NGHBRS Talks Kickstarter, Tumblr & More

Written by: Melissa Ridgley

Hailing from the musical hotbed of Long Island, NY, NGHBRS (pronounced Neighbors) have already experienced some real success considering they’ve only been a band for a few years. Getting their song “Bodies” licensed for an Xbox game, exceeding the funding goal of their Kickstarter campaign, and being chosen to record at Converse‘s Rubber Tracks Studio are just a few of the feathers in NGHBR’s cap. The band has made it their mission to “create the most unique musical project they possibly could” by breaking away from things that have already been done, and as you will see in the videos and interview below, are doing just that.

Indie Ambassador TV Profile NGHBRS

Indie Ambassador: First of all, thanks so much for letting me take some time to interview you guys.

NGHBRS: Yeah, no problem!

IA: Awesome, let’s just dive right in then. In this day and age, what kind of unique things do you do to stay afloat as an independent band?

Tommy Fleischmann: When we play live, we try to change up our set every time.  We usually don’t ever play the same set. We change a jam, the set order, put songs in, or take songs out. That, and we also like to put videos online and stuff.

Jordan Schneider: We alter our songs for live videos. We do jazz versions. Our bass player Eric plays a stand-up, so we like to take advantage of that. We did it once for our song called Bodies and once for Beautiful Birds, like lounge versions.

IA: Keeping fans at shows engaged like that is always important. Anything else you do to keep the relationship with your fans strong?

Ian Kenny: We are really into the social networking. We respond to everyone on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, our blog. We respond to anyone that ever writes us. Any remark, even if they don’t like us we’ll respond saying, ‘Thank you for telling us that.’ We just like to be in touch and break the barrier between band and friends.

IA: Speaking of which, I noticed the contest on your Tumblr page where you had people re-post a music video with a specific tag, and those people were entered to win a signed NGHBRS poster. Did you get a good response from that?

JS: Yeah! We actually have a girl that we met on tour in Ohio, her name is Kaitlyn, so shout out to her. But she kind of started the street team for us. She started calling November “NGHBRS November” so every couple days she’ll post the content that we will re-blog and promote. And it seems like a lot of people re-blogged for this show. So we’re really pumped about that.

IA: Earlier this year you successfully surpassed your goal on Kickstarter of raising $5,000 to cover some touring expenses. Congratulations, by the way. What inspired that? Also, what kinds of things did you give away in return for the support?

IK: The inspiration came from having no money. [laughs] Virtually being broke. About the things that we gave out, we cooked dinner for people. We also sent out posters, personal postcards, special t-shirts, all that jazz.

IA: How did you make people aware of the fact that NGHBRS was raising money?

JS: All of the social networks, really. We made a video. IK:  Yeah, the video was very helpful for us. We mostly did the promotion through Facebook. It also got posted on, so we got a lot of feedback there. But yeah, the word just kept spreading to family, friends, fans and the response was amazing.

Eric Vivelo: In the end we raised $5,200. But we had like $2,000 in like one day.

JS: Honestly, we didn’t know what would happen. We just went for it and it was obviously successful and allowed us to tour this summer. We got a van out of it.

IA: Your song “Bodies” was licensed for use in a Lacrosse video game for Xbox. Did you use any song placement service to make that happen?

EV: We didn’t use any service. IK: It was a high school friend that knew we were in a band. At that time, “Bodies” was the only song that we had released. And he loved lacrosse and knew this video game was coming out. JS: So the creator of the game posted on Facebook asking if any unsigned bands wanted to be in the soundtrack of the game. And he didn’t even tell us, he just submitted us. And then the next day we found out by getting an email saying that the track rocked or whatever. [laughs]

IA: Did you notice that it really helped promote the band?

JS: Yeah, and the coolest thing about it was that it was the first song that we released. So I think people took us seriously right off the bat, which was a good head start for us.

IA: That’s a great way to start off, for sure. How did NGHBRS get chosen to record at Converse’s Rubber Tracks Studio?

IK: We just kind of sent an email to them just expressing interest. And they got back to us and they were all about it. We went in and did a series of four videos and tracks off our EP. We’ll be releasing it soon.

IA: What’s coming up next for you guys?

IK: We’re recording a new song in the next couple of months. Like I said, we have those videos to release. We’re just trying to travel and play live as much as possible. You know, just get out there.

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