The Neighbourhood on Playing Lollapalooza, Digging Hip-Hop + Staying Young and Hungry
You would think having the No. 1 alternative song in America would keep you satisfied. That isn't the case with California rockers the Neighbourhood, whose desire for success and longevity continue to grow. Their hit track 'Sweater Weather' can be heard everywhere from your local coffee shop or Buffalo Wild Wings to the stages of Lollapalooza, where drummer Bryan Sammis talked with Diffuser.fm last weekend about his band's love of hip-hop, overall philosophy and future plans.
The audience here at Lollapalooza was really into you guys.
It was great. We were a little apprehensive about playing at noon, but as you saw, the crowd was great.
Along with playing Coachella a few months ago, Lollapalooza is the second major festival you have under your belt. Does that make your career feel validated?
It's tough. Obviously we're blessed to come play here, but you can never become complacent about it. You always want to aim for the higher spots. We come here and play, see the crowd, and we love it. For us it's a fire under our ass. We want to be the band headlining down the road.
You released your debut album, 'I Love You,' back in April, and 'Sweater Weather' hit No. 1 on the alternative rock chart. Interestingly, there are a lot of R&B and hip-hop vibes on the record. Who are some of your influences?
Personally, I play drums and bring a lot of the rhythm section, and I grew up listening to a lot of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. I'm a big fan of Aloe Blacc. We all listen to hip-hop all the time. It just happens naturally that the backbone of our songs, the drums and bass, pretty much, are very hip-hop influenced.
The Neighbourhood are a relatively new band, having formed in 2011. What do you do to make yourselves stand out from the pack?
We put a lot of time and effort into everything that we do. Everything we release is just as important as the last, whether that be songs, videos, tour posters or album art. We make all of it. We do everything in-house within the Neighbourhood. We take just as much pride into our album art, or a tour poster that people will see for like ten minutes and then it will get lost in their Facebook feed. We take just as much pride doing that as we do our songs. We want to be a band that offers the full package. If you come to a show, we want you to have the right vibe. We're really focused on all of it.
It seems you're really business savvy. Were you always like that, or did the band have to learn that part?
We just always knew what we wanted. We've always had this clear-cut vision of our band, and people always say, "If you want something done right, you got to do it yourself." So far it's worked out perfectly. The [music] videos are done by two of our best friends that we grew up with. They're not onstage playing with us, but they're just as much a part of the Neighbourhood as we are.
You've been on tour with Imagine Dragons, and that will pick back up later this fall. What else is in store for the Neighbourhood?
It's still to be determined when the next thing we'll release is but I'll say this: We have enough for another album right now. I don't think we're going to try and do anything with it yet, but we are always writing. We have certain songs on the bus we'll write completely on Logic [Studio], and we'll get a guitar and bass over and record it. We just love putting out music. We're young and we're hungry for it, you know?