This interview is with James Moore, vocalist/guitarist for Nightbird Casino.
A song that made you want to make music?
The first song that really had that impact on me was actually Take a Picture by Filter – pretty far off from the music I make now, but as a kid it greatly inspired me.
Best rider you’ve had?
I can’t say we’ve ever been in a situation where we’ve had riders.
Deepest lyric one of your songs features?
Ahh man, I don’t want to label any of my own lyrics “deep” – deep is all very subjective. I guess The Squid has some lyrics that are very specific and could be considered “deep”: “can’t remember no longer, you wore just the thing, that July I wouldn’t bother to say anything” comes to mind. I like that line a lot and it’s incredibly personal and specific.
Easiest song you wrote?
The third track on Gregorian Nap, Symmetrical Electrical, was written and recorded in less than 24 hours. It’s one of my favorites, I don’t know if I’d call it easy but it all happened very fast.
Favourite song in your set?
If I had to pick one, Radio Anxiety is a lot of fun to play.
Guest you’d most like to feature on your record?
I’d love to collaborate with Thom Yorke or Justin Vernon, but let’s be real.
Hardest thing about being in a band?
Having to make decisions with four other people.
Interesting fact about one of your members?
I can give you a few. Landon (guitar/synth) actually has a degree in music composition and is the only classically trained member of the band. Mandy (synth/ondes martenot) studied geology in school and is an expert in pre-cambrian fossils. Oliver learned classical piano and clarinet long before he played drums. I (James, vocals/guitar) work in the film industry as an assistant director when I’m not making music.
Jokes you have in the band?
That we all have an effects pedal addiction (this one is true), that Oliver is always late, that I sound like Paul Banks (sometimes true).
Key to writing a song?
G# minor. Just kidding.There’s not some magic bullet. Sometimes songs come together in a matter of hours and it feels effortless, other times it’s an uphill slog for months. I guess the key is not trying to control the process and just allowing it to happen.
Longest distance you’ve travelled to play a show?
With this band, about three hours. I’ve traveled about seven hours away with previous bands.
Most inspiring musician you’ve experienced?
I saw Bon Iver in Bend, Oregon, last week and that was the most inspirational experience I’ve had in quite some time.
New band you’d recommend?
Just saw Sid Sriram last week, I highly recommend checking him out. Exceptional voice and a great live show.
Opening for this band would be ideal?
Well Radiohead, if I had my druthers.
Place you’d most like to tour?
Europe for sure.
Quote you’d like to pass on to our readers?
I don’t like work–no man does–but I like what is in the work–the chance to find yourself. Your own reality–for yourself not for others–what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means.
Reason for the title of your recent/forthcoming release?
Our next single is called Gazelles. There’s a lot of safari / animal references in it and I’ll just leave it at that for now.
See us live at?
We currently are done touring for 2023 but we play quite a few shows in Medford-Ashland area in Oregon. Always a safe bet to see us somewhere around here.
The old days of music were better than the current, do you agree?
Not at all. I do think the streaming services have made it difficult for bands to make an income, and the fact that 99% of record labels care more about your TikTok presence than your actual music is frustrating, but that being said, there is amazing music coming out today – just as there was in the past. There’s also terrible music, and always has been. I think declaring any particular decade or era or music “better” than another isn’t the right way to look at it. There are artists I love from the 1600s and artists I love who’re just getting started in 2023.
We do sell fanny packs on our website, and they’re one of our top sellers.
Variations you’d like to do on any of your songs?
Ah yeah for sure – I’d love to do a remix EP, where each band member does a remix of one of our songs. A heavier or more electronic version of The Squid is at the top of my list. Full-band version of Iquitos is another one – we’re actually going to start doing that one live soon.
What do your fans mean to you?
We wouldn’t be anywhere without them.
X-rays or any treatments needed for band related injuries?
Thankfully that hasn’t happened yet – I’ve definitely injured my shoulder from wearing a Les Paul for hours though.
You’re late for a show, whose fault is it?
100% Oliver. He can keep time on the drums but nothing else.
Zoo animal that next describes the personality of your band?
What an amazing question, and the answer is obviously GAZELLES.