There’s a lot of exciting music coming out of the Midwest right now, trying to name them all only ensures someone is forgotten. One of the big names on the scene is Remo Drive who have had a whirlwind year, but fellow Minnesotans have been generating a good amount of buzz themselves.
The folks in niiice. put out an EP last year and are following up that energy with a new LP in 2018. The band says their sound has expanded and evolved in that short time which has us excited what’s in store for this project. We sat down to talk with the band to talk about their background, billboards, and another third B-word. At the end we will premiere their latest single of the upcoming LP Try to Stay Positive “My Floor.”
niiice. started its roots at McNally Smith’s College of Music where vocalist Roddie Gadeberg met his future band mates in September of 2016. Gadeberg met Sage Livergood and the band’s first bassist Chris starting a few jam sessions. Future guitarist Allegra Hernandez was walking by when they heard the trio and asked to jam. Gadeberg quickly said yes and the first line-up for niiice. had formed.
The name has an equally circumstantial story according to Gadeberg who said, “We got it from a billboard in North Dakota, I was driving to move to Minnesota because Sage and I are from Montana there was a billboard that just said ‘niiice.'”
Getting started took a bit for the young band, but being together in music school helped out a lot giving everyone the same motivation.
“We had all also moved to the city to get immersed into the Twin City music scene,” Hernandez said.
All the individual motivation to create music and learn helped the four piece coalesce together into making music. With the members in place they turned their attention on getting a grasp of the DIY scene in music.
“The way we got to where we are today is because of the amount of shows we play and how much we push ourselves on social media,” Hernandez said.
They talked about how important the business aspect of being in a band is and how that can impact success. Forging friendships along the way with other bands has helped keep the success going.
The support system niiice. found themselves really helped to encourage the young band when they were starting out. Gadeberg said after being on tour and in the scene for awhile he really began to pick up on the Midwestern Hospitality.
“It’s a lot harder to book and do things in other parts of the country, but here there’s a lot of people who are willing to help you,” Gadeberg said.
Whether it’s a place to play or place to stay he said there was always someone stepping up to take care of the bands in the scene. The band has also had the enjoyment of watching the scene expand its inclusiveness.
niiice. identifies as a queer punk, emo band on Facebook and lead guitarist Hernandez uses they/them pronouns so watching this part of the scene grow has been extra important to them. Seeing more queer bands included on bigger tours has kept the group excited about the future, but they know there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“We know it’s harder to be a queer band than it is to be a band of straight white boys,” Gadeberg said.
“The music scene and DIY has pushed a lot of minority musicians, but I am still someone who wants it perfect of course,” Hernadez added. “I see the improvement on tours, but I have run into some weird non-welcoming spaces.”
Overall the health of the scene is trending up in the band’s eyes, with some growing pains it still needs to work through. Gadeberg recalled the time during a radio interview when the host was dismissive about Hernadez’s pronouns. It was a learning experience for the band though who try to educate people when they can.
The real passion for niice. will always be the music though as the band spent the last year honing and working on their craft. The niiice. EP dropped in April of 2017 with a good amount energy and sound, or as Gadeberg put it “if Max Goof were a band.”
“We have a mixture of things,” Livergood said. “In terms of lyrical content I guess it’d be ’emo’ but we also have some songs that are more pop-punk.”
niiice.’s sound exists in an equilibrium of emo, punk, pop-punk, and post-punk making it hard to really put them in a certain box. Hernadez credits the mash-up to their confluence of interests and background in music school.
With a year and a half of experience under their belts niiice. has already started to test the boundaries of their sound seeing where they can take it. Gadeberg says he doesn’t think about music theory or anything when writing lyrics, but for Hernadez those concepts might seep in subconsciously.
“Coming strictly from a drumming and percussion background I haven’t dealt a lot with melodies and harmony, going to school has helped from a composition stand point,” Livergood said.
The one-man band of Abe Henderson has also helped the group come at song making from a lot of different angles.
“Abe plays everything better than all of us,” Gadeberg laughed.
The new stuff coming out the band says is stuff they would rock even if it wasn’t their own music. Time together has allowed the band to better meld their ideas together as they grew comfortable with each other.
“Roddie’s song writing has improved a lot and we’ve gotten a lot better rhythmically and melodically,” Hernadez said.
“Our new stuff is a little bit more raw, Roddie has a lot of different vocal inflections that weren’t on the EP that I like a lot better and I challenged myself drumming,” Livergood said. “We evolved a lot as a band.”
Try to Stay Positive drops April 14th. You can check out the newest single My Floor here.
niiice. is on tour currently, on April 5th they will be in Topeka, KS, then on the 6th it’s off to Fort Collins, Co, and on the 7th they hit Powell, WY, next on April 8th they hit Billings, MT, and wrapping things up on April 9th niiice. hits Grand Forks, ND.