Pasco, Washington’s Night Argent have been building a fan base here in the Pacific Northwest and beyond for a some time now. Lead singer Chase Manhattan‘s incredibly versatile voice that bridges the gap between pop and rock may just be one of the most underrated voices in music right now. The band just released their new EP, The Fear, last month and lucky for me, I was able to chat over the phone with Chase Manhattan himself to talk a little bit about Pasco, the band and their brand new release.
Chase Manhattan: Life is wonderful, man! Just getting excited to release the new music, new music videos and to hit the road.
BE: We have been fans here at Lemonade for quite a while. Funny enough – since I am not a big holiday music fan – it was your recent take on “Carol of the Bells (Cold)” that really stood out to me vocally. Your voice is insane, so I couldn’t wait to hear the new EP. Which leads me to my next question: how did the making of The Fear go for you guys?
CM: This is the first time working with some outside writers and producers which was very new for us since we’ve always been a very DIY band. We’ve always been self produced and recorded in our own studio. We made our own videos. Approaching it, we weren’t sure what to expect. Our first session we did – for this EP – was at Foxy Studios down in L.A. with John Feldmann which in itself is pretty nerve-wracking going from not having worked with an outside producer to working with someone at John Feldmann’s level was extremely exciting. We had no clue what to expect. When we went down there and he was so easygoing and welcoming. He made us feel right at home. We fell right back into the process, it was like being at our studio back home. We finished up the EP at our home studio. We still really wanted it to feel like us.
BE: You guys are playing a festival in Spokane in September called, “Tinnabulation“. It’s kind of a cool little festival going on there.
CM: Oh yeah! There have been some great festivals in Portland, Seattle and all around the western parts of Oregon and Washington, but the east side [of Washington] has been kind of quiet as far as bigger festivals go. The fact they are bringing a festival like this to Spokane is huge. This is the first time they are doing it and we’re really excited to be a part of it. We have family in the area and seeing some of the bands they’re bringing in like John Butler Trio, American Authors and OK Go, I mean, it’s a great lineup and we’re excited to be part of it.
BE: Speaking of Eastern Washington, you guys are from Pasco. Most of us here on the west side, don’t venture much east of the mountains. I know it gets hot in the summer, I know former Chicago Bears star, Brian Urlacher and former Seahawks linebacker, Michael Jackson are from there, but tell us a bit about getting your start in Pasco.
CM: The biggest thing people know about us is the Hanford site. That’s been a pretty big thing in the news recently, they had a scare with one of the tunnels collapsing. That’s usually what we’re associated with. Pasco – where we live – used to be a lot of farmland, it still is. There are a lot of farmers, country music is huge here. Our drummer is big into country and he writes country music on the side. The past 10 years though it’s been one of the constant growing economies.
It’s a great area. It’s not a small town necessarily, but it’s not a big city either. It’s kind of a beautiful in between. I have lived in L.A. and toured around the country, but it’s always nice coming back. A lot of artists from the city are always looking for a cabin in the woods or something when they’re writing, so they can escape the noise. Our studio at home is already away from the noise, so it’s really nice to have that and then have the other things when out on tour.
BE: It’s kind of crazy with some of these smaller cities – especially the ones with a country influence – they also seem to have a strong alternative scene as a counter sort of. Is that the case in Pasco?
CM: I mean, yeah. I wasn’t really a part of it, since I didn’t get into the rock scene until I moved back from L.A., but I know growing up there was a pretty solid metal scene here that was really thriving at one time. It kind of went away about 5-10 years ago. There has always been a decent music community, but the scene has been very ambiguous. The music taste is varied, but the support is great regardless of genre.
BE: You guys have shared the stage with some big names like Imagine Dragons, Lindsey Stirling and Devil Wears Prada. Which band were you most excited to play with?
CM: One of the coolest experiences for me wasn’t with one band in particular, but instead playing with a bunch of them at SXSW on the roof of – I can’t remember the name – but it was like a Whole Foods Market and we got to play with a band called X Ambassadors. This was before “Renegade” came out, so they were kind of unknown. We got to share the stage with them and hang out backstage and talk with them a bit. Literally six minutes later, “Renegade” was everywhere which was so great, because they are such genuine guys. We’ve also shared the stage with The Zombies who have been around for decades, my dad is a big fan of them. Since we have the name “Night Argent”, it was always a dream to meet Rod Argent and so the fact we got to play with them was such an awesome experience.
BE: We’ve seen a few EPs from you now, are you going to continue down that route or are you planning on a full length in the future?
CM: Our goal has always been to let the music happen organically. We want to make sure that everything we do is true to who we are and that we’re not pumping out music just to put it out. Our goal right now is just to keep writing. If we get enough support to write a full length album? Awesome. If we do another EP? Just as great. We just want the opportunity to keep making music for our fans and for people we hope to some day make our fans.
You can pick up the brand new EP, The Fear by Night Argent, on iTunes now. And also check out the latest music video for their single, “Mannequin”, below!
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine