The members of the Nude Party take their band name seriously — or, at least, they’ve been known to take it literally. Six friends who started playing together while attending Appalachian State University, their wiry, twangy garage-rock comes free of inhibition, as well it should from a band who once played naked at campus parties back in North Carolina.
Things have gotten a little more on-the-level over time for the Nude Party, who are preparing to release their debut LP on July 6th via New West Records. Produced by Black Lips drummer Oakley Munson, The Nude Party are premiering a music video for the song “Records,” in which a girlfriend gets her revenge for singer Patton Magee’s boast, “I don’t need your love, I just need my records.”
Magee tells Rolling Stone about his band’s cheeky beginnings and the video inspirations for “Records” and its predecessor, a tongue-in-cheek ode to the rock & roll lifestyle called “Chevrolet Van.”
So…How did you guys find out you liked playing in the buff?
Well, we used to party naked because we thought it was fun. That was when we lived in North Carolina. Not just us, but there was a larger community that we were in the middle of [on campus]. We were like the house band for them … but we didn’t want to be known as a naked party band anymore.
Had you always wanted to makes the jump from being the party band to writing your own material and going on tour?
I think that maybe subconsciously it was always the goal. But we didn’t really believe that it could happen until we met other bands that were doing it and played with like Oakley Munson’s band [prior to joining Black Lips], the Shine Brothers. It was kind of eye-opening to us because we realized we could do it too.
How did you guys connect with Oakley?
Our first out-of-town show was with the Shine Brothers in Asheville, and that to us, those guys were — not gods, but maybe demigods. We thought they were so cool, we were infatuated with them, and Oakley liked us too. So he started being our guide to branching out of basements, sort of our de facto manager that we didn’t pay.
On “Records” as well as “Chevrolet Van,” there’s some steel pedal in there. Is the country vibe natural for a rock band?
We’ve been listening to some more classic country, like Buck Owens and Bakersfield country stuff. We became friends with John Catfish, he’s a New York City pedal-steel player who played on the record. The song needed a little bit extra spice and Catfish just came up and did it in like two takes.
Does this particular concept for the “Records” video come from personal experience by anyone in the band?
The funny thing about this one is that it’s the only that we gave creative license to somebody else for. All the other ones we round tabled everything, discussed everything, did it ourselves. But this one we wanted to try something and essentially just gave the song to Taylor Bonin, who does all the Growlers music videos.
Even with the “Chevrolet Van” video, you riff on the idea of being a rock & roll band, but the joke winds up being on you.
I think it’s pretty accurate. You can’t really be playing rock & roll in 2018 and taking yourself too seriously. Not dead seriously. I think there’s a ceiling. We’re just having fun.