As a kid on a journey having human experience, Luke Brian spent a decade chasing down his demons. When he finally emerged from the dark bowels of New York City, he had the kind of life perspective most decadent rock frontmen would take an entire career to amass.
Reconnecting with lifelong friend Timothy Falzone just after the multi-instrumentalist saw his cousin perish in the September 11 terrorist attacks, the two found solace and purpose in music. Partnering up creatively, the pair weaned on everything from Depeche Mode to the Deftones to the Doors-drew strength from their long-term trusting relationship and mutual sobriety. Working weekends in the New York club scene to pay the rent and make connections, Luke and Timothy kept their weeks free for songwriting, rehearsals and shows. Before long, these products of a small, blue-collar Long Island fisherman's town saw their band take shape and subsequently take hold of NYC venues.
"We have abused our privileges with every other vice," Luke acknowledges. "This band is all that we have left and I think that is why it is powerful. And I personally believe this band is what helps keep us sane."
After Timothy befriended dexterous NKD-defining guitarist Izzy Lugo in a Manhattan guitar shop, the line-up was cemented. "He came to one of our shows and he instantly wanted to play with us," says Falzone. "I still had no idea how great of a guitarist he was, then I heard him simply warming up at his shop and he blew me away. I knew he had to be part of this."
Steered by the smashing Pulp-meets-Pumpkins roar of "Dive," The Study of Man... has a chameleon-like magic. Produced by New York legend Joe Blaney - who holds The Clash's Combat Rock and discs by The Beastie Boys, The Ramones and Keith Richards to his credit - songs like the infectious, coke-addled soul-searching of "Meaning" or the atmospheric, anthemic disc-opener "After Hours" portray the collective vision of NKD.
Evoking everything from The Cure and Interpol to Pink Floyd, the band's sound goes well beyond the confines of modern rock. For instance, "After Hours" was mainly influenced by Beethoven. While the contagious "All The Music In The World" came from Luke and Timothy sitting in a bedroom working with an acoustic guitar.
On both the epic disc closer "Blindfolded" and the introspective "Pornographic", Luke and Lugo collaborated. "Izzy is a great idea man. He is this amazing genius of a kid. Then Timmy is the one who can see the whole picture of an entire song. He can shape something that Izzy and I come up with and do a completely different thing with it."
Case in point is the tech-touched "Enjoy The Ride." If the song is a forum for Night Kills The Day to put its cumulative wares on display, it goes a lot deeper for Luke, who was devastated when he lost his father to a drunk driver at age nine and began drinking when he was twelve. "I crashed my first car when I was 16 and I did it on purpose," he says, explaining the song. "I just basically flipped a Lincoln Town Car at top speed."
"I was like, 'Okay God. Let me see what you're made of. I'm going to test you,'" Luke continues. As the offspring of a Dominican Nun and a Franciscan Brother who fell in love and left the order, the singer's soul searching propels tracks like "No Evolution" and the single-worthy "Rainbows In NYC."
With the recent addition of Roger Benton, a drummer that the band nicked from another NYC outfit after the disc had been finalized, Night Kills the Day is complete. "He's the perfect fit," says Timothy of Benton's allegiance. "He's an amazing drummer with the attitude and drive that we had searched high and low for."
Turning again to the band's - its complete title The Study of Man... And The Developed Shadow, Luke says, "All of the themes on this album are very of the flesh. Man's instincts for power, greed, survival and procreation times-10. There is sex addiction, drug addiction, money and even murder. And most importantly - weaving in and out of it all - the deep hunger for a connection to God."
Night Kills the Day may not be a band with answers yet. But The Study of Man... asserts that something thrilling happens when its members join forces. "That is what this whole thing is about for us," Luke concludes. "Becoming alive again."