KXSU got the chance to talk with Aidan from Seattle-based band Nail Polish, who played at Capitol Hill Block Party last Friday. This band’s a favorite of mine, and I got to learn a little more about what makes them so unique!
KXSU: How did Nail Polish start, and who plays what?
NP: Nail Polish is Gems (drums and vox), Aidan Fitzgerald (bass and vox) and Sloane Flashman (guitar). We formed almost 2 years ago when Sloane and I started playing music together in his basement. Gems and I are in a weirdo-thrash hardcore band called SMILING together, and I asked them to play drums with Sloane and me.
KXSU: Any musical influences?
NP: Ah, jeez. We listen to a lot of music. Our most immediate influences are probably Suburban Lawns, Thinking Fellers Union, James Chance and the Contortions, Suicide; all the No Wave bands really. We’re also really influenced by bands like Baus in Oakland, Lithics in Portland, and Tough Customer in Vancouver. These bands are our contemporaries, and we’ve been lucky enough to play shows with a few of them. They’ve been a huge influence on us.
KXSU: I love the short, “stabby” songs off of Abrupt. Do you purposely keep your songs short, or is it just something that happens?
NP: In a nutshell, we want our songs to get to the point. When we’re writing, we’ll come up with a part and see how it fits in with another, then immediately start editing each part, trimming it down to its essential components. Usually that results in shorter songs, ones that don’t follow a traditional pop or punk song structure; we really enjoy keeping people on their toes.
KXSU: I’ve only been living in Capitol Hill for a year, but I’ve already seen some of my favorite spaces close down (RIP Cairo). Are there any now-defunct spaces you wish you could play?
NP: Healthy Times, Chilladelphia, the King Dome, halftime at a Sonics game, Harvard Exit, Noah’s Bagels (before it became an Einstein’s Bagels), New Orlando, 5010 House, Cairo (of course), and Taco Bell.
KXSU: Favorite existing venue to play at?
NP: Our favorite place to play, no question, is Office Space.
KXSU: Best story from being on tour? Worst?
NP: That’s tough. We toured with SSDD last November and pretty much had only good times. Pete “Meals on Wheels” Capponi put most of the tour together, so we knew we were in good hands. I had to drive through the mountains in Southern Oregon at 3 a.m. with so much fog that I couldn’t even see farther than ten feet in front of me, just so we could get to a roadside hotel and sleep from 4:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., and then get back on the road. That wasn’t the best. When we were in San Diego, we played with this rad band, Teenage Burritos. One of the members worked at a pizza joint, so we got, like, seven pies and a bunch of pitchers of beer for free before our show. Dream come true. After that we all got really drunk on these awful-tasting malt liquor drinks called Buzzballs, and absolutely nobody was at our show. SSDD still tore it up, of course. Ricky (the guitarist for SSDD) was dancing so hard while he played that his pants came off. Later that night our host gave us fresh dragonfruit from her garden and Ricky and I played a bunch of Street Fighter 2 until we got a double KO at the same time, which I didn’t think was possible, but hey, that’s tour, I suppose! Wild stuff.
KXSU: Anything involving Nail Polish that we should keep an eye out for?
NP: We have a new recording that we made with Ian Krist, who is a total genius. We’re not sure when the new recording will be out but it should be soon; it’s about twice as long as Abrupt and so, so, so, so much better. It does have three tracks that are on Abrupt that we re-recorded, though. We have a music video for “Chophouse Row” coming out soon, as well.
KXSU: Who else were you excited to see at Capitol Hill Block Party?
NP: Ah, so many! On Friday, Dick Stusso; I’ve been playing his tape a bunch at work and I really dig it. DoNormaal played the Neumo’s stage right after us, and I’m pretty sure she’s going to burn down the stage, she’s so f***ing good. We played with her in Spokane for Volume Fest earlier this summer and I was amazed. On Saturday, we pretty much parked ourselves at Cha Cha Lounge because starting at 4 p.m. the lineup offered the best bands that Seattle has to offer: Mommy Long Legs, Boyfriends, and SSDD. Those humans are our favorite bands and best buds, so we were stoked to see them rip it up.
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