Sheffield’s emo-rock two-piece Nai Harvest popped in for a chat with Charlie Mock about their new record, Gnarwolves and Twin Peaks.
Let’s start by getting down to the meaning behind your name. It’s a reference to the American band Saetia- have they been a big influence on your music?
Ben: Not really! When I first started writing stuff for this we didn’t really have a name and then I watched an interview with the singer of Saetia and he was talking about one of their songs and then he said ‘no harvest’- I didn’t want to be called no harvest so I changed it to Nai Harvest and that’s pretty much it! We’re not influenced by them I just really like them as a band!
Do you have any big influences at all?
Ben: Not as much any more.
Lew: I think when you first start a band you’re like, yeah I want to sound like so and so, but we just do what we want now. I guess a lot of indie stuff at the moment.
Ben: Yeah, a lot of indie stuff. When we first started we really wanted to sound like the whole mid-west scene, but when we were writing ‘Whatever’ we purposely didn’t listen to anything. We were like, let’s not listen to any other bands and just lock ourselves in a room and see what comes out. With the new 7” that we’ve just finished I’ve been listening to a bunch of 90’s indie bands so I guess it’s gone a bit more indie rock than emo. It’s still and emo record but it’s definitely got that fuzzy, indie rock stuff running through it.
‘Whatever’ was released in March of this year, yet you’ve just finished your new record only seven months down the line. Was getting your new songs ready for release so quickly something that came naturally for you?
Lew: Pretty much. I don’t know what other bands are like but I think as soon as you put something out you’re like, I wanna do something new! New and better.
Ben: Also we just like working on it. We work really hard. We’ve been non-stop gigging the last year as well so we just wanted to follow that up with writing new songs. We wrote these four and were really happy with them, they work as a four so instead of writing another album we were like let’s do these as a four and then see if we can do another album after. I think it’s a nice stop-gap in between albums to do another 7”.
As you said, you’re releasing on 7″- any particular reason that you’ve chosen vinyl over other methods?
Ben: It’s vinyl!
Lew: Just standard really!
Ben: Vinyl is just like, a mark in history! I think if it comes out on vinyl it will always be on wax and will always mean something, more than CDs and tapes, it’s just a press and it’s really cool to have it in 30 years time.
Touring is a big part of what you guys do- you’ve hit numerous festivals over the last few months as well as playing Sŵn here in Cardiff. Can you remember the last time you had a day off?!
Ben: We have weekdays off! But, since September we’ve been doing something every weekend. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the last two months has been rammo for us. We’re just doing our jobs and uni Monday to Friday and then as soon as we clock out I drive from Sheffield to Manchester, pick Lew up and then it’s like a weekend party, we look forward to it.
You’re back on the road in November, ending the year with a joint headline tour with Gnarwolves. Are you looking forward to touring with your mates?
Ben: Yes! But we’re kind of nervous…
Lew: Yeah, we’re nervous. I don’t know if we can keep up with them!
Ben: They’re just crazy guys! We love them to bits, we’ve known them for a while- before we started this band and before they started Gnarwolves, just from previous bands and stuff. They were crazy then and they’re all twice as crazy now. There’s free beer at all the shows as well so I don’t know what’s going to happen! Should be good, I don’t know if we can keep up but we’ll try.
Finally, the ‘Twin Peaks’ quote that you have at the start of ‘Washy’- why?!
Ben: Oh dear. I basically wrote the whole album, not in terms of music but the lyrics, in three days and in those three days I smashed all of ‘Twin Peaks’ and in between wrote lyrics. That’s basically it. Before we started writing any of the music I just had three days so I thought, I’m just going to watch this series. Everyone was busy! So, I just watched it all and in between episodes I’d write things down. A few of the songs have got references to ‘Twin Peaks’ in because it was all I was watching at the time. It’s all about my personal life but in reference to ‘Twin Peaks’ as well because the same situations were going on so I’d reference it. The sample was just like, an ode. Lew hasn’t watched Twin Peaks though; he says it’s too scary!
Lew: It is too scary!
Ben: But yeah, it’s just an ode I guess, to something that helped me write ten songs worth of lyrics basically.
‘Whatever’ is available for download now and you can listen to the duo’s new track here. Catch Nai Harvest on the road with Gnarwolves this month.