Nautics is a New-York based band that was formed in 2015 and consists of Kenzo (singing and guitar), Levitt (drums), Amir (keys), and Van (bass). Recently they released a new track called “Thoughts on the Ceiling”, the proceeds from this song go to Food Bank for New York City.
Before Nautics, Van, Levitt, and Amir had a band called Johnathan and the Rubix Squares. They met at the Replay Music Studios Band Coaching Program which gave them great music experience and the possibility to practice their music.
“We practiced there when we started our band. It was extremely helpful to learn from people who were experts at music. Especially at a young age”, Van said.
If you are looking for a new sound that would fit into warm summer nights or fun songs to hang out with your friends (once we are out of quarantine), Nautics is your go-to! Just a little tip – if you like riding a bike, turn on “I’ll be Waiting”, it is perfect for some solo summer adventures, you are welcome!
The band captured New York sound and vibe so good that the first time I listened to their music, I had New York images floating in my mind.
Read the full interview to learn more about the guys, their music and new song “Thoughts on the Ceiling”.
why have you decided to MAKE NAUTICS?
Levitt: We all came together interested in making music. Some of us were friends with each other before Nautics. It’s like a spider web and we are all connected through meeting one another.
HOW DO PEOPLE REACT ON YOU BEING IN A BAND?
Levitt: “Dude, that’s so cool, I wish I was in a band” – I get that a lot from people when I tell them about Nautics.
Kenzo: “You’re in a band?”. My parents and friends are pretty supportive. Most of the time people don’t know I’m in a band and are often surprised.
Levitt: My dad wishes he was in a band like Nautics, so I think he is super proud that I found some pretty chill people to make music with and perform.
What is your creative process like and how long does it take YOU to write a song?
Amir: We often begin with a demo that someone will send to our group chat. We’ll either work on it all together at practice or go to Van’s house and start producing it on our own. Always painful, always fun.
Van: “I’ll be Waiting” took like an hour, but “Thoughts on the Ceiling” took a couple of months. “Thoughts” was in the works since October which is pretty long to be fair, but we stop and start often when we’re writing so it’s hard to judge. Sometime it could be a couple days, and others might disappear for a year and come back.
Where do you find demos?
Van: By demos, we meant songs that we make ourselves. Kind of like writing a draft before your essay, a song will have multiple versions. It’s a process to create.
Levitt: We make them either by ourselves or together then we send them to one another. We have demos of songs like Bricks and Post Madonna on our Instagram.
no one really knows how to become big and it’s a lot of luck and timing
How do you come up with the ideas for the songs?
Amir: I think, our processes are individually very different. Often ideas are brought to the band as a whole and we’ll build on them together. I personally take a lot of inspiration from my classical training and often try to find interesting sounding chords to build a song on.
Tell us more about your new song and the cover for it?
Kenzo: The new song kind of happened organically over the course of a few months. While most of the lyrics come from a mix of conscious and unconscious thought, I think this song has a lot to do with disagreement. It’s about willing to fight for what you believe in while you fight with who you believe in. The cover just came to me. I hand-painted it. It took me about an hour and we all just felt it fit the song.
How would you describe your sound?
Levitt: Have you ever heard of the water brand Hint? I think we are like that where we stick to one genre like rock but have hints of other genres in our stuff. Specifically, space rock with a hint of pop.
Kenzo: I wish we were a pop band, but I agree with Levitt.
Why pop? What attracts you to this genre?
Kenzo: I think, I have an appreciation for the mainstream because there is a reason it’s able to affect so many listeners. Also pop has been able to evolve with the times and I think more than anything I identify with that ideology. Constantly evolving is the goal. Creating the new mainstream.
The band for the guys is more than “just a band”, it is their family where everybody plays an equal and important part. “What I value about this band is that everyone’s voice is heard and respected. We often disagree adamantly, but I think we can all recognize when a musical idea is really good”, Amir explained.
To the question about the labels and whether Nautics need one or not Kenzo replied, “I think it depends on the band and the label. I don’t know if we need a label, but it’s always nice to be part of a bigger family”.
IS there anything that surprised you about the music industry?
Amir: I don’t really know if we are part of the “industry”. I still see us as a little family who likes to make music and play to a crowd. I guess maybe the one thing I’ve seen from the outside is that no one really knows how to become big and it’s a lot of luck and timing.
Are there any particular musicians who inspired you to make music?
Amir: Joel Ronson
Van: Damon Albarn, he just makes cool music, and he’s done so for so long
Kenzo: I really like Donald Glover. Mostly because he is a jack of all trades and that what I aspire to be.
So who would you collaborate with, dead or alive?
Levitt: Probably Jimmy Page.
Van: 070 Shake, I think Modus Vivendi was a masterpiece and I’d love to work with someone that creative.
Kenzo: Dua Lipa. She’s fire.
Constantly evolving is the goal. Creating the new mainstream.
What was the most awkward or fun performance?
Levitt: Honestly, I think the first practice was pretty tough since we were figuring out our sound, but after that everything ran smoothly. But I don’t think I have had an “awkward” performance and for me, each performance is my favorite since I am able to jam out on stage with my best friends.
Kenzo: I think we are fairly in sync. I guess the only time we were super out of our depth was our first show. For as strange it was, we had a really good time and I will never forget it.
Do you have any advice for beginner musicians?
Levitt: If you want to form a band make sure it’s with your friends or people who have the same intentions as you, that way you won’t clash in an unhealthy way.
Kenzo: It’s important to do it for the love of the art and to not put too much pressure on the business or the numbers.
What is next for Nautics is yet to be revealed but the guys keep writing music and would love to go on a tour one day. “We kinda just live and create music day by day not thinking of the future, but I would love to continue making music and playing shows with the rest of Nautics for a while”, Levitt said.
Follow Wild Things’ Spotify Playlist.