Building their darkly enchanting foundations on MySpace, New Years Day have been the mainstay of gothic rock since 2005. Countless line-up changes and only two full-length albums to their name, the Cali set have perfected their unique brand of atmospheric goth-rock down to a fine art.
After their storming Download Festival opener on Jake’s Stage, Already Heard stopped by with lead guitarist Nikki Misery and new drummer Nick Rossi to talk the band’s future, setlists spanning their back catalogue and their musical inspirations.
AH: Hey guys, how’re you doing today?
Nikki Misery: We’re awesome, everything’s going great!
AH: Welcome to Download for the very first time, how’s it feel doing a festival like this for the first time?
Nick Rossi: Fucking awesome, there’s no other way to put it, it’s killer, it’s legendary, it’s great!
AH: You guys have been around for quite a while now, is this the gig you’ve been aiming for?
Nick: Well at the same time, I know the band started before I came along. But the way it is now and what it’s been through, we really started with ‘Mechanical Heart’ and I joined shortly after. This new anger, this new message, this nihilism that came in, I believe that’s the real purpose. New Years Day died and someone resurrected it!
AH: ‘Epidemic’ kicked off really well over here!
Nikki: That was so much fun. I couldn’t believe the responses on that one.
Nick: It was really cool to see, we came over here in October and it had just came out. We were playing a few songs with Escape The Fate and Glamour Of The Kill on that tour. It was so much fun to play those songs live, it was my first recording and to get to go out on stage at venues that I’ve wanted to play since I was a teenager and even younger was just great.
AH: We haven’t seen you over here since that Download Freezes Over tour in October. What do you guys like about touring the UK?
Nikki: I was gonna say the food!
Nick: Yeah! English breakfast is probably one of my favourite things in the world. We always leave talking about how great it is and how much we miss it!
Nikki: I think the first three days I was here, all I’d eaten was English breakfast for lunch and dinner as well.
AH: So the big question is, when’s your next full length coming out?
Nick: Very soon! We can’t give a date yet or anything but expect something really soon.
AH: It’s been quite a long time, 2 years is a lifetime in this industry.
Nick: Yeah that’s why we put out the EP, just to give people something to lead things on but yeah, we got something coming out really soon. I’d say you can expect something before the end of the year at some point, so yeah!
AH: Yeah you don’t want to pinpoint it in case things go wrong, right?
Nick: Yeah exactly, and it’ll come out when it’s ready and when we feel it’s ready to come out and when it best represents the band.
AH: So every setlist is a risk because you don’t want to disappoint people and you don’t want to miss out something important. What’s one song you wish would make a setlist?
Nikki: ‘The Joker’.
Nick: ‘The Joker’, yeah, I would say that one too.
Nikki: Either that or ‘Last Great Love Story’ from ‘Victim To Villain’, I always wish I could play that one live.
Nick: That’s a cool one, I actually learned that one when I joined the band because they always talked about putting it in but it never got put in! All of those songs are very unique in their own way which is really cool.
AH: You’re no strangers to Warped Tour, so what’s your advice for a first time festivalgoer?
Nikki: Don’t listen to anything, just come unprepared and enjoy yourself.
Nick: Yeah, same thing. Come with no expectations, just have some fun and see your favourite bands and check out new music too! Take the opportunity to check out bands you’ve never heard of before.
AH: If you could relive one band’s albums or tours, whether you were in the band or not, which would you go back to?
Nick: Oh god, there’s so many! Okay, if I could go to one concert and really see it, I mean there’s a million, but at this point right now, I’d love to go see Nine Inch Nails at Woodstock in ’94, that would be incredible!
‘Epidemic’ by New Years Day is out now.
View more of Already Heard’s coverage of Download Festival 2015 here.
Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)