Nice Guys are noisy –  and that is the point. As a band that embodies the grungy garage-rock that is a key part of Allston’s music scene, they are most at home playing in a musty, dank basement. However, they somewhat recently left that basement when they had the opportunity to open for Californian surf-punk band Fidlar at the Sinclair in Cambridge, proving their fuzzy stoner sound has a place on a larger stage. Though they are happy with their success, Nice Guys plan to maintain their integrity as a scuzzy, basement band, enjoying most the feedback they get from enthusiastic audiences.

For many local bands like Nice Guys, line-ups are interchangeable, and it is not uncommon for band members to play in other local bands and projects.

“It’s very incestuous here,” said guitarist Alex Aronson,  “We’re all in each other’s band.”

Three out of the four members of Nice Guys, guitarist Matt Garlick, Alex Aronson, and bassist Jake Gilbertson, met through college – with the last member, drummer Cam, added to their lineup later.  All four members sat down for an interview in their home and rehearsal space in Allston after setting aside their cat and getting into a heated argument over whether or not they needed to all sit on one couch for the interview to count.

Mary Kate: Where did the name Nice Guys come from?

Matt: It really kind of just happened, we like to think that we’re nice guys.

Jake: Yeah, I would always say, “you’re nice” to everyone and then it just kind of became the name. Keeping it simple, band names are tough.

Mary Kate: What is the songwriting process like – is it a group effort, or do certain members have certain roles in writing songs?

Matt: Kind of both, sometimes it’s just us all jamming in the basement and we think of things, sometimes Jake comes up with material and brings it to us, it’s either. The music definitely comes first – the lyrics and title and other stuff always comes after. It’s always a group effort either way, because no matter what stuff gets added once we start all playing together.

Mary Kate:  “Punk” is used to discuss a lot of different types of music – how would you describe the type of music Nice Guys makes?

Alex: I mean, we’re not technically punks, punk has kind of become a blanket terms for a lot of things, especially if it’s noisy. Basement Stoner is kind of the term that we came up with, it’s really basement punk.

Mary Kate: You recently performed with The Orwells and Fidlar – what was that like? Did you get a chance to talk to either of the bands?

Jake: Yeah, they were actually really nice. They were just nice, chill guys, definitely the nicest successful band you could meet. And both bands had really good things to say, both bands told us it was a good set.

Mary Kate: Nice Guys did a small tour with Fagettes – was that a good experience? Would you guys consider doing that again?

Matt: That was really fun, it was just the bunch of us touring together in one rundown RV. It was basically just a chance to get to hang out with our friends and get drunk and play together. Some of the shows were more full than others, but even the ones that weren’t were great.

Mary Kate:  Do you have any plans as far as recording or touring again?

Cam: Definitely, we’re going to be touring for about two weeks in March

Mary Kate:  What is the weirdest show you have played so far?

Alex: We played a house show in North Carolina where there were about seventy people there when we got there. There were people out drinking on the lawn, and there were cops across the street, which we thought it was going to get shut down because that’s kind of a no-no in Boston, but it didn’t. After we played we were just outside, and this guy came up to us and asked if we wanted to buy a filet mignon, then asked if we just played. When we said we had, he told us we got a filet mignon for free. We’re guessing he robbed a food truck or something. We accidentally left it out all night; it kind of got white fuzz on it.

Mary Kate:  Where do you draw inspiration from – is “Pizza Bong” really about a pizza bong?

Matt: I don’t think “Pizza Bong” is actually about a pizza bong –- is it? No, it was about one time we had eaten the first pizza and had Dominoes on the phone, but we were all too stoned to order so we just were passing the phone around. But for the most part we really write the song first and then the silly title and whatever comes later. Other than that for inspiration, we’re definitely really inspired by the other bands that we play with.

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