“I think it’s always kind of like us wanting to make something new but we also want it to be in the vein and spirit of the band, we don’t want to alienate anybody from record to record.”
Hailing from the legendary music city of Minneapolis, Night Moves have a cinematic take on the artform. It isn’t completely psychedelic, shoegaze, or alternative, but there’s a very fluid blend of the three styles over a genuine rock foundation.
The band—guitarist and lead vocalist John Pelant, bassist and backing vocalist Mickey Alfano, guitarist Charles Murlowski, and drummer Mark Hanson—has a cohesive way of creating sounds that captivate the senses. At Brighton Music Hall on Jan. 19, folks can feel this sensation as Night Moves takes the stage. Portland, Oregon-based dream pop duo Shady Cove will start off the evening at 8pm.
Pelant and I spoke ahead of the show about an EP the band released last year, having a better experience with a producer they had worked with previously, making sure to stock up on T-shirts to sell, and looking to finish a new album later this year.
Back in July of last year, Night Moves released the Redaction EP which features four tracks. What do you consider to be the vision for the record? Were you guys just looking to put out something fresh to follow up your third full-length Can You Really Find Me that came out in 2019 or were looking to have the EP serve a different purpose?
I think it’s always kind of like us wanting to make something new but we also want it to be in the vein and spirit of the band, we don’t want to alienate anybody from record to record. We’re always looking to expand on what came before along with making something new and exciting. We weren’t going to have a record done in time so we figured we’d might as well put something out that we could organize some tours for. With a four song EP, we’d never put anything out like that before so it just made sense given the time with COVID and all that stuff.
What was the experience like working with producer John Agnello on the EP after working with him on the 2016 album Pennied Days? Were there any differences or similarities between the session for the EP and the session for the previous full-length?
It was actually pretty different. The first go-around with Pennied Days was a pretty tough experience, there was a lot of headbutting going on. Doing this go-around we made amends, hashed things out, and it was actually really fun and really good. They were pretty different experiences, we love that guy and he’s amazing but I think there were some growing pains during the Pennied Days sessions where we didn’t see eye to eye. We were able to rectify that with this EP.
For this current tour Night Moves is on, which includes a stop at Brighton Music Hall, you got some brand new merch including T-shirts and tour posters. Who came up with the design for the both of them? Did you guys have any input on how they look or did you just let the artist use their own imagination?
Whenever we do this I just send a whole bunch of images that I’ve saved on my computer. It takes a little bit of time for the artist to nail something down but Conor Mikita, who’s the drummer in the band the Nude Party, has an art platform called Great Indoors and he’s really cool. There were around three or four ideas he had sent that we had to work through for a few months, but the whole idea was to make a poster that could also be made into a shirt. It took a little bit, but then he finally hit on something that really came out great.
A lot of touring bands these days say that they often sell more T-shirts than records at their shows. Would you say that this is the truth for Night Moves or is it not the case?
Well, we haven’t had any vinyl in forever so that’s our problem. There’s that whole delay in getting vinyl made after COVID due to the supply chain and all that stuff, so we haven’t had any vinyl records since our 2019 tour we did in support of Can You Really Find Me. That’s been our issue, we always stock up on the shirts and posters while making sure that we have numerous designs but I think if all goes to plan we should have some LPs available for this tour. I’m not too sure when, I got to actually check in with the label about that.
You’re still waiting for them to come in through the mail?
You’re not alone in that. I know a lot of bands that have been dealing with the whole vinyl backlog.
I just suspect that we won’t have vinyl. It’s been so long and there’s always something going on with it so we just make sure to have t-shirts, posters, tote bags, and whatever else.
After this run of shows you guys are going to be embarking on for the rest of the month, what are your plans for the first half or 2023? Can we expect a follow up to the Redaction EP?
We’ve been working on a bunch of new songs, so the idea is to finish up a new record that I think we’re not too far off from but we’re going to hunker down and try to finish up the rest of it. We’re recording two new songs in February with Jim Eno from Spoon, he worked with us on Can You Really Find Me, and then I’m going to finish up the rest of the demos at my house. We might go back to record with John Agnello again, I’m not really sure but we’re going to try to get another record out and maybe it’ll be released next year after we finish it. It always takes so long after you complete the recording and the mastering to get it really out there, so we’re just looking to finish making a new album.
Rob Duguay is an arts & entertainment journalist based in Providence, RI who is originally from Shelton, CT. Outside of DigBoston, he also writes for The Providence Journal, The Connecticut Examiner, The Newport Daily News, Worcester Magazine, New Noise Magazine, Northern Transmissions and numerous other publications. While covering mostly music, he has also written about film, TV, comedy, theatre, visual art, food, drink, sports and cannabis.