A.M. Nice are a post-punk  band out of Cincinnatt, Ohio. Well actually they’re a “melodic” post-punk band according to their Bandcamp page. After listening to their great new self-titled LP I get that added adjective. There’s plenty of angular riffs and jagged stabs of guitar; as well as a rhythm section that grounds the tunes which allows room for controlled ear drum annihilation. But there’s also a ton of great melodious moments. It’s not all doomy post-punk and angst. There’s some hope within the jagged lines.

A.M. Nice are Adam Nice on guitars and vocals, Nick Hill on bass, and George Marshall Jenkins IV on drums. As I said, they’re a Cincinnatt outfit but they like to take the band on the road when they can. A.M. Nice will be playing in Fort Wayne tonight(April 1st…no joke)at Bob Vila’s This Old House with the always rambunctious Flamingo Nosebleed, The Snarks, and another Cincinnati band called Bi. It’s all ages, so there’s no excuse not to go kids.

I sat down with Adam to talk about the band, influences, the self-titled, and whatever else came to mind.

J. Hubner: Hey Adam, it’s nice to meet you. Let’s talk about the band. How did A.M. Nice come together?

Adam Nice: We have all played in other bands around Cincinnati.  I lived in Long Island as a teenager and played in punk and hardcore bands there in the 90s, and was heavily influenced by that scene.  Nick is known for being in the most amount of bands, and is currently in an unknown multitude of bands, he is a great songwriter and guitar player as well.  George lived in Louisville as a teen and was heavily influenced by that scene in the 90s.  He has always been in bands and in terms of touring and working with labels George is the most experienced. He’ll let you know that too, I dare you to ask him.  We are lucky to have so many bands to look up to in Cincinnati, for example Knife the Symphony, Ampline, and The Ready Stance.

J. Hubner: What other bands have you been in prior to A.M. Nice? Did you grow up in the Cincinnati area? Were there any other local bands you guys looked up to?

Adam Nice: We have all played in other bands around Cincinnati.  I lived in Long Island as a teenager and played in punk and hardcore bands there in the 90s, and was heavily influenced by that scene.  Nick is known for being in the most amount of bands, and is currently in an unknown multitude of bands, he is a great songwriter and guitar player as well.  George lived in Louisville as a teen and was heavily influenced by that scene in the 90s.  He has always been in bands and in terms of touring and working with labels George is the most experienced. He’ll let you know that too, I dare you to ask him.  We are lucky to have so many bands to look up to in Cincinnati, for example Knife the Symphony, Ampline, and The Ready Stance.

J. Hubner: Growing up what bands were influences on you? Listening to the self-titled I hear some Mission of Burma in there, as well as some more modern sounds like Protomartyr. 

Adam Nice: It is great to draw those comparisons.  Outside of contemporary bands, our influences as individuals are really different.  I know Nick likes Sonic Youth a lot, something he calls “proto-punk”, and any Nels Cline records.  George was big into west coast punk bands as a kid, but he is also into the old Louisville stuff like Slint and the Shipping News.  I spent a lot of time listening to east coast hardcore and punk bands, like Kill Your Idols or Kid Dynamite, but on the other end of the spectrum I also listened to stuff like Faraquet or Joan of Arc.  In between all of that we have some common ground, but its fun playing with these guys because we are always teaching each other about new music and different bands past and present.  We really consume a lot of music of all types.

J. Hubner: Are you the main songwriter or is the songwriting more of a group effort? 

Adam Nice: I always bring a fairly complete song idea, and then I sort of present it to George and Nick to do whatever they want to do with the song.

nice twoJ. Hubner:  How was the recording process with the self-titled debut? Did you guys go in with a solid knowledge of the songs or was there any reworking once you got in to record? 

Adam Nice: We knew we had limited time, we were recording live to tape, and wanted to crank out as much as reasonably possible in one day.  We had 6 songs rehearsed and in mind for the record, we were thinking about a 7″.  We ended up adding the song 4H at the end of the day.  Some small decisions were made day of recording, like will we all start at once? or drum intro?  Some songs were cleaner and slower when we rehearsed them but we were getting a dirtier sound, so we let that sound make some decisions for us too.  It is really just a live take, no punch-ins or edits, there is only a couple of extra over-dubs.  We had our minds set on just documenting a live performance.

