chat room: nautics interview
Welcome to the chat room; an on-going series created by Wonders Zine. We aim to know artists better through asking about their creative processes, inspirations, and goals.
This chat room feature explores Nautics.
photo credit: @o0orii
Levitt - Drummer
Van - Bass
Amir - Keys
Kenzo - Guitar & Singer
All members are from New York, aged 21-22.
Wonders Zine had the absolute delight of chatting to Nautics; an indie band from New York who formed in 2015. With all proceeds from their new release Thoughts on the Ceiling being donated to the Food Bank of New York City, we chat to the band about the importance of solidarity, along with their music and creative process.
Hi Nautics - what’s the meaning behind your band name? How did you guys come up with it?
Levitt: We came up with our band name in a group chat after going over a bunch of other names. Kenzo: I wish there was some deeper meaning then that. I personally liked it because it didn’t sound too dated. It was sorta classic sounding. I hope.
How did you guys meet? When did you decide to form the band?
Kenzo: The initial spark was when I saw my friend perform at Webster Hall. I was blown away by the atmosphere and the next day I insisted that Van and I make music together. The band formed soon after.
Levitt: It's a long story, but the short version is that Van linked all of us together from knowing us at different points in his life. Amir: One fateful night Kenzo and I crossed paths at a chipotle, the rest is history.
photo credit: @evaristegindrey
Describe your music in three words.
Levitt: Dancy, Pop, Wavy. Amir: Space, Indie, Pop.
Van: Music, Good, Maybe? My favourite song of yours is post madonna - but what’s your favourite song? Which is the most enjoyable to perform? Van: Post Madonna is a cool song. I think it opened a lot of doors for us songwriting-wise. It sits in a key like our previous songs, but the progressions are varied, and I feel as if the song is evolving despite being very tonal. I think we’d struggled making a song feel as if it was progressing before that.
Levitt: My favorite song to play live is Cosmonaut, but my fave Nautics song is Southebys. Kenzo: I really love I’ll Be Waiting, but mostly because that was the first song I wrote and it meant a lot to me to see it flourish. My favorite song to perform is Makeup. It just gives off good energy.
You can check out the songs mentioned here:
Who/what are your biggest influences? Amir: I think we all had the same foundational influences on bands like The Strokes and the Arctic Monkeys. When the band was just getting going in like 2015, I think those bands really informed our sound. Now I think we’ve shifted to listening to more pop music and I think that’s clear in our sound. Of course we all listen to different things though, I personally still love the Talking Heads and David Byrne.
Who would you absolutely love to collaborate with? Kenzo: Dua Lipa. She is amazing.
photo credit: @veryobviousvulva
What does your creative process look like? Levitt: Whether we are together or apart the process changes, but typically we send each other song ideas in our group chat. Amir: Often one of us will come up with a demo, these demos can be chord progressions or bass lines or sometimes nearly complete songs. We then work on the demo as a group and mold it into a song that we want to release.
What would your advice be to aspiring music artists? Did you face any struggles you wish you knew about beforehand? Amir: We have, and continue, to face many obstacles in our musical journey. I think it’s important to think about why you’re making music. As a band we make music because we enjoy it; ultimately we’re four friends who hang out by creating. For us the art is primary and getting to do this professionally would be great, but it’s not the principal focus. Our theme for this issue is ‘solidarity’ - what does that mean to you guys as a band? how would you say you promote solidarity?
Kenzo: For one, I would say that our band is first and foremost a family. While we may fight, our bond is incredibly strong and important to us. As for our audience and the people we encounter along the way, we consider them part of the family as well. Community has constantly been important to us. We always try our best to remain in touch with the people who listen to our music and the bands we’ve worked with.
photo credit: @o0orii
How do you think zines have impacted on your music? Or the music industry in general? Van: I think Zines have always been integral to counter culture and the music industry in general. I was initially inspired by the Zine fair at my college which was such a creative atmosphere that I wanted to be a part of. We’ve been fortunate to be featured in a few Zines, and I think every time it’s a pleasure to collaborate and work with them. I think the tangibility of music is difficult to obtain in the new millennia, and Zines are an excellent way for underground bands to collaborate for something real.
What’s next for you guys? Anything exciting coming up? Levitt: We are working on more songs, so hopefully it will bless your ears soon.
Anything else you want to let people know? Kenzo: Be safe and be kind.
Stream Thoughts on the Ceiling now to help donate to the Food Bank of New York City
NAUTICS' FULL INTERVIEW WILL BE PUBLISHED IN ISSUE O2 OF WONDERS ZINE