The Neighbourhood | Interview

As a band that started out from relative obscurity, The Neighbourhood has garnered a huge following. Mysteriously releasing their song 'Female Robbery' on the internet in early 2012, the band has since won the respect of reputable BBC Radio 1 DJ, Zane Lowe, and embarked on a world-wide tour. For a band that started out a little more than a year ago, that's quite a respectable feat. With a genre defying sound, this band is sure to become more and more familiar. I spoke to lead singer, Jesse Rutherford, right before they played the Biltmore in Vancouver, BC.

You guys are on tour right now - have you had any exceptionally awesome experiences?

And conversely, have you had any downright horrible ones? We've had a little bit of both. We're harsh on ourselves about our performances, and sometimes we feel like we could have performed better. As far as offstage goes, we hung out with some cool folks in Seattle the other night, I smoked some weed in the bathroom of a hotel, which I’ve never done before and that was cool. One time we were on tour driving to Boston, and we accidently didn't lock the back of our van and it was snowing out and people were honking at us. Thank god nothing had fallen out - and we had really heavy stuff back there and it could have hurt someone.

You started out very mysteriously - you released 'Female Robbery' online with no band bio, photos - was this intentional, and if so what effect were you going for?

We were a bunch of dudes who were really new to the music industry, didn’t have a lot of experience, and didn't have much to say. So we decided to approach it that way.

As with many collectives coming out these days, it's hard to peg anyone into a particular genre - which genre would you most identify with?

It's hard to say - it's common nowadays to hear bands say they don't have a genre - and it's kind of bullshit, because they do. I think we got to where we are today because we don't have one. Older people like us. Young people like us. We have alternative radio stations that play us and hip hop stations too. If I could classify it, I would say Dark Pop, or as I like to call it Black & White.

You guys kind of got your start by catching the attention of DJ Zane Lowe from the UK - how did that happen?

How did you guys all meet? Zane hopped onto our stuff early on. Our manager showed him a song, and he said 'from now on, you don't go anywhere else with your stuff'. We're all friends with Zane and he's a really cool dude. I have a lot of respect for him.

Why 'The Neighbourhood'? and why in the British spelling?

The American one was taken by another band. I’m really happy we did it that way though. It's one little letter, but it suits our vibe. I think a neighbourhood is really universal - whether your black or white, or poor or rich - you identify with your neighbourhood, and it comes back to our music. Our music has a really raw feel. 

Which current artist would you most like to collaborate with and why?

I think Drake is incredible. It would be cool to work with him. Kanye is undeniable.

You guys are all so young and have achieved a considerable amount of success in a short time - where do you want to see yourselves over the next few years?

Headlining concert halls - or playing indie festivals and exclusive venues? I want to get as big as we can get. We're getting our stuff played on the radio, and i think it would be stupid to not want to get bigger. If we sell out the Staples Center in two years that would be cool, and if we were in an indie festival that would be cool too.

The Neighbourhood will release a full-length album in March 2013. Buy Thank You, and I'm Sorry..available now http://thenbhd.com/letitgo/

Leave a comment

ION Magazine 170-422 Richards Street Vancouver BC Canada V6B 2Z4
© Copyright ION Publishing Group 2013