Interview: Nick Comanici of Sadurday


This past week I was able to connect via a Zoom call with Nick Comanici of a band called Sadurday. We discussed his new single, “Out of Touch,” that features vocalist Mae Sexton (of WREX), and drummer Tucker Rule (of Thursday), and was produced by Jon Markson (Drug Church, Soul Blind). Also in this feature, I asked Nick about his plans for touring on the new material, other artists he’s influenced by, and how Sadurday’s sound continues to evolve over time. “Out of Touch” is available at all of your favorite streaming services now.

Thank you for time today, Nick, and congrats on the recent release of your great new single, called “Out of Touch.” Can you describe what went into the process of writing this track?

Yeah, it was fairly lengthy, I would say for one single. It was probably a six month process, when I originally started the original riff kind of from it, and because it was in a remote environment, there’s a lot of back and forth with musicians. The initial vocalist that I had for our first EP is no longer with us, for the band. And so there was kind of this weird in-between, of we’re not gonna get the same vocals on this. And that’s where we connected with Mae from the band WREX, from the UK. So that was kind of an interesting segue between what we were in the beginning and what we are. I think the interesting thing was I knew that I wanted to head towards a different direction and continue to evolve or progress the sound. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I had heard of Drug Church, if anyone’s familiar with that band, and they came out with a single I think it’s called “Head Off,” on an EP. But now I think it may even be on their full length coming out. And I immediately knew that sound is close to what I wanted to have. So I looked up who the producer was, and his name is Jon Markson. And I looked into a little bit more about that and connected with him and kind of sent him over the the really rough demo I had, which initially, I did actually the scratch vocals on it, because I didn’t have a vocalist at the time, and kind of told him what my vision was and was looking to do. And he got excited about it. And we started working together early on.

So I understand the first EP was co-produced by Jim Ward, who’s famous for At The Drive-In and Sparta, among other things. So what was it like to collaborate with Jim on the earlier material?

Yeah, I was super stoked to have that opportunity. And again, I think the pandemic created a unique circumstance where bands and artists like Jim…touring was off the table, at least for a moment. And he had put out an Instagram post, basically saying that he was interested in producing some artists, or working closely with artists. So I connected with him through that. And obviously, I’m a long-time At The Drive-In fan and Sparta fan, and so it was pretty surreal to connect with him. He is the most down-to-earth person you could ever imagine. And he just, in a short period of time working with him, he taught me a lot when it comes to songwriting, that I think that I was lacking. I felt like I overcomplicated, and it turns out that I definitely over complicated things. In a lot of cases, Jim was like, “Yeah, just lay back. You don’t have to put noise, sound, or notes in every single moment of the song.” And that really was kind of a new thought process for me, kind of just simplifying the process of how I wrote songs and things like that. So I would say the biggest thing I got out of it was understanding how to compile songs; the structure of them, the layout, and when you start out with the initial riff and build that out into something that’s a complete song, there were a lot of takeaways there.

Interesting! So how do you typically approach songwriting?  I imagine that’s kind of evolved over your career, but is there a certain formula that you kind of use or, or a guidebook, so to speak? What do you kind of look for: either sounds or riffs, or things like that?

Yeah, usually a song inspires me. I’ll hear something, and to be honest, it could be anything from a hip-hop song to a pop song, whatever. Or it could be like, “Oh, I really like the pace of that song or the vocal take on it, or that’s an interesting noise…” And then I’ll sit down with my guitar, but almost always, for whatever reason, I ended up starting with bass. So even if I end up with a riff and I’m messing around with it, but on guitar, when I start tracking in Logic or I’ll usually start with bass, there’s something about it that just kind of works for me to kind of set the foundation I think a lot of that probably comes to like heavy influence from Fugazi, or The Pixies. And those are very bass-driven tracks in a lot of the work that they do. So it’s not something I really thought out. But I more recently even noticed, if we tour with this stuff, which we’ll talk about more too, I could see myself where I’ll just play bass on it. I just, I’m really starting to like that component of it.

Nice! So you mentioned the first part about touring. Do you have any plans to tour on this material? And if so, can you think of other bands that would complement this style that you’re going for? What would be a “dream” lineup for you?

