This week we chat with Roddie from niiice. about a lot of our favorite topics at Concert Archives like first/favorite concerts, bucket lists, etc. Just two weeks ago, niiice. released their newest LP “Internet Friends.” Follow niiice. on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more updates!
Backstage Pass: What’s the first concert you ever went to?
Roddie: The first one I ever went to was probably some Christian band with my mom, but the first concert I actually wanted to go to was Stone Temple Pilots. I’m from Montana and they played at the Metro in Billings, so I got to go see them and I thought it was dope!
BP: What’s the first show you ever played? First show with niiice.?
Roddie: The first show I ever played was a middle school talent show, in sixth grade. I did a song with a friend. With niiice., we played a Halloween show, like four years ago. It wasn’t a cover show, but we dressed up as Kiss. We had Kiss makeup on for our first show.
BP: Sounds like a fun first show! What’s your favorite show that you’ve ever been to? And what’s your favorite show that you’ve ever played?
Roddie: My favorite show I’ve ever been to… I guess it wasn’t the whole show, but my favorite set I’ve ever seen was when I saw Mitski open up for the Pixies on tour. I worked at a venue, and I got to see her open up for the Pixies two nights in a row. And like, the Pixies sucked, they were ass, but I remember both nights, my job being on the floor, just being so impressed with Mitski. I’d never heard of her before. I was just amazed by it.
My favorite show that we’ve ever played would be when we played the Metro in Chicago for Beach Bunny’s release show this last February. That one’s my favorite show, just cause there was like a thousand people there, so it was insane. But another one is when we played a house show in Elgin, Illinois, called the Basement Beatdown or something like that. It was the last one, and there was like 200 kids in my friend Brandon’s mom’s house. You could feel the floorboards flexing with all the people jumping and shit. And that show was really cool. And Lili from Beach Bunny played a solo acoustic set, which was cool. She played a bunch of early Beach Bunny songs from way before they blew up. So it was like really cool to hear everybody from Chicago screaming along to those old songs. It was really cool.
BP: I never realized that Mitski toured with the Pixies!
Roddie: Yeah. It was a year before Be the Cowboy came out, so she was still playing stuff off of Bury Me at Makeout Creek. I remember she played “First Love / Late Spring” and I almost started crying at work in front of all these people. It was crazy. And then “Francis Forever,” she played that and I was like “God damn.”
BP: What’s the first tour you did, and what’s the longest tour that you’ve done?
Roddie: The first tour we ever did was a weekend run. We played Milwaukee and then we played Chicago. Well, we actually didn’t even play Chicago. We played Lansing, Illinois, which is like 45 minutes East of Chicago. None of us are originally from the Midwest (except for Abe who wasn’t in the band at that point), so we didn’t know where anything was. So we were like, “Oh, Lansing, Illinois. It’s 45 minutes from Chicago, so that’s gotta be a suburb,” but it’s not, it’s on the border of Indiana and Illinois. Half the town is in Illinois and half the town is in Indiana. It’s Lansing, Illinois and then Munster, Indiana pushed together and it was weird as hell. Then we played Wausau, Wisconsin, which is this little town in Wisconsin. We didn’t really know what to expect, but it was one of the coolest shows I’ve ever been to just because of the community that was there. Everyone was homies. The house we played at was super welcoming. We didn’t stay, so we were about to drive home overnight and Jamison was their name, they were like, “Yo, do you want some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? And they made us PB&J’s with hella good peanut butter and jelly. Like organic, like the shit that’s like super expensive, like top shelf. It was really cool. The longest tour we’ve ever done is the 18 days with Stars Hollow last November.
Roddie: The Meatlocker show was super cool! For the years of us playing as Niiice, I’ve heard a lot of cool things about Meatlocker. Not necessarily that it’s the sickest venue to play, but the amount of bands that have played, like My Chemical Romance played there, and obviously the Front Bottoms.
BP: That’s so neat! I didn’t know that.
Roddie: Yeah. It’s a cool venue. It was super weird though, cause one of the security guys was like a total asshole. I was carrying these two massive boxes of merch, and he stops me to ask for my ID to see if I was actually in a band, and I was like, “Dude, do you think I just carry boxes of merch so I can get into the shows that are $5 for free?”
BP: I mean, if you were, I guess that’d be a pretty creative way to do that 😂. So for the album release, you did an event on Minecraft. What was that like?
Roddie: It was cool. We got a couple of my favorite Minneapolis bands to play, Dad Bod and Gully Boys. Gully Boys have been our homies for forever and it was super sick to get them involved in that. And Dad Bod is one of my favorite bands to come out of Minneapolis in a long time. And that was cool. And then Field Medic had a set too. It was super cool for him to do that. He’s a cool guy. He’s a homie.
BP: Have you done any other sort of streaming events since there hasn’t been shows?
Roddie: I’ve done a few different live streams and stuff, more so towards the beginning of quarantine. I DJed the Origami Angel broke Minecraft gig. Personally, I don’t really think I’m built for this new age of being in a band where the line between being an influencer and being in a band is slowly getting more blurred. It’s a tough adaptation to make, but I’m sure I’ll pop up on some live streams pretty soon.
