Get To Know... late night drive home

Neu Get To Know… late night drive home

The breakout Texan band pairing lo-fi grunge with introspective Gen Z lyricism.

Hello and welcome back to DIY’s introducing feature, Get To Know… which aims to get you a little bit closer to the buzziest acts that have been catching our eye as of late, and working out what makes them tick.

Hailing from a small town outside El Paso, Texas, late night drive home became near-overnight sensations in 2021 when their breakout track ‘Stress Relief’ went viral. Since then, the quartet have signed a record deal, locked in a gig supporting Interpol, and are set to play Coachella this summer.

On their new self-produced EP ‘i’ll remember you for the same feeling you gave me as i slept’, the young band deliberately lean into more expansive textures and darker thematic territory, distilling all their coming of age angst into a decidedly mature trio of soundscapes. To mark its recent release, we speak to vocalist Andre Portillo to find out more about their early days of gigging, rider requests, and the El Paso scene.

What’s your earliest musical memory?

For me, the earliest memory I have of music is riding in the car with my brother and listening to emo bands he would have shuffled on his iPod. A lot of that is what made me have the musical taste that I have today, and I’m so grateful.

You hail from El Paso, Texas - was there a good supply of venues there growing up? What was the music scene like?

Off the top of my head, there's only about one actual venue I can think of that's stood the test of time, but there are DIY places for small artists which are always fun to dance around at. The DIY music scene here has always been a bit more punk-oriented, with the occasional shoegaze or indie rock band coming through. Nevertheless, the scene in El Paso gets down.

You’d put out a string of singles before ‘Stress Relief’ went viral in 2021. Can you tell us a bit more about what this experience was like?

Before the first EP - 'am I sinking or am I swimming' - came out, we weren’t really sure what our sound was and we didn’t have a clue of what we wanted to be. There was no sense of direction, and most of the time we were just making music for the sake of making music. All we knew is that we wanted to be a band that people could resonate with. Keep in mind this was before we got the chance to play in front of so many people, so most of the shows at the time were small intimate shows ranging anywhere from zero to about fifteen people.

“All we knew is that we wanted to be a band that people could resonate with.”

What’s on your rider?

A 12 pack of Modelo, berries, cliff bars, blue Powerade - emphasis on the Powerade, NOT Gatorade - sandwich essentials, and Takis Fuego.

Sonically, your new EP encompasses driving alt-rock and more gentle, acoustic balladry. For you, what’s the thematic or musical thread that ties the three tracks together?

Lyrically, what ties all the tracks together is the deterioration of mental health. Musically, all three songs are in Open D tuning; an electronic combination of sounds with a new delivery.

What are you most excited about this year?

Working on new music, playing our first festivals, and getting inspired by different environments.

Finally, DIY are coming round for dinner - what are you cooking?

Green chilli Alfredo spaghetti with grilled chicken and garlic bread, with Snapple peach tea in a large glass.

'i'll remember you for the same feeling you gave me as i slept' is out now via Epitaph Records.

Tags: late night drive home, Neu, Get to Know

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