Yeah, that’s come up in conversations. The first iteration in the lineup that we had for the EP, that really wasn’t possible because the vocalist was in another band. And then obviously, with this kind of single with “Out of Touch,” Mae’s in the UK, and so that’s really not a possibility. But Annie, who is the new vocalist, we have started talking about this more recently. And we’ve had bands reach out to us that are in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York-area to discuss this idea of doing that. So I think if we do it, neither one of us is super excited about the idea of just doing some big, long/huge tour. But I think we would like the idea of doing some selective venues on the East Coast, for sure.

Is that where you’re from, by the way? PA?

I’m in Pittsburgh, and Annie’s towards Philadelphia, and John’s in PA as well. The producer, we started working on a new EP already, and John’s gonna have a pretty heavy hand in that. Even probably tracking some of the instruments as well. Tucker Rule, from Thursday, performed the drums on “Out of Touch.” He’s definitely not available for any type of live performances. <Laughter> But you know, it was cool to work with him on this but yeah, I mean, I think there’s like this really interesting scene that’s kind of opened up. At least I’m just starting to become more aware of this conglomeration of like early-90s Alternative and then also the kind of hardcore, maybe post-hardcore scene that’s kind of emerged, and Drug Church is a great example of that. Drug Church is great, and that’s also why John produced them, and their new album that’s coming out is really awesome. It’s like you’re bringing back a lot of bands you think about like, Hole. The Gets is probably one of my all-time favorite groups, but I’m a fan of female vocalists. So seven year pitch, like The Gets, has that early 90s kind of Alternative/Grunge scene, so it’s definitely like a merging of those kinds of elements with a little more like a heavier sound that some of these bands are coming through with Drug Church, and Military Gun. I think a lot of people are probably familiar with Turnstile’s new album. It really merged this hardcore component with even weird elements of 311 that comes through there, and for someone like myself I’m 40 or 41, the reality is those bands definitely crossed over in your territory whether you want to admit it or not. Hey, I love it more and all that stuff. And so there’s a little piece that kind of just floats around and it’s cool how tastefully bands like Turnstile and stuff have pulled that off, where they’ve kind of nodded to some of the influences that have come across our area, but at the heart, we’re punk. I mean, that’s really what it comes down to.

But yeah, they also make their sound really accessible too, and I hear some of that in your singles, like “Out of Touch” where it has that driving kind of bassline, stellar vocals, and the production elements really make it stand out to me.

Yeah, I’m super excited for what the next iteration is. We already started working on some of the songs and the best way to describe it would be the Pixies mashed up with the production from Nirvana’s In Utero, is kind of what I’m going for. That’s my all time favorite Nirvana album.

Especially the production elements and the guitar tones on that record sound really good.

Yeah, and so one of the unique things in all this is that this has all been completely remote. So I track my stuff directly into Focus. And then I pass that stuff off to Jon. And he did some really cool stuff with re-amping, where he’s like sending the signal back out, and then actually miking with real amps. And so that’s what we achieved. A lot of the sounds are similar to “Out of Touch.” But we’re looking into the possibility this summer of all going in the studio and doing that kind of in-person thing. I mean, there’s just some definite things you get from vibing with each other in a real studio environment. And especially with the drums I mean, Tucker did a really cool job, and he did those from his home. And that was the same case with the EP. My friend Derek did all the drums from home. But I’m really looking forward to getting a little more exploratory with things like the miking and stuff like that in a real studio environment for the next recording.

Do you have other studios in mind as far as in the vicinity that you’re kind of eyeing?

Yeah, there’s one called Animal Farm, and Jon has used that for a lot of his projects. It’s actually a real farm, that they’ve made the turn of a barn into a full studio, and there’s even a guest house and stuff like that. So yeah, we’re looking to potentially do that in the summer.

Cool! So can you describe how the pandemic kind of affected not only the lyrical material, but also the decision to continue creating music down this artistic path?

I think, for me, it’s later in life of really taking it more seriously. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 12, and I’ve been writing songs for a long time. And I’ve been in and out of small little projects and things like that, but never really put the kind of effort that is needed to make it something more. So when the pandemic hit, it really became more of a way, like therapy, essentially. I work from home, and I am in the marketing field. But when you’re kind of trapped in the same four walls or whatever, you start to figure out things that…maybe even return to things that you forgot about. Whether it’s books or music and things like that. And so, yeah, it definitely was a form of therapy, and then the opportunity to work with a lot of these musicians like Jim and Tucker and Jon, that I think, in a normal environment would have been a little more unattainable just because the reality is, they’d be touring. And it’d be very difficult to align things. So that was from a positive standpoint, and returning to an old craft and taking it more seriously, and then being able to work with some serious talent to kind of help me take it to the next level.

