We spoke with Collin Holloway of Philly's Needle Points about their new album, Feel Young.
So you guys released your second full length album last year. How does this record differ from your first release?
Our first album Bom Tugangu was recorded on two 4-tracks in some musty, wet basement in West Philly. Super lo-fi vibes...scratchy and watery. We meant it as a demo to go into full studio production, but we would play it back and listen a bunch of times. Then we played it a bit more and we were like, "This sounds damn good..lets put this puppy out." Our friends Quiet Life were recording at the Dr. Dog headquarters (a.k.a. Mt. Slippery) with Scott McMicken. We would pop by and see if their beers tasted any good - ya know, quality control. Then we got to talking with Scottman and he was like "You know Needle Points could do this too." A few months later we booked some time with Scottman and Dr. Dog's engineer, Nathan Sabatino, joined in and we recorded Feel Young. It was great! Both albums were unique experiences but two different worlds for sure.
How was working with Scott McMicken of Dr Dog to produce the album?
It was a blast! We all got really close in those sessions. We learned so much about making music. Scottman always kept our moods grounded by doing little things around the studio. One time we were overdubbing some congas on a track. Somebody left a cigarette on one of the congas and it burned a little circular hole in the skin of the conga. Scottman noticed this and lit a sage stick and taped it to a small mic stand. He then placed it underneath the conga. The smoke rose up and through the tiny hole so when you played the conga you had this little unexpected extra vibe happening there. Not to mention all those beautiful guitar and keyboard licks he added to the songs. He is the man.
The album is released on the NeedLove Records label. Can you give us some information
Jordy and I started NeedLove almost as reaction to our lack of love for the record industry. We were shopping the record around and just felt that these days nobody offers you much of anything when signing. Understandably, we live in a time where it is hard for a label to really put that much investment when there is little to no return most of the time. So we decided that we loved this record too much and that the only people to show it the love it needed.... was us. So began the birth of NeedLove Records. We are working on getting a few more bands on the roster this year. We are gonna be a family, dammit, whether they like it or not. All love though, seriously.
What were some influences musically or otherwise for the sound of this album, Feel Young?
I guess nowadays people make very uniform records. Back in the 60's and 70's with the Stones, Beatles, or Kinks, they would explore all styles of music, all on one record. They would have a blues song and then some musical style theatre piece then some country song and then some Indian style song and then some blues song again. So much blues. So with Feel Young we worked on an album that has the same vibe. We are about 10 different bands on that album. We are a fairly young band...we are exploring things. We are feeling young.
Have you guys toured this new album yet? If so, how'd that go? Any memorable shows/cities?
Yes we did. We were so kindly asked by our friends MeWithoutYou to join them on a month long U.S. tour. Although our sounds don't really match, we had such a positive response from the crowds. One of my personal favorites was in Grand Rapids, Michigan at a place called the Pyramid Scheme. The place was packed. We opened up the shows on this tour so that wasn't always the case. We came out and as usual you could tell the crowd was like "Who the fuck are these guys?" We are a very colorful band. We started playing and by the end everyone was boogieing and clapping and hooting. We got off stage and we all looked at each other in the back and were like "Damn that was good." The whole tour was beautiful in every way though.
We've always been fans of the music that comes out of Philly (Dr. Dog, Kurt Vile, Spacin', etc.). How did this scene help get you guys to where you are now?
So before Needle Points, me and Jordy and our old guitar player Dave were in a band called Bunnie with another lad named R.J. Gilligan. That band called it quits after one record. People moved away - no big thing. We loved the first Spacin' record. When we recorded the Bunnie record we had it playing on repeat in the cabin we recorded at. We got a call from their bass player at the time, Sean Hamilton. He asked if Bunnie wanted to play a Spacin show. But we were already done by then. We just said yes and that we are called Needle Points. We had no songs and the show was about a month off. But we just wanted to play with Spacin'. We made some songs, got Brian Dani and Jordy involved, played and it was a really awesome show. So then we just decided to be a band for real. So thanks Spacin' for getting us together. The Philly music scene is really something magical. I get to play with talented people that I never dreamed I would share a stage with. If people are ever confused why they call it the City of Brotherly Love, its because they are referring to the music scene.
Are there any bands that you are excited about from Philly in 2017?
Too many. Davey and the Chains, Mike Quinn, anything Pat Finnerty does, Dark Web, The Louie Louie Band, Throbbing Chakra, Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells, Ruby the Hatchet, Sheer Mag, Hound, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Empath. I am sure I forgot a bunch. I also hope Hall and Oates puts out something this year.
What's next for Needle Points in 2017?
We took a little time off after tour and the holidays. We decided not to book shows for the rest of winter. I happily get to say we sat down and are working on new record. We will be touring in the spring and summer and hopefully we will have something ready to go by fall. Id like to try and put out records a little quicker but we will see. You never know how long these things take. Other than that Needle Points will continue to drink Tiki Pi Pi's (tequila and pineapple), massage each others feet and stare longingly into each others eyes.
Buy Feel Young from NeedLove Records today!