By ERIC SCHELKOPF
Chicago band The NightTimers is helping to add to the vibrancy of the Chicago music scene through its energetic sound and catchy melodies.
The band will perform a Halloween show Oct. 31 at Silvie's Lounge, 1902 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago.
I had the chance to talk to bass/rhythm guitarist Ian Capilouto about the upcoming show and the band's latest activities.
Q- Great talking to you. You guys have only been together a year, I understand. How did the group come together and are you guys musically where you would like to be now? Why do you think the members work well together?
We came together when Sonny, who plays drums, wanted to create a band and started rehearsing with Ryan and Brian. Ryan plays lead guitar and Brian bass/guitar/keyboards.
I joined when I answered an ad on the Internet for a guitarist who could play rhythm and sing a bit. So that’s me, Ian.
Musically, I’d say we are still developing, but we are happy with where our development has taken us so far. We write a lot of original songs that are unique.
Of course, every band has its influences and has some similarities in sound to previous ones, but never try to ape anybody meaning there is no intentional decision to sound like anyone or anything.
Basically, if the song is a good one, we play it.
We work well together because although sometimes we can be taskmasters with one another, it is with the understanding that the song is the number one priority. You have to check your ego at the door with us.
That said, we have a lot of laughs and everybody puts forward a great effort towards each other’s ideas.
Q - I am sure you have heard the band's sound described in a number of ways. How would you describe the band's music? Who are the band's biggest influences?
I believe our sound is unique. At the core, it is rock 'n' roll, though.
To me, if you have guitars, keyboards and drums with some type of singing, it’s rock 'n' roll. Whether that’s indie rock, classic rock, punk rock, twee pop or whatever other labels there are out there, that’s for the listener to determine on their own.
But we tend to try sounds, beats, rhythms, tempos from all over the spectrum in the quest for finding what works best for the composition and the members too. Our biggest influences are everything under the sun that any one of us likes.
We are all record collectors so, we’ve covered songs from the 1960s and 1980s, before and after those decades as well in all genres. Basically, if it is a song that moves me in any way I like it.
Q - Is there a meaning behind the band's name?
We came up with the NightTimers because we practice later at night at times. We all have days jobs, and at night time, this is our second shift.
Q - I understand the band has already recorded an album's worth of songs. When would you like to release the album and what should people expect?
We have recorded an album's worth of material this last spring at Strobe Studios here in Chicago. We are working on having some type of vinyl pressing out by the New Year.
People should expect a fun party time of a record with numbers that you’d want to have in the background of a party you are throwing.
Q - You guys switch up your instruments, including during your live shows. Why do you like to do that? Do you think that helps add to the vibrancy of your shows? Anything special planned for your Halloween show?
We switch instruments simply because sometimes it’s easier to sing a song while playing rhythm rather than holding down a bass line or keyboard part. It also gives the sound of our band a little more variance.
Each guy plays an instrument a little differently. Yes, people like seeing that change on stage.
It brings a certain level of intrigue to the audience and they may take a moment to contemplate why Brian might be playing guitar or bass on a certain number. The Halloween show will be a big party at Silvie’s Lounge in Chicago over off of Damen and Irving Park.
We will dress up on stage, there will be a costume contest and prizes. We will play a cover set of songs and a set of originals.
Q - Do all of the members have an equal part in putting together the songs? What is your part in the songwriting process?
Yes, we all write songs and we all have suggestions, but the songwriter drives the bus as you might say. Usually the best result comes when the songwriter takes input and facilitates it into the original idea without losing track of the initial inspiration for writing the song.
Q - What do you think of the Chicago music scene and where do you think the band fits into it? What are the band's short-term and long-term goals?
I love the Chicago music scene. There are a ton of great venues to play and great bands too.
I think as long as you make the effort to be a quality group, there is an audience out there for you and venues happy to have you. We fit in well wanting to provide a part of the vibrant Chicago nightlife at gigs.
People in Chicago like to experience the metropolitan lifestyle while not being too cool for things. I think our band represents that lifestyle.
Have fun, be cool but be inclusive to everyone and everything. Our short term and long term goals are to establish ourselves as a viable concert attraction and to put out records consistently.