When I first started this site a couple of years ago, No Vacation was one of the first bands that I wanted to interview. AND I FINALLY GOT TO DO IT. I have been hooked ever since I listened to their song "Love fool". The Brooklyn (originally San Francisco) based band had been growing and evolving ever since they first formed as a band in 2015. We recently got the opportunity to catch up and talk about music, life, and competitive bike races. Check it out!
Rapid Fire Questions
1. What band do you think you could beat in a competitive bike race?
Harrison: hot flash heat wave. Actually, i’m incredibly out of shape they'd kill me.
Nat: inner wave
2. What was the first concert you ever attended?
Harrison: green day with franz ferdinand
Nat: hardly stricty bluegrass festival in SF
3. Can you add me to the band? I’m not really good at any instruments, but I make great tacos and I can drive the van.
4. What have you been listening to lately?
Harrison: that new alex g, new diiv, and the classics like MBV and Slowdive and the Cure
Nat: Kero Kero Bonito, Rezz, Virtual Self, Toby Fox, Barrie, Men I Trust,
5. I’m pretty sure my ex-girlfriend is creeping on this site. Idk how she found it. Can you convince her to buy merch?
6. What is the worst piece of advice that you can give me?
7. Any book recommendations?
Harrison: The Complete Stories - Kafka
Nat: Anything by Thich Nhat Han, also this book called A Mango Shaped Space...its about this condition called Synesthesia
8. If you could do the theme song for any sitcom, which one would it be?
Harrison: Always sunny? does that count
Nat: Naruto. Idk. i don’t watch sitcoms.
9. Which cereal mascot is the cutest?
Harrison: I don't know my cereal mascots well enough
Nat: I never think of cereal as being cute. They’re all kinda annoying tbh
Isaac Gutierrez for Born Loser Magazine: To start off, can you introduce yourrselves?
Sab: The current lineup consist of Nat, Harrison and Sab. We do all the current songwriting on the upcoming release.
BL: No Vacation started off in a college dorm back in 2015 and has been constantly changing and evolving ever since. Do you have a direction that you want to grow into as a band?
Sab:The project has always been changing, from a two-piece, to five, and eventually just the three of us. I think that it’s been Interesting with the dynamic of writing to go from a full band to a more stripped down writing process. It’s definitely helped us to consider the music in a different way.
Nat: I think we each have our own goals for the band and are still trying to figure out a common ground. We’re just going to take whatever direction/path of least resistance.
BL: You’re playing Tropicalia in November! Are there any artists that you’re excited to share the stage with?
Nat: Well everyone tbh. Tropicalia is gonna be lit. I'm excited for everyone tbh, but looking forwarded to hanging with the homies hot flash heat wave, inner wave, cuco. Also looking forward to seeing Men I Trust again
Sab: We’re very excited to be playing at tropicalia again! We played last year with a bunch of our friends and can’t wait to see and hang out With them all again. I’m excited to see Hot Flash Heat Wave, Inner Wave, SALES, The Marias, Men I Trust, Beach Fossils, The Garden+more.
Harrison: Excited to be with the homies, hot flash, inner wave, triathalon, etc.
BL: If you could make your own music festival, what would it be called, and what would the lineup look like?
Nat: It would be called Pony Land. it would be a land of rainbows, cute things, cotton candy, and happy feel good music. ….lol i don’t know.
Harrison: Dj Khaled fest - only artist is dj Khaled. It’s 3 days from 12-12, only dj khaled.
Sab: I’m not sure what I’d name it but I would make it a festival that is experienced in VR.
BL: What is the hardest part about being in a band?
Nat: The hardest part is differentiating band-relationships along with personal-relationships. We’re essentially wearing many different hats in relationship with each other.
Sab: I think trying to stay on the same page is sometimes hard when we all have different schedules. Like I was in school while nat was working in the ER and Harrison full time at the coffee shop. Dedicating the time to each other and the project is hard while trying to maintain our full time obligations. Being in a band doesn’t dismiss the fact that people sometimes have differences with each other so really I think its about finding balance in each other.
Harrison: Making time to meet up can be the hardest part
BL: You recently released a single called ‘Estrangers’, can you give us some background on that song?
Sab: That song was started when I was living in San Jose and I remember coming up with the chord progression at a house party in SF. No Vacation was broken up when I started it.
Nat: Sab started the song, then Sab and I worked the song together before bringing it to the band. Then we wrote as a full band, and then we didn’t revisit the song for awhile…. And then I randomly added some cello parts to it.. And then harrison added this sick guitar solo. And years later, it was finally done
BL: Your EP ‘Phasing’ comes out Oct. 18th! Are you pretty calm before a big release, or are do you get anxious?
