We got to talk to Jesse Rutherford and Bryan Sammis of The Neighbourhood before their debut performance at Osheaga in Montreal. Check out Winnie Surya’s interview with the band below!
Are you guys excited to play Osheaga?
Yeah, we’re very excited! We’ve never been in Montreal before.
Why did you guys decide to spell your band name the British way?
We decided to do the British spelling because the American one was taken. So, our manager actually suggested it to us and it worked out!
How did you all meet?
These three guys met in high school, middle school? They met in school. I met Jesse through music and Jesse met them through music. We all naturally started hanging out and writing music.
Did you guys expect to become this successful in such a short amount of time?
J: You hope for it, you know. You can’t ever be too sure. It’s not like we went into it and we knew: “Yeah hey! A year from now, we’re going to have the number one alternative single in America for eight weeks.” We didn’t know that, but we always wanted to be a band that a lot of people could hear.
B: We thought it was up to par enough to be that. We always thought positive about ourselves. We just came to the stars, as you could say.
How does it feel to have a top hit at such a young age?
B: It feels really good. It’s really cool and it’s really humbling.
J: We’re always pushing for more though. You don’t ever want to reach a point in your career and be like, “Cool! We did it.” When you reach a point you want to be at, you always want to get to that point, then reach for bigger and better things and always push yourselves to do even more than what you’ve done.
How did your parents react when you chose to do music instead of going to school?
I was in college. We had a talk about it. It was definitely a sensitive subject. I think everybody’s better now that things are working out, but obviously it’s tough. I think it was a little easier for Zach, nobody had that big of an issue, nothing too crazy.
I was wondering why did your EPs (Thank You and I’m Sorry) and your album (I Love You) names kind of connecting in some way?
They’re all kind of interlocked. It’s just all part of the first theme/the big vision that we had. When I was titling everything, I wanted those three titles to be the first three titles of something we did because I think they’re powerful statements. People abuse them and they don’t mean as much as they should anymore.
How was the recording process of I Love You?
We had a lot of demos going into the album, which I think will be a little different for stuff we do in the future. We were stuck at home and we weren’t on the road yet, so we had written so many songs. When we went in to record the album, we had a lot of ideas that we knew we wanted to pursue. We went in there, worked with our two producers and made the album.
Are you guys going to release any more new music soon?
What’s next after this summer?
We’re touring again with Imagine Dragons in September. And then that rolls right into our next headline run in October/really early November. We’re going out with Ghost Loft.
You guys seem to have a “black and white” theme, why is that?
J: When we wrote music at first, we had our whole theme figured out early on. It just felt right and all the black and white stuff kind of stuck. Then, we decided really early on that it wasn’t going to go anywhere; we’re going to stick with it forever.
B: We feel like it fits us really well; it goes hand in hand with our music and it’s who we are at this point.
How are Canadian shows different?
B: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that all the Canadian shows that we’ve ever had have all been really good! We’ve only done Vancouver and Toronto, we haven’t been in Montreal yet. So, we’re excited to play here tonight. But they’ve been incredible!
J: We’ve done two in Vancouver that were headline shows of ours; we opened for Imagine Dragons in Toronto and we did a festival in Toronto. And in every single one, everybody seems really into it.
Is your set today (at Osheaga) going to be different than the one in Toronto?
I don’t remember what our set length was when you saw us in Toronto. You’ll definitely see some of the same stuff, but it depends.
Any message for your fans?
J: Thanks for listening! Keep it black and white.
B: Thanks for paying attention!