Electro-pop duo Patrick Replogle and John Boyd are getting ready to release their debut album under the moniker Night Surgeon on February 15. The two have put together a solid collection of songs that you might just find yourself addicted to after one spin. And that’s no surprise, since Patrick and John are Berklee graduates inspired by Tears For Fears, The Police, and Depeche Mode.
I caught up with Patrick about the new record, the band’s beginnings and lots more! And pssstt… check out the end of the interview for a special, FREE gift from the band to you!
How did you guys meet?
John and I met while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. We were both chain smoking outside of the main building and struck up a conversation about psychedelic mushrooms. During the conversation I discovered that we both had a mutual love for bad horror movies and really nerdy music. We spent most of that first year at school talking about doing something musically together, but mostly just watched movies in our dorm room.
Were you a part of any other bands before you started working together?
I was in a band throughout all of high school and early college that played a lot of stoner jam band music. Every song we wrote contained something like eight guitar solos and so many parts that it couldn’t even be considered a song in the traditional sense. John wasn’t in any bands per se, but performed in his high school marching band and jammed with a few guys that lived in his hometown in the Orlando, FL area.
Before forming NIGHT SURGEON, John and I also played in a band together on the east coast called Flux Flux. We were a power trio that sounded like a love child of the Police and Rush. Though the band disbanded prematurely, it helped lay the groundwork for what would later become NIGHT SURGEON and helped with building my song writing skills a lot.
What made you decide on the name Night Surgeon?
The name NIGHT SURGEON was actually taken from a really sub par film called REPO: the genetic opera. There is a character in the movie called the Night Surgeon that reposesess people’s organ transplants when they can’t keep up with their payments. The name wasn’t supposed to be permanent, but then we started giving out our music to friends and booking shows under the moniker, so it just kind of stuck. Hopefully the film-makers don’t sue us later down the road.
Who are some of your influences?
We are primarily influenced by cinema. Musically I try to pretend that we are more inspired by other musicians rather than influenced, although pretend is the key word here. Bands that come to mind at the moment include Tears For Fears, The Police, Skinny Puppy, the Presets, Cut Copy, the Clash, early U2, Leonard Cohen, anything 4AD has put out, Joy Division, the Gun Club, Depeche Mode, the Field, Majuere, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, the Misfits, and way too many more to name.
If you had to name three albums that every music lover should own, what would they be?
Scott Walker – Scott 3
Misfits – Static Age
The Cure – Disintegration
Were there any tracks on the album that were a little more challenging to finish than others?
“Let Go.” Not because it was harder to write or record, but because of timing issues related to production and mixing. Gabriel mixed the record in San Francisco at a friend’s studio, but wasn’t able to fully finish mixing that song before coming home. We ended up settling on a slightly unfinished mix. It’s funny though cause now I can’t tell what was wrong with it in the first place. I guess we were probably just being picky.
“Brick Moon” and “Countrymen” were also bit challenging, but only because I had to finish writing them in a really short amount of time before going in to the studio. They were both written at the last minute, but somehow turned into two of my favorite tracks on the album.
How long did it take you to record? And where did you record the album?
I started recording the album loosely in my bedroom last January. I wasn’t really trying to make an album as much as I was just recording songs as I wrote them. Once we felt we had a pretty strong batch of tunes, we got Gabriel involved to man the recording side of things and bring the production to the next level.
We then booked out some time in early August at a studio here in Portland called the Map Room, where we cut all the drums and overdubs. The vocals, synths, and most of the guitars however were recorded in my bedroom.
Which one of you does the majority of the lyric writing?
I do all of the lyric writing. I never considered myself a lyricist before this project since someone else always wrote the lyrics when I played with other people. It’s a slow process for me since I am not that great with words, but I am noticing a lot of improvement each time I sit down to do it.
I love “Brick Moon,” is there any behind-the-scenes info you’d be willing to share about that song?
The lyrical content for “Brick Moon” is based around this weird relationship we all have with technology and how it reflects upon our daily human interactions and relationships. I feel that our culture and our relationships with each other have become disposable and disconnected and that the invention of wireless internet and ipod’s etc…has turned us into walking islands and satellites.
I fear our ability to maintain meaningful friendships and bonds will be reduced to a few sporadic text messages. The name Brick Moon actually comes from the name of an early science fiction short story about a satellite made of bricks being launched into space, accidentally with people aboard.
Are you guys planning on touring soon after the record comes out?
Totally! We are in the beginning stages of booking a West Coast tour for the Spring that will hopefully take us to most of the major cities and towns in the region. We would love to play the other side of the country, and outside of the US for that matter, if demand and logistics can align for it to happen.
What kinds of books and movies are you guys into right now?
We recently saw True Grit and really enjoyed it. The Cohen Brothers have a knack for consistently putting out a great film every year. I still want to see the Black Swan, which I hear is great. Lately I have an addiction to the streaming feature on Netflix. I find myself watching anything I haven’t already seen late at night. Last night I watched Carlito’s Way.
As for books, I haven’t had the time or patience to finish a book in the last few months. I am hoping the cold dreary weather will change this though.
NOW for that special gift! A 100% fully amazing, completely FREE download of NIGHT SURGEON’S song “Brick Moon” – Just right click and save the following link: Brick Moon
|1. Color Me Black and White
2. Strength In Numbers
3. Roman Error
4. Brick Moon
6. Better To Be Young
7. Heavy Light
8. Day For Night
9. Let Go