Night Club: Pleasantly Dirty and Accessibly Transgressive

Night Club Band

Mark Brooks may be best known for being a member of 90s noise outfit Warlock Pinchers, along with directing videos for the likes of Danzig and Slayer, not to mention Cartoon Network’s Metalocalypse, but he also has quite the taste for the popularly palatable.  His latest project, Night Club, has him paired with vocalist Emily Kavanaugh, the most explicitly enticing minx I’ve seen in quite some time…  The pair produce dangerously arousing (… Yeah, “erotic” wouldn’t be a strong enough adjective.) songs that take synthesized pop to its pleasantly dirty and accessibly transgressive edges.  Night Club have already released two EPs this year (As opposed to one LP… Yeah, I don’t know.)  March saw the release of their self-titled debut, while Love Casualty dropped in late June.  They’ve also released a handful of music videos whose excitement matches their sound (Check them out on YouTube.)  However, for all of their kinky loveliness, I think my very favorite thing about Night Club are that both Brooks and Kavanaugh still proudly rock driving gloves (I told you I wasn’t too old for that shit, Mom.) Night Club are going to be hitting up NYC early this August (08/08 at XI Nightclub and 08/09 at the Ritz) and I recently got a chance to chat with Emily about how the project came about and what are a few of Night Club’s favorite things.

Izzy Cihak: You released your second EP, Love Casualty, earlier this summer.  How do you feel as though the release compares to your self-titled debut, whether in regards to its actual sound or the writing and recording process?

Emily Kavanaugh: We’re really proud of this EP and we feel like we took our sound to another level. Our songs became more complex and developed into something unique that we could call our own.  We challenged ourselves to make every element of each song as melodic as we could.  Some douchebag critics may disagree, but they’re idiots.

IC: What were the EP’s biggest influences, both musical and non-musical?

EK: Non-musically, our songs have been influenced by love, lust, and shitty relationships.  Musically, our songs have been influenced by modern dance music and eighties synth pop.  If Depeche Mode fucked Britney Spears and had a baby who hung out in dark corners of seedy clubs, then that baby would be us.

IC: I’m quite a fan of your music videos.  Do you have any particularly significant influences from the world of visual arts?

EK: Absolutely.  It’s quite difficult to narrow down those influences, but visual art is always an influence.  From Dada art to punk rock flyers, there is a world of inspiration available.  Also, there are decades of music videos that we draw influence from.  For example, our first video, for “Lovestruck,” was inspired by Danzig’s “Mother.”  Our second video, for “Control,” was inspired by Fiona Apple’s “Criminal.”  Once we take those influences and start fucking with them, they take on a life of their own.

IC: You both have quite diverse musical backgrounds.  What is it that led you to want to join forces for Night Club?

EK: We started doing this band out of a mutual love for pop music.  When we first met we would chat about music constantly, and we discovered that we have the exact same taste.  We both love pop music from every era, so it just got to the point where we were like, “Why don’t we just try and write something together?”  So we would get together after work, drink some wine, write music, and the sound just kind of organically evolved.

In some ways, despite the music sounding different from previous bands Mark has been in (Pinchers, Foreskin), the inspiration has strangely been the same.  Both of those bands were inspired by pop, but yielded different results.  When he started Warlock Pinchers the first songs they played were Madonna, Book of Love, and Tiffany covers.  Not much has changed. (Night Club is opening for Book of Love in October.)

IC: What are the highlights of Night Club’s career, thus far?

EK: A major highlight for us has been receiving Rodney Bingenheimer’s blessing and having him tell us that we’re doing something cool.  Playing our music on his show, amongst all of our heroes, has been very flattering.

IC: What are your most significant hopes and goals for the rest of 2013 and the first part of 2014?  Any plans for an LP or a full-scale tour?  If so, what can be expected of either?

EK: God, stop pressuring us!  Give us a break!  We just released two EPs!

But yeah, we just started working on an album.  We’re hoping to have something by next summer.  As for touring, if Kylie Minogue is reading this and needs an opener, we’re totally available and super cheap.

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.