Aye Nako: Gearing Up For the Big Stage
An Interview with Joe and Angie

Words by Alex Napoliello — Brooklyn, NJ

New York City is known for spawning raw, ever-lasting rock bands that stand the test of time. Albums by The Ramones, the Velvet Underground and The Strokes are must-haves for any rock and roll lover’s collection, among many others. These days, however, much doesn’t come from the Big Apple anymore; rents are skyrocketing and gentrification has weeded out the starving artist. This doesn’t mean that music isn’t alive and well in the Empire State – it’s just coming from another area. Brooklyn.

The members of the pop-punk band Aye Nako are perfect examples of why Brooklyn is the place to be if (a) you play music and (b) are looking for a band to play in. Mars, Angie, Joe and Jade all came to Brooklyn from different parts of the country, met each other through playing music and mutual friends, and are now going to be opening for New Jersey punk legends The Bouncing Souls and The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon. The show is part of Red Bull Sound Selects Presents showcase at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on September 30. Tickets are available for $3. RSVP here.

“We’re pretty nervous,” says Angie over the phone prior to band practice. “That (Music Hall of Williamsburg) is probably the biggest venue that we’ve played as a band.”

Fallon worked with the music blog, Brooklyn Vegan, to curate the showcase, which isn’t his first. Also appearing on the bill is another Brooklyn-based band, Nude Beach.

Aye Nako’s music is melodic, light-hearted and fun. The band’s Facebook page describes their genre as “homopop, queercore, punk, non-college rock, bullshit.” But those descriptions tell you little about the band’s sound; rather, they tell you more about the band’s attitude.

“I feel like if you’re doing it, you probably sincerely want to do it,” says Angie. “It takes a lot of effort. A lot of people living here (Brooklyn) don’t have cars or vans, so to load up your equipment in a cab and bring it over to a show – everything is a lot more difficult here than in a small town.”

But for many bands, that is what makes Brooklyn so attractive. There are tons of places to play in a relatively small circumference. It can, however, be a double-edged sword. “The music scene is pretty oversaturated here. There’s so much going on all the time,” says Angie.

“We play to a lot of friends and people we know,” adds Joe. “It’s specifically curated.”

On September 30, Aye Nako will have some friends sprinkled in the crowd, the largest yet, but it won’t be controlled like usual. The band has never received a bad response or experienced much disrespect given the openness of all four member’s sexuality.

“That’s definitely something we think about – playing in front of a very different crowd of people with different kinds of bands,” Joe says. “You never really know what to expect.”

“Possibly get heckled,” Angie chimes in and then laughs.

Adding Joe, “you can definitely read the comments in the posts about this show and see that for sure.”

As with any small time band playing a show with a corporate sponsor’s name attached to it, there are always haters who dish out the label “sell out” with relative ease. But for Aye Nako, they haven’t received much criticism.

“I definitely get some jabs about it from friends, nothing like serious,” says Joe. “Most of the flack I’ve gotten are from the people who don’t like our band – not because it’s a Red Bull thing, but it’s because we’re playing at all.”


TheWaster.com | Brooklyn