If you’re a fan of alt-pop, you should check out Nightly. This Nashville duo, made up of cousins Jonathan Capeci (vocals) and Joey Beretta (guitars), is on the rise right now, having been featured in publications like Alternative Press as of late. Last fall, the band released the honest EP, which includes “xo,” a single that has amassed over 4 million streams. Right now, Capeci and Beretta are on the No Vacancy tour, during which they will play some headlining shows and some shows as the opening act for The Struts.
We had the chance to catch up with Capeci a few days before he embarked on tour. Read on to learn about his experience at SXSW, his dream music video concept (it involves Jackie Chan), and his favorite guitar solos.
The Young Folks: Let’s start off by introducing you to any readers who haven’t heard of you yet. If you had to describe Nightly’s vibe in three words, what would you say?
Jonathan Capeci: (Laughs) Wow, that’s really tough… “Dark alt pop.” I hope the rest of the questions aren’t this hard. (Laughs)
TYF: Before Nightly was formed, you and Joey lived in Pennsylvania. Now you’re based in Nashville. Do you think the move affected your outlook on music and life in general?
Capeci: Yeah. The thing about Nashville is that there’s a lot of people doing music around here, so it kind of forces you to get better by surrounding yourself with people who are better than you. In that way, it definitely influenced how we write songs… because if you’re not at a certain level, it’s really hard to survive. For sure.
TYF: You and Joey are cousins. Do you think that affects the way you work together as musicians?
Capeci: (Laughs) I mean, we’re really close. We were like best friends before the band, so I don’t know. We don’t really have any other family members that we work with in this capacity with music. But I’m sure it does. We’re more comfortable with each other than we would be with somebody who isn’t related.
TYF: You just played at the SXSW festival. Can you tell me about some of your favorite memories from the experience?
Capeci: Yeah. It was pretty insane because we got there the night before, probably around midnight or 1:00, and then we had 30 shows in 12 hours. So we drove into town, slept for, like, a couple of hours, woke up and had a show at, like, noon… I don’t know if you’ve ever been to that festival, but it’s super, super chaotic. We pretty much would play one show, load out, load into the next one, sound check, play… Our last show was around 1:00 in the morning, so it was a pretty long day. But it was honestly pretty awesome. A lot of kids at each of the shows, and kids who are following the shows and knew the words and everything. It was a great experience.
TYF: Soon, you’ll be going on the No Vacancy tour and supporting The Struts on some nights. What part of that experience are you most excited about?
Capeci: It’ll be fun because those are new cities that we’ve never played before, so [we’re] definitely looking forward to seeing what those cities have to offer. And The Struts have a decent following, so it’ll be fun to get in front of… Those will probably be some of the biggest crowds that we’ve played in front of, you know? Some of these venues are 1500 capacity, and up until now, we’ve only played, like 500 capacity, so it should be a lot of fun.
TYF: What’s your favorite city that you’ve ever played?
Capeci: That’s tough, you know? I think there’s little things about lots of cities. I mean, honestly, anywhere that you go that people know your music and wanna hear you play, it’s a really, really special thing. And also, we are mostly just inside of venues in the city, so we don’t have a ton of time to check out the city. Nashville is like our hometown, and the shows we have played here have been amazing, so I have to say Nashville. But outside of our hometown, I don’t know… maybe Seattle. That was one city that we actually got to spend [time in]. We did a tour with K. Flay last year and we played [Seattle] two nights in a row, so we got to stay in the city, and we actually got a chance to explore everything. Seattle was awesome.
TYF: What did you see there?
Capeci: We got a hotel that was, like, three blocks away from the venue, so we kinda roamed around. We went to the public market or whatever that’s called, and we went to a couple of coffee shops that our friends had recommended, and went and saw the water and stuff. We did as much as we could, honestly.
TYF: You write the songs for Nightly. Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
Capeci: Kind of, yeah… I think I was 15, and it was actually around the time when my grandfather had passed away, and it was the first time I had experienced writing a song just to express a feeling. It was a terrible song, but… I’m sure there were probably, like, pieces of songs before then, but that’s one of the earliest ones I remember.
TYF: If you had to get a tattoo of a Nightly lyric, which lyric would it be?
Capeci: (Laughs) Maybe I would just do, like, a little “xo” on one of my fingers or something, since it’s so small. And you wouldn’t have to say that it’s from your own band, you know. (Laughs)
TYF: Speaking of “xo,” I’ve noticed that a lot of your image and aesthetic revolves around text messaging and digital communication. Like, on the cover of your EP, you have the heart made up of the “less than” sign and the 3, and your name means “Night, love you” in texting lingo. What inspired you to go with this theme?
Capeci: Yeah, that’s all true. I think… When we were first writing for Nightly, we just wrote a bunch of songs inside a bedroom in L.A., and all of them felt super personal. Like, “No Vacancy” was one of the first ones, and we just felt like that was something that we could talk about, that we knew about, that we felt comfortable writing, and it fit the whole vibe that we were going for. We’re definitely very visual people, and we like to incorporate those visual elements in not only our lyrics, but like you said, our Instagram, our overall aesthetic. I think it’s that personal thing that inspired it all. Kind of feeling like a text message or something that someone [who you know would say]. ‘Cause that’s kind of our whole vibe. It didn’t feel like being “Nightly Official,” some kind of big, untouchable, weird, mysterious thing.
TYF: Imagine that you could make a music video for any of your songs with unlimited resources. No idea is too extreme. What would you create, and which song would it be for?
Capeci: (Laughs) Unlimited resources, huh? Well, in that case, I’d probably have to make a Rush Hour 3 scene music video with Jackie Chan and all the original actors and big stunts and stuff. We would probably do it for… That one seems like “Talk to Me” would be a good one.
TYF: I would definitely watch that video.
Capeci: (Laughs) Yeah. We could just call it Rush Hour 4: Talk to Me.
TYF: One last question: April is International Guitar Month. Do you have a favorite guitar solo?
Capeci: Ah, man. Dude, there’s so many amazing ones. That’s hard. Possibly the intro to “Where the Streets Have No Name.” You know what I mean? That epic solo… Either that or maybe The Killers’ “When We Were Young.”
TYF: Finally, is there anything else you’d like to say to the readers before we go?
Capeci: Thanks for listening, and they can follow us @NIGHTLY on all of our socials. We will be shooting a music video for “Talk to Me” soon. I doubt it will be Rush Hour 4 themed, but… We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on tour.
Interested in seeing Nightly live? Watch their show on one of these tour dates:
April 12 – Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern
April 13 – Cincinnati, OH – The Woodward Theater
April 18 – Pittsburgh, PA – Spirit Pittsburgh
April 21 – Columbus, OH – The Basement
April 22 – Louisville, KY – Zanzabar
April 23 – Nashville, TN – Third and Lindsley
April 27 – St. Louis, MO – Firebird
May 15 – Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe Old National Centre **
May 16 – Flint, MI – The Machine Shop **
May 18 – Niagara Falls, NY – Rapids Theater **
May 19 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live **
May 21 – Dewey Beach, DE – Bottle & Cork **
** supporting The Struts