Electric in the Bowery
White Nights & the Daughters of NYC with The Postelles
Words by Alexandra Johnson
New York, New York — NYC power pop quartet, The Postelles, came together in a city where the buildings stretch to the sky, but the dynamic, resonant music reaches the furthest planet in our solar system (which, I suppose, is now Neptune). A city where the people consume the streets, but the new-fashioned, prodigious talent, rather, has the substance to consume us all.
In the depths of the NYC streets is where these Big Apple-bred up-and-comers realized that big city pipe dreams have the ability to evolve into worldwide rock n’ roll realities.
Drummer Billy Cadden and guitarist/lead vocalist Daniel Balk sat down with The Waster at The Bowery Electric to talk about performing in the thick of New York City’s bright lights and band life past the 212.
The Postelles have hooked fans with their kinetic retro-rock sound, that bears witness to the fact that you can take the boys out of the big city, but you can’t take the big city out of the boys, or their music for that matter.
“It’s our home. It’s kind of everything. Our music is about New York, it is about the fast paced lifestyle”, explained Cadden.
Their guitar-driven sound embodies a hip, upbeat vibe that rebirths The Postelles’ nostalgic-conjuring beats into modern foot-tapping melodies. This new twist on the classic stylings of early rock has driven music critics to link them to contemporary acts such as The Strokes and The Arctic Monkeys.
“We are influenced by those bands, but we don’t go into it trying to be like any other band”, Cadden proclaimed.
“We are definitely influenced by the original rock n’ roll bands like Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Chuck Berry. We consider ourselves guitar-rock-pop. We really like the fast 3-minute pop song. We really believe in it”, said Balk.
As the foursome gets prepped to embark on a four week cross-country North American tour, kicking off in Minneapolis and wrapping up in Los Angeles, their dials are set at practice, practice, practice. These self-proclaimed “big readers and music listeners” are making sure to have enough books and CDs in stow to keep them busy on their month-long circuit, one of their longest tour legs as of yet, where they’ll be christening each venue with their pre-show vocal ritual.
“Before every show we do a sing-a-long of ‘I Shall be Released’ by The Band. Just one verse and it gets us really pumped up”, revealed Balk.
With the recent drop of The White Night EP, titled after one of the first songs the band wrote together, concert goers can expect to hear these newly released tracks on the tour.
“The White Night EP has three songs on it, two of which are produced by our friend Albert Hammond, Jr. and one that we produced ourselves. The iTunes version has a remix of ‘Sleep on the Dance Floor’ by Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor”, explained Balk.
Daniel Balk of The Postelles on Albert Hammond Jr.
The Postelles captured the ears of Hammond Jr., axeman behind The Strokes, a few years back. Since then, they have been working alongside the musician-turned-producer on numerous musical endeavors.
“Albert is a cool guy. He is really particular about guitars obviously. He is really big about the process, too. You know, it is almost a religious thing for him. He really showed us how to take it seriously and showed us the step by step process”, said Balk.
“It was definitely a really interesting learning experience”, added Cadden.
“It was interesting, because other than his solo work, it was his first production work ever. I think we both learned from each other. When we recorded with Albert, we did ten, 12-hour days, sort of one song a day. And then we recorded the second half of the record and we did 11 songs in three days. We didn’t sleep, we drank too much, it was a very different process”, continued Balk.
The recording process is notably significant to this band of buddies who aim to bring their devotees a live sound on their albums, an approach that put Weezer’s Pinkerton in such high regards in the music industry.
“We try to record every song live. That is really important for us because that adds some sort of genuine aspect to it. The way you hear the songs, we are actually playing that, it’s not layered”, Cadden continued, “whenever I listen to band I want to hear something they can definitely do live.”
The Postelles are finished writing and recording their self-titled debut full-length record slated to release late summer or early fall, with no specific date set.
“It basically starts off when we all have an idea for a song, usually on guitar. We will have a melody and a chord change, but it won’t be totally finished. We will pretty much all come up with the rest of the parts doing it straight as a band and sort of hash it out”, continued Balk. “We are done recording. We recorded six songs with Albert and six other songs, some B-sides. The record is totally done. The EP has two songs from the album.”
In the wake of new releases and longer tours, The Postelles are opening the ears and turning the heads of fans with roots in the origins of popular rock music.
“Music is everything right now for us. All I really do is play the guitar, and other instruments, and write songs”, said Balk.
“When we are not playing, we are talking about playing and when we are gonna play”, added Cadden.
Balk Concludes, “We are best friends, we went to high school together. We are like a family. We drive each other crazy, but we love each other at the end of the day. And I think that’s important as a band. I know a lot of bands that just sort of meet after work or after they do their other hobbies. But we all have the same passion for this.”
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