1. How did you get your band name? NT: When I was first putting the band together, I really wanted to pick something that would reflect where we came from, and “The Deep North” seemed to have the right aesthetic for a New England based band. Also… I’d been listening to a lot of Promise Ring, and I think “The Deep South” sparked the idea.
2. How did this band get started? NT: The music scene in Boston is a pretty closely-knit community. In our case, we’d all either been in bands together, played shows together or at least ran in the same circles.
DN: Nick and I had been playing music together for a number of years starting back in high school. After that band, we were focused on different genres of music for a while but would swap music occasionally. After he showed me the original TDN demos and asked me to play on the tracks with him, I was pretty excited. Even more excited when it began to evolve into a more collaborative, full-time band.
RF: I was looking for a band to join and TDN caught my eye. I really loved the name and after I heard the demos they had up at the time, I knew this was the band I'd been looking for. I met up with Nick T. and Dan, and we seemed to click right away. They were looking for a drummer at the same time, so I suggested my friend Nick Angelo, who I had played shows with in the past and considered one of the best drummers in the area. We brought him in to jam and he killed it right away!
3. What bands are you influenced by? NT: Let’s try to answer this in a creative way… Top 3 influential albums - GO! Clarity - Jimmy Eat World, Something to Write Home About - The Get Up Kids, American Football - American Football.
DN: Transatlanticism - Death Cab For Cutie, Full Collapse - Thursday, XO and/or Either/Or - Elliott Smith
RF: Leaving Through The Window - Something Corporate, Plans - Death Cab For Cutie, The Room's Too Cold - The Early November
NA: Juturna - Circa Survive, Rock Action - Mogwai, McCarthy - Helms
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why? NA: It would be a riot to tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers because of the stories I've heard about them and from Anthony Kiedis' book.
DN: Nine Inch Nails in the 90s - Trent Reznor was and still is an amazing songwriter and performer. I would have loved to have been on tour with them as they were nearing their peak in popularity.
5. Best food to eat on tour? NT: While we haven’t toured yet as TDN, I will say that, in the past, I pretty much survived on Gatorade and PowerBars. It’s tough to find vegetarian-friendly stuff in certain areas!
DN: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are always a great go-to. Cliff bars, jugs of water, canned foods that don't necessarily need to be heated, and sometimes a splurge for pizza.
NA: Any food that is free, which is often times free oyster crackers.
6. Why should people listen to your band? RF: If you're fans of the bands we mentioned in question 3, you just might like our music!
NA: People should listen to us because we might be your next favorite band… or not!
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with? DN: Ted Williams. Even though he hated his celebrity, I cannot imagine being that good at anything.
RF: Our drummer, Nick...he does the Tough Mudder every year and makes us all feel really lazy.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank? NT: Whoever finally accepted our bribe money.
RF: [laughs] That and probably our friends, family, and fans.
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be? RF: I wish there were more resources for educating musicians about the industry. In Boston, we have something called Rock Shop, which is a monthly panel discussion/networking night hosted by local booking agents. We've been a few times, and I always leave knowing more than I did going in. There is so much for an unsigned band to learn about how the industry works, and it's really easy to mess up when you don't know all of your options. Plus, it's really nice to meet other local musicians when you're not at a super loud show.
NT: I’d bring back alternative radio stations. Over the past few years in Boston we’ve lost both WBCN and WFNX. Don’t get me wrong, Top 40 is fine sometimes, but ALL radio doesn’t have to be a glorified iPod playlist of the same 20 songs. Cheers to the college and local stations that are carrying the torch.
10. Memorable tour experience? NT: We were in a venue in Providence, RI once… and someone had brought a pig to the show. Not like, a teacup pig… but just, like… a pig. There’s not much more to that story. [laughs]
11. What does AP.net mean to you? RF: I've been a member of the site for years. It's the perfect place to read about bands you probably won't read about on Billboard or Rolling Stone, and to be part of a community of people who share the same appreciation for those bands.
NT: We recently had our song “We Are Only Strangers” from Sound & Light premiered by AP.net. It was the coolest feeling to see your band name after “AbsolutExclusive”.
