At first glance I couldn’t believe how solid and seasoned this unsigned band sounded. I assumed they were brand new. After looking closer, these guys have been grinding for a long time. Soraya, Jacob, Josh, & Cris have spent years writing, recording, and performing together as the LA band Blacktop Saints. The band changed their name to Night Talks in 2013 after lineup and sound changes. Earlier this year, the group digitally self published their first two singles, Green & Mr. Bloom, with music videos. Night Talks Band.
You’re going to notice how polished and crisp their songs are. The drums and bass are locked in together. The guitars amp you up then out of nowhere Soraya’s voice comes in and blows you away.
From assorted weekend festivals like Echo Park Rising to some of our favorite venues like The Satellite, The Hi Hat, and the Resident, Night Talks has had a busy summer playing all over Los Angeles. With their latest music video, Mr. Bloom, recently dropping, we got in touch with the band to see what’s coming up next for them.
HappeningInDTLA: From your time as Blacktop Saints to now as Night Talks, it looks like you guys have been playing together for over 7 years! How did you all get started together?
Jacob: I met Cris and Soraya at an after school music program. The second I saw both of them perform I knew I had to start a band with them. Blacktop Saints was basically us learning how to be in a band and find people we jelled with. There were about 6 people who were in and out of Blacktop Saints before we got Josh and really found out what kind of band we wanted to be. That’s when we became Night Talks. It’s pretty funny it took so long to get Josh in the band, considering he’s Cris’ brother.
Could you take us through your song writing process? Are they jammed out together? Or do members bring in pieces?
Jacob: Every song was written a little differently. I don’t feel like we have a set process. Sometimes a song will be different musical pieces I’ve worked on over the course of a couple months, and I’ll put songs together like a puzzle, or I’ll just sit down and write one front to back.
From what I’ve read you’ve already recorded a full-length album, In Dreams, this past March? Where did you record?
Jacob: We worked with two producers. Vincent Leslie Jones, who mixed the record, is a keyboard genius. We tracked drums, bass, keys some vocals, and a lot of extra sizzle at his home studio. We did 90% of the guitars and vocals with my buddy Jason Orme at his personal studio in Hollywood. It was really important going into the record that I had a fellow guitar nerd to work with, and that was definitely Jason. He has an insane collection of guitars and amps that I was giddy to use.
Is there a set date for the release of In Dreams? And are you publishing it yourselves?
Soraya: There isn’t a set date yet, but we’re planning for early 2017. We are self-releasing the album.
With a new music video just released and a full length on the way, what are guys up to now in between?
Jacob: We’re staying busy. Trying to play every show we can. Finishing up a third music video, and constantly demoing new songs. Album two is almost written.
What would you say is the next big hurdle for you guys as a band in L.A.?
Soraya: I don’t know if I’d call it a hurdle, but I’d say that we’re just working on reaching as many sets of ears as possible. Our first two singles got a good amount of momentum, and I think the hardest thing is to keep that up and to keep it going.
Is there anything you’d like to see change in the L.A. music scene?
Soraya: One of the hardest parts of being in the LA scene is that there are so many good bands. It makes it so that everyone here is pretty jaded and “too cool,” which means you have to have something really special and specific to capture an audience. I wish there were some way for people to be less concerned with how cool they can act and more concerned with having fun and enjoying themselves.