Who is Nomad City?
“Rock n Roll is alive and well here in Austin TX after seeing Nomad City take the stage, burn it up and spit it back out. The singer not only seems to cast a spell on you with her aggressive beauty, but seduces you while doing so, breaks your heart and still leaves you craving to come back for more. Powerhouse songstress Britny Lobas joined forces with Ray Kainz in 2014 and their high energy chemistry is a story in itself. Merging their Midwestern roots, the two couldn’t deny the magical rock and soul creations that were boiling to erupt. Combining with tight rhythm section, Matthew Temple & Chris Carroll, the band quickly formed it’s sound and story, Nomad City..
Recently having released their first Official Music Video and their Debut EP releasing Dec. 1st, 2017 promises to bring some exciting milestones for Nomad City.”
AMF EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
You all joined forces in 2015. Who were you before Nomad City? What has a year of playing together taught you about yourselves and each other?
All of us have been playing music professionally for years in and out of different bands and when we all met we were really ready for a serious project, something to really dig into and put our heart and soul in. Ray and Britny started as a duo, writing songs and performing together. There was instant magic and songs just kept flowing and after a short period we felt we really needed to put a band together and record an album. Thisyear taught us that if you really set your mind to something and work hard at it, you canvaccomplish anything, and the only thing that can get in your way is you.
Austin is a nomadic city, with people coming and going all the time.vDid that influence the name of the band? What it is about Austin that brought and has kept you here?
The nomadic nature of Austin definitely influenced the band name choice. We are all from different places, and the beautiful city of nomads that Austin has become brought us all together. Hence, Nomad City. Austin is a wonderfully unique city with a very special personality. It’s a growing city with a small town feel. It’s a magnet for musicians of all types, drawn here for as many similar reasons as differing reasons. The vibe here is unlike any other city. And while we’re individually from Cleveland, Chicago, Boston and Phoenix, we’ve really grown to love Austin and embrace it as home. Great people, great venues, lots of music and lots of tacos are all reasons we nomads have stuck around. Additionally, Nomad City was a mobile mining facility owned by Lando Calrissian. It was located on the small, mineral-rich world of Nkllon. Nomad City was built from an old Dreadnaught-class heavy cruiser, which was mounted on top of forty captured AT-AT walkers. The city would constantly move to remain on Nkllon’s night side, which means Nomad City is always on the dark side!
During your year of performing together in and around Austin, has there been a venue or crowd that has really stood out? Do you have a favorite venue you like to play?
There are SO many great venues in and around Austin! Right now, our home base would probably be The Mohawk. We love that place. One 2 One has also been very supportive of Nomad City and Austin’s music scene and it always sounds good in there.
Britny, your voice personifies the sound of the south. It’s both smoky and soulful, like a gospel lullaby. But, it’s also seductive and dangerous like that of a femme fatale. How have you shaped your voice and skill during your career?
Growing up surrounded by amazing musical influences has been a huge factor. My father is a professional musician, so music was always a big part of my childhood. Growing up I listened to singers such as Etta James, Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin to Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera and Grace Potter. Not being afraid to experiment and learning ALL the time. Trying new things. I grew up singing in church, so I like to go back to my roots. It’s all feeling to me.
Speaking of femme fatale, the band’s new single “Didn’t Have a Gun” is about “a good heart going bad” with unpredictable, and possibly hazardous intent. Does this song come from a personal experience?
Didn’t Have a Gun was inspired by current events and personal events using the “gun” reference both literally and metaphorically. Eerily, the night we first met with Tina Rivera who directed the video, we received the devastating news that Britny’s cousin’s life was taken by a random act of gun violence. The guy who pulled the trigger was ultimately set free and never charged. Through art, music and pain Britny wanted to let her cousin’s beautiful legacy live on. The video and song ended up taking on a completely different and deeper meaning and feel. Britny hopes for some sort of peace and justice to her family, friends and to anyone who has ever loved and lost.
Ray, your guitar riffs are like that of Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. They’re bluesy and growling, but they don’t compete with any other sound. If anything, they complement and set the scene of every song. Did you have any musicians you looked up to, and who helped you find your sound?
I find influence and inspiration from all sorts of places. Other musicians, other forms of music and art, nature, science, philosophy, Tim & Eric. I also watch a lot of game show reruns. Match Game and Richard Dawson era Family Feud are among my favorites.
Do you push each other when you two perform, or is it just another jam session?
Oh yeah, we are always pushing each other! Sometime’s I push Ray so hard he falls off the front of the stage! We push each other on stage and off, when we’re writing, rehearsing, performing or going out to eat, it’s a constant push to improve, explore, experiment, and at the risk of sounding cliche, striving to be the best musicians and performers we can be. Most of our songs come from personal experience so we can’t help but feel our songs, feed off the crowd and really put on a show. That’s kind of our thing.
How did you find the Austin Music Foundation?
Through mutual musician friends!
What is one thing you’ve learned from the Austin Music Foundation that you wish you knew before?
That the music industry is fucked and that we should have studied law! We’re half kidding about that. The music business is unique and in constant flux, nobody really knows what’s gonna happen. It’s amazing to have an organization like AMF in your corner. To have people with experience and resources that can help you navigate through this crazy thing called the music business is invaluable.
You are a newly formed band and you’ve been awarded AMF’s Artist of the Month. What does that mean to you? How do you attribute your quick success?
We are completely honored! It’s humbling and amazing that AMF has acknowledged Nomad City, and we are SO grateful! Being acknowledged by AMF gives us a sense of being accepted by Austin and legitimizing us as a band and what we do. We work hard on our songs and our live show. We take Nomad City very seriously. How do we attribute our quick success? From decades of practice and experience. Nomad City is a very young band but its members have lots of varied musical experiences and accomplishments, you take those experiences and learn from your successes and your mistakes. We attribute our “quick” success to our focus and dedication to making quality music and our love for playing live. This is only the beginning!
So you’re one year in and already blowing people away with songs like “Didn’t Have a Gun” (figuratively blowing people away….hopefully). So what’s next? What do you all hope to accomplish in the next year?
We hope to explore every Cubano sandwich Austin has to offer (we’ve been on a Cubano kick lately). We worked on our EP and video single for about a year and with those finally released we feel like we are just getting started. Of course we want to share our EP an video with as many people as possible but another album is slated for next year and we’ve all ready written a bunch of new songs for that. We’d also like to produce at least 2 more music videos and play a lot of live shows and keep building up this thing we call Nomad City!