Nightlives Talk "A Wink in the Face of Death"
Fri, 26 Oct 2012 10:12:17
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Nightlives exist in the dark.
However, that darkness is as beautiful as it gets. On A Wink in the Face of Death, Nightlives—Jordan Sears and Brent Jackson—merge rapturous sounds reminiscent of the early '90s alternative renaissance with elegant trip hop. It's intricate, inviting, and inimitable. Channeling Massive Attack and My Bloody Valentine, Nightlives come to life vividly with an album that beckons multiple listens and could serve as the soundtrack for any memorable night. It's one of the most unique albums you'll hear all year—and quite possibly beyond.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Jordan Sears of Nightlives talks A Wink in the Face of Death, movies, and more.
Did you approach A Wink in the Face of Death with one vision or vibe in mind?
It's actually a funny story. My buddy and I found some time to focus on something without the confines of paying for a studio so we took it song by song. When we finished every song, we'd start the next one. It just so happened when we were thinking about the track order, the album had the most natural flow the way it was written and recorded so we left it like that. We fell upon it!
Is there a lyrical or thematic thread?
There definitely is. It's very melancholic. The overall mood of the album is being okay with the departure of common things in life whether they be social or otherwise. The title, A Wink in the Face of Death, tries to give an easy vibe even to the thought of a life ending.
You can find levity in the darkest moments.
Exactly, you can find comfort in things that are perceived as darker.
What's the story behind "Disappear"?
That's definitely the most personal song on the album for me. My grandfather had just passed from Alzheimers. I was thinking about all of the time I spent with him and all of the people affected by things like that in their lives. A disease like that takes all of your thoughts and memories and makes them nothing. We called it "Disappear" because it's like someone's whole life just disappeared. We were very strict about melody in our songs. When you pair a beautiful melody with a dark theme, you can come up with something really gripping.
Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?
It definitely is. We talk about what kind of vibe we want and how we can tie lyrical themes in. The overall theme we were thinking of was dark water for the entire album. Every song has some kind of connection to water, sinking, and being engulfed by waves or pushing off from land out to sea. That's the imagery we feel from that.
It feels like floating when you listen to it on headphones.
Definitely! During "No Light", in the bridge it hits these big wash-y synths that flow. I feel this imagery of waves.
If you were to compare A Wink in the Face of Death to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
That's a good question. I've never really thought too much about that. It'd probably be something like David Fincher would do. I'm not sure though! What do you think?
Maybe 2001: A Space Odyssey?
That's a good one because there's a sense of being alone. Throughout the whole movie, Dave's technically alone.
What are some of your favorite films?
Some of my favorite movies are just funny and make me feel good. Army of Darkness is one of my favorites. I watch Bloodsport once a year. The music has always really interested me. It's borderline cheesy, but they use these awesome cinematic synths in there. Now that we're talking about it, it's definitely played a big role in my inspirations.
What artists shaped you?
I'm a huge Sunny Day Real Estate fan. The Rising Tide was a big record for me. I'm a huge Radiohead supporter. Overall, I'd say my favorite band is Massive Attack. This is a trip hop influenced album. I still take a lot of inspiration from them. They always pushed the boundaries and tried new sounds. I think Massive Attack's overall goal is to make you feel something. It's got to be them. Mezzanine is one of my favorites ever.
Have you heard Nightlives?
Listen to Nightlives below!