Naming your band after a unnerving sleep disorder isn't a surefire way to attract a loyal fan base, but somehow Night Terrors of 1927 is making it work. The synthpop duo composed of Jarrod Gorbel (previously of The Honorary Title) and Blake Sennett (previously of Rilo Kiley), which sounds like a mix of Brandon Flowers and The Cure, have garnered an impressive cult following, and, after a successful EP release this fall, are finally putting out their first-ever full-length effort, Everything's Coming Up Roses (out now).
The band celebrated its debut impressively with a spellbinding set on Late Night with Seth Meyers (featuring Dee Dee Penny from The Dum Dum Girls), and, later this spring, it's slated to open for Bleachers on tour and perform as part of this year's Coachella lineup. We caught up with Gorbel and Sennett before their album release party at the Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel in N.Y.C. Here's an excerpt from our chat:
How'd the two of you first get together?
Jarrod Gorbel: A mutual friend referred me to Blake as someone who could potentially produce my solo album, so I moved to the West Coast and called him and asked him to jam out. There was no end goal other than to experiment musically.
Were you both gunning for a complete departure from Rilo Kiley and The Honorary Title?
Blake Sennett: I was tinkering with changing art forms and flirting with some type of modification, whether that was retirement, or becoming a film director, or making music in a totally new way. Jarrod showed up and I was literally working on a motorcycle. He lived at my house for about a month while we produced his album, and we really didn't get to know each other well at all. I never thought I'd hear from him again.
How'd that non-relationship morph into a full-fledged album?
Sennett: It happened very effortlessly. I could tell right away Jarrod was ultra-focused. He came in knowing exactly what we were doing. Then we put a couple of songs online, and that was that. Next thing you know Atlantic Records is calling you up saying, "Let's party."
Is there any significance to "Night Terrors" in the band name?
Sennett: We both had been experiencing fitful nights.
Gorbel: He had the idea, and I was the one who created a list. Night Terrors was definitely in there, and the number came later.
Sennett: It was sleep paralysis—not actual night terrors. My girlfriend has the real thing, and it is gnarly. She's spinning in the bed like the exorcist with all the covers wrapped around her, screaming.
That's terrifying. Why 1927?
Sennett: There were a couple of other "Night Terrors" out there, so we had to get a little creative. We thought, let's do a year, and what's the happiest year we could possibly think of? So, right before the [stock market] crash [of 1929].
What was it like shooting the music video for "Always Take You Back"? You're underwater for the majority of it.
Gorbel: The opportunity was like a dream. Scott Rhea is amazing, but the actual production was pretty hellish. Blake's scuba-trained, so he wasn't having as hard of a time as I was.
Sennett: They cut back on expenses a bit, so they didn't heat the pool, and they didn't have towels for us—we did it at night in the desert, where it was 30 degrees. We'd get out of the pool and run toward the giant lights for warmth. It was a very guerrilla set.
Gorbel: I was having flashbacks to going to the beach as a kid where you're freezing and your teeth are chattering. We also had to wear weights around our waists so we'd stay underwater. It was worth it, though!
Watch the music video for "Always Take You Back" below, and purchase Everything's Coming Up Roses for $6 from the iTunes Store.