Mar 31, 2023
A New Era of Synths
While doing my daily scroll on Instagram recently, I came across a duo performing a cover of Local H’s “Bound for the Floor” and I was instantly stopped in my tracks. I’ve never heard anyone cover this song, and with Local H being a favorite of my brother’s, I felt compelled to check it out further. Intrigued, I turned the volume all the way up to take it all in. After listening to the song, I had to know who these guys are who decided to cover Local H? As it turns out, their name is NITE, and they hail from Dallas, TX.
NITE is an electronic rock band comprised of twin brother producers Kyle and Myles Mendes. They are also joined by drummer Phil Helms (The Vanished). The trio is inspired by alternative music of the 80s and 90s, and their sound has been described as darkwave, post-punk, post-industrial, and dream pop. I think their sound is just amazing, creative, and full of artistic flair.
The brothers have released three full-length albums, along with several singles, remixes, and an EP, and they’ve also had the prestigious honor of touring and performing with bands like The New Division, Small Black, Vision Video, Clean Bandit, A Flock of Seagulls, Actors, Midge Ure (Ultra Vox), Magic Sword, Men Without Hats, Night Club, and Berlin—yes, the Berlin.
After enjoying the Local H cover, I wanted to hear more, and that’s when I discovered their Spotify page full of musical goodness. They’ve even taken on the task of covering an iconic grunge tune by Alice in Chains to make it all their own. Their cover of “Would?” is fresh as a shirt straight out of the dryer and is truly remarkable. You must check it out.
I reached out to NITE to learn more about who they are behind their sound, and luckily, I had the opportunity to speak with both Kyle and Myles. They’re so much fun, I almost didn’t want our conversation to end. We promise you’ll be just as entertained by them as we are.
MaM: Good Morning! How are you?
Myles: Hey, I’m doing well. Thank you so much for setting this up. Kyle’s here, too.
MaM: Hey Kyle! So, I wanted to start with what made me gravitate towards you guys. That Local H cover is awesome! Very few people give props to Local H and, in fact, my brother is a huge fan of theirs. I want to know your story, though, and I want to convey it to our readers so they can learn a little more about you. So, you guys are based in Dallas, correct? Born and raised there?
Myles: Well, we were born in Canada, actually.
Myles: Yep, we live in Texas and have for most of our lives, and I would consider myself a Texan more than anything, but we do visit Canada a lot and have played several shows there.
MaM: Awesome. So, let’s talk production. I’m assuming you record and produce your own music, but do you also do work for other musicians as well?
Myles: We do it for other musicians. We also make music for other companies and do commercial work as well. That’s a new thing for us. We haven’t went [sic] public with it, but we do have a song in a Ford Mustang commercial in China.
MaM: Wow! That’s impressive!
Myles: It’s not a NITE song, though. It’s just something we produced for commercial work.
MaM: Eh, it still counts. How would you describe your music? I was listening to the two EP’s that are on Spotify, and on your first EP, it’s more of a New Wave sound with a little techno. I hate saying “techno,” because it’s a more of an electronic sound, but with your second EP, you add in a little more fuzz and it has more of a rock vibe. Y’all’s cover of “Would?” is insane! I have never heard that song covered in that way, so tell us what inspired you to cover that specific Alice in Chains track?
Myles: We, well, just like you said, we have more of that pop/new wave sound in our roots, but I feel during COVID, we started gravitating more towards industrial music.
MaM: Ministry fans?
Myles: Yeah, we love Ministry, too. We love that whole sound. Skinny Puppy, too. You name it, we probably like it. There is definitely an industrial accent with our music, and we wanted to bring that back a little but also not take the pop away. We really like early Ministry. Their first album was great.
MaM: “With Sympathy”… yep! In fact, I put that down in my notes as a comparison for your music. Your first EP reminds me so much of that album.
Myles: Thank you. I love that. That’s an honor to say it. We actually got into Alice in Chains late in the game. I’ve always known about them and who they were, but when I heard the song “Would?”, I thought, ‘Man … this could have been a Joy Division song’—even the comparisons from Layne to Ian Curtis’ life. … [A]nd you know, they both ended tragically. I felt “Would?” is a post-punk song in its own right, though, and I felt like I needed to hear it industrialized. It was also kind of the kickstart to colonize a new branding with more of an industrial sound. I didn’t try to sound like Layne, nor should I even try, but I felt that we took a different vocal approach to it.
MaM: I completely agree. So, what do you guys want to accomplish going forward?
Myles: Well, that’s a good question. I mean, we keep putting out music, and it was last year that our new song “Your Ego is Gone” was released along with the EP you heard. We are due for a new single, though, so we’re going to try and put one out before the tour this summer with The New Division. I think July is what we’re aiming for. We hope to have a single out by then.
MaM: You mentioned a tour. Is this going to be a national tour?
