Music will always be the result of our experiences. These can be joyous as well as depressing. Music can be a helpful solution in dealing with all of it. Our recent discovery Nonstop To Cairo has been at it for a while and has a litany of experiences to put into their music. Their upcoming album KAI is the epitome of this.
We caught up with the multi-genre band to get a little deeper into their background and how the new album came to be. Enjoy the interview below:
First off, how did the name Nonstop To Cairo come to be?
So, at the time, we had begun playing a few shows as an unnamed group. We knew we couldn’t keep going that way any longer. The four of us at the time locked ourselves in the studio until we picked something. We had a whole list of names written down and after much debate… Nonstop to Cairo was the only one we could agree on. As to where it came from, I’ll say that a memorable ride on the LIRR after a NY Rangers Game left an impression that still drives us today. – Nick
How did the band get together?
Original bass player Matt Ezzo and I grew up together since grade school. I played Sax and he played trumpet in school bands. My Dad was a musician who played in bands his whole life. He gave me a guitar and taught me to play the blues when I was 5.
Right around the start of High school I began to get really interested in playing guitar and writing songs. Soon enough Matt and I were jamming together on guitars and my dad came down one day and gave Matt his Bass guitar to balance things out. Turned out Matt was a natural on the Bass and a band was born… We eventually played and toured around a little with a metal band called 30 Pack Jack. When that band ended, we kept going as the new trio which became Nonstop.
In 2009 I suffered a severe injury to my left hand. We had shows booked that I didn’t want to cancel so we found some friends to fill in. With that came a little different type of songwriting and more horn involvement.
Who also showed up to a rehearsal was August “Ash” Harris. Fresh back from college and had done some touring of his own on the hip-hop scene. He immediately fit right into the sound we were experimenting with and the Nonstop you know was born.
In 2015, Alex Turner joined as our drummer, and we evolved even further. Expanding the songs, we had to a level that we were ready to record our 1st Full length album “Dabble Heavy”
Fast forward a few years and Ed Nevin joined as our Bass Player. Ed brings a Fierce, Funky style that immediately resonated with us. We’ve been marinating that sound for a while now and really have a great dynamic to write and perform live. – Nick
I was living in Florida at the time, going to school and working as an artist with a hip hop group. In wake of a family tragedy, I decided to move back to NY. In my time back I rekindled relationships with some of the guys I used to go to school with. Everyone was doing music and we fell into some amazing jam sessions together. In this time Nick was recovering from his accident and I was one of three guys that joined the band during Nick’s healing process. I’ve been a part of this family ever since. – ASH
How would you describe your sound?
I would call our sound a solid mix of Funk, Punk, Hip-Hop and Alternative Ska. We’ve always had a wide range where you can’t really lock us into one category. I’ve always liked just letting the best and most interesting song ideas take the lead. Not too concerned if the songs all fit a mold because at the end of the day, you’re going to know it’s a Nonstop song and I think that’s a testament to the connection we have writing music together. – Nick
The sound is New York fusion alternative rock. New York is a melting pot of races, religion, food, culture and music. We all grew up on different aspects of this cluster and I feel like we brought the best parts of what we know to the mix of what we put together for our music. – ASH
Check out some past releases from Nonstop To Cairo
Which bands have had the biggest influence on Nonstop To Cairo?
I’ve luckily been blessed with an amazing palate of music to draw inspiration from. The James Gang, Dr. Dre, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime, Biohazard, Django Reinhardt and Al Di Meola all had major influences on my song writing… I could easily rattle off 10 more, but that’s some big ones. – Nick
It has been quite a while since we have heard new music from Nonstop To Cairo. What have you been up to?
We’ve been staying on our game and constantly pushing our sound while writing a ton of new material. We want to keep the music coming more consistently moving forward. We’ve also been doing shows on the Island around the east coast. We plan to hit the road in support of KAI – Nick
The transitions we have gone through over the past 6 years have all worked into the music that we’ve been putting together. A lot of material was made but the approach to crafting our recordings has changed. Quality over quantity is a phrase that has served us well. Every minute we have together is important so building the nonstop brand, band infrastructure and booking has been the new process over the years. – ASH
We hear that your new album KAI is coming out next month. What can you tell us about it?
We recorded most of KAI at Sabella Studios with Producers Will Harris and Jim Sabella. We really dug deep into getting the right amps and guitars for each song and I got to record with some amazing vintage gear. The Neve 8068 is a very unique board that has been there forever. Overall, I think people might be surprised with how Rock Oriented a lot of the tunes are. Hah we suggest turning it up and blasting through the speakers! – Nick
KAI is our celebration to Kevin. The tracks that make this project speak on expectations, friendship, depression, life’s ups and downs. It’s a driving project from start to finish and I feel people are really going to relate and enjoy these records. – ASH
What do you hope listeners will take away from the new album?
First off, the album KAI is dedicated and named after our friend Kevin Anand Itwaru who lost his battle with depression in 2020. I hope we can help spread the message that it’s ok to be vulnerable and ask for help when you need it. Mental health is a very important issue, and we want to help promote self-care and loving yourself.
We think we’ve put together an album worthy of carrying the weight of our loss but that also moves forward in a positive way. Each track carves a little different sonic path while remaining true to what is Nonstop. – Nick
I hope they take away a great collection of new material. I want them to take away how we put down our sound and message. I want them to take from this project that we go through the everyday struggles and issues like everyone else. Most importantly I want them to take from this project what Kevin was all about. – ASH
After this album release, what is next on the horizon for Nonstop To Cairo?
We’ve got big plans to keep the party going with more shows and bringing our sound to a wider audience. We’re also going to be staying close to the studio while we finesse what has become a large cache of newer song ideas into final products. – Nick
We want to take this project on the road for 2023 & 2024. Our goal is to really get the message of KAI out. With that going on we are already back in the recording studio working on more material. Nonstop is ready to take it to the next level. – ASH
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