Did you find anything from either literature or films to be inspiring?

I listened to a ton of music. I mean, I think one of the most defining albums for me is Find It Here. When you start playing guitar, I think everyone at least back in the day, it’s like, you know, your guitar teachers put you through the same stuff. It’s like, “oh, let’s play an AC/DC song.” And to be honest, there’s a lot of fundamental things that are good. But the second I found out about Sonic Youth and specifically Fugazi, Minor Threat, and his album Repeater, that just flipped it. For me, it was like, this is interesting. It was just totally different from what your ear had heard before, the way your hands played. And it also made it more obtainable because you started to learn, in most of the cases, they were using power chords or octaves. And so from a technical standpoint, it wasn’t difficult, but it taught you how to convey your emotions through your instrument. And to me, that’s the most important thing. I don’t care how complex a song is, or how good your production is…if it doesn’t make you feel anything, in my mind there’s no real point to it. I think punk and those particular artists, I always go back to Sonic Youth and Fugazi as probably the foundational ones that shaped how I think about things. But as far as more recently, I think this resurgence of a lot of these new artists was just really inspiring to see that they were definitely referencing a lot of this old stuff that I had grown up with, but putting a nice take on it, or a nod to it. But really doing something interesting around that and I think that probably inspired me too. And obviously the idea of working with Jim because he came out with an album the same as 2000 to 2022. When the pandemic hit is when I connected with Jim and started working on the project. And then 2021 is when I came out with the EP, but he also came out with his first solo album, not because he had come up with like one that was more like folk-based, but this one was like rock and it was really calling back things like times of like Jawbreaker and stuff like that. So it was kind of an interesting time and I was really inspired by this new take even like Quicksand coming back now with their new album and just growing up with some of their original stuff, and back to Gorilla Biscuits, and all that kind of thing. So I think it’s just a really fresh take on old stuff that I grew up with and was definitely inspirational.

Yeah, and especially some of these “legacy acts” kind of like Jawbreaker, doing their 25th anniversary of Dear You, obviously that’d be great billing for your band. That kind of support role kind of thing. But one of the last questions I have for you is, what does the outlook look like for you for the rest of the year? Are you kind of looking for opportunities for potentially touring? Or are you going to focus more on the recording side?

Yeah, definitely going hard on the recording. We’re super excited. I feel like Annie, the vocalist, and she plays guitar as well…we’re really gelling. I mean, we’re a similar age, and we have a similar background on things. And you know, when I sent her this first track that I started working on for the EP, I mean, it was literally within two days or something, she sent back vocals, and I was like, “Yep, that’s it!” 

It’s great when you’re feeling the connection right away!

Yeah, I knew that it was it so it’s just really exciting to finally have kind of a flow almost where you kind of know where they’re at, what their role is, what your role is, and being able to go back and forth. So our goal is to get pretty tight demos in a remote environment, going back and forth, and then work with John Marks, and to get in the studio to just make it rip. But yeah, it’s definitely thinking like Pixies with an In Utero, type of feel. I would say that one of the most inspirational bands honestly, that’s new for me, is Kills Birds. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of them. Check them out. Actually, Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth, she mentioned them, and I looked them up and they just blew me away. It’s a really perfect blend of 90s Alternative and just modern punk. If I get to tour with anyone, they’re just really doing a good job at it. And I think a lot of people are just too hard on the new generation. I mean, for my kids, he’s watching the Spider-Man movie, and there’s a Ramones song in it. And I can explain to him who they are. Now, he really likes the song. I don’t care how they find it, it’s just as important.

That’s cool! Any last words for people to look out for for the rest of the year?

We’re just looking to try to put out the full LP, I’m hoping to do it in 2022. That’s fingers crossed that we get it done. But I mean, at the end of the day, we only want to put something out there if we’re super proud of it, and actually move people. I would say you can go to our website, which is, Try to keep up with stuff there and we have an Instagram account, and also started messing around with Tik Tok a little bit, where I’m starting showcasing some of this vinyl which is kind of fun. Some of these new albums that are coming out. But yeah, we’re just excited to be a part of what’s coming up and even if it’s just a small component of it, there’s a lot of inspiring stuff happening for sure with music.

I look forward to connecting with you again, hopefully when the EP comes out! It was great connecting with you, and enjoy the rest of your evening!

Yeah, man. Thanks so much! Take care.