QTY’s debut full-length drops this Friday, following-up a headlining show at our very own Boot & Saddle this Thursday, December 7th. However, Dan Lardner and Alex Niemetz, the core of the NYC outfit, have been making music together for about a decade now, since they were teens. In a recent chat they tell me that the self-titled record, due out on Dirty Hit, is essentially the evolution and culmination of all of that time as musical partners. The album, produced by former Suede guitarist and producer extraordinaire Bernard Butler, is glitteringly grim, blending the poetically snarky aesthetic of proto-punk with the tongue-in-cheek angst of ‘90s alt rock. I recently got a chance to chat with Dan and Alex about QTY’s first proper LP and why you should come see them at Boot & Saddle this Thursday.
Izzy: You’re about to release your debut album this Friday. What can be expected of the release, for those who might be yet to familiarize themselves with your sounds?
Dan and Alex: Our release is an amalgamation of our different influences and years spent working on songs and developing our own sounds. We’re just really happy for people to finally hear it.
Izzy: And the album was produced by Bernard Butler, who is just so insanely cool and talented. How was getting to work with such a legend? Do you think he brought anything new to your sound, or just your process of writing or recording?
Dan and Alex: Getting to work with Bernard was really special for us. We got to work with him twice, the first time we recorded some demos and tested out the waters. We got along extremely well and returned to make our full-length record. He definitely brought something new to our sound, he really helped us understand the value of production and how much adding something small can really help lift your sound.
Izzy: While we’re talking about him, do you have any particular favorite works of his (in addition to yours), whether they be things he played on or just produced? I mean, obviously the first Suede record is amazing, but I’m also really into the work he’s done with Sons and Daughters, Kate Nash, and Ben Watt.
Alex: I personally love the first Suede record a lot and we got to see him play live with Ben Watt, which was great. He’s such a great guitarist.
Izzy: What would you consider to be your most significant collective influences, if you have any “collective influences?”
Dan and Alex: Our collective influences would probably be anything off the Drag City record label, meaning The Silver Jews, Smog, The Royal Trux, Pavement, etc… We also really enjoy David Bowie, Lou Reed, The Stooges. But our musical tastes are pretty eclectic-we really listen to everything.
Izzy: I realize this is a huge question, but what have been some of the highlights of QTY so far? The band is still relatively new.
Dan and Alex: The highlights for us have been getting to make a full-length record in London for a month with Bernard. It was an absolutely amazing dream-like experience. And although QTY is relatively new, Dan and I have been playing together for ten years. We had another band prior to QTY that we played and toured in for a looooong time.
Izzy: What can be expected of the live experience this Thursday at Boot & Saddle?
Dan and Alex: We’re going to play a thrilling show where we blow everyone away…or at least that’s what we hope to do.
Izzy: Finally, since we’re coming to the year’s end I’m inclined to ask if you have any particular favorite records to drop this year, or if there have been any exceptionally good live shows you’ve gotten the chance to see?
Alex: My favorite record to drop this year was probably 21 Savage’s Issa. In terms of shows, I haven’t seen that many shows this year, but there is always next year.