With the release of the the album Sunset Industry in February 2018, Nightstage hit LA’s music scene and debuted their unique “Heavy Soft Rock” sound. 16-year-old Nicky Renard, the band’s lead guitarist, describes their genre as being “Soft rock plugged into a Marshall amp”. Nicky explains, “The songs are initially pretty soft, but we make them heavy with powerful guitar riffs, drum fills, and swinging basslines”. Nightstage’s songs showcase a galore of guitar solos, powerful vocals, and intriguing lyrics, executed with an explosive stage presence that you won’t soon forget.
The band came to be in an unusual way. Max Foxx, the band’s keyboardist, rhythm guitarist - and Nicky’s father - first introduction to music was when he was seven and began playing on the piano in his childhood home. Following that, he took one piano lesson, which he didn’t enjoy. Never returning for any more lessons, Max Foxx started playing on his own, and later, when he was 14, started playing guitar. Although he always liked music, Max went on to do other things and left his music dormant.
That’s where Nicky comes into the picture. At nine years old, Nicky became hooked on rock ’n’ roll. “I remember stumbling across one of my dad’s videos, Deep Purple performing at the California Jam. My reaction was just ‘wow’,” Nicky explains. Following this, on her 10th birthday, Nicky received a Yamaha 3/4 acoustic guitar. After only having learnt two chords, Nicky began composing her own music. “In the beginning, I just played around a little, for fun. I’d maybe play for a while once a week. It was first when I was thirteen and a half that I decided - this is what I want to do. It just hit me like that”. Nicky began dedicating hours each day to playing guitar and practicing toward becoming a self-taught guitarist.
Nicky’s vigorous practicing inspired Max to rekindle his interest in playing music. Max recalls, “It started sometime in mid 2016. Nicky was playing a new song, and I thought it sounded real good, so I grabbed a guitar and, for the first time, we started jamming together. After that, we started discussing maybe writing some songs and forming a band, someday”. Fast forward to a year later, and they had already stumbled onto the other Nightstage musicians. Nightstage’s debut album, Sunset Industry, was recorded in the fall of 2017 and released only a couple of months later.
The songs on the album are vastly different but share the same “Heavy Soft Rock” energy. “Holder of All Cards” is dark and mysterious, at times incredibly soft, and then takes listeners by surprise by exploding into a wailing wah guitar solo and later upping the tempo for a fast piano solo. “You Will Never Get It Back” is as close to the definition of rock as you can get, from the gritty vocals to the crunchy guitar riff. “Grovy Lane” is an epic six and a half minute rock ballad featuring a four minute guitar solo, while “Dan’s Banjo” is a quirky instrumental song, not even three minutes long, which, yes, does feature a banjo section. “We just write the kind of music we like to listen to,” Nicky explains. “There’s not a lot more to it than that”.
Nightstage is currently working on their second album, which they hope to release later this year.