Nat: I’m neither calm or anxious since I releasing the music is for my own satisfaction of achieving a goal. If anything, I’m stressed when preparing for releases because there’s a lot of moving parts/deadlines. However, the stress is worth it since I want the release as a whole, to be “perfect”.
Sab: I handle designs for it so the busiest part for me is making them along with the Merch. I finished that recently so it’s been a relief and we can’t wait to share the music!
Harrison: It’s been a long time coming so I'm not too stressed. The single did better than I expected so I think the full ep will be at least decently received. I tend to be hard on myself, hopefully its rad.
BL: What can we expect from your EP ‘Phasing’?
Nat: More thoughtful writing, staying true to our dancing guitar sounds, an introduction to some cello and violin, and cute piano piece
Sab: Definitely a more refined sound. We’ve considered the writing and sound much more than we have before. Nat also arranged the strings for this EP and her friend Eunghee Cho performed the cello and absolutely killed it.
Harrison: I think its a lot more mature, so hopefully that comes across.
BL: What has been your favorite show experience?
Nat: I don’t have a “favorite” show, but one of the most memorable shows would be the first time we ever toured and played in LA. It was in 2017 at the Echo - the show was sold out and I remember feeling so much support and love from. It was the first time i was like… “whoa, No Vacation might be a career for me!” In addition to that, we played that show along some great friends, Tim Atlas and The Bilinda Butchers; all musicians who I have always been inspired by
Sab: One of my favorite show experiences was at Dour Festival in Belgium. We played in this crazy dome and it was unlike any show
That we’ve played. Just a surreal feeling to play on such a big stage, very surreal.
Harrison: I have a great time playing 99% of shows. Big or small, they can all be fantastic. Playing the mohawk in austin with Sales was a big highlight, but also the few fests we played in europe were incredibly fun. To be honest, every european show was a blast.
BL: When you’re on tour, what do you do to not lose your mind while on the road?
Nat: Unfortunately, everyone would be lying if they said they didn’t lose my mind. lol. In order for me to try preserving what’s left of my mind, I don’t drink or stay out late, I meditate, read, sleep a lot, and always have breakfast. Since I don’t go out, I always have 2-3 hours each day alone where I can do these things. I sound like an old lady.
Sab: Allocating time to spend by myself is important for me. Like I’m constantly interacting with people and rarely get a moment to be alone so I try to find time to go on walks to clear my mind and decompress from everything that’s always going on.
Harrison: Listen to whatever music I’ve been meaning to check out, read if it doesn’t make me sick, and talk to my girlfriend and friends back home as much as I can.
BL: What do you miss the most when you’re on tour?
Nat: I miss my sanity...but i really miss having a routine, being able to workout normally, and working as nurse in the ER; I’m always learning something new there. I also really miss my hedgehog Bruce.
Sab: I miss all the random fun things you get to do when in different places.
Harrison: My girlfriend, my bed, and my routine!
BL: Do you have any other artistic outlets besides music?
Nat: I paint and like writing poetry.
Sab: I do art and design and love doing that when I’m not playing or writing music!
Harrison: Music is my only real creative outlet. Ive never been good at drawing or sketching but it is something I always wanted to do. I used to enjoy writing but I rarely find or make the time to sit down and type stuff out.
BL: What has been your favorite fan interaction?
Nat: I don’t have a favorite. I’m really thankful for the friendships that developed from a “fan of No Vacation”
Sab: It’s really hard to choose a favorite because I think that a majority of my interactions with fans have been positive.
Harrison: I don’t have any fan interactions that really stick out, but I always appreciate talking to people after the show. One of my favorite things is when a fan tells me they took a flight or drove hours to come see us. That’s some heartwarming stuff.
BL: What are you currently working on?
Sab: I’m working on some posters for the Russell J. Efros foundation Battle of the Bands that’s next week and a poster for another show we’re playing in November!
BL: What can we expect from No Vacation in the future?
Nat: Expect the unexpected cause i don’t know
Sab: Maybe some cool collabs? ;)
BL: To wrap things up, do you have anything you want our readers to know about No Vacation
Nat: I will one day make a No Vacation tik tok
Sab: We have two band mascots: a dog named yam yam and a hedgehog named bruce!
Harrison: I just want everybody to know that we have been working hard and grinding to hopefully give them some music they love. I’m very proud of Phasing and can’t wait for everybody to hear it.