Regret the Hour – Distance
The first person I met from Regret the Hour was Ben McCarthy, in the Fall of 2014, from a poetry class at a City University of New York school called Hunter College. We have both since graduated, as his brother Nate, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist, approaches his senior year there. We connected through what basically comes down to complaining: whether it be the prompts, the peers, or the teacher, we pretty much saw eye to eye in our venting of petty disdain. After the final class of the semester, I found out Ben was in a band, and after being genuinely impressed by the sound, talent, and scope of Regret the Hour’s tunes, I asked them to be apart of my college radio show I had, the ‘Help Me, Bob!’ show. From there I slept on their couch, floor, bathroom, wherever I could, just so I when I saw one of their shows I wouldn’t have to commute back to NJ from NYC, and I met childhood friend and drummer Anders Fleming, and later addition bassist Tim Emmerick along the way. They have played with the Misfits, Dry the River, and Gin Blossoms, to name a few, and have been gaining New York’s Indie Rock scene’s attention more and more, going from recording their own first record to having an EP produced by James Goodin, and now a second full album currently being produced in Brooklyn. Here is a quick interview with the brothers, Ben and Nate McCarthy, about the band’s upbringing and future!
1. How was music introduced to you and how did it impact your childhood?
Nate McCarthy: Our parents played a ton of music when we were growing up, lots of 1960’s & 70s folk like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and that being some of the first music we heard, has also been some of the most important to us, and I think is largely responsible for the fact that we play music today.
2. How would you describe your sound and what are your influences?
N: I think our sound combines sort of traditional folk/americana-inspired songwriting with guitar sounds that are usually about creating texture and atmosphere. Some of our biggest influences include Joshua Tree-Achtung Baby era U2, The National, Radiohead, Dylan, Van Morrison, etc.
3. What inspires you to continue to make music with each other as brothers and as a band?
N: Being surrounded by so many fantastic musicians and songwriting friends in New York City is a constant source of inspiration for us. Also, the simple experience of having people say that they’ve been really affected by our music, that it’s made them feel something, is really amazing.
4. What has been the most rewarding experience musically?
N: If we’re being literal, winning $15K worth of new gear earlier this year through Converse and Guitar Center was a pretty nice reward! Getting to play packed nights on some of New York City’s best stages with some incredible musicians is a nice reminder of why we do this in the first place. Also, I think our first record getting a “10” on Pitchfork and then personal shout-outs from Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz are close seconds.
5. Where do you seen your music going? How do you process evolving/changing/ or growing as a band?
Nate and Ben McCarthy: With the new record we’ve been working on, we’ve been experimenting with different instruments more. I think more than ever we are writing collectively. I’m not sure how I see that changing or evolving in the future but I think we all firmly believe that writing music together is at the core of our band. We’re not the kind of band where one or two people bring in all the songs and tell everyone else what to play. That isn’t what music is about for us and I think that is reflected in the songs.
As far as where I see our music going that is a hard one, I think all of us hope that as many people will hear our music and be touched by it as possible. But at the same time we want to continue to make music that feels honest to who we are as people and musicians.
6. What has been your biggest challenge?
Ben McCarthy: I think our bassist and good friend Jesse Yanko dying of cancer in 2012 was one of the biggest blows that has ever been dealt to us as a band but also as individuals. Besides the fact that our band was broken we had also lost our best friend and that is something that is hard to deal with at any age but especially when you’re 17 and 18. I think after Jesse died none of us really knew what the right way forward was or if there even was one. We had this whole record (Better Days) that we had recorded during the summer of 2012 with Jesse and that was it. Our friends and families and people that would become our friends really helped us through that time and in April of 2013 we released Better Days. We played that show with Jesse’s Bass teacher and our good friend Dylan Kelehan, I think getting up on stage again without Jesse and playing all of these songs that we had written and recorded with him was one of the hardest things any of us had ever done.
7. What are you most proud of?
B: We’re all pretty proud of the music we’re currently writing and recording for this new record. In addition to that I think we are all proud of how far we have come in the last few years. It has been a great experience for all of us and we’ve had a lot of support from our friends, family and everyone else.
8. What do you guys have going on?
Nate and Ben: We were also just selected as one of the Deli Magazine’s Artist of the Month so if you all could click the link and vote for Regret the Hour that would be amazing. There is no registration or signup or anything like that required, we appreciate the support!
Check out their website here: Regret the Hour, and find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!