J. Hubner: The album was recorded direct to 8-track tape. Was it self-recorded or did you record in a studio?

Adam Nice: We recorded at a friend’s rehearsal space, Shane Chaney of Swear Jar fame.  He engineered and mastered the recording.  His space is a 12’x12′ room in this old warehouse with all of these rooms built out of plywood that are rented out to bands, oppressively hot in the summer, freezing cold in the winter, a real crap hole.  We played a show the night before, and went down in the morning and played the songs that we knew the best.  Shane was three feet away from the drum set with these headphones he built out of these shooting range earmuffs.  When we walked in there I was skeptical to say the least, I was used to recording in studios with isolation booths, personal headphone mixers, and whatnot, I’m still kinda shocked at the way the recording sounds.  The recording method was really George’s idea, and Jerry Dirr [Phratry Records] joined in and supported the idea, they came up with Shane as the right guy for this type of record.

J. Hubner: How is the local music scene in Cincinnati? Is there a decent punk/post-punk scene? 

Adam Nice: Cincinnati definitely has a great music scene, there are a lot of punk bands and post-punk bands, a good combination of established bands and lots of new bands popping up all the time that are amazing.  There are great independent labels like Phratry Records.  There are D.I.Y. spots, house shows, and lots of traditional venues and bars.  Anytime I talk to a local musician I end up learning about a handful of other local bands or artists that I haven’t seen or heard yet.  I would guess you could find a show to attend 6 nights a week.

J. Hubner: You’re playing a show at Bob Vila’s This Old House in Fort Wayne on April 1st with Flamingo Nosebleed and Snarks. How did you get this show together?

Adam Nice: I knew we were playing in Chicago the night before so I started looking for shows that other friends played in the region, I came across the Snarks on a couple of bills and started looking them up, I read a couple blog entries that you did actually, and watched some videos, and just reached out to them cold.  They were immediately helpful and super kind.  I’m really looking forward to hanging out and meeting them in person.  I found out that Flamingo Nosebleed was on the bill much later, which is amazing, I heard them maybe a year ago for the first time.  They played Cincinnati with some friends over the winter and I didn’t go because of this nasty snow storm that came through. I really regretted missing that show so I’m stoked to play with them.  And this band Bi is on the bill, they are also from Cincinnati, but that is a good example of what I was talking about before.  We’ve never played with them,  I’m yet to see them, and from what I’ve heard online they sound great- two piece, drum, bass, vocals, dirty, grungy and melodic.

J. Hubner: What time do things start Friday night? Where else are A.M. Nice playing this weekend?

Adam Nice: The show starts at 7 pm, its earlier as it is a house show, all ages, 5$.  We are playing The Mutiny in Chicago the night before with Horrible Things and Jap Herron, and playing in Madison, Indiana the night after at this all ages venue wth Kid Stardust [cincinnati] and Underwater Treehouse, it should be a really fun weekend!

J. Hubner: What’s the plan for the rest of 2016 for A.M. Nice?

Adam Nice: We have monthly local shows lined up throughout most of the summer, and we are scheming on a tour in July, likely to head to upstate NY and into NYC.  We also always try to play the cities a a couple hours outside of Cincinnati once a month, little weekend trips.

We’ve got a good collection of new songs that we are working on and we will record them in 2016, but we’ll see if it turns into a full length.  We like the idea of some split releases a lot, we’ll see.  It is lining up to be a fun and busy year.

So you need to head out tonight, Friday April 1st, to Bob Vila’s This Old House and see what is sure to be one hell of a show. A.M. Nice, Flamingo Nosebleed, The Snarks, and Bi. 7pm sharp, and only $5 of your hard-earned paycheck. Get out there and welcome these Cincinnati bands(as well as our hometown lovelies) with open arms. Or a hearty handshake. Your call.

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