12. What is your favorite song to play? RF: I don't think I favor one song specifically over the others, but I really love to sing the bridge of "Voices" and the end of "Gemini." The song "Silent Film Star" from our first EP is always really fun, too.
DN: "Gemini." It’s just really fun to lock into the drums and I love the vibe and build of that song. Tons of energy.
NA: "When Morning Came" because I'm really happy with my drum part in this song.
NT: Mine is probably “We Are Only Strangers” - I’m a sucker for a good build-up bridge, and I think that’s my favorite that we’ve ever written. It’s just this massive release to play it on stage.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice? DN: Prague was pretty amazing. I stumbled into a few really cool jazz bars while I was there. Almost like something out of a Kerouac novel... but in the Czech Republic.
RF: Disney World! I also love Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
NA: Vermont for its ice cold streams.
NT: I think mine would have to be Cape Cod. I know that’s the stereotypical Massachusetts answer… but I have a lot of great memories of going down there with my family as a kid.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood? NT: The Beatles, without a doubt. My mom gave me most of her vinyl record collection when I was a kid, and I remember just sitting there for hours playing the White Album, and Abbey Road over and over.
RF: Everything on Spotify's 90s Radio. That's my daily soundtrack at work on most days.
NA: Clearly the grunge takeover in the early 90s. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, etc.
DN: Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin. I remember driving around with my father as a kid and whenever he had a Floyd or Zepp CD in, we would blast it. I've related with the music on a different, maybe more intimate level as I've gotten older, but there's still a certain sense of nostalgia whenever I hear "Dazed and Confused" or "Have a Cigar."
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why? RF: Probably the ability to fly, or be invisible. Time travel gets too complicated.
NA: I have to agree with Rebecca, flying.
DN: I would just be Carnage from Spiderman.
NT: I’m going with Batman’s superpower… being a billionaire with enough time and resources to become a badass. I mean, c’mon. Superman has like…every power ever. And Batman is STILL the coolest member of the JLA. And he’s just a guy. A really, really badass guy.
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals? NT: In our first band back in high school, Dan and I used to drink an entire large [very popular engery drink]. Then we found out it had like… as much sugar as a dozen donuts. So… that stopped. [laughs]
RF: I swear by Throat Coat tea...I drank about 8 cups a day in the studio!
NA: I wash my hands several times.
DN: In past bands, I used to take a shot of whisky and have a beer or two before going on. In TDN, I don't really have a ritual. It's more just getting my stuff organized so I can get on stage and set-up quickly.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you? RF: I named my dog after Ace Enders when I was in high school. Now I really hope he doesn't read this...
DN: I ride motorcycles? And I'm a little obsessed with my two cats (although that's probably known by most people).
NA: I'm a sucker for 80s pop music.
NT: I was born with a tooth. So, there’s that.
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish? NT: Like I said earlier, radio is in a weird state right now. I think more station owners should give their DJs the freedom of understanding their audience, and taking the risk of breaking new types of bands. Having said that, we’ve received a bunch of airplay from amazing college stations and local rock shows.
RF: Nick mentioned the glorified iPod playlist earlier...that's definitely what it feels like for most of the big stations, and why so many people choose to listen to Pandora or Spotify in their cars. There are some awesome local stations around Boston, but it would be really great if some of the bigger stations gave some airtime to local acts.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
RF: I play field hockey, hang out with my cat, browse Tumblr for good American Horror Story theories, and I watch Will & Grace re-runs almost every day.
DN: Work, write music, and go to rehearsal, repeat.
NA: Nothing out of the ordinary really. Movies, exercising, hanging with friends, etc.
NT: What is this…. spare time… that you speak of?
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have? DN: I really enjoy cooking. Grill stuff, Italian, crock pot - I'm willing to try anything that is delicious.
NA: I can quote basically every line from "The Shining."
NT: I can do a pretty impressive Gollum voice from Lord of the Rings.
RF: I can do some pretty convincing impressions of Britney Spears and Gwen Stefani.