Interview: Meet The Neighbourhood

Neighbourhood

Just over a year and a half ago, Bryan Sammis was an ex-drummer studying music business when he got the phone call that would change his life. 

“I had been playing music since I was nine, I’d been in bands since I was 14 and I had quit,” Sammis reveals. “I had given up trying to make music. It took the guys in this band to hit me up and say listen, we know you’ve given up, but we want you to be a part of this,” he says.

Sammis left uni, moved back to California and joined his old friends in a band that would become The Neighbourhood.

One of the most hyped and fast rising bands of 2012, the Californian five-piece released debut single ‘Female Robbery’ and follow up ‘Sweater Weather’ to huge critical acclaim.

Shrouded in secrecy by a mysterious online campaign, the hype around the music grew before anyone could identify the musicians. It wasn’t until UK DJ and early fan, Zan Lowe let slip the origins of the band that The Neighbourhood really started to blow up.

“The thing is, that it all happened so fast,” Sammis admits. “At some point, to quote Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it’s hard to stop and smell the roses. There’ve been a couple of moments where it’s really hit us; I mean playing in Australia was great, getting off that plane and realising where we were for our music,” he adds.

Touring Australia in February as part of Laneway Festival, The Neighbourhood didn’t have a lot of down time to really see the country, but they plan to rectify that when they return to our shores, though nothing is locked in as yet.

“We had such a good time the first time there it’s not even a question in our minds, we WANT to come back. It’s just a matter of when,” Sammis says.

Now in mid 2013, The Neighbourhood are celebrating the release of their highly anticipated first album ‘I Love You’. Moody and atmospheric, ‘I Love You’ takes you on a unique journey through the familiar and unknown. It’s a beautiful record that is truly worth the buzz.

While excited about the release, Sammis isn’t too worried about the surrounding hype.

“If people have high expectations that’s fine, we don’t necessarily want to meet those high expectations, but obviously you want to outdo them. I think it’s just that natural ambition,” Sammis says. “The pressure that I feel isn’t really commercial pressure. I just really hope my dad likes it.”

Incredibly grounded despite their fast rise, Sammis doesn’t think that the fame or the acclaim has changed them; they’re still just five kids from California who love to make music together.

“I think that we’re all the same people we were when we started. Who’s to say what it will be like in say 5-10 years,” he admits. “Were not hiding anything from anybody, were not trying to be anything were not, we’re just trying to be honest about who we are.”

By Keely Kovacevic

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