Interview with Before Nitrogen
SPR (VIMH): Hi guys, congrats on your new single, “Found.”
SPR (VIMH): What do the lyrics talk about? Which are your major lyrics’ influences?
BN: Our motto as a band is “Hope is Not Lost” – and we try to make sure all of our music touches on that theme. That doesn’t mean that everything we make is blissfully happy, but it does mean that we’re always seeking the light at the end of the tunnel. To that end, “Found” is about emerging from a dark place and into a hopeful future.
SPR (VIMH): How would you characterize “Found” and what are your expectations from the new single?
BN: We were very lucky to work with some of the best musical minds in our hometown of Milwaukee, WI. The song was produced by our friends in the band Endless Era, mixed by Vinny Millevolte of Axis Recording Studios, and mastered by Justin Perkins at Mystery Room Mastering. Every time we put out a new project, our goal is to make it better than the last one, and I think we definitely got there with “Found”!
SPR (VIMH): Do you prefer to be on the road or on the studio writing and recording?
BN: The magic truly happens when we’re on stage – we spend a lot of time planning our live shows and trying to make them memorable. Once this pandemic is over and we can get back with our people again, you can expect plenty of mashups, bubbles, kazoo solos, and audience participation at the next Before Nitrogen show!
SPR (VIMH): How did you come up with the name Before Nitrogen initially?
BN: The journey to the name “Before Nitrogen” spans many years and involves a different band that never got off the ground, a college chemistry class, the periodic table, the band NSYNC, and the basic building blocks of life as we know it. We’ll let you piece it together from there!
SPR (VIMH): How would you describe your music style to someone that hasn’t heard of you before?
BN: Imagine if James Taylor was produced by Owl City.
SPR (VIMH): Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
BN: Twenty One Pilots’ new single, “Level of Concern” is exactly the kind of thing we mean when we say “Hope is Not Lost” – it’s a song that’s very up front about the band’s worries and uncertainties surrounding the current situation, but it finds a glimmer of hope in the fact that they’re safe with their families for the moment and as long as they have them, things might just be OK. It’s easily the best “quarantine anthem” we’ve heard!
SPR (VIMH): Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
BN: Speaking personally, I would probably give them this mixtape of Huey Duck remixes by Oh Geeez: https://open.spotify.com/album/6M12dMJaoDbFZWyr48HHxN?si=O9CX9J12TuO4CM3WnUOaTg
SPR (VIMH): If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?
BN: At this moment in time, we’d love to travel to the future so we can play shows again! It’s tough to say what those shows will look like when they do come back, but, true to our motto, we know that we’ll find our place again!
When Before Nitrogen lead singer/songwriter Sean McGibany wrote the first draft of the band’s new single “Found” nearly two years ago in the summer of 2018, he didn’t know that the world would be a very different place when the band finally released it.
“Taking this song from conception to completion was a long trip,” McGibany says, “But I genuinely feel that it couldn’t be arriving at a better time.”
Before Nitrogen emerged on the Milwaukee music scene in 2018 and spent 2019 defin-ing themselves as a unique-but-sincere indie pop trio – using kazoos, bubble guns, and creative audience participation to make their live shows unforgettable. But beneath that quirky image is a deeper, resonant message: “Hope is Not Lost.”
“‘Hope is Not Lost’ doesn’t mean that our music is sunny and carefree all the time,” McGibany clarifies, “But it does mean that we are always seeking the light at the end of the tunnel.”
And with the world currently in a very dark and long tunnel, what light is Before
Nitrogen offering on “Found”? “Possibility,” McGibany answers. “‘Found’ is about being pulled out a suffocating place by the possibility of a new love and a new story to be told. To me, that’s the most comforting thing: the possibility of something new and different that may open the door to a better place.”
The band hopes that “Found” will inspire their audience to keep hope in the future. “I can’t deny how unsettling the world is right now,” McGibany admits, “but I also believe that we can’t overcome it without believing that there’s something better waiting for us once we reach the surface.”
Before Nitrogen was born in 2017 when McGibany began capturing his worries over his personal life and the chaos of the world around him. “I wanted to create a way out through the songs and tell a story of hope prevailing in the end, even though the future was very uncertain in that moment” he says. Teaming up with friends Jack Reesman (gui-tar) and Joe Perdzock (DJ), the eclectic trio was born and have been pushing their opti-mistic indie pop blend ever since.
Find Before Nitrogen online: official site: