The Nude Party mixes ‘60s garage & psych, a hint of western, and a bit of nudity to make one hell of a cocktail (think Rolling Stones meets Velvet Underground); their head-banging three albums are sure to get you out of your rocking chair.
The band formed at the Appalachian college dorms in Boone, North Carolina in 2012. Since signing, they’ve put their clothes back on and have been opening for bands and artists like Ron Gallo, King Gizz, Arctic Monkeys, and The Growlers.
I had the opportunity to interview lead guitarist, Shaun Couture, over the phone and learn about the inspiration for their recent release and full-length Midnight Manor, living on a homestead in the Catskills, and some memorable stories of being on the road. We even debated the most underrated farm animal.
Cass: Hey Shaun, how’s it goin’?
Thanks again for hopping on today to talk about the band!
Alright, let’s get into it. In writing and producing Midnight Manor, what was your biggest source of inspiration?
We came off of a pretty big couple years of touring, our lives changed a lot from the first record of being a band that was on tour for 9 months out of the year. We love touring but it definitely can take a toll mentally. Midnight Manor was a big reset for all of us. It was us coming together again, making music, off the road. We certainly had a lot of transitions. A couple of us went through some heavy breakups and lifestyle changes. I think those changes and transitions created a more mature environment. We were able to dig a little bit deeper with different levels of emotions. Transitions from touring and interpersonal relationships were big influences on the creation of Midnight Manor.
Yeah I bet! Since you were on tour for 9 months, where was your favorite spot?
New Orleans. But, it’s a tough city to play. There’s not much of a middle ground. There’s so much of a heritage there and it’s a deeply rooted musical city. A cultural city. I believe Mark Twain has a quote that says “you haven’t been to the US if you haven’t been to New Orleans.” We also really enjoyed Scotland, we have been fortunate enough to play there too.
I’ve never been to New Orleans but I can only imagine how much fun it is. What do you think the bands favorite song is off of Midnight Manor?
It’s different per person but my two favorite songs are “Time Moves On” and “Judith”.
Those are both great picks. I personally loved Midnight Manor because it has that Western Psych feel to it. Your first two albums are pretty similar instrumentally and lyrically, do you think that you have found your sound or is it still developing?
It’s still developing. I don’t think we will ever find our sound. It’s whatever we are into at the time and what sounds cool to us. We really dig a lot of older garage rock and country music lately which definitely inspired the sound for Midnight Manor. Link Wray is probably one of my biggest influences as a guitar player. He has a great desert surf sound. All of us are record nerds and are constantly searching for new music all the time. The next record might be yacht rock or something.
That’s awesome. I think it’s great to constantly be evolving as a band. Keeps it interesting. Are you still living on a farm in the Catskills?
Yes, we are. It’s more of a homestead. We have a really big garden and grow a lot of our own food and have chicken, ducks, and geese.
Sounds like a good time! Has growing and raising your own food had any effect on your writing and music?
The food doesn’t necessarily, but the lifestyle of living in the country does. We have always kinda lived in the country. The serenity of living in the Catskills and being able to make as much noise as we want helps us out.
I bet! Alright, serious question. What is the most underrated farm animal to raise?
This is a tough one. I’m gonna have to go with ducks. I don’t think ducks get enough credit. Duck eggs are delicious and if that time comes around and there’s a special occasion you can eat one and they’re really tasty. One downside of ducks is they can be annoying and squawk and make duck noises, [but] they are fun and march like soldiers in lines which is pretty cool.
I agree ducks are underrated. Chickens always get the spotlight. I once got chased by an army of ducks when I was 6. Traumatizing event, but I still dig them. There’s a lot of weird stuff going on in the Central Coast, we have OstrichLand where you can feed ostriches and buy their eggs.
I’ve never had an ostrich egg.
Me either. They’re really tall and I don’t know how I feel about them. They should be in Jurassic Park.
I don’t fuck with ostriches honestly.
One good thing about ostriches is they make really tough leather. If you get a pair of ostrich boots youre fucking stylin.
Now I know what my next purchase will be… If you could have dinner with one artist or band who would it be with and where would it be?
It would be a combo of Dr. John, Lee Dorsey, and The Meters down in New Orleans. It would be a big potluck. Maybe Dr. John has a secret gumbo recipe or something.
Sounds like a good time. What do you think was your most disastrous and most memorable show?
Can they be the same?
We used to have this big airport shuttle bus that we toured in. It sounded like a good idea at the time. It was a lot of fun to have that thing but it broke down a lot. One time it broke down on our way to play in Atlanta when we were touring with White Reaper. It’s a diesel bus so it’s not really an easy thing to fix. We were three hours away from the venue. We already were going to be late for soundcheck and load in before the bus even broke down. So we were stuck at this gas station and we called an uber. This woman is driving the uber and she has a Georgia Rooftop, which is the Georgia Theatre in Athens. A really good friend, Rick, used to book it. She ended up knowing our friend Rick and we got to talking. We tell her we have a show in four hours. She says she will take us. She picks us up and our friend Rick comes through to give some of us a ride and to Atlanta. All of us squeeze into this Uber minivan. All we can bring is one of each of our guitars, pedal boards, and keyboard. The rest of our equipment we couldn’t fit so we decided to use White Reapers backline. We’re hauling ass to Atlanta and our ETA is 5 minutes before we’re supposed to be on stage. We pull up and rip into this parking garage and are all changing into our stage clothes in the car. Fans knew we were late and were not sure if we were going to make it. We run to the stage with guitars in hands and it was fucking awesome.
That’s insanity. I can’t believe you guys made it on time too, it must’ve been an adrenaline rush. Who’s been your favorite band to play with while touring?
The first one that comes to mind is probably Arctic Monkeys. Just because that’s some of the biggest shows we have ever played as a band. It was really cool seeing this band who was on paper really successful and meeting them in person and realizing how human they are. They are really nice and really down to earth. It was really inspiring to see a band that is successful and is still enjoying it and interested in younger bands like us. It was also cool seeing the production that goes into a show like that too.
I love Arctic Monkeys. Their earlier records are some of my favorites. So you guys met in the dorms. What’s the wildest memory from the dorm beginnings?
I didn’t live in the dorms actually. Pat, Austin, Connor, and Alec met in the dorms. Everyone except Don and I lived in the dorms. I visited all the time though and there’s a lot of memories of getting really really high and ordering a pizza. It was a lot of getting too stoned and paranoid.
Been there done that. Are all band members playing their preferred instruments?
Yes, for the most part. Austin is a drummer as well as percussion player. We all learned our instruments to start the band. I have played in bands before The Nude Party. But Connor bought his drum kit when we started the band and hadn’t played drums before that. We talked about being in a band before actually being in a band.
That’s so cool and honestly really inspirational! Well, thanks again Shaun for letting me hop on and talk with you today. It was a lot of fun.
Yeah, thank you!
Let me know next time you roll through SLO.
Find The Nude Party’s latest album Midnight Manor on all streaming services and check out their Bandcamp to merchandise and watch some insane music videos.
Cassidy Wurtz is one of .WAV’s Co-General Managers, she conducted the interview and created the graphic.