Harrison Nida: Pretty good, thanks for having us on! Now’s a good time, we’ve got a lot to talk about 🙂
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Clownin’”?
HN: “Clownin’” is a unique blend of ska, reggae, and punk. This is a direction, as a band, we’ve been moving towards and we’re pretty excited to have a darker side of that on Thrillenials.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
HN: “Clownin’” was written in reference to the mysterious clowns that have been stalking and harrassing people for the last few years. It’s a really interesting phenomenon, so we took some creative liberties and made our own nightmarish story that blurs the line between the scary clowns and the darkness of humanity. It’s the perfect material to come up with something kinda weird.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
HN: We worked with a director named Zane and it definitely was a different direction than what we came up with ourselves, but we’re super happy with how it turned out! We’re lucky enough to have awesome friends who gave up their Saturday to film this (and celebrate Harrison’s birthday). This was a bigger budget shoot for us, and is so far the only video we’ve shot in a studio, so it was cool to have more people working on it.
The single comes off your new album Thrillenials – what’s the story behind the title?
HN: Thrillenials is the sequel to our first EP Illenials, which was about poking fun at the misconceptions other generations have about millenials. All of the songs we’ve recorded were done as one production, and originally we had it mastered as an album, but then we realized how strong the songs were and decided to highlight 6 singles between 3 EPs. We call this EP Thrillenials because the singles are fast paced and energetic, as you’ll see from our second single “Adrenaline” that’s coming out July 20th.
How was the recording and writing process?
HN: Harrison wrote all of the songs on the record, with a co-write for “Coming Together” with Ethan Mentzer from The Click Five. He brings the songs to Nathan and Carlo, who re-work some of the structure and write their own parts. The recording process was intense, fun, and a huge developmental period for the band.
What was it like to work with Allan Hessler and how did that relationship develop?
HN: Allan and Harrison became super close. From start to finish, the record took a year and a half to complete. He knows how to draw the best performances from whoever he’s working with, and had huge influences on the sound. He’s done so many high caliber records in this genre that it was really easy to trust his opinion. He would talk through any aspect of what was going on with us until the issue was resolved. He pushed to have horns on the record, and was the one who got Matt Appleton from Reel Big Fish involved, which was game changing for us since those horns add a lot. We’ve been playing recently with Nathan’s brother Brendan on trombone, and it adds a whole other level of depth to our sound.
How much did he get to influence the album?
HN: As a producer, his role was to make it sound professional and authentic. He did it perfectly. The reason why Harrison is listed as a co-producer is because he oversaw everything. He made changes and suggestions that Allan respected and incorporated, but to combine a high quality sound with a raw, energetic feel is incredibly hard to do. He nailed it by using every possible resource at his disposal.
What role does LA play in your music?
HN: SoCal in general has a huge influence on the pop-punk, ska, and reggae scene. We love living here and make the most out of the opportunities we have, from opening for bigger bands like Alien Ant Farm to surfing as much as we can. It’s not perfect and we’re more than aware of the pay to play situations that are all too frequent here, but it keeps us positive, optimistic and happy. We have a great culture down here!
Will you be diving into the same topics as your previous material?
HN: Topics vary quite a bit. “Adrenaline” is about the need to push your boundaries and how fun that can be. “Guano” is a commentary about pop music and nightlife in LA, and there’s a lot in between.
What other themes will you be exploring on this record?
HN: “Guano” is a pretty interesting song. We’re stoked to hear what people think about it. We got pretty experimental sonically, since the idea was to write a punk verse that transitioned into an all guitar EDM pre-chorus and chorus. Not sure if that’s what you meant, but definitely keep an eye out for that one at the release of Thrillenials
Any plans to hit the road?
HN: We’ll be playing at HempFest in Seattle on August 19th, so we’re working right now on making a run out of it. If you’re in California, Oregon, or Washington keep an eye out!
What else is happening next in Victory Kid’s world?
HN: We’ve connected with some awesome bands that we’ll be playing more shows with in California, making way for more out of town shows from San Diego to Sonoma! Also, we’ll be releasing the music video for “Tuck Frump” soon. We took the time to make it right and we couldn’t be more juiced to show you something different and pretty special!