New Years Day are determined to make their first-ever headline tour of the UK and Europe as wild as possible. Records Editor Vicky Greer caught up with drummer LP and guitarist Nikki Misery ahead of their heavy set at The 1865 to share their personal highlights, offer some music recommendations and show just how excited they are to be back in the UK.
How does it feel to be on your first ever UK and EU headline tour?
Nikki: It’s absolutely insane, just being in a band you never think that people actually want to come see you play and I still feel like that so the fact that we’re out here with an actual headliner where people want to come and see us, and we haven’t played this venue in five or six years so just to be able to come back and headline is always a super rad thing.
LP: It’s a great experience, when you play a show abroad that you aren’t able to see every day. When you’re at home you see familiar faces but when you’re here you think, ‘wow, people have spent their hard earned cash to hear us play’. So you wanna give them that much more of a performance cause there’s no telling when we’re going to make it back over here. It’s important both ways, for us to meet the fans and for the fans to be able to come and see us play.
Nikki: Especially playing these more intimate show rather than the arenas we were doing before.
Are you visiting any cities for the first time?
LP: No, we’ve pretty much been everywhere!
Nikki: There’s a bit more exploring to do, alleyways we haven’t been down yet.
Which songs from Unbreakable have you most enjoyed playing live?
LP: ‘Come For Me’ is my personal favourite song in the set. I’ve been a fan of heavy music for a long time, I grew up listening to Pantena, Cannibal Corpse, Slayer, Slipknot, and I’ve always wanted to be in a heavier band. So being able to get on stage and when we play ‘Come For Me’ it’s like, ‘hell yeah, we’re gonna rip it apart’. And that always sets the tone for the rest of the set.
Nikki: It’s a beasty song. I’m gonna say ‘Shut Up’. It’s a more poppy song. We only really play during the chorus and it’s more like an interaction than just playing a song, and then also just to see a bunch of guys in the crowd saying ‘don’t try to tell me what a girl wants’!
What were the main influences on the album?
Nikki: It was a lot of empowerment. And especially being on tour with Halestorm and being in a female-fronted band, having these other really empowered women, you can tell who we’ve been on tour with. It was pretty much just life experiences. We take influence from anything we can, like soundtracks, movies, whatever we’re going through, obsessions we can’t get over.
You changed up the sound a bit on Unbreakable, has this changed the live show energy or the way that you perform?
LP: I was actually just talking with Austin about this exact subject. I’m new to the band, just 6, 7 months. And I always feel like when you get a solid line up together it just brings out another element that might not even be on a record.
Nikki: You can listen to the album all you want but if you just want to listen to it you might as well just stay at home, save your money. You don’t have that live energy with the crowd so after feeling that it’s a whole new monster.
LP: When I was 13, 14 years old I went and saw Pantera, and I had listened to the records, and listening to the record is a solid 8 but hearing it live is a 20. And I was like, ‘wow, that’s what I need to do’. The energy brought out the music, so now when I listen to the CD, I have that mental image of what it was like to see them performing the song. Our goal is to give you 150% of what we each have. We get energy from the crowd and we get energy back.
What kind of differences have you found between the US and UK audiences?
Nikki: In the US we tour all the time, so they’re used to us, but here it’s like you guys are more hungry for it. And with places like LA people are too cool to move around.
LP: I think curiosity is a big thing too. It’s all about cell phones – if you like a band and look them up on Spotify, you’re prejudging them. I think here people are more inclined to come to your show and buy a concert ticket.
You’ve talked about wanting to meet as many fans as possible on this tour – is that something that’s important for you as a band?
Nikki: Absolutely – it’s a way for us to give back to fans. Before we used to be able to come out but now we get so mobbed, so it sucks to have to do the meet and greet, but it’s the way the world works.
LP: We wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for the fans being there for us too. They give us the opportunity to do what we love for a living and enjoy it. They give us that emotional bond with what we’re doing to appreciate it more. It’s important to show your respect to the fans, just as much as they show it to you.
What was New Years Day’s highlight from the last decade?
Nikki: Playing the first arenas with Manson, and rerecording Fucking Hostile before Vinnie Paul passed away, he got to hear it and give us the approval, that was pretty fucking rad. Ash smashing a guitar in half over my leg was pretty cool
What artists are you loving at the moment?
Nikki: The Growlers, Starcrawler, The Hurricanes out of Orange County who are actually touring the UK and Europe pretty soon.
LP: I really like Municipal Waste, and one band I’m really listening to is Gideon. I think they’re a fun band to hear. I got to watch them and when I met them, no one was in black and I thought they were skate punk at first. And I’m standing behind the speakers and security told me I couldn’t stand there, that I was going to get hurt. They played the first two songs and I went and bought a record. It was like watching four Nikkis on stage.
New Year’s Day continue their tour into Europe next month, and tickets can be bought here.