An Interview With the Happiest Band in Seattle – Jamie Nova SKY

Jamie Nova SKYLast weekend I had the opportunity to catch the fun-loving and super talented band called Jamie Nova SKY play at The Urban Onion in Olympia. See our review HERE. The members of this band, Jamie Nova, Rick Friel, JT Phillips and Chris Kiger  have played in various other bands and collaborations around the northwest that include bands like the legendary Shadow,  The Rockfords, current metal masters Witchburn, the ultra popular Klover Jane and Black Diamond.  After the band’s set we took a little walk across the street from the venue and sat underneath the moon and the Big Dipper, a fitting backdrop for a little chat about the band they all love to play in. The new album they are ready to release and the tour they are ready to embark upon.

NWMS: “Let’s talk about the new album. How long did it take to record?”

Jamie Nova: “We recorded it at Litho Studios in three days, it’s 9 songs.”

Rick Friel: “Which is pretty amazing for a band to do 9 songs; all guitars, vocals, overdubs in three days.”

NWMS: “Is there much layering or anything like that?”

Nova: “There’s a little bit, but it’s light. We did some percussive layering, there’s some hand claps and shakers and tambourine I think, some vocal harmonies, JT laid down some electric as well as acoustic rhythms, so we just sort of made it rich.”

Friel: “Chris(Kiger) was the missing puzzle piece that we had. We were really looking for someone like Chris to really bring the band together. We had a show at The Crocodile, and the drummer we had couldn’t do it, and he brought Chris in. Chris came in and was really happy and smiley like me, and we got along. We were sound-checking, and we all just said that this was the sound right here.”

Nova3244-609Jamie adds that JT Phillips was the one that suggested Kiger for the role of drummer and even suggested that Kiger wouldn’t even need to practice with the band before the show, although he did get one practice in before the Crocodile show.

NWMS: “If there was an award for best synergy on stage in Seattle, you guys would kill it. You can tell you guys are just having a blast up there.”

Friel: “We get along really well, everything is very democratic. Jamie is obviously the leader of the group, but we all have equal input.”

NWMS: “How is this different from going in there with the brutal Witchburn rip-your-face-off rock and roll sound, how is it different?:

Nova: “With this band, each member really has their own voice as far as their parts. With Witchburn it’s very planned out, it’s very structured, as it was weith this. We had months of preproduction before we went in there. But I really try to give everyone their freedom to do whatever they want to do. I’m not a drummer, but I might tell you if I hear maybe a different kind of feel. I’m not a bass player, I’m not a lead guitar player, but I will try to help steer it in the direction of my dream, of what I hear these songs to be, but I really try to give them as much free reign as I feel comfortable.”

JT Phillips: “She tells us what she doesn’t like, and then tells you to go fix it. There’s a lot of autonomy there.”

Nova: “I really want to draw on their strengths and make us all better, and be themselves. I have my two guy smileys, Chris and Rick up there, and I have my JT, who’s the very earthbound, grounded soul that keeps us all grounded and serious. It’s just a lot of fun. We have a blast.”

NWMS: “You guys are going on tour. This is the first time you guys are going like really far out of town.”

Nova: “We’ve played Portland and Bellingham and Yakima, but yeah, we’re going to be doing Spokane, Eugene, San Francisco, Sacramento, Nevada City, Chico, Portland. More NorCal this time around. We’re trying to stick to the more college vibey towns. We feel that those shows do the best. We’re excited.”

NWMS: “Let’s talk a little more about the album”.

Nova: “The album is done. We have the mix of it done. We’re going to be releasing an EP, which is mixed, but not fully mastered.”

Phillip: “It’s three songs that will end up on the album and a couple bonus tracks.”

Nova3061-609NWMS: “So you’re going to be releasing the EP first?”

Nova: “Yes. On June 12th, we’re going to be doing our EP release show, and then we’re raising money and doing a Kickstarter to help with the mastering and the duplication, because it’s probably going to be like 4 grand.”

Friel adds that one cool thing about this band is that they are completely self-sufficient and don’t owe anyone anything unlike some of the other projects he’s been in throughout the years.

NWMS: “The EP’s coming out on the 12th, the tour starts on the 17th? How long is the tour?”

Nova: “The 17th through the 27th. We’re starting in Eugene at The Cosmic, and we end in Mill Creek at The Jet, actually playing with Klover Jane, so JT will be pulling double duty.”

NWMS: “Where do you want to see this band two years from now?”

Chris Kiger: “Well, it’d be nice to be successfully touring as much of the country as we can. Two years from now, it’d be really fun to see this band get to a point where we can fund our lives and survive without any sort of other jobs.”

Nova: “I want this to be a global phenomenon. I want to be able to share this music and this energy and this happy spirit that we have and make people smile, and financially, yes, it would be nice to bring in the sort of revenue where we could make this our full-time job. If in two years we have another album recorded and we’re doing a national tour on it, I would be absolutely more than satisfied.”

Friel: “I want us to be better friends and closer as people, and I think it’s really important for a band like us to become closer. We already get along right now, but my hope is that we get even closer and I hope the music gets richer and I hope we stay fiscally conservative.”

Check out Jamie Nova SKY on Facebook and Twitter

Don’t miss the EP release show on June 12 at The Mix in Georgetown.