Borderline Natives are a pop-punk band from Nashville, new single ‘Best Intentions’ has just been released and band members Kevin and Bobby talked us through all things Borderline Natives related.
DGM: What are the origins of the band, and how long have you been playing together?
Kevin: I started this project in 2017, but the gang has been together since the summer of 2019, so a little over a year.
DGM: How did you feel performing your first gig? And how was it?
Kevin: In a phrase, we nailed it! We didn’t have the opportunity to play together beforehand, so we winged it and that’s when we figured out this was something great.
Bobby: Yeah, the first show was intense. Good vibe on stage and a good response from the crowd. Nobody there believed that we’d not all played together prior to then. It definitely seemed special.
DGM: What should people expect when they check the band out? How would you describe yourselves?
Kevin: A good time haha! But seriously, we pride ourselves on being genuine, so being a pop-punk band gives you a lot to work with. It’s a good community of people who love good music that relates to who they are as individuals. The majority of the songs involve me reflecting on times where I wasn’t in the best mental state, then there are songs like ‘Best Intentions’, where I’m trying to find the fun in losing my mind from being isolated for so long.
Bobby: Our music is classic pop-punk. We add some flavours from other genres, but there’s no doubt that our influences are bands like Blink-182 and Taking Back Sunday; basically the big boys of pop-punk.
DGM: The new music scene is bursting at the seams with fresh talent. In what ways do you feel a band has to stand out from the others trying to build a name?
Kevin: That’s a tough one, but I would say our work ethic and songwriting speaks for itself. We have a common goal, and when we write songs it’s very organic. Someone shows up with an idea and we get a pretty solid structure of a song by the end of the session. It’s all about staying true to who you are at the end of the day.
Bobby: You just have to know what your goal is, and not look at failure or lack of success as a bad thing. So what if you put out your first single and it gets 14 listens? Seriously, even if 12 of them are from your parents, at least you got something out there. Now go do it again, and again, and again. Get a show and play it like it’s your last one… and then go get another one.
This is what you have to do if you want to make a name for yourself.
Kevin: There are tons of great songs on the internet by people who record them and just want to see if they blow up and get famous. Can it happen? Sure, I guess, but the level of success we want only comes from working your butts off.
DGM: What are you working on at the moment that people can check out?
Kevin: Our debut album is gonna be dropping this year. The first single, called ‘Best Intentions’, is available now. A few more will drop before the album, along with music videos and all that good stuff.
DGM: What band out there at the moment do you feel that you would be best suited to open for?
Kevin: Well my mind goes to All Time Low, Blink-182, even State Champs or Neck Deep once we are all able to get back out there.
Bobby: I agree with Kevin. We work really hard to make sure that whatever stage we play, we look like we belong there. If it were a stadium with Blink… we’d have the time of our lives.
DGM: Who do you feel will be the next band to break out?
Kevin: Early Humans have dropped some killer tracks this year; they would be a good pick.
DGM: What are your first musical memories? And what was the light bulb moment that made you go “I want to do that!”
Kevin: My family was always musical. My dad is a drummer and he’s played in bands since I was real young, so I think seeing my family playing music was my first memory and once I started listening to The Beatles and early punk rock I was hooked. To this day I’ve never wanted to do anything else with my life other than play music.
Bobby: I grew up listening to a lot of Golden Oldies (fitting since I’m usually the grandpa in the band!), but I fell in love with music in middle school. I got my first CD player, Enema of the State, and Metallica’s Black Album… game over. I picked up a bass guitar in high school and played for hours every day. It’s the one thing I’ve never grown tired of doing.
DGM: What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?
Kevin: Tigers Jaw at The Basement East a month or so before it got hit by a wicked tornado this year.
Bobby: Buddy Guy at the Ryman. Man is a badass. When Samuel L. Jackson grows up, he wants to be Buddy Guy.
DGM: What is the album that you have in your collection or Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?
Kevin: Dua Lipa’s new album. I’m also a huge Huey Lewis fan – I don’t think a lot of people know that.
Bobby: I have one playlist that’s all old 80s-90s country, and another playlist that’s a lot of 80s pop and hard rock. I can be all over the place.
DGM: What are your plans for the remainder of 2020?
Kevin: Finish our album and gear up for when we are able to play in front of people again.
Bobby: Seriously, just get our music together and be as ready as possible for when the stages open up again. Even if it takes until 2021, we’ll just be REALLY tight as a band.
DGM: How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?
Kevin: Super active, gotta keep the people updated!