pop-show.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Lay You Down”?
Chris: It’s our first full release, so we’re super excited to hear what people think. The song started out as a humming voice note I recorded just before I went to sleep, and to see it transform into this track has been really satisfying.
Roger: There’s a lot of hard work and time behind it, and we feel it definitely paid off.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Chris: I wrote this track after hearing one of my friends moaning about their relationship for the hundredth time. I just got sick of it, it was as if they couldn’t see what good they had right there in front of them. I’ve never really had a proper romantic relationship, so I used to compare myself to this person all the time and tell myself I’m not good enough. So the song is about laying that person aside, out of mind and focusing on myself.
Roger: By that time I was listening to a lot of synthwave, and was really absorbing all the retro futuristic ambient sounds. I just love the dreamy 80’s vibe that the genre evokes, and inevitably that’s reflected in the track.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
Roger: It was awesome, we filmed it with our very talented videographer friend Toby Thomas – who killed it with the shots we took. We ended up in a basement of a church, and were lucky enough to stumble upon a smoke machine. The slo-mo shots are just brilliant, it’s exactly the kind of vibe we needed for our first video.
Chris: A few weeks beforehand, Roger and I set out on a location scout, and we found some really cool neon inspired places around Soho. I’ve always felt a connection to that place so it was nice to feature some key locations in our video.
Roger: Given we had next to no budget, we think the video has turned out great. But what do you think?
The single comes off your new E.P. Neon Dreams – what’s the story behind the title?
Chris: There’s a couple of meanings there. Firstly, as wanky as it sounds, a lot of my song ideas come to me when I’ve just woken up, or when I’m half asleep and just about to drift off. I have to jump up and record the tunes on my phone – so that pretty much covers the dream part. The neon comes from our love of 80’s vibes and the synthwave movement, which inspired us not only in our music, but our aesthetic too.
Roger: We also liked the tie-in with Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”. These tracks are kind of our Neon Dreams, our view of the world we live in, which has turned futuristic to some degree already. We channel these kind of thoughts through our music.
How was the recording and writing process?
Chris: For this track we called in Isabel Gracefield and Lucy Cadbury to help us finish it. It was the first time we’ve had people from outside the band collaborate with us, and it was incredibly useful! Together we improved the initial version so much, it made us realize how important it is to have a second opinion. There’s always something that can be a little bit better. The sum of all the parts gave us Lay You Down, which we’re incredibly proud of, and I’m guessing Isabel and Lucy are too.
Roger: During recording we gave the final spin to Adrian Hall, every layer of melody and sound we created was put in its right place. When we heard the finished track we were buzzing.
What was it like to work with Adrian Hall and how did that relationship develop?
Roger: Adrian has worked with some of our biggest influences, when you get to work with someone who’s worked with Depeche Mode we knew it was going to be special. We basically sent him some demos and the rest is history. He is a true master of his trade, and we loved every bit of time we got to work with him.
How much did he influenced the E.P.?
Chris: Adrian polished all the rough edges and gave invaluable advice on how to improve and add details that made the song so much better. We went right into the details on this one – for someone who is not a musician,they’re likely to go unnoticed – but they are key in bringing the trackto life. It just sounds like a proper pop song should.
How has The Weeknd and CHVRCHES influenced your writing?
Chris: For me, I love how CHVRCHES manage to wrap quite dark songs in really catchy optimistic hooks. I find it quite hard to wrote positive happy songs, so their sound helps me to identify how I can position negative themes in a more poppy-upbeat way. My biggest influence though is Paramore, they’ve been my favorite band since I was 16, so I bring the angsty, raspy rock vibe to our songs too.
Roger: From The Weeknd we draw from the cool ambient background music that he has in his tracks. Specially his latest album. He has definitely moved into the synthwave realm and fused it with pop. We are in the same business in that respect.
How do you try to balance together all your theater, fashion and other art backgrounds?
Roger: Chris is the mastermind behind the shows. He’s really putting his creativity to work and finding original and fresh ideas to enhance our stage presence. It’s so important to create the atmosphere that our music needs. If you’re coming to one of our shows we’re getting you straight into our “neon world”.
Chris: It can be tricky – it’s not just your songs you have to worry about for a show. I’ve built neon jackets that light up and interact with the music, as well as other bits and bobs that I’ve got to program and make sure work for the night! But we both love it. I’ve also got a whole heap of amazing creative friends that have helped us out when we needed them. So a shout out to Alex Forrest for her fabulous branding skills and Elliot Evans for his coding wizardry, we know there’s more to come.
Any plans to hit the road?
Roger: We’re nurturing our London presence, to build our fan base locally. There are a couple of gigs coming up which we’d love to see the readers at! The first being at 93 Feet East on the 16th November, it’s going to be a really cool electronic pop night with people like Acre Tarn – if you like Grimes you’ll love her music. We’re also playing there again, but headlining on the 7th of December. This will be an important gig for us, as it’s our first headline show and we’ve got brilliant support from VŌS, PRYAM, and LB, so the stakes are high. Follow us for more gig dates!
What else is happening next in NIGHT RIDE’s world?
Chris: We’re working on a set of brand new songs that we are really excited about. Our sound has already evolved, and these new tracks will be proof of that. If fans listen from the first song to the last, they’ll notice how we have been refining our formula, and experimenting with the elements we want in our tracks. We’re always working on some new stage props too, so we can deliver a different show every time! Our main goal is to bring you into our little synthy-pop world and ultimately get you to let go and dance to our tracks!
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