Two years after coming together to form a band, The Neighbourhood have already toured with well-known bands like The 1975, performed at Coachella and released a successful debut album, titled “I Love You” with popular tracks like “Sweater Weather” and “Female Robbery.”
The Neighbourhood – consisting of singer Jesse Rutherford, guitarists Jeremy Freedman and Zach Abels, drummer Bryan Sammis and bassist Mikey Margott – will end the year with a few select dates in the U.S. before traveling to the U.K. in February for another tour with The 1975. The group will perform at West Palm Beach’s Coastline Festival on Sunday, along with bands like Passion Pit and Matt And Kim.
The Miami Hurricane got the chance to talk to Sammis about Super Smash Bros., songwriting and traveling the world.
The Miami Hurricane: Congratulations on all your success. You guys have been all over the world at this point. What is one of the most memorable countries or cities that you’ve visited?
Bryan Sammis: First of all, thank you. I appreciate that. It’s funny, my favorite place that I’ve ever been in my life, apart from the band, is New Orleans. I lived there for a while. We’ve actually never played there though; I think we’re playing there in March. As a band, we went to Australia. That was insane. That was one of the moments where it all kind of first hit me, that we got off the plane and I was like, “I’m in Australia right now because of music. Music got me here.” And it was on my bucket list, Australia and Japan. We haven’t been to Japan yet.
TMH: Do you prefer headlining your own shows or performing at festivals?
BS: Headlining, definitely. Festivals are cool, but nothing beats a headlining show. You get to set the whole mood; it’s your fans that come to the show. It’s a surreal feeling, you know what I mean, everybody’s there for you. Whereas a festival, even though you get to play for more people, not everybody is there for you.
TMH: You’ve toured with some awesome bands like The 1975. If you could tour with anybody in the industry today, who would it be?
BS: I mean, personally, I’d love to tour with like Drake. Drake is someone who we listen to all the time. I think that a lot of the music that we have coming out could go along really well … It’d be tight if you know the Gorillaz got back and did a tour, and tour with them. Or the Cardigans or something. Then again, it’s a weird dynamic. Like I just said, I prefer headlining a show. Honestly, a dream tour for me is the one we’re on. Ghost Loft is one of our good friends. We share the same manager and we all love his music. And then Lovelife is opening for us, those are some of my best friends and without a doubt hands-down my favorite band out right now. And I think they’re gonna do really, really, really big things in the music industry. I’ve watched them – including last night – every single night of the entire tour and we have two dates left. I watch them every night because I’m fortunate enough to get to watch one of my favorite bands and some of my best friends every single night.
TMH: What’s one of your favorite songs to perform live?
BS: “Afraid” has been like a constant. Since our first show ever, people go nuts when we play that song and it’s a fun one to play, so that’s always been one. “How” is great … it sounds huge you know? Those two, probably “What Do You Want From Me?” … and we have a little jam that we do at the end of the song that’s not on record …
TMH: What are some must-haves on tour?
BS: It changed now. We toured in a van for so long, and this is our first tour ever with a bus. And now that we have a bus, things have changed. Like we had Nintendo 64 in the back lounge and we played it nonstop. Like Super Smash Brothers was like a nightly thing that we played for like two months. That game never gets old; that’s a classic game … Your laptop. I mean, we continuously make music on the road. We have a whole new project that’s done, sitting in my laptop right now that we made on the road. That’s incredible with the technology that we have today that we can do that.
TMH: What’s the songwriting process like for you guys? Do the lyrics come first or does the music come first?
BS: It totally depends. I mean, with our new stuff that we were writing, a lot of the music came first … We don’t usually write in a band setting … that’s not usually how it works with us. It’s worked a couple times … But yeah, I mean it totally depends on the song.
TMH: What’s up next for you guys?
BS: Well, our music video for “Afraid” just came out … we have some select dates in November and December. In February, we go out with The 1975 in the UK. They came out here and opened up for us, and now we’re going out there and opening up for them. They’re good friends of ours and they’re doing really, really well over there, so it should be fun … But like I said, we have this whole new project that I don’t know when it’s gonna come out, don’t have an exact date. But it should be relatively soon.