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Not Tonight Josephine: the interview

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Not Tonight Josephine is a post hardcore band from Tampa who’s shared the stage with such bands as A Day to Remember and New Found Glory. They’re also known for their post hardcore covers of “Thrift Shop”, “All That She Wants” as well as Dexter inspired video for original song “Carousel”. They’re currently touring in support of their latest EP, “Common Gold”. I had a chance to talk with them about their tour, “Common Gold”, lineup changes and a whole other mix of things.

How did the RollercoastTour go for you guys?

It was such a blast. It was great to be back on the road for Evan and I [Scott] and even better to be out for the first time with Danny, James and Christian. We’re now back on the road and having a great time on the ‘Tour ‘n Down for What’ Tour.

How did you come up with your band name?

There’s an answer to that question but if I told you, I’d have to kill you haha. It’s an old saying (that nobody really says anymore) that stems from Napolean [sic] Bonaparte that we found to be somewhat applicable to life on the road and being in a band.

You’re known for putting your own spin on songs no one would expect you to cover, like Ace of Base’s “All That She Wants” and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop”. How do you decide which songs to cover?

Well “All That She Wants” really happened by accident while rehearsing one day. Someone played a riff and said “Hey that sounds like that Ace of Bass [sic] song” and all of a sudden everyone was playing that song together haha. “Thrift Shop”, however, was very much a decision on our part that stemmed from the need to release something really quick to the fans to hear our new singer Danny and what he sounded like and an idea of what direction we were going to head in. It was before we hit the studio to record “Common Gold” so we said “Let’s just do a cover, release it as a single so that our fans know we’re still here and what we’re moving towards before recording a new record with the new line-up.” We were all really digging the song “Thrift Shop” at that time so someone suggested it and we dove head first into re-arranging it and tracking it, which we recorded and produced all by ourselves.

Can you tell me more about the decision to go for a more straightforward post-hardcore sound on “Common Gold”?
It was a very natural progression when Danny joined the band as that was what his voice sounded best doing and what he’s naturally best at and the fact that that’s really Evan and I’s musical preference anyway. Over the course of line-up changes in this band, the replacing members, myself included, are all definitely more in that wheel-house and influenced by post-hardcore and stuff like that so when it came time to write new material, it flowed out like that naturally.

What is the songwriting process like for you guys?
A lot of arguing. Kidding haha. We all bring guitar riffs and ideas to the table and then we all contribute and put input into the song and mold it into an NTJ song as opposed to just one person’s song. We’re fortunate in that everyone in our band is extremely talented and can play guitar or come up with a beat pattern for a rhythm to a song to bring to the table and for all of us to expand upon. Danny writes his own vocal melodies and lyrics with minimal input from anyone in the band but musically we all input ideas.

How do you decide which songs to play live?
Well there’s a handful that no matter what we’re definitely going to play because the crowd expects to hear them or they always get the best reaction from the audience and depending on how long of a set we have, we take a vote on which songs to fill in the gaps between the songs that we know we’re definitely going to play.

Favorite song to play live?
My personal favorite song to play live would without a doubt be a toss-up between “IHateRollercoastersAnyway” and “Alpha Dog” because those two get the biggest reactions from the crowd and they’re my two favorite songs that we’ve written thus far. “Don’t Tell Me it’s Over” is always fun to play live just cause it’s easy to jump around a lot to that song and older fans love hearing us play something older so that’s a fun one to play live as well.

Favorite artist or band right now?
Hmmmm, in our genre I’d have to say one of my personal favorites is Bring me the Horizon. I like Pierce the Veil a lot as well.

How was it sharing the stage with A Day to Remember and New Found Glory? How did that come about?
Both were festival shows and both were great although we weren’t necessarily a post-hardcore band at that time so it would be more exciting to share the stage with them now with our current line-up and style.

Name one song that people would be surprised to find on your iPod.
Oh man just one???? Half my iPod would puzzle people hahaha. Off the top of my head, I suppose “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” by Earl Scruggs would surprise most of our fans. I’m a HUGE sucker for banjo pickin’ and fiddle roarin’ bluegrass hahaha.

You can catch Not Tonight Josephine on the ‘Tour ‘n Down for What’ tour. Listen to them for free here. Watch their videos here.

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