Story By: Rachel Gossen
On a warm Friday afternoon, the members of Nightair have just finished up their three-hour practice session and sit down outside to decompress and hang out together.
Nightair is composed of Chapman student singer and guitarist Tony Davia, guitarist Brandon Miranda, Chapman alumni drummer Lauren Potts and Orange Coast College student bassist Lucas Connor. The group describes their sound as “California indie-rock,” with influences from The Strokes, Pink Floyd, Tame Impala and the 1975.
As the group sits together, they begin to reflect on how they came together to create the indie-rock band of four they are today.
“I met Lucas in sixth grade. All we did was play Call of Duty all the time, so we thought, ‘maybe we should learn to play instruments.’ We played a few gigs with some other kids but it didn’t work out,” Davia said. “Then, we met Brandon when we went to college and when we needed a drummer, he told us about Lauren.”
Nightair started out playing small gigs, such as Chapman University's spring event "Mochella" and intimate coffee shops, and has recently moved up to playing at venues such as the Yost Theater. While the band is becoming more well known and playing more gigs, it is a struggle to balance school and band time.
“It’s a lot of work. You get up, do school, work and then practice. You feel crazy and hectic, but that’s the greatest feeling in the world,” Miranda said. “I’m in a fraternity but I make time to hang out with my band. They’re the strongest community I have.”
For Potts, who graduated in 2014, she's had to learn how to balance work and band practice.
“It’s weird having graduated and being back here all the time,” she said. “They have to work around their class schedule but my work schedule is day-to-day, so I’ll find out the day before sometimes when I’m working. It’s hectic scheduling and that’s the biggest conflict.”
While school is a big conflict with working towards success, they all recognize that coming to Chapman hasn’t hurt them as a group.
“I wouldn’t be in the band if I hadn’t gone to Chapman,” Potts said.
Miranda and Davia agree, but sometimes think about how Nightair would be different if they’d gone to another school
“We never would’ve been able to all connect, but there’s some cases where I wish I hadn’t gone to this school,” Miranda said.
“If you compare people who go to east coast schools with our school, our culture here is not artistic,” Davia said. “People don’t enjoy live music here as much as they do in other places. I don’t think people aren’t as open to hearing a band. If they heard it, they wouldn’t be against it, but they don’t pursue it. It would be cool to be in a school that did that, but it hasn’t hurt us in any way to be here at Chapman.”
Despite their hectic schedules and limited availability together, Nightair has been busy recording their EP (extended play), which came out November 16, while also working on new songs to premiere after the EP.
“There’s no end goal. We ultimately just want to keep making music,” Connor said. “After the EP, we’ll see how people respond and go from there.”