As the name suggests, Boone, North Carolina-based sextet, The Nude Party, was built for revelry. The group’s members honed in the band’s retro, psychedelic sound while attending Appalachian State University, after buying cheap instruments and turning bass guitarist Alec Castillo’s parent’s lake house into a venue for its live shows, where they would subsequently disrobe, encourage those in attendance to do the same and rage into the wee hours of the morning.
Since releasing the seven-song “Hot Tub EP” in January of 2016, the band has been touring North America incessantly. Though they rarely rock in the buff these days, the group’s irreverent songwriting, punchy hooks, scuzzed-out sound (best exemplified by tracks like “Life’s a Joke and “Time to Go”) and propensity for festive, unhinged performances has helped the band build a reputation as a must-see live act (clothed or not), beyond the borders of the Tar Heel State.
On Saturday, March 31, The Nude Party will bring their ceaseless party to Five Points’ Root Down for a Blue Party, put on by Winterland Presents. Tampa psych rockers Glove will join. Boytoy’s Glenn Van Dyke will be DJing in-between sets. Attendees are encouraged to wear blue, and Aardwolf will provide blue beer. It’s bound to be a truly revelrous evening, befitting of a band that is used to promoting the abandonment of any and all inhibitions.
We recently caught up with The Nude Party’s Patton Magee (lead vocals, guitar) to talk about the band’s morphing influences, the relevance of rock ‘n’ roll in 2018, and the very important work of showing folks a good time.
You’ve been touring non-stop the last couple of years and have played with some great bands. What was the most recent run you did? Is the Jax date part of a new tour?
The Jacksonville date is part of a two-month tour starting March 1 and ending May 5. That tour has been blessed by some of the best acts there are. We’re co-headlining Midwestern dates with Caroline Rose, supporting Ron Gallo through the West and Southwest, supporting Twin Peaks up the East Coast, and headlining through Florida with our dear friends Glove.
There are six people in the band. I imagine there’s a diverse mix of musical influences among the members of the group. How’d you guys arrive at your current sound? And where do you see it heading in the future?
Our influences have changed over time. We were initially really into Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Doors, the Rolling Stones and ‘70s rock ‘n’ roll. We’ve been getting more into outlaw and California country (still ‘70s), particularly Gram Parsons and the Byrds. For the new record, we hired pedal steel player John Catfish Delorme to play on a few songs.
There’s an irreverence and kind of care-free nature to your sound. It seems like you guys are keen on just having fun and not taking music too seriously.
We don’t like to get too heady or technical in songwriting. If it sounds good, if it feels good to play, we leave it at that and improvise a little on top.
You guys have earned notoriety for the energy you put into your live performances. Do you guys prefer performing to recording?
We have generally preferred performing over recording because of the immediate return you get when people dance and have fun. It just feels good. I think this is the same reason Seinfeld was filmed in front of a live studio audience.
Rock ‘n’ Roll is something like a half century old. Still, there’s been a wave of garage rock and guitar-based bands recently, which I think you guys fit into nicely, as evidenced by the bands you’ve been supporting on tour. What’s resonant or relevant about rock ‘n’ roll in 2018?
We’re just getting back from SXSW, which is a weeklong testament to the fact that people like rock ‘n’ roll and there are constantly new bands that are doing new things with it. It’s still relevant because its form hasn’t been used up. There’s more space and sound left to explore.
With our generation’s indifference toward actual physical engagement (due in large part to our obsession with social media) do you find it’s ever more important to put on a good live show, make sure people have a memorable experience, etc.?
The internet has caused the music business to fragment into many little, long tails, where an “unknown” band can really catch your eye and you can start listening to all their music immediately, then order their LP online in an instant if you want to. A musician no longer requires the consent of record executives to reach people, and I think that’s super tight. The internet is a young band’s lifeline.
And in our experience, a lot of people still like going out to shows and having a good time. At the same time, I think the deep obsession with social media has made it more difficult for us to let ourselves loose, and I think as a generation we’re hyper aware of the perceptions of others. We’re self-conscious and afraid of our peers’ judgments. But as far as I’m concerned, that just means a band or performer has to be that much better. To get people over that hump, to help people enjoy themselves and get loose again. It’s not the death of rock ‘n’ roll, it’s just a different era and everyone’s got to adapt.
Any new music or projects in the works? Plug some stuff!
We have big announcements coming soon that I ain’t supposed ta talk ‘bout. But new music very soon. And, of course, much more touring on the horizon.