by Matt Kelchner
The genre-blended Los Angeles quintet are ready to break out with the release of their debut album I Love You. It’s hard to imagine a band only two years old being able to sell out a venue the size of Union Transfer. Most artists at this stage in their career are focused on much smaller venues like Kung Fu Necktie or Johnny Brenda’s. That’s not the case with The Neighbourhood. The hardworking five-piece band from Los Angeles has a pair of EPs along with their first full length album under their belt and they are not showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon.
“We are young and hungry for all of this right now,” drummer Bryan Sammis explains after I asked him how the band stays creative with such a rapid pace of new releases. “We have these songs in our souls. We have the determination, drive and creativity to continually push our musical and artistic boundaries.”
In the last year, The Neighbourhood has managed to create the same amount of music that takes other bands twice as long to come up with. “It’s never good to stay complacent. You have to want more,” Sammis adds. With this kind of drive and push that the band has, it feeds into their strong characteristic of blending many different types of musical genres into their own. Running through the tracks on their new album, I Love You, no two songs sound exactly the same. There are strong elements of hip-hop and electronica production. Subtle guitars and R&B and pop influenced vocals are added in different degrees varying on the song. It’s this type of creative combination that The Neighbourhood rode all the way up the charts with hit singles like “Sweater Weather”.
While musical influences range greatly on the album, Sammis explains other, not so obvious influences most might not pick up on. When asked about his own, he responds with “Early 2000s WWF superstars”. And the ones that can be heard the most? “Stone Cold [Steve Austin], Road Dogg or Mankind”.
Sammis also explains the band’s future plans, ones that further show the kind of strong ambition they possess. As he talks about the feeling of releasing the group’s first full length album, he mentions, “We are already looking forward to releasing our next project”. After this summer’s tour, Sammis expects “writing, recording, relaxing and inevitably more touring” to take place. It’s unclear how they plan to fit in relaxation but one thing’s for sure, they have lofty goals and expectations set for themselves. “We come from such different musical backgrounds and we have complete trust in each other,” Sammis tells me.
Starting in early June, The Neighbourhood began their national tour that will take them through the end of July. It picks up again in September. This follows a busy first half of the year that included playing Coachella, the first real goal the band ever had. Expect to be seeing The Neighbourhood’s name frequently in 2013. “More music will be out and that’s exciting,” Sammis concludes. Exciting not only for the band, but for their growing number of fans as well.