Sound Scene Express is pleased to announce Nevada Color as the headliner for our “Best of Pittsburgh Music 2015,” concert at James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy. Nevada Color had a huge 2015 after the release of their debut album “Adventures” in 2014. The quintet led by Quinn Wirth on vocals, Max Kovalchuk on guitar, Adam Valen on guitar, Chris Cichra on bass and Jeremy Westhead on drums, have skyrocketed to popularity opening for national artists and playing at bigger festivals and exclusive events. The group was also voted as a finalist to play at the Firefly Music Festival in 2015.
Check out our interview below with Max Kovalchuk and be sure to catch Nevada Color February 6th for an all ages show at James Street Gastropub ballroom in the historic North Side neighborhood of Deutchtown. Tickets are only $10 and can be purchased at Nevada Color’s Merchandise table at Strip District Music Festival, by emailing email@example.com or day of show. Awards will be given away in 9 categories including breakout band 2015 where Nevada Color are nominees. We have 3 more amazing bands to announce in the coming weeks and a special guest host. See the event page HERE!
Sound Scene Express: When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music
Max Kovalchuk: July 2012. We started jamming together while in college, something clicked
so we kept at it and here we are three and a half years later.
SSE: Have you been in any other bands?
MK: Chris (bass) and I were in a band together previous to Nevada Color. Jeremy (drummer) was also in a band prior to this one.
SSE: Who writes your song lyrics? What is your/their inspiration?
MK: Primarily myself, but Quinn (singer) contributes lyrically as well. I write about experiences, current and past, things that I see, how they effect me, togetherness as a community, people, places, topical issues. I strive to to write honestly and accurately about what I believe.
SSE: What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
MK: There are a few genres that other people have classified us as, but it is somewhere within the alternative/pop/rock spectrum of music. Some of the major influences for the band are The Killers, Vampire Weekend, Jacks Mannequin, Kings of Leon, Bob Dylan, Harry Nilsson, The Strokes.
SSE: What is your favorite Nevada Color song?
MK: As the primary lyric writer, each song means something different to me and I don’t think that I could choose a favorite. It would be like parent being asked to choose which of their children is their favorite.
SSE: You guys have been fortunate to open up for a number of national acts. Who was your favorite? Why?
MK: We have been extremely fortunate thus far in every aspect of our career and we are grateful for that. There are two show in particular that really stick out…One was opening for Cold War Kids at the main stage of Stage AE, that was a really special show for us. Three out of the five of us previously worked there, and it is where I got my start working in the music industry. It was incredible to open for a band of that stature and to work with all of the folks over at Stage AE. Pittsburgh is lucky to have such a wonderful venue. The second show was at Altar Bar opening for Bad Suns. The crowd was like nothing we had ever experienced before. We have a video from one of our songs during that set where every person in the crowd had their arms in the air swaying them back an forth. That was a really memorable moment. Altar Bar is also a fantastic venue operated by top notch people in the Pittsburgh music scene.
SSE: Where have you performed? What are your favorite venues?
MK: Locally, we have performed at The Smiling Moose, Hard Rock Cafe, The Club at Stage AE, Main Stage at Stage AE, Altar Bar, University of Pittsburgh, Point Park University, Carnegie Mellon University, Roberto Clemente Bridge, Rachel Carson Bridge, Theater Square Rooftop, Mr. Roboto Project, house venues. Also a few places that are no longer operating such as Shadow Lounge, 6119, Garfield Artworks, Ironworks.
MK: We’ve also done a few tours spanning from two weeks to a month from the Northeast to the Midwest.
MK: Favorite venues are Stage AE and Altar Bar.
SSE: Outside of Pittsburgh where is your favorite city to play?
MK: Columbus, OH is always a fun place to play. We’ve also played New York City quite a few times. It is always a great experience being able to travel to another city to play your music for people.
SSE: What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week, in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
MK: Being in this band is what each member is pursuing as a career. We typically rehearse six days a week for three to four hours each day (typically early morning) as a group. On top of that, everyday we individually practice / song write on our own outside of the scheduled rehearsals. We make our other part time job schedules work with our band schedule so that we can all be at every practice. Rehearsals includerunning sets for upcoming shows, writing, recording, meetings, educating ourselves on the industry, educating ourselves on other music.
SSE: What do you think of the Pittsburgh Music Scene?
MK: It is great and it is continuing to grow. There is a lot of amazing music being created in Pittsburgh and there is a live show you can check out every night of the week within a broad spectrum of genres. It is a good place to be a band.
SSE: Who is your favorite Pittsburgh band/ musician?
MK: There are a few…Emerson Jay, those dudes are making serious moves right now and fantastic music. Wreck Loose, we’ve been to a few of their shows recently and they never disappoint. They have a classic sound that reminds me of Billy Joel, Harry Nillson, and Ben Folds all wrapped into one. Also, a band that is no longer together but some of my favorite music to come from Pittsburgh and in general, IKE. They have a self titled 6 track EP on Bandcamp that came our in 2011 which I would suggest to anyone.
SSE: What can fans expect from your live performance?
MK: Expect to move around and have some fun. We pride ourselves on putting on an entertaining live show, it is one of our biggest focal points next to songwriting.
SSE: Nevada Color was nominated as 1 of 3 breakout bands of the year. Did you start out 2015 expecting big things? Did you have set goals? What would it mean to the band if fans voted you as Sound Scene Express
breakout band of the year?
MK: I don’t think we ever expect anything in that regard. We put in a lot of work because we love making music and playing it for people and we want to continue doing that. If we gain any type of recognition for it than that is just reassuring us that someone out there cares enough to listen and that in itself is a very special thing to us. We always have goals, individually and as a group that typically coincide, but it is a mental / verbal list that is ever changing depending on events that occur everyday. It would be an incredible honor for people to care enough to go out of their way to vote for us. It is already an honor just to be nominated.
SSE: What can we expect from the band in 2016.
MK: People can expect new music and shows. We have a lot of new material in place and ready to be released, we are currently figuring out the best plan of attack with our team.
SSE: Is there anything else you wold like to add?
MK: If you haven’t seen us before, I would encourage you to come to a show. Listening to recorded music is always a great thing, but experiencing our live show gives you something more than just the music.