Interview: Cary Nokey
Mon, 08 Jul 2013 06:59:21
"The passion is just as important as the music," says 8 Bit, one-half of Cary Nokey.
The New York duo—8 Bit and ALLY N-DA-CITY—have no shortage of passion. You can hear it on the funked-out danceable bliss of "Burn the House Down" and "Summer". It'll get you shimmying and shaking like nothing else out there. Get ready for one of a hell dance party with Cary Nokey.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, 8 Bit of Cary Nokey talks the group's music and so much more.
What sparks songs for Cary Nokey?
A lot of times, it's more track-driven. Everyone's inspired by acts like The Talking Heads, David Bowie, The Beatles, and Freddie Mercury. There's a real appreciation for interesting, original art. It wasn't about trying to reinvent the wheel. It was more about starting with a track that feels quirky and interesting and has some sort of emotion to it, whether it makes you want to dance, cry, or party. Whatever it is you want to do, it emotes something in you. When we hear a track, we just start vibing. I do most of the production. I know what feels and sounds like a Cary Nokey track. Then, we'll start singing ideas, mock words, and fake storylines over it just to get a vibe. Usually, one of us will hit on something or sing something that lights up the other's eyes or imagination. It flows from there. As soon as the track comes on, you know. The energy changes in the room. There's an ere of excitement in the room. I might play three or four songs before that happens, and it brings out this world in us.
What's the story behind "Burn the House Down"?
It was an idea I had floating around for a few years. It was one of those ideas that got stuck. I tried to write something over it, and nothing magical came out. Somehow, I came across it on one of my hard drives a few months ago. The track element has guitar, a drum pattern, and a bass line. It felt like it could really be something. I brought it in and started developing it. I played it for Ally, and I could see the energy in him change. He actually started writing the little spot he sings on. Once I heard his voice, I immediately went into the hook. I locked into something based on where his energy brought me. It's a very interesting process. It flowed like water. We laid down the vocals in an hour. It signifies this Cary Nokey thing. It put a stamp on where this thing was going. It gave us that launch pad to have our identity built. Every artist needs that hit song that sets the tone and direction. "Burn the House Down" was that song for us. Everything to follow could be connected back to it in sort of general, creative vibe.
What does it mean lyrically?
Lyrically, it's so many things. For me, it's letting go of the past. It's letting go of all the things you feel tied to. Only when you let them go do you realize you didn't need them all along. When you're in it, you can't see it. It's only when things burn down and you can't get after them again that you realize. It could be the girl or guy you were with. You tried so hard to make it work, but it was never meant to work. You kept trying and trying. It's only when that girl or guy says to you, "It's over", they put the stamp on it and burn the house down. Then, you come alive and say, "Thank God, they did that". Things have to burn sometimes. We can't let them go.
"Summer" stands out. It captures a different emotion, but it's still Cary Nokey.
It's so important. We feel like Cary Nokey is more of a movement. We're going to start doing a party once a month at different venues and galleries across the city that we're going to throw. We want to bring that Andy Warhol event of culture back to live music. Cary Nokey will play at these events. We're going to have drinks and foods. We're not going to have record labels and all of that bullshit there. It's for people who really appreciate the music and still have that passion to be involved and see these things. On the email invites, we're going to say, "No record labels please" [Laughs]. We joke about that. It's not to be jerkoffs. It's just the truth. This isn't for that. It's for something else. We want to create an interactive element for live music again. People want to take part and be involved. They want to know you, feel you, and touch you. We're focusing on a movement. Cary Nokey is going to change. It's not just going to be myself and Ally. It's going to be all of these talents we meet in our travels.
Have you heard Cary Nokey?