Whenever we talk about our band, we always seem to start with the city that brought us together.
It’s an internal conflict at times, tying our band identity to home. As a band, we hope to reach people nationally, globally;
Is it in our best interest to constantly obsess over one locale?
Is it preventing us from effectively moving towards a wider spread tour?
Are you high right now?
Do you ever get nervous…?
Austin is the sunny, tear-jerkingly beautiful town that brought the five of us together. For us and many others, the diverse expanse of nature, art, social vibrancy, live music, tacos, people, and tacos, inspires our canvas every day. We’d be remiss to not embrace the place that is to thank for our band’s existence and our continuously developing sound.
What about us? A bit of chance was involved with Night Cap’s formation. Ryan (singer/guitarist) and bassist Alex (Fonz) met in college at the University of Texas and started jamming with Ryan’s high school buddies, Adrian (keys) and Randy. From there, the four played a couple small gigs around town. None smaller than at this groovy East Austin dive known as the Sahara lounge. Our second gig at Sahara was anything but business as usual. The opening act was a solo, baby-faced crooner by the name of Jake Bomgaars. He captured our hearts. We captured his. After a bit of casual musician flirting, Jake was absorbed into our group. Before Night Cap, Fonz played around Austin as a hired gun for several *cough* country *cough* bands. It was on this journey he met a boot wearing, button down dawning, beat master by the name of Deryk Camazine. Deryk joined us for a couple jams and very soon after we recorded our first song, “Everest”, and Night Cap was formed.
We’ve been Night Cap for just shy of two years. Over that time, we have grown into a family. When we started, most of us didn’t know each other very well, the song writing style was compartmentalized, and Adrian had the best hair in the band. This short time together has been full of change, moments of excitement, disappointment, and everything in between. Through all of this, our relationship with live music has been the constant base that we have developed around, and Adrian still has the best hair. As band-mates, we have gotten to see live shows together that induce a feeling of a relationship far longer than the two years we’ve had. From Paul McCartney, to the Growlers, Queens of the Stone Age, The Strokes, Local Natives, and everything beyond and in between, experiencing your long time creative influences with new friends is inexplicably connecting.
Always grateful for our opportunities, we play with the intention of creating a memorable night and a sense of community for the people that come out to see us. We will always be a bunch of dreamers enamored by how crazy fun this all is. We get to create energies for the party animals, empathy for the broken hearts, optimism for the lost souls, and a relatable voice to all kinds of consciousness. You get to let loose and use the music as you please. Our first sold out show emphasized all of this for us. Watching a room ignore all claustrophobia to sing and dance along with us, match our energy, and elevate the energy of those around them, is indescribably invigorating.
At our shows, we’ve seen the basis of beautiful friendships built before our eyes. This has inspired us, and many of our collaborators, to look beyond what we are working on individually and work towards something much bigger. Austin is a bright light to a world of creative flies. We encounter people with new ideas, backgrounds, and passions with regularity. Although we plan to continue to work towards a national level of success, we have found that the local community we are helping to build is what energizes us and constantly enables us to see something bigger than ourselves and our goals.
We strive to be a pillar of a creative community that promotes, encourages, advises, and loves each other. In the past six months we’ve seen a group of painters, musicians, writers, photographers, videographers, producers, DJs, hair stylists, business owners, and more grow into a family. Creativity and living your passion is not easy. Monetizing something you love can be discomforting. Having a community of vastly different ideas and experiences eases the growing pains every day. No one will ever be able to escape the lonesome struggles that life hits you with, nor will they be able to grant you a fast pass to success. Whether or not the pursuits are creative, we feel the journey is healthier with friends.
Friendship. Love. Community. Vibes. Heart warming right? On our best days it is, but there’s a delicate and uncomfortable balance to mixing work and friends. We’re not all business people, we’re not all great communicators, and we all express and experience our emotions in different ways. This has been the biggest point of personal growth that we have experienced with our band and something we continue to improve on with our community. All of us want to see the others succeed, and we’ve seen people go above and beyond to help someone for no more than a “thank you.” This involves massive amounts of trust and selflessness. Trust that the other might do the same for you and trust that they want the same success for you as you want for them. At some point, you have to make sure you value your work. If you don’t, why would someone else? At the end of the day all of us are aiming to achieve the same goal. To support our livelihoods with our passions. This means getting paid.
There’s no perfect balance between emotional and monetary compensation. Watching people in a crowd sing, dance, and cry to something you’ve created has no dollar value. It provided us with a feeing of fulfillment that I could not have fathomed. Helping friends and a good cause can provide similar fulfillment. It’s something you will never be able to buy. Unfortunately, fulfillment doesn’t pay bills.
“Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Do something you love and you’ll continuously work yourself to a breaking point.
We’ve only just begun to learn how to strike a balance, and this is one of the most valuable parts of surrounding yourselves with people at different stages of their self-made careers. We’ve learned how to say no, we’ve learned when to put the foot on the gas, and when to ease up. The arts industry is filled with people working themselves into the ground. We can’t do this alone, we can’t be afraid to ask for help, and we can’t ignore our own value. We need support.
I hope that for the rest of our band’s days, we maintain our local community and help it grow into something that can help others the way it’s helped us. There will always be fights, disagreements, and tough talks. In the end, you hope the feelings that you can only experience as a part of something bigger than yourself keep you above that. We’re not the types to give advice, but we’d like to share some the things that have helped us the most. Being nice. Valuing others. Paying them fairly. Valuing yourself. Making sure you get paid fairly. Talking to others about your struggles, your successes. Celebrating success. Taking breaks. Surrounding yourself with people at different stages of the journey you’re on. Knowing your limits. Supporting your friends.
We know the electric connection with our crowds, collaborators, and friends will only grow stronger, so we hope you can join us along the way. In our immediate future, we plan to release new music that we can’t wait for you to hear. We get to cross off a bucket list item and are lucky enough to play at our hometown festival, Austin City Limits this year.
To our friends and families, we love you and could not have done this without your energy and support. To all of you, grab a Night Cap and raise a toast to the completion of this reading and enjoy yourself until next time.
About Night Cap
Austin, Texas’ Night Cap balances an extensive palette of sound, balancing the acoustic and upbeat influences of its five members: Deryk Camazine, Adrian Ayala, Ryan King, Jake Bomgaars and Alex Alfonso.
The band spends their time with friends exploring and creating in Austin. The member’s collective and individual life experiences influence their continuously developing sound. Night Cap hopes the push and pull of their creative process produces a genre bending and emotional listening experience that resonates with people from every background.