The New Sound of Disco Dubstep
Four years ago, the Night Kids took over the local underground circuits with their electric sound, even opening for the likes of Major Lazer. With high energy performances and heart pumping beats, Jill Lorbes and Willie Russell – who also happen to be engaged – became a crowd favorite. Coming off the heels of a reinvention period, the NYC-based electro-pop duo sat down with Milk Made to talk about their new look, new sound and why they’re more focused than ever to make music that is true to them.
Milk Made: When did you guys start as a band?
Willie Russell: We actually started in 2010, so four years ago. I had just moved to New York and I started living with Jill and her brother, Thomas.
Jill Lorbes: You noticed there was more of Night Kids [four years ago].
WR: Yeah, there used to be four of us. So it was me, Jill, Thomas, and Jackie. And Thomas and Jackie were actually dating and they broke up. So Jackie peace’d out. So, then there was just us three. Then, Thomas just recently moved to California. So it’s just us two now. But yeah, it started with me, Thomas, and Jill. We just realized that we all digged the same kind of music and that we could all make music. So we started to make music together.
MM: Is it harder now with just the two of you than before?
WR: No, it’s a lot easier actually.
JL: Because trying to work with four people was really hard. Everyone was on different schedules, and we had to find time to rehearse. So it was just really hard. Now, me and Willie just got engaged.
WR: Yeah, we just got engaged.
WR: Thank you!
WR: I think we’re the only producing/DJ duo who’s engaged. But, yeah…We miss them obviously and we loved having them. But I feel like our process is really streamlined. We have the studio in our apartment and just every night we can make music together.
MM: On your Facebook page you call your music “disco dubstep." Can you describe that?
WR: We have very different influences. The people who got us into electro a long time ago was Ed Banger Records, in France. They put out Justice, Sebastien, and Breakbot, and all those very French disco sort of people. And that’s the sort of music we started making four years ago. Our music kept on getting heavier and heavier, and we started making purely dubstep. And then after a while, I think, we’ll just go ahead and say it, we started following the trend at the moment. But at this point, we want to get back to why we started it in the beginning.
MM: Yeah, I noticed your music now is definitely a different sound.
WR: It’s a lot different. That’s kind of what we were going for. We have some hard parts in it. We’re still trying to find the perfect medium.
JL: Yeah, it still needs to be something that we can play live and get crazy.
WR: But also something that someone would want to just sit home and listen to. Or listen to in their car. Or listen to at work in your headphones…Not something that just people want to do drugs to and dance to and have sex with each other.
WR: I mean, we do want people to have sex to our music. Don’t get me wrong. [Laughs] We don’t have sex to our own music. Make sure that’s on record: We are engaged, but we don’t have sex to Night Kids.
JL: That’s so awkward!
WR: [Laughs] Alright, next question!
MM: Do you have fears about losing the people that became your fans through the EDM?
WR: Yeah. But I’m just hoping that our fans who’ve been with us from the beginning can like – we’re hoping that people will open their minds and ears to it. And you know that happens all the time when people change their look and/or sound –
JL: Miley Cyrus!
WR: Miley Cyrus, hello! I’m sure she lost a lot of Hannah Montana fans, but now she’s on top of the fucking world. So for us I’m sure it’s going to happen. But we hope we gain a lot of new fans that are into the type of music that we’re doing.
MM: How long was the process of rebranding Night Kids? Because you went on a sabbatical and were gone for a while.
WR: Well the reason is actually…We never wanted to post it on Facebook, but Jill’s mom was battling cancer the last couple of years, and she actually passed away six months ago.
JL: Yeah, but you don’t want to bring that into the Night Kids.
WR: Yeah, we want the Night Kids world to be awesome and fun all the time.
JL: But you know what was super cool was that for the latest EP, every night I sang, and we made music. It was almost like a…
WR: Coping mechanism
JL: Coping, yeah. So it was sort of good timing, because we were able to get the EP out. And that’s why it seemed more mature, and less about “Let’s drink and let’s go party!”
MM: What’s next for Night Kids?
WR: We’re going to come out with another EP in two months. We’d like to do a full album within the year. We’re playing a Filipino Tsunami Relief Fundraiser – Jill is Filipino – on February 1. But after that we hope to start booking shows again, and get the momentum back.
MM: Cool! Any parting words?
WR: We want our fans to see we’re back and we want to be back with a vengeance. We want to have our fans see – finally – why we were gone for so long.
JL: Yeah, it was hard. You learn boyfriends and girlfriends break up and so does that mean that they just leave the group? It’s very complicated. So that’s why it’s so much easier with us.
WR: Yeah, definitely. And now that we’re engaged, it’s locked in.
JL: Yes! No leaving me!
WR: Night Kids isn’t going to break up. Because if we break up, that means a divorce, I think.
MM: [Laughs] A White Stripes-esque situation.
WR: [Laughs] Exactly, so that’s not gonna happen. Still would be cool if we got to White Stripes level.
JL: I wouldn’t mind that.
Check out their latest music at their website (http://nightkidslove.com/#cult).