Saturday, January 19th, 2019

“Strange Nights” in the local music scene

From left to right: band members Tim Churchill, Nicholas Rier and Cody Mitchell.
Sam Hill | The Free Press
From left to right: band members Tim Churchill, Nicholas Rier and Cody Mitchell.

Posted on March 09, 2015 in Arts & Culture
By Krysteana Scribner

Portland has always been known for its local music scene, where bands are constantly forming and taking the stage in hopes of making it big one day. One new band that has emerged from Portland, called “Strange Nights,” is making its way up in this music scene and has advice for aspiring bands in the area.

The three band members, Nicholas Rier, Cody Mitchell and Tim Churchill have been friends a long time. When they were younger, they were in a band that they describe as hardcore. The band split up for various reasons, but the three remained friends.

After Mitchell and Rier attended a concert in Buffalo, New York and had an interestingly fun night on the town, they went home and convinced Churchill to become the drummer for a new band they wanted to start up. With Rier on vocals and guitar and Mitchell on bass, the three were on their way to becoming a part of Portland’s local music scene.

“Right now, we’ve released a few EP’s and we’re working on a bunch of other music as well. When we got back from Buffalo, we immediately got together in our practice space and wrote one of our songs called ‘Buffalo New York’ which is about the night that made us realize we wanted to be in a band again,” said Rier.

When writing their songs, the three of them each play a role in what goes into making a song successful and likeable to their audiences.

“The writing process is much more collaborative than any other band I’ve been in. I can really rely on Cody and Tim to help out,” said Rier.

Mitchell adds to Rier’s statement, saying that Churchill gets the last look at the song to see if he can come up with a good drumbeat to accompany vocals.

“Our drummer Tim usually tweaks things and adds parts to the songs,” said Mitchell. “We may go through the process of getting the entire song written and edited, and if Tim can’t get a good drumbeat to it, the song becomes a no-go. It has to pass the Tim test to be a good song.”

With hopes of one day getting a record deal with a smaller label, the band members agree that they would like to live in Maine if possible.

“If I could stay in Portland and make the dream happen, that would be perfect,” said Rier. “Competition in Portland can be difficult and it is hard to get your standing. But I think the band is going in a good direction. We are going to make our rounds to the places that cater to local music before we hit bigger venues.”

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