Since October of 2011, Andy Simmons and Holly MacGibbon have been making dark, beautiful pop rock together as Weeknight. After a busy summer of finishing up a forthcoming debut album and touring the U.S. with Montreal shoegaze-pop outfit Valleys, the burgeoning Bushwick duo spoke to us ahead of their show at 285 Kent tonight, where they’ll be sharing the bill with another Montreal-based act, Blue Hawaii.
Your sound is sort of hard to pin down as far as calling it any one style. What sorts of bands or styles influence your songwriting?
Andy Simmons: My first experience with any sort of live music was with my grandmother. As a child I spent my summers with her. That meant two church services a week. She was the organist at her church for as long as I can remember. I developed a love for the melody and harmonies of the hymns she would play during those services. I also love the harmonies of the classic country artists like George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Gram Parsons and Emmy Lou. Things like that. Mix that together with my obsession for ’90s hip hop and you can start to see where I am coming from.
Holly MacGibbon: Actually, my boss at Nita Nita was moving out of her place, and she was like, “You guys want a new place?” because we had to leave our apartment in Greenpoint. We’ve been in New York for a while, but we’ve been in Brooklyn for the past 5 years.
HM: Just being surrounded by such an over-saturation of bands makes you want to work harder. I think that’s an advantage, to a certain degree. And living in Bushwick is cheaper, so that’s an advantage, too — we’re able to also have a separate practice studio, which we never have been able to have on our own. We’ve always had to share practice spaces with other bands, but now it’s just us. It’s also in Bushwick, toward the Morgan stop. It’s nice to not have to share with another band; it lets us creatively work in a flow as opposed to, like, having to break down all our stuff and having to leave in half an hour because another band is coming in.
HM: I feel like we’ve spent most of our shows at Bowery Ballroom opening up for someone, and it’s mostly been people that were hopefully pleasantly surprised to see us, as opposed to people that were looking forward to seeing us ahead of time. Whereas I feel like when we play shows here [in Williamsburg], it’s more of our fans, people who are coming to see us. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
AS: I think the act of being in a band in New York City is crazy. You are basically busy 24/7. Personally I work at two different bars, work in my studio 40+ hours a week, and still try to maintain some sort of social life. All the while making sure my relationship with Holly is strong — you know, outside of the band.
HM: We will be releasing a single soon and a full-length in early 2014. Our first single is going to have a remix by Com Truise, who is our roommate and friend. He writes good music and he’s into our music and is excited about remixing us – he’s going to make a remix of whatever song ends up being our first single. Those songs [on Bandcamp] have been unreleased but out in the world for the past year, so we’re excited to get other stuff out there. As of now, we haven’t really decided; we have twelve songs to decide between and finish.