Three-fourths of The National Rifle are gathered ’round a table at XPN Studios, scrambling on smart phones to find thank-you videos they made for their Kickstarter backers. In one, drummer Buddy Mazzenga rolls around Scrooge McDuck-style on a pile of donated money. In another, bassist Jeremiah Sweeney dances to Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf.” For as much as their new album Almost Endless – which we’ve explored all week on Unlocked – finds the band in more serious, contemplative territory than we’ve heard from them before, they’re the same goofy group of players we’ve watched for the past six years. After some laughs, we got collectively focused and talked about a few things – the process of self-discovery that went into this album, the transportive power of synthesizer tones and how personality (which they have no shortage of) goes a long way, but solid songs go even further.
The Key: When you perform, your personality does come across in your live show. I like that you’re taking the extra step further with these personalized videos. How did you realize that your fans would respond like that?
Hugh Moretta: It’s because we really try to talk to everybody at shows, we’re not shy about it. We hang out with everybody that comes, so they all kind of know our personalities. It’s almost like inside joke stuff…they get it, they know our sense of humor, we know how they are.
Jeremiah Sweeney: We’re really close with all our fans. We talk to them every day on our Facebook, they even text us.
HM: There’s a few people in Philly, but it’s mostly people on the road. Texas specifically.
Lynna Stancato: Yeah, for some reason, we have this group of fans in Texas. We have a really good draw in Dallas, and in Austin too. And they, after we played there a couple times and there’s a group of people who like clung on to us. And because we’re not shy people, when we’re on the road, too, we’re gonna hang out, you know? Where else are we gonna go? Continue reading →