BP: How has it been different or more difficult trying to promote an album release without being able to play shows around it?
Roddie: Oh, it’s ass. It’s really weird. Like I’m really glad the album’s out, it feels like a whole big weight off my back. At the same time though it’s bittersweet ’cause we should be on tour right now, you know? And I miss gigging a lot.
BP: Yeah :/ Was the album originally supposed to come out around now, or was it scheduled to be earlier and pushed it back in hoping there’d be shows?
Roddie: We pushed it back. It was supposed to come out in July initially. After George Floyd was killed and the protests were happening, it wasn’t really the time for our record to come out. All that stuff needed space to breathe before we as like three white dudes put out our record. So that was the reason we pushed it back. We knew that shows weren’t gonna come back for awhile and it wasn’t really worth it to wait until shows come back to put out the record, cause who the fuck knows when that’s gonna happen? [😭]
BP: So when there is eventually shows again, which songs from the new album are you most excited to play?
Roddie: “Free Earl,” definitely. “Free Earl” has been one of my favorite songs to play live since we started playing it live. That outro riff is super fun to play and kind of easy to play too, so you can head bang and jump around while you’re playing it. So that part’s fun. Another song would be “Coachella;” I’d be stoked to play “Coachella” live. It’d be sick if we ever got the chance to play “Lockjaw” live. I don’t know if it will happen at this point, cause we’d need horns to pull it off. We were planning on doing it for the release show – we had a huge release show planned, but that probably won’t happen at this point…
BP: Maybe at FEST someday.
Roddie: That actually would be sick! We probably could get play “Lockjaw” at FEST. That’s a good idea. I’m going to log that away.
BP: Any other potential touring plans on the book other than FEST? Or is it all just a waiting game for now?
Roddie: We had plans for something in April, but now it’s looking like April’s not going to happen. We keep scheduling stuff and then canceling it as it goes. I don’t want to sit around and wait, ’cause once touring is good to go I want to like be on the road. So instead of waiting, we keep scheduling stuff. I think right now we have something on the books for July, so maybe that’ll happen. Honestly I just really hope FEST happens. I just hope everything’s good to go by FEST, because I’d really like to play FEST. It feels like we’ve been grinding so hard for the past four years, trying to get on FEST. And then the year we got on is the year everything shuts down, it’s just like, “Fuck!”
BP: I really hope it happens for you! FEST is always a great time. Do you have a favorite venue to play?
Roddie: Favorite venue to play? Whenever people ask this question, I usually have two answers. My favorite venue to play is 7th Street here in Minneapolis because the sound is always really, really good. And it’s also a super legendary venue that so many fucking cool bands have played.
Probably my favorite place we’ve ever played was this place in Minneapolis called Paperhouse. It was this house venue that my friends lived at. It was this super crazy punk house that’s not there anymore. We definitely cut our teeth playing there a lot, and played some really, really fucking cool shows there and played some really, really not cool shows there. I think places like that are super dope. I love punk houses and think that environment is dope. I also saw some of the craziest shit I’ve ever seen in my life there. Like there was this one time I was there where I walked around the corner and this girl was like smoking crack. And then she came inside and tried to fight everybody, and then started making out with this girl, and it was just like fucking wild. I hope she’s doing okay. It definitely was one of the most chaotic places I’ve ever been, but to me, it was chaotic in a really cool way. I know a lot of people don’t really like that sort of environment, which is totally valid because it’s extremely chaotic, but I always thought that was super cool. Maybe I’m just a chaotic person.
BP: Do you have any venues or festivals on your bucket list to play?
Roddie: FEST has been the attainable one. That’s always been on my bucket list. I think it would be cool to play like Riot Fest. I think it’d be really, really funny if we ever got to play Coachella. I don’t fuck with Coachella most of the time cause the person who owns that shit donates to a lot of anti-LGBT orgs. At the same time, though, he doesn’t directly own Coachella; he owns the promotion company that owns Coachella. So it’s this weird thing. And it’s not like there’s any ethical consumption under capitalism, but I just think it would be like super funny if like we were to get to play Coachella. I don’t even know how to explain why that would be funny. It would just be funny to me.
BP: You could be like “Hello Coachella. This is our song called ‘Coachella.'”
Roddie: Yeah. Yeah, exactly! And the reason why “Coachella” is named “Coachella” is because back on our first Twitter account, I had a viral tweet about Coachella, but then the Twitter account got banned. So it was like, you know what, I gotta pay homage to the viral tweet about Coachella.
BP: One last question then, if you could tour with any band, who would you want to tour with?
Roddie: Slipknot. I think it’s a three way tie between Green Day, Metallica, and Slipknot. Obviously, those are completely unattainable and would never happen, but I think it’d be cool to do a tour with some big ass band like that. But Slipknot is like the big one though. Like I love Slipknot and I think it’d be sick to tour with them.
Thank you Roddie for taking the time to chat with us! Be sure to follow niiice. on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (unless they get banned again 😅), and check out “Internet Friends” on Spotify or wherever you like to get your music! You can also grab some merch on the band’s limited run site!
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