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EXCLUSIVE: Interview With California Alt-Pop Band, The Neighbourhood

The band discusses their upcoming tour, fondness for black & white, their love for California, and much more.

By: Ashley Baylen
Published: June 27th, 2013 in Culture » Music » Interviews
The boys from ‘The Neighbourhood’

California-based alt-pop band, The Neighbourhood (spelled with a u), recently released their first full-length album entitled ‘I Love You’ through Columbia Records, effectively completing a trilogy following the two EP’s ‘I’m Sorry…’ and ‘Thank You’.

Described as “moody” and “atmospheric” by Rolling Stone, The Neighbourhood- comprised of vocalist Jesse Rutherford, guitarists Jeremy Freedman and Zach Abels, bassist Mikey Margott, and drummer Bryan Sammis- has become known for their thought-provoking black-and-white imagery, serene, yet playful artwork and videos, and engaging live shows.

The Neighbourhood will shortly depart on their ‘Love Collection Tour’ with Imagine Dragons in July, following an overwhelming response from their performances at SXSW, Coachella, and KROQ Weenie Roast.

Bryan Sammis chatted with us about California, the band’s Black & White movement, the spelling of their name, and much more.


Before we discuss the music, the first thing I noticed is that you chose to spell Neighbourhood the Canadian/British way instead of the common American spelling without the u. Any reason why?

Initially it was simply because the American spelling was taken, but it was a perfect mistake. It fits us so much better, we feel.

All of your official band photos, music videos, promo materials, etc are in black and white, and in a recent interview you described your music as “Black & White”. What does that mean to you?

Black & White is our movement. A lot of bands have their thing, this is our thing. Our b&w aesthetic sets the platform for the consumer. The content that we put out is in black and white to set the right mood for the consumption of that content.

Your videos also feature lots of California imagery, which makes sense since you’re from California. What do you think it means to be Californian?

Being Californian means you’re spoiled with the best/most consistent weather I’ve ever seen. It has this history about it, it has a larger than life feeling while not being an intimidating place.

You recently released your first full-length album ‘I Love You’ after two successful E.P’s ‘I’m Sorry…’ and ‘Thank You’. Were you intending for these three records to be a trilogy of sorts from the beginning?

I’m Sorry… Thank You, & I Love You. is a three part series about how meaningful words have lost the weight behind them due to overuse and repetition.

Do you feel that releasing ‘I Love You’ has provided a sense of closure for the series? Will your new music moving forward reflect this?

I think so. It’s time to move on to a new chapter of The NBHD & I’m excited for people to see what we have in store.

Is there a song on ‘I Love You’ that best sums up the underlying messages or themes of the entire album?

That’s tough because so many songs come from so many different places within us. I would say Afraid best represents the album sonically, though.

Catch the second half of our interview with The Neighbourhood & watch the music video for ‘Sweater Weather’ on page 2!

Related articles: The Neighbourhood, I Love You, Thank You, I’m Sorry, Interview, Tour, Imagine Dragons, California, Black and White, Sweater Weather, Rolling Stone
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EXCLUSIVE: Interview With California Alt-Pop Band, The Neighbourhood

The band discusses their upcoming tour, fondness for black & white, their love for California, and much more.

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Sipos recently played Toronto’s NXNE and looks forward to a musical bike tour in August.

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