A Common Thread: An Interview with Night Drive
Night Drive. Photo: Andrea Dane
Houston-Austin duo Night Drive have kept busy with performances at venues around town and sets at both Day for Night and FPSF, not to mention that they’ve been working on their debut album. The group, consisting of Rodney Connell and Brandon Duhon, is known for their sci-fi inspired synth rock and as a result have opened for groups like YACHT, The Psychedelic Furs, and CHVRCHES. Prior to their album release show tonight at The Secret Group, Connell and Duhon spoke to Free Press Houston about their new material, playing festivals, and the best place to buy synths.
Free Press Houston: Congratulations on your record. It’s self titled, right? What’s the general overview of it?
Connell: It’s our first full-length, and it’s self-titled, so it’s called Night Drive. We’ve been working on it for quite some time now. Yeah, we’re thrilled to finally be releasing it. We’re ready to have it out there in the ether.
FPH: Where was it recorded, Houston or Austin?
Duhon: It was recorded in both Houston and Austin. We recorded the music here in Austin and the vocals at a studio in Austin.
FPH: Speaking of the two cities, what was the decision behind choosing to have the record release show in Houston rather than Austin?
Connell: Well, we’re actually doing both. The Houston release show is today and the Austin show is Friday. It’s at The Secret Group in Houston and the one in Austin is at Cheer Up Charlie’s.
FPH: Night Drive was one of the bands that has played Day for Night, Sound on Sound, and FPSF. Are there any other festivals in the near future for Night Drive?
Connell: Not this summer. We’re going to the West Coast and doing a number of shows in July, though. But no festivals at the moment.
FPH: Going back to the album, were you using and effects that you went out and looked for? And for the synths, were those analog?
Duhon: Yeah, we ran some old pedals from bands we used to be in. I used to be in a shoegaze band, so I had a ton of pedals. We ran a Superfuzz Bigmuff to give the songs a bit of extra noise. We always like to have at least one analog synth in there to give it a warmer sound. Rodney and I like, I guess compared to general, contemporary electronic music, we tend to like it a little bit warmer. We have a Moog Sub Phatty, Juno-60 - stuff like that.
FPH: What about the other Moog stuff, perhaps a theremin?
Duhon: We’ve messed with one before, but we don’t own one.
FPH: So I assume you like to be a regular at Switched On?
Duhon: Yeah, that’s exactly what I was thinking of! How can you not like that place?
Connell: Yeah, it’s awesome!
FPH: What can the fans expect to hear on the new record as well as the release show at the Secret Group tonight as well as Friday in Austin?
Connell: Well they’re going to hear the new record, or at least a lot of it. But you know, when we first started in 2023 we put out an EP, and since then we’ve only been putting out singles or remixes for other artists. We’re anxious to get something out. The process has been great, though. We really wanted to put together that tonally sounded so “right” for Night Drive. While it’s not really a concept record, it definitely have a common thread that runs through it, and the vibe lasts throughout the entire album. There’s a beginning, a middle, and an end, you know? So that’s what the people are going to hear.
Night Drive will release their debut album tonight at The Secret Group, performing alongside MNYNMS and Yung Internet. Doors are at 8 pm with $12 tickets.