The Neighbourhood

By Tom Aylott

Punktastic caught up with the Neighbourhood (Jesse Rutherford, Jeremy Freedman, Zach Abels, Mikey Margot, Bryan Sammis) in between Coachella weekends, on a night where they played an absolutely kick-ass set with Foals. After spinning their single ‘Sweater Weather’ non-stop and hearing them live twice they’ve definitely become a band worthy of seeing live & in living colour, and we caught up with the 5 guys at the El Rey, where we chatted about Coachella essentials, sneaking into the famed fest, and what’s up next for the fab five!

LN: Ok, I’m here with the Neighbourhood band! How are you guys doing- you just got done with Coachella!
NBHD: Yeah it was way fun!
LN: Craziest story that happened so far, at Coachella weekend one!?
NBHD: Ok! At Coachella, craziest story- well, we accidentally ended our set 20 minutes early because of a miscommunication error- but next weekend will be fun. We had a great time too, so!
LN: Ok well don’t be ending things short next weekend because I want to catch the whole set!

LN: You guys kind of just jumped on the scene like a year ago- how exactly did you form?
NBHD: Well, we’re buddies. BEST buds.
LN: It seems to have happened almost out of thin air!
NBHD: Well we all kind of made music and so we thought we’d just try it together and it ended up working.

LN: One of you- Jessie I believe- you started out as a rapper!
Jesse: Yeah! I was doing hip hop before I did all this stuff.
LN: How’d you kind of make the transition over to this more indie type genre?
Jesse: Well basically I came to Zach and Jeremy at first and I was like Yo- let’s try and make (because I was able to sing) and so I was kind of trying to do both and I said to those guys why don’t you help me out with the music part of it because they both have really cool guitar ideas, so we started to collaborate together. Over time we did a bunch of demos in their living room and our bedrooms and shit.
LN: That’s quite the intimate setting you had going.
Jesse: Yeah no it was- it was perfect, and it was fun. Over time I kind of made the executive decision that I didn’t want to rap on our music because I was worried it would pigeon-hole us, so I’m happy we didn’t go in that direction because I think that’s exactly what would have happened. I think we’re all influenced by hip hop anyways, and we can kind of leave that to the music part- like, I don’t have to be up there rapping necessarily.

LN: Well ‘Sweater Weather’ has just dropped on the radio and it’s pretty much all over the place now! I’m guilty of keeping it on heavy rotation myself!
NBHD: Yeah right on!
LN: So you’ve started with Coachella, you have one more weekend in the desert left and then you head out on tour- what are you most excited about?
NBHD: You know, we’re all pretty excited about a headlining tour in general! We’ll get to play longer sets- songs from the album we haven’t yet gotten to play. It’s going to be our own thing!
LN: What are you most excited about playing you haven’t yet been able to play yet?
NBHD: ‘How’- it’s the first song on the album. It’s just got a really good feeling to it, and I think we’re going to do it justice live!

LN: We’ll you’re just finishing up with your first festival (Coachella)- what other fest would you kill to play?
NBHD: GLASTONBURY! And, Bonnaroo. It just seems like a fun one, and they always have great lineups.

LN: When you guys are on the road- and you will be a lot coming up- who has radio/music control?!
NBHD: Our tour manager for sure. I mean, a lot of times when we’re together we don’t listen to a lot of music anyways. We like to just talk and fuck around.

LN: Any essentials you need to bring from home on the road with you?
NBHD: Computer. For sure.
LN: So you all are pretty tight! When you’re not together do you all have skype dates with each other?
NBHD: Oh, 100%. I mean, we’re from the same ‘neighbourhood’ so we hang out like everyday anyways.
LN: So that’s where the name comes from then?
NBHD: Not necessarily, but we liked it.
LN: What’s up with ‘u’ all up in the mix?
NBHD: Well, the other one was taken- and our tour manager suggested it- and we thought it looked cool.
LN: So the rest is history.

LN: Who would you guys be into playing with that you haven’t played with already?
NBHD: Drake. That legitimately might be my number one.

LN: Alright so you’ve played Coachella- any advice for people thinking of going next year that haven’t been before?
NBHD: SUNSCREEN. And, if you can and you love music- go both weekends because there’s always inevitable scheduling conflicts with bands you want to see playing the same times. Also spring for the VIP wristbands if you can- great people watching!

LN: So word on the street is that you ‘snuck’ into Coachella a couple years ago- what’s the deal behind that?
NBHD: Yeah…
Jesse: It was me, Zach, & Jeremy and I’ll say we ‘got in’- you have to understand it was crazy that we got in. We only got to stay for one night but it was really cool. It’e because of that night that the Neighbourhood exists.

LN: Sweet well we’re amped to see what’s up next for you guys and to catch you at your Spring/Summer tour!

Catch the Neighbourhood when they head to a town near you:
5/17: Bakersfield, CA @ Stramler Park (KRAB Free 4 All)
5/19: San Francisco, CA @ BFD Live 105 @ Shoreline
5/20: Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s Night Club
5/22: Las Vegas, NV @ Fremont Country Club
5/23: San Diego, CA @ 5th Avenue Side Stage @ House of Blues.
5/24: Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
5/28: Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
5/30: Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre
6/1: Kansas City, KS @ KRBZ’s Buzz Under The Stars
6/2: St. Louis, MO @ Blueberry Hill
6/4: Tulsa, OK @ The Vanguard
6/5: Dallas, TX @ Trees
6/7: Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
6/8: Austin, TX @ Antone’s Nightclub
6/11: Orlando, FL @ The Social
6/12: Tampa, FL @ Local 662
6/14: Miami, FL @ Culture Room
6/15: Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits
6/17: Atlanta, GA @ Vinyl
6/18: Charleston, NC @ Amos’ Southend Music Hall
6/19: Norfolk, VA @ The NorVA
6/21: Dover, DE @ Firefly Music Festival
6/22: Rochester, NY @ Main Street Armory
6/23: South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground-Showcase Lounge
6/25: Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
6/26: Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
6/29: New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
7/2: Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe @ Old National Centre
7/3: Detroit, MI @ Shelter
7/4: Milwaukee, WI @ Summerfest – WLUM Stage
7/5: Minneapolis, MN @Varsity Theater
7/8: Colorado Springs, CO @ The Black Sheep
7/9: Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
7/11: Vancouver, BC @ Venue
7/12: Portland, OR @ Wonder


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]