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INTERVIEW: Jessica Kenny, energetic lead singer of The Nectars

Emerging DIY Punks

The Nectars are an emerging young punk rock outfit from the suburbs of New Jersey, who have started to make a name for themselves. The four-member groupcomprised of Jessica Kenny (lead vocals), Jon Paul (bass / vocals), Mike Montalbano (drums / vocals), and Michael Baron (guitar / vocals)exude an unbridled enthusiasm and raw energy that is inspired by everything from the punk music scene in the late-’70s to the garage-rock revival of the late-90s, with a more modern edge.

With their debut album on its way, Salute Magazine recently caught up with lead singer Jessica Kenny to talk about how the band came together, their forthcoming studio album, Sci-Fi Television, and plans for an upcoming tour.

SALUTE: How did the band initially get its start?

KENNY: We started about two years ago. Our drummer Mikey [Montalbano] and our bass player Jon Paul had been in a previous band together and when that kind of came to an end, they decided to work on a new project. They knew that they wanted a female lead singer and they were also friends with our guitar player. So, it kind of just fell into place.

How has your sound evolved in two years?

KENNY: We always knew from the beginning that we wanted our sound to be very punk/DIY… do things our own way. I guess it happened very organically over time as we grew together and as individuals. Just from continuing to write together and listening to of other music that we all are into. We just developed that sound and got really comfortable where we are. So we’re really confident in our sound and where it’s at right now. Definitely, over the two years, we’ve just grown and we’re all on the same page with that.  

There have been a number of punk groups to come from New Jersey music scene such as The Misfits and wanted to know if that had any influences on your sound.

KENNY: I think the unique thing is that we all have individually different influences. There are all different things that we listen to. We definitely love New Jersey and we take a lot of pride in the fact that we’re from New Jersey. So I guess you can say that.

Some of the biggest influences you draw from?

KENNY: We love Wolf Alice, Arcade Fire, The Voidz, The Strokes, No Doubt as a band. We all have our own interests. I can’t really speak for everyone else but my own personal influences would be Bon Iver, Tool, Radiohead, and we all have always been into rock music. Even from a young age, that’s kind of what we started listening to. That genre in general.

What specifically seemed right about punk for you guys? I wouldn’t necessarily put these in the same category… so what sparked punk?

KENNY: So some of those influences are just personally what I listen to, but as a band, when we all came together and we had all different interests. We got together and sat down and we talked about what we wanted to make in terms of our music. The idea of punk is kind of not giving a fuck about what anyone else is doing and kind of going against the grain as an overall lifestyle. It’s not just the sound of the music, it’s just kind of the lifestyle that we’re living. Doing our own things. Doing things DIY. Not paying attention to what people are telling us we should do or are supposed to do. Just doing what we want. I think it’s more of a lifestyle than just a genre.

Tell me more about the upcoming album and what’s in the works?

KENNY: We’re really excited about this because we’ve been waiting a long time to share this. Our album is called Sci-Fi Television. It’s just a collection of songs that are all totally different from each other. I don’t think any two songs sound the same. It’s what we’ve been working on over the past two years and we’re just excited for you guys to hear it. It’s a really good representation of who we are as a band.

Any plans for future singles?

KENNY: We already have two singles out. “Heaven” and “I Want It” which recently came out. Next month we are releasing another single called “We Will Run.” And all three of those will also be on the album that is coming out.

Tell me a little bit more about “We Will Run.”

KENNY: This one is big for us because we actually recorded it and filmed the music video a while back. We actually wrote this song with our good buddy Michael Grubbs, and it’s a track that talks about just wanting to escape and run. I guess everyone can interpret it in their own way but this one is really special to us. I think this is the one that we’re most excited about sharing with everyone so far.

What’s next for The Nectars?

KENNY: The release of “We Will Run.” Doing some more local shows around here. We’re planning on doing a short two-week tour in Europe in May. And just continuing to grow and write and record and just build our Nectar family. I think our future is bright and we’re just excited to get more people to hop on our journey with us.

Be sure to check out the video for The Nectars latest single, “Heaven,” below and stay tuned to Salute Magazine for future tour dates and more. Also check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 


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