Myles: Right now, it’s just going to be a Texas tour. We’re hoping for a national tour later on this year with a band called Empathy Test. The New Division actually remixed our song “Life and Love”, and it has amassed many plays and was shared by New Retro Wave.
MaM: Oh, I haven’t heard that yet. I’ll have to check it out. Does anyone ever give you guys a Tears for Fears comparison? I hear a tinge of that, too, in your music.
Myles: Well, we are big Tears for Fears fans, and a lot of people do reference [them] with us. We are twins, though, and we’ve grown our hair out a little because, as kids, we were in a military school where we had to have shaved heads. It was a juvenile program called Young Marines. We weren’t juvenile delinquents or anything like that, but our parents felt we needed a ‘life experience’ and we got one. We also made a vow to grow out our hair afterwards. My dad loved the music of Kiss and a lot of the 80’s hair metal, so I guess you could say that’s why we have hair like we do.
Kyle: It’s not a perm. Yeah. We don’t perm our hair. We have naturally curly hair.
MaM: That’s awesome that you naturally have that 80’s vibe going on. (laughs) So, you guys have a very fresh synth sound. How do you achieve that? I want to know what gear you use.
Myles: We make our music through a software called Reason. We record pretty much everything through that, and a lot of our synth sounds are created with that, too. We also have Korg Minilogues we use.
Myles: Another thing that people have taken notice of is our matching guitars, especially since we’re twins. We are currently playing Fender Jaguar guitars. Kyle plays bass, I play guitar, and they’re pretty much identical. What else, Kyle?
Oh! We also have a drummer that sometimes plays with us, and he uses a full drum kit—the traditional one. He also plays with triggers, and that’s also how we capture him. His name is Phil Helms. He’s a veteran of the music scene, and so when Kyle and I were in middle school and high school, we actually listened to his band on the radio, and now he’s playing in our band. His band was called The Vanished, and then after that, they became Seven Channels. They’ve changed the name, but they’ve been touring for years. They’re kind of like an emo rock band.
MaM: See, that name sounds familiar. I bet I know their music.
Myles: They had a single that was on national radio. It was called “Favorite Scar”. That was a big song.
MaM: Ok, as soon as I get off this call with you guys, I’m going to check it out. There are many bands out there that I may not have heard because of how over-saturated the scene is. Kind of sad, actually. (laughs)
Myles: There’s so many bands who had somewhat of a career and then, you know, it goes away, but with Spotify, at least you can look it up and go, ‘I remember this song from, like, 15 years ago.” They only had the one hit, though, unfortunately.
MaM: Right, but even Spotify is kind of new to someone like me. I remember back in the day when you had the CD store and that was it. Hell, most of the CDs I used to buy were because of the cover art and whether it was in the genre of music I liked, and then I would listen to the music to see whether I dug it or not. So, new single coming in July … when do you plan to release a new EP?
Myles: That’s a good question. I feel we are still learning. I’m seeing a lot of our friends are just garnering a good bit of success, and we have an album’s worth of material. I just feel if we released an entire album right now, we would kind of be hindering our growth. I think we’ll do what is called ‘waterfalling’, where we just keep releasing one song at a time and add a song to the EP every time we release one. Our next release might be the EP plus the new song.
MaM: I think that’s an awesome plan. So, back to the Local H cover. What made you decide to cover them and their song “Bound for the Floor”?
Myles: We love their music. They’re a duo, and we’re primarily a duo. Phil, our drummer, has always been in the trenches with us, per se, but he’s older and he can’t come out with us to a lot of the shows. He has a family and can’t make it to every gig, so we perform more as a duo. [So], we were just really inspired by Local H being a duo. Plus, we loved the song.
Listen to their cover of "Bound for the Floor" here: https://www.youtube.com/@wearethenite/shorts
MaM: Are you guys just releasing everything independently right now? Any interest in being on a label?
Myles: We don’t have a label or anything like that right now, but we were a part of Cleopatra Records at one point, and we put out ‘Sleepless’ and an album called ‘Reborn’ through them. After leaving Cleopatra, we put out a remix album, and now we’re on this industrial, you know, crusade.
MaM: Guys, we really love what you have going on and can’t wait to hear more. Any parting words or anything else you want our readers to know?
Myles: We’re grateful that we’ve gotten to open for so many cool bands over the years, and I feel we’ve been fortunate so far. I feel we’ve seen our audiences grow, and that’s really encouraging. We are just hopeful and we’re positive and we do what we do because we love it.
· I Am Not Afraid - 2013
· Reborn - 2017
· Sleepless - 2020
· Sleepless Remixes - 2021
· Hallelujah Your Ego is Gone EP- 2022
To check out the music of NITE, hit one of the links below and be sure to follow them on social media.
Nicole Brice is a lifelong music guru who covets her vinyl collection and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Got questions or comments? E-mail her at email@example.com.