By: Isabella W. - February 16, 2020
OLD_SPORT is a New York City-based Indie rock band that originally formed in LA. The band was founded because their frontman, Nick Vergara, needed the help of musicians to record the soundtrack for his award-winning film about an indie band called “ELSEWHERE”. The New York and New Jersey-born actors and musicians ended up falling in love with their sound and found their band OLD_SPORT. Since the beginning, they have been performing in New York and Los Angeles. The band recently released their first EP on Spotify called “The Midnite Vibeline Session.”
OLD_SPORT embraces their acting and musical talent and have created their first music video to their indie-rock anthem “Lightning Strikes My Spine.” The video was made in collaboration with Tall Order Productions, directed by Edward Salerno Jr., and takes place in a local hardware store in Ocean Beach, San Diego. The main character of the video is the lead singer and guitarist of OLD_SPORT. In the video, he works at the hardware store with headphones on when the song “Lightning Strikes My Spine” airs. It is filled with clips of the band playing their multitude of instruments throughout the store, including drums, piano, keyboard, saxophone, and guitars. During the instrumental scenes, the lighting adjusts to spotlight the instrument and reduce background noise; this artistic strategy remained consistent throughout the video. The band also uses psychedelic effects to make some scenes look like the effect of a kaleidoscope. Each member of OLD_SPORT is featured mostly for their instrumental talents, with a few contributing to vocals. “Lightning Strikes My Spine” concludes with the hardware store employee coming back to reality as if the whole experience was a much-welcomed daydream.
Listen to “Lightning Strikes My Spine” here.
Welcome to BuzzMusic OLD_SPORT! We like the energy in your music video for “Lightning Strikes My Spine.” How did you come up with the “daydreaming in a hardware store” theme, and what does it mean to you?
Hi BuzzMusic. Lead singer Nick Vergara here. The video was shot at OB Hardware, a century-old hardware store in the amazing town of Ocean Beach, San Diego. It was filmed 6 weeks before OLD_SPORT moved across the country to NYC. Directed by Edward Salerno, Jr - produced by Tall Order Productions (Mike Hogan and Mitchell Orcino). www.TallOrderProductions.com, @TallOrderProductions
Our drummer Keith Roenke mentioned OB Hardware as a great place to shoot a video. I initially wanted to do a video for another single of ours, "What Kinda Man" but our director was adamant about shooting a video for "Lightning Strikes My Spine".
The concept of the video came from the director, Edward Salerno, Jr. www.EdwardImages.com, @edwardimages - here's what he had to say:
The truth is we looked at what we all had at our disposal to crank out a really rockin music video, and I knew the band was a 5 piece so I wanted to give them all a piece to shine.
I like performance videos because it gets people to see the bandmates work and close up that can be a rarity at concerts too.
Then we cracked into the narrative and from knowing the bandmates making great transitional strides and living the musician life of work and music, playing music as a band, and working a night shift go hand in hand. It’s That juxtaposition that allows for the bandmates to influence this wild night fever dream becoming this infused spirit of 5 pals who love music.
We spoke collectively about the connection to the song, and many music videos we liked don’t have a connection to the song what so ever. Off of these references we crafted what will be the general thematic approach to what will our narrative be that gets us to a performance video experience. And everyone got a little taste of everything: narrative story, performance piece, wild energy effects that correlate with the song, and a good music vid to promote the sound!
Your influences as a band include E Street Band, Alabama Shakes, Arcade Fire, Spoon, Nirvana, Prince, Elvis Costello, The Strokes. Can you elaborate on how any of these artists have inspired your style as a band?
For the longest time, I had a hard time describing what our music was or what it sounded like. I still do, to be honest. I threw around terms like "grunge-folk" - the other guys in the band called our music "penitentiary surf rock" - which always made me laugh because I have no idea what that means, but love the sound of it. But I would say our songs have elements of indie pop-rock similar to bands like Arcade Fire, Spoon, and Alabama Shakes, three bands I love and have listened to a lot in the past 10 years as I've been developing into a songwriter. Catchy melodies, loud crunchy chords, with emphasis on lyrics and communicating a story within the song. But some of our other songs have a much harder edge - "Lightning Strikes My Spine" being one of them - I'd say there's a heavy Nirvana influence on that one. From the loud quiet dynamic between verse/chorus to the howling, screaming vocals. I'd say the E Street Band influence comes in with the saxophone sound in the band, epic sound in our songs, the recurring themes in our songs of being on some kind of journey trying to get elsewhere, and the brotherhood that lives within the DNA of OLD_SPORT.
You showcased a variety of instruments in “Lightning Strikes My Spine.” Could you tell us why it is important for your band to spotlight the instrumental aspect of the song?
I believe that our director Eddie wanted to make sure to showcase all of us in the video - to show each individual and what they bring to the band. And how the combination of all of us creates OLD_SPORT. In doing so he wanted to highlight each band member's instrument and how they come together to create the power in this song. Eddie has a brilliant visual sense and he had all these ideas for insane shots inside the piano that was in the hardware store, inside the sax, up close on the guitar strings, an overhead shot of the drums. I believe he wanted to show the emotional connection to each guy in the band to their respective instrument.
You have performed all over LA, New York City, and New Jersey. Can you tell us how your vast experience performing has impacted your music and your band?
We've been so lucky to have played with some phenomenal bands in LA, Asbury Park and New York City. The band began two years ago and I have been our acting manager getting us these gigs all over. The two East Coast tours we went on (2017's Midnite Vibeline Tour and 2018's Empty City Tour) were basically ridiculous adventures where we improvised how to go on tour. It definitely strengthened the bond the band already had, put us in the middle of some awesome music scenes we had no idea existed and made us realize that OLD_SPORT had the potential to be a great long-lasting band. Performing in NYC/Asbury Park on these tours inspired us to make the move from LA to NYC. That bond we forged on the road is showcased in the music video for "Ain't So Crazy After All" (available on our YouTube channel) which is comprised of footage from both tours, as well as some of our best, shows out in LA including our show at the legendary Troubadour.
What can we expect to see next from OLD_SPORT?
We have a show coming up in late March at The Knitting Factory in WIlliamsburg - this spring the plan is to get back into the studio and record some new music for a new EP. We're also in talks to jump on some music festivals for early next year. We're also discussing a west coast tour for the summer, and hopefully booking some European dates in the fall. Fingers and toes crossed.