WRITTEN BY: Ross Aronow
PHOTOS AND VIDEOS BY: Santo Donia
To celebrate the release of their debut full length album, Listening & Relaxation, Nowadays brought more than just raw energy to the PhilaMOCA. With support from Sugartape, Daydrunks, Americanadian, and Elephant Jake, this all-out extravaganza showcased some of the best talent that this scene has to offer.
New Jersey’s Sugartape came out swinging with a tight and entertaining classic rock groove. All of their tracks carried very interesting and fun arrangements, keeping the crowd engaged as the band weaved through the different episodes of their songs.
Philadelphia (and partially Temple) locals, Daydrunks, put on a great set. The indie-punk tunes from the four-piece always impress and get the crowd moving along. Some highlights from the show include tracks, “Go Birds!” and especially their set closer, “Please Don’t Graduate,” as the band got the whole venue yelling along to “Fuck you…and your college!”. Check out a full video of the set, shot by Santo Donia, here!
Americanadian stunned the crowd with their sensational indie rock tracks. Even without their standard drummer, Nina Fuchs, Americanadian showed the crowd a great time. As regulars in the Philly music scene, the band got PhilaMOCA singing along from their infectious energy from their standout tunes like “Carpool Tunnel” and “Peachy.”
New York’s Elephant Jake played next and left the crowd fixated with a fantastic performance. Their punk sound, accompanied by an outstanding amount of energy, forced the venue into a moshing frenzy. A surprising cover of the Killer’s hit, “Mr. Brightside,” got people crowd surfing and singing on stage, proving Elephant Jake a must-see anytime they are in Philly.
Finally, Nowadays stepped up to close an already fantastic night. They began their set with previously released single, “Bird Up!” Immediately, the crowd was yelling along to the catchy guitar lines. As their set continued, the band continued to impress with wild guitar solos and spectacular drum grooves. Their playthrough of their new record got everybody extremely excited for it’s midnight release. Luckily, after the show, WHIP was able to sit down with the band and get some insight on their new album.
WHIP: The set, by the way, was so sick. I feel like I’ve been to a lot of shows at PhilaMOCA, and just in general and this was definitely up there.
Nowadays: Thank you so much. We owe it to our friends who come out and bring the energy everytime.
WHIP: So, with the new record, how has that been different with writing and recording and all of that stuff.
Nowadays: So Jason is the newest edition to our band, we used to have a different guitarists, and Jason joined in march of this year. So until now we’ve only had EP’s and splits, so this is also our first full length and our first time in the studio with Jason. And also, since we’ve worked on songs in the past, we’ve definitely changed a little bit.
WHIP: Going with that change in sound, how have influences and all of that stuffed changed with this new release?
Nowadays: (Rob) We started out listening to the emo revival. And I’ve moved into post-punk and indie rock. Bands like the Thermals, Jeff Rosenstock, and Great Big Pile of Leaves have influenced me the most recently. Also Hop Along for sure.
(Danny) When we started Nowadays I was getting into like surf punk shit, so like fast beats and that played a big role, especially writing “Sit Tight” and the way that song was built together. Also sort of the math-y part of it with the technical stuff but not really with the odd time patterns and stuff like that. But, still technical beats that still flow as one.
(Jason) Since I’m new to Nowadays, my music is a little different, I kind of had to adapt and get into this music. But it definitely paid off and I really enjoy, I’m liking what we’re getting into but it’s definitely not hardcore.
Rob also referenced bands Bombay Bicycle Club, Parquet Courts, Talking Heads, The Cars, Tom Tom Club, The Smiths, Title Fight, Vampire Weekend, Foxing
WHIP: For this project specifically, how long have you been in the band together.
Nowadays: About two years, or two and a half.
WHIP: So you guys did the split with Americanadian, what was that like and what’s different working on a split compared to a full length record?
Nowadays: With a split you’re only focused two songs so it’s a lot less stress on the mind, but with a full LP it’s the full nine songs and you’re kind of like “Ah” a little bit. Working with [Americanadian] was an absolute blast. We met them playing in Philly and hit it off immediately with our first show. Right when we met them, we knew we wanted to work with them…
WHIP: What are you up to next? More music? More shows?
Nowadays: A lot of shows right now. Nothing official as far as recording music, just ideas, and ideas of people we want to work with…If we were to record more music, I would want to have a lot of time to jam and actually really cultivate new songs. The last couple releases that we actually did, a lot of it was written in the studio. Or I [Rob] will write an entire song and be like, “Let’s learn it really fast.”
WHIP: And as a band, collectively, what do you want people to get out of your message specifically…?
Nowadays: We want, when people come and see us play and see our shows, we want people to forget about the worries that are going on in their everyday lives and just put their minds at rest and have fun for a night. That’s totally it for us, we call ourselves power pop…because we just want to have a party and have a good time. There are so many people right now, doing art with very good messages, and I honestly don’t want to take up that space because I don’t have anything original to say. I just want to bring energy and that kind of thing to a gig. It’s hard to be sad when you’re dancing so hard. The world is pretty fucked up and we just want to make you forget it.
Listen to Nowadays’ newest release, Listening and Relaxation on all streaming services.