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Next Big Bands: The Naked and Famous

By SELENE SAN FELICE

The Naked and Famous’ “Young Blood” has become the free spirited millennial anthem, but the band is much more than one carefree song. Under the pressure of a breakup, constant touring and politics, the last few years have been rough for the band. Thankfully, they’ve decided to push through and will be performing at Next Big Thing fest in Tampa this week. Between tour stops, the band took some time to answer our questions.

“Young Blood” is all about being young and reckless. What’s the most reckless thing you guys have ever done?

Jesse: When I was about 20 living in Australia, my friends and I drunkenly snuck into a construction site and climbed to the top of the crane around 10-12 stories up.

As a band you do a lot of meet and greets after shows. What’s the weirdest meet and greet experience you’ve ever had?

The band: In Vancouver we had a couple dressed as Ghostbusters (it was Halloween) and they told us Simple Forms is their favorite record to have sex too. They said some of the songs are really sad but it makes the sex even better.

Jesse, you mentioned in the band’s Reddit AMA that you haven’t  had anyone throw crumpled trash at you on stage in a while. Did that really used to happen to you?

Jesse: No trash has been thrown at me but I like throwing drink bottles at Aaron, David and our techs.

What’s the one thing you all need on your tour rider?

David: Blueberries. We’re making a lot of morning smoothies right now.

You guys have a ton of touring experience, but you’ve talked before about how it’s not always fun. Tell me about the stress of being on the road for too long.

The band: Managing day to day health is a big one, and when your health slips… so does your mood. Touring does crazy things to your body clock, even if you’re on your best behavior.

How do you get motivated to write more music and start the touring and promoting process all over again after being on the road for so long?

The band: It’s a love hate thing! You’re off the road for too long and you start getting bored fidgety. You get out on the road and 5 weeks in you’re thinking about how much you miss your local coffee shop.

What made you decide to stay together as a band after Thom and Alisa’s breakup?

The band: There was a long patch there where no one knew quite what was happening. It took over a year for the clouds to clear, but when we all got in a room together again it was smiles. That’s ultimately what got things happening again. The realization that the band and bonds shared were bigger than all that, and the end of one thing didn’t have to mean the end of the other.

How does it feel to be New Zealanders in America with all that’s happening right now?

David: While we aren’t Americans, American politics is a very global thing. New Zealanders I suspect all share a very similar sentiment about the current state of the world at the moment. It’s frustrating because we’re unable to vote, though it’s important to let people know how you feel in productive ways, no matter what your political affiliation.

Though it is a breakup song, “Higher” seems like an anthem for those struggling to remain calm and not fight for what they believe in after this election. What other songs, yours or someone else’s, would you recommend to those feeling hurt right now? 

David: Recently a few of us went to see a country artist named David Ramirez while we had a night off in Omaha. I’d recommend the song “Harder To Lie.” It pulls at my heart strings.

Check out more Next Big Thing artist interviews.

Selene San Felice can be reached at selene.sanfelice@theminaretonline.com. Follow her on Twitter/Instagram and find more of her work here.

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