Artists You Need to Know: NGHBRS

Ileana Alvarez-Diaz

NGHBRS is by far the best band I’ve ever seen preform at The Space; they sound so good together, they’re incredibly funny and so down to earth. They’re full of energy and know how to deliver a killer show.

From Long Island, Jordan Schneider (drums), Ian Kenny (vocals/keys), Tommy Fleischmann (guitar) and Eric Vivelo (bass), are phenomenal. Check out my interview with them below!

Ileana Alvarez-Diaz: How’d you meet?

Ian Kenny: “Our old bands used to play shows together—like in high school and our old bands parted ways; we were still trying to purse music. We kind of found each other.”

Jordan Schneider: “We kept in touch throughout the year; it just sort of lined up and made sense. The rest is history.”

IAD: What interested you in music?

IK: “My parents kind of put me in kind of that direction. I took piano lessons when I was three; I came from a family of music. That was kind of that. I guess the idea of starting a band was formulated in high school; I was taking music lessons throughout grammar school, but then I started writing music towards high school and that kind of blossomed into who I am today.”

JS: “For me I’ve always loved the drums; I’ve always felt like I had a feel for the drums. Even before I played, I kind of had a feeling—like I knew what the drummer was doing. So eventually, I just started playing in middle school. I actually fell in love with the Red Hot Chili Peppers—who really got me like holy sh*t, this is music! I was just obsessed with playing the drums and I just knew I need to just keep doing it—make it the focus of my life.”

IAD: Tell me about the music process; how are rehearsals? Do you guys stay up till two a.m. working on things—getting Taco Bell or something?

IK: “We kind of all have day jobs. One of us goes to grad school. So our hours make us nocturnal; we just don’t sleep.

JS: “The only time we can play is until two in the morning.”

IK: “So yeah, we start practices after 10 and we go until two or three in the morning, sometimes five.”

JS: “It just depends on what’s in the air, you know? And what’s kind of happening. We just let that take precedence over other commitments.”

IAD: Do any of you come in and have a melody in your head—lyrics and just collaborate?

IK: “We kind of jam on either a guitar riff or a melody, there’s usually one key thing that we’re all on the same page for. And then we just jam on it for a little bit and we take it from there.”

IAD: So with songwriting, since you guys have songs like “Hold Up Girl,” and “Animals,” is there a single person who writes the songs or do you all collaborate?

IK: “I write the lyrics, and we all kind of write our respected entrances.”

IAD: “And what do you want to convey with your lyrics—what do you want us, as an audience, to walk away with?

IK: “I write my lyrics based off my life experiences. I like poetry, you know; I like history a lot. I came from a very religious family. Our music is definitely not religious in any way, but it has the historical value of that. The poetry, kind of in old tongue—scripture’s always intriguing.”

IAD: Tell me about the very first time you guys all played together. What was going through your minds?

IK: “Eric was trying out.”

JS: “Yeah, Eric doesn’t know this, but he was like auditioning—for Tommy, Ian and I, we already formed the band; we didn’t have a name, but we were already kind of writing things. We were a project. We auditioned a bunch of bass players and we brought in Eric, who thought he just come in to jam with a bunch of dudes.”

IAD: So you guys are not signed correct?

JS: “Oh god, played that question, no we’re not.”

IAD: How does that feel; is that really awesome or scary?

JS and Eric Vivelo: “It’s awesome.”

EV: “And scary, but more awesome because of the creative freedom.”

IAD: What are some of the challenges you all face, because I know one of you is in grad school. How is that?”

EV: “It’s a lot.”

Tommy Fleischmann: “It’s ridiculous—we all do so much during the day.”

EV: “Juggling work, personal stuff, school, jobs, I mean we don’t start practicing till 11 o’clock at night. That’s the only time we’re all around.”

IAD: So being in a band, do you guys get the chance to meet cool people—get the opportunities to see and do cool things?

TF: “Definitely meet a variety of people.”

JS: “Yeah, there’s nothing better than tour—because that’s what it’s all about in a nutshell; every day, waking up in a different place, meeting new people and seeing cool sh*t every day.”

IAD: Alright so whose idea was it to not include vowels? I wanna know.

EV: “It wasn’t anyone’s idea really. It was when we were doing the name and the Facebook and MySpace at the time.

TF: “Mr. Roger’s just comes up all the time.”

EV: “We see all this stuff so we’re like okay, what if we just took out the vowels? It’ll be a lot easier, no one will do that and we did it. Little did we know that years later, everyone’s gonna be taking out their vowels.

IK: “But now we don’t get the question anymore—like what’s your name?”

That my friends, was just a snippet; NGHBRS will grace your iPod, phone, car, home and everything else will powerful vocals and stellar melodies. Go check them out; their music and their amazing Instagram inspired music video for their song, “Hold Up Girl,” You won’t be disappointed. You can find them at or