Described as “a dizzy array of talent to good to ignore”, alongside a clean-cut dreamy aesthetic, three-piece trio NHD are back with a new release this October, an LP titled And The Devil Went Up To Portland.
With the clash between Salim Nourallah‘s critically acclaimed solo talents, alongside Billy Harvey‘s post-modern pop sound and a cinematic element within what Alex Dezen has given the group so far, it is hard to imagine what the new record holds inside. Music Existence sat down with NHD this week to discuss what fans are to expect this month.
M.E: A lot of bands tell me that they were in different groups in their teens, eventually found each
other and formed through that, but I hear NHD has another story. How did you guys come to be?
Billy: We did a tour a few years back and quickly noticed that we had chemistry together.
Alex: Salim and I met years ago when The Damnwells were on tour with a band he was playing bass in. We stayed friends for a long time and eventually found the right way to a cool collaboration. I met Billy through Salim.
M.E: So, where did the name “NHD” come from?
Salim: “NHD” stands for Nourallah-Harvey-Dezen, which are our last names.
M.E: You release your debut LP, And The Devil Went Up To Portland this October – How’re you feeling?
What track are you most excited for fans to hear?
Salim: I’m feeling pretty good at the moment. Just had some oatmeal and a nice walk over to my studio. I think every single song on this record has the potential to change the listener’s life.
Alex: I’m excited for all of it! No playing favorites. I think they’re all great. Especially Salim and Billy’s tunes.
Billy: I’m super excited for people to hear it, too. My favorite track changes constantly that’s a good thing, I’ll let the listener decide.
M.E: Who/what were you listening to in the process of writing the LP, and who are you listening to
now? NHD have a wonderfully unique sound and we are so intrigued as to where it came from.
Alex: I listen to a ton of music. I think the three of us kind of went back to the music we grew up listening to when we were making these songs in the studio. The Beatles, CSNY, Fleetwood Mac and other bands we sound nothing like.
Billy: I don’t listen to a lot of other music while recording, I’m more interested in going down the rabbit hole I’m digging myself. The three of us draw from some similar influences and a lot of completely different influences, I think that brings out some freshness to the music we make together. Nobody is trying to reinvent the wheel.
Salim: I am in total agreement with what Billy said!
M.E: With three front-men in the band, who would you say is the biggest diva? How do you guys cope when it comes to artistic clashes?
Alex: I don’t know. Probably me.
Billy: If Alex is the diva I am the baby and Salim is grandpa. We are three generations of dysfunctional perfection.
Salim: I ditto Billy’s answer. Currently searching for my pipe and suspenders.
M.E: Right off the bat, you guys stand out from a lot of bands these days considering you’re a trio.
What else makes NHD different from other bands right now? How would you describe your music
for somebody that has never heard it before?
Alex: I wouldn’t.
Salim: We’re different because we have three singer/songwriter/producers in this group and we all trade off singing and writing duties. I’d describe our music as fun and melodic with a bent toward “classic” production that doesn’t sound dated or of a specific decade.
Billy: Describing music is impossible these days, there is too much of it and all the categories are homogenized.
M.E: Do you feel as though being successful producers (working with bands like The Damwells, and
writing with acts like The Dixie Chicks and Dave Grohl) gives you an insight that other musicians in
the industry may not have when it comes to bringing your vision to life?
Salim: People are people. Mega-successful or famous people just happened to luck out or be cursed, depending on how you look at it. Your life creates the art and brings the insight, not working with “successful” acts.
M.E: What can fans expect from you guys in the next 6 months?
Alex: I don’t really know. We’ve got some shows lined up. I know that. Beyond shows, we plan on making another album.
Billy: I would ask “what can we expect from the fans?” Hopefully their answer will be going to an NHD show where they can expect